Nine men of Romany triumph at Crakehall (with a little help from our friends).
On a perfect day of cloudless blue skies, in the wonderful setting of Crakehall village, after several years of defeats to the always-strong Crakehall side, a real all-round performance saw a famous Romany victory, to which every player contributed!
It had been a real struggle to get a side – Harwood had done his level best to help your scribe find players -on the morning he thought he’d found two instead of three (the RL cup semi-final at Headingley proved a big counter-attraction), but in the event one failed to show. We were absolutely delighted however with the one “Harwood recruit”, Hameed, who turned out to be able (as usual with Harwood’s friends, of course) to bat, bowl and catch very well.
We batted first and with major contributions from Alistair Maiden, Duncan Read, Hameed, Anas Imtiaz, Freddie Read, and Tim Halstead rolling back the years, totalled 167 – Andrew Moore and your scribe tried to hit out in the last 8 balls and we were all out in our last (35th) over. Skipper George Holden alas had a first ball duck, but that only made him more determined, opening the bowling!
As a result of Anas’s and George’s pace, after two overs Crakehall were 0-2, (second wicket a catch on the edge by Crakehall veteran Colin Poole kindly fielding for us – they lent us two fielders throughout). After four overs each of Anas – seriously rapid- and George they had declined further to 32-4 having been 20-4, but we made sure all our players, except Tim, bowled. Alistair Maiden’s spin and Andrew Moore’s left-arm pace were good, and even your humble scribe got some real turn. (Throughout the afternoon the only disturbance was incredibly noisy unsilenced and very old farm tractors regularly shattering the idyllic atmosphere, bringing trailers of harvested grain through the village.)
We should really have had what I’m sure would have been a Romany record – Tim appeared to get four stumpings, but only two were given out (your humble scribe was disappointed Tim’s lightning reactions on a stumping off him went unrewarded!)
Freddie Read bowled well again and clean-bowled one of Crakehall’s tailenders, as did his father Duncan,and Hameed’s excellent bowling finished them off -142 all out.
Then across to the excellent village pub for beer and chat-all-in-all as near to a perfect day of village cricket as one could really wish for!