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CCC vs Lille at Apremont - 28th June 2009

Match Reports 2009

CCC vs Lille at Apremont - 28th June 2009

Posted by: webmaster on Sunday July 12, 2009 (18:28:22)   (6751 Reads)
Our most exotic visitors so far this season travelled down from Lille on a sunny Sunday afternoon. This was supposed to have been a return fixture, but a clash in the diary had made it impossible for us to play away back in May. There were some familiar and rather formidable faces, notably Szumowski and Richardson, who had been joined by some fresh blood since our encounter at the end of August 2008 all under the watchful eye of leader Tony Banton.

Sensing that the 30+° temperatures and humidity to match would somewhat drain our resources in the field, Lille elected to bat – and bat they did. Tris and Craig pinned them down in the first couple of overs conceding only one run a-piece. Then events took a turn for the worse which was to last around 34 overs ! In a mini Ashes warm-up match, the antipodean opening pair, Szumowski and Meredith, showed that all-to-familiar Aussie domination cruising past 50 in the 9th over. Clearly acclimatised, they had failed to notice that they were even punishing our very own pommie-basher Craig.

A couple of more economical overs a third of the way through the Lille innings, and the capture of Szumowski caught in the covers by Patrick for 27, gave some hope. But Meredith was unstoppable. This was proper batting – block the good ball, leave the better ball, and smash the bad one out of the ground. For the second time this season a left hand bat was proving to be our downfall.

We toiled away in the blazing sunshine and both Craig and Patrick had some success in the middle order. Craig’s high speed turbine generated 2 for 30 and solar-powered Patrick finished a fine spell taking 3 for 18. Testament indeed to the impact of our backroom coaching staff (aka Iain Hanson) whose drills and advice have turned Patrick into a very effective source of energy.

The more traditional windmill actions of Nick Clarke and Nick Shepherd yielded a wicket each, but Lille were able to harvest nearly twice as many runs. Things may have been a little different if the catches had stuck – chances were spilled by various Nicks and we lost count after 4. The most important one stuck, nonetheless with Denzil’s fine glovework responsible for the wicket of Meredith just 8 short of his century. Foster added a couple to the total before edging to Homer off Clarke senior whose final dot ball saw the innings close on 166 for 7.

Tea was taken, a fine spread having been provided by Denzil, who shoots right to the top of the sponge table thanks to the great gateau chocolat decorated with stumps, a ball, AND the CCC logo ! But the secret to the light and airy consistency is out – apparently he mixes the ingredients whilst wearing his wicket-keeping gloves. Amanda says they work better in the kitchen than in the bedroom, whatever that may mean………

Captain Clarke selected the batting order and CCC openers took the crease purposefully, feeling that five an over was achievable. Sansbury and Gillett moved the total on 13 after 4 when Nick lobbed a drive to mid-off. Shepherd, resembling some exhausted fossil fuel, ran out of steam early going lbw to Szumowski, who then proceeded to skittle out our own Mr Kipling on his way to the impressive and ultimately match-winning figures of 4 for 11. Renewable energy is the future, and Patrick pumped his way to 26 in quick fashion with a series of unstoppable boundaries. Father Nick provided a steady supply of runs via his well-tested and reliable pipeline which runs east to west on the fields of Apremont. Unfortunately for Nick, and for the team his flow was interrupted when Gazprommed lbw by umpire Roy The Boy Newman on 37 – a terrific knock abruptly ended by the influence of some Russian oligarch who told Roy to turn off the tap mid-stream in exchange for a £5 hot dog voucher valid at Stamford Bridge next season.

Our tail wagged, or probably “waggggered mate” as the Australians would put it, with Craig running up 14 before being bowled by his countryman Szumowski. Tris was resilient to the end, but the lights went out on our innings at 119 some 47 runs short of Lille.

We reviewed our energy policy whilst re-fuelling on beers under the late evening sunshine, and we are convinced that we will return stronger for the Home and Away matches with our Neighbours from Lille next season.
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