Down Memory Lane – 1994 – Lamb Chopped Kensington
A report by Tim Yeardley
Hot and sultry on a July afternoon, and not just the captain – Tony Rickhard – as the day dawned over the delightful village of Andover, with its quaint narrow streets and olde England mock-style Tudor pubs, one of which, Lamb Inn run by Tony’s mother, was the reason for our visit – to play our traditional game against the publican side.
The previous week had brought an avalanche of requests to play at Andover and at one time Kensington were only four short. However, cometh the crisis, cometh the man – Geoff Fisher called up his fellow Africans in an impressive show of strength from the Southern Hemisphere. The more traditional members of KCC scurried to their dictionaries to find out what “Ya” meant! There was however, one pre-match casualty – Casper’s car; it blew up after touching at least 35 mph on the M3. Woody, ever eagle-eyed, spotted a distraught passenger, Tim Yeardley, on the hard shoulder and screeched to a halt from 95 mph, nearly causing the greatest pile-up in history. Casper Bowden was left to weep over his car, and KCC were forced to play with 10.
KCC started batting at 2.40 pm, and lost Woody almost immediately for a duck, who then retired to find out if his car had picked up the Casper bug! A swift knock by Mark Kruger, the beefy one from Africa, was followed rather too swiftly by a tumble of wickets – Mark, Fisher, Yeardley and Ranga – all were soon back to either umpire or score. But KCC are made of sterner stuff. At 47/5 Tiny Rockhard started to fret over the situation and was immediately fined for trying to be captain! Alan Clatworthy, the not so beefy one from Africa, was joined by Atul Bajpai (no beef at all and not from Africa), and they put on 85 runs, the best partnership of the innings. Atul scored 40 and Al poached a creditable 23 until the decent bowlers were brought back to clear the deck before tea. This was duly done, but not before a few lusty blows from Will Hamlyn and Paul Devlin got the total to a respectable 154.
KCC bowling after tea brought everything into not-so-rosy-tinted reality. Despite the Tony Preachard team-talk at the interval, the bowlers played more like the jelly on offer at tea – and that’s being hard on the jelly! Woody, given his first chance to impress, opened both the batting and bowling, but after the duck and no wickets may need to seek psychiatric help on his attitude and application – the talent is there. Geoff Fisher had no luck – better batsmen would have got a nick the 24 times he beat the bat with his quick seamers. But only one wicket fell to him – a ‘breath-taking’ catch by the impressive keeper, Tim Yeardley (who also wrote this report!). The batsmen plundered the bowling and the 100 came up in just 20 overs. In the face of a real thrashing KCC usually don’t fold, but engagingly go through the motions. Not in this game, though. Atul, Mark (the beefy one) and Prickhard all managed to send one or two deliveries of note and reduced the Lamb to a less creditable winning margin of 5 wickets in all of 29 overs. Honour somehow salvaged?
A good time would have been had by all at the Lamb Inn if Tony, trying to be captain yet again, had not led the convoy at 150 mph, losing everyone except Woody in hot pursuit. Then he wondered why no-one else turned up at the pub. Nice one Tone!