OLD SOUTHENDIANS AND SOUTHCHURCH v Gidea Park & Romford Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI on Sat 04 Jul 2015 at 13:00
Gidea Park & Romford Cricket Club Won by 7 wickets

Match report So it was hot. Fucking hot.

One of theirs, a big lad, for my money a purveyor of right-arm darts and hopeful lower-order bunts, had a fit at 1230 and smashed his head on the railings. By the time the ambo had turned up and he’d been piled into the back, the day had already turned weird. So, yeah, it was hot. And most of us were late. All of Essex goes to Southend when it’s hot, to what passes for a beach with all that hassle and garbage, so getting to Southchurch Park, where Keith Miller left a straight one in ’48 and I missed a straight in ’96, had been touch and go.

We fielded first! Gaffer won the toss and put them in. On a road. In the heat. In an overs match. “I’d normally consult you and Jimmy P, because you’re old.” This, in Callum’s defence, is often true. He does, because we’re old, often consult Jimmy P and me. And why didn’t you ‘consult’ this time round, dear boy? “Dunno mate.”

(It’s worth noting that I do admire a captain who knows his own mind, even if the contents contained within it consist of stale lager and girls with funny names and the fucking Arsenal.)

Our Aussie's ribs were buggered. But while he was less brilliant than usual with the ball, his talent for rubbishing English cricket at all levels appeared in great shape. In fairness, his assessment at tea that the shower of shit we'd just sprayed all over the joke outfield of Southend's finest was the worst he'd "ever been a part of" wasn't just the heat talking.

You know what? We weren't that bad. Ok, so the 65 extras weren't great. And Abid's effort at a run out from the covers, when he stopped it, lost it, found it, pondered it, got a bit glum because he'd lost it again, sat on it, lost and found it one more time, and then hurled it into Callum's busted left hand as their opener completed his seventh shuttle run - he would make his ground - arguably that wasn't great, but overall, we weren't that bad. I've seen worse. I'm sure of it. I just can't remember where or when.

In 45 overs we'd conceded 304. To all of us, apart from the Aussie, because they smack it everywhere over there, this was a first.

Tea was time to take stock. One of the joys of playing with such a miserable bunch of cynical bastards is the absolute refusal to sugar-coat a turd when a turd is evidently what a turd is. Liam, our Dickensian man-boy seamer who acquired an armchair and a chip on his shoulder within minutes of emerging, centuries ago, into the world, said it was too much. "250, 260, we might have had a go at that. But not now. Fuck all chance.”

Liam is perhaps my favourite cricketer.

The Gaffer, meanwhile, lounging in the shade as Jimmy P and Abid loped out to kick things off, was more at ease with life. Comfortable with his decision to bowl first, he insouciantly dismissed my suggestion that not having a bat on that road in that heat may have been a somewhat eccentric decision. No bother, our hero was lost in a heat-sapping reverie, pretending not to care about his new girl, who isn’t even his girl anyway, and he’s really not bothered, honest, he can take it or leave it, and anyway, whatever, she’s got a silly name.

Abid was going off like a ragged bespectacled train. Needing runs, he’d gone and found some, and found them fast. Watching on, each one of usclaimed responsibility for his upturn in form. Turns out he’d had a pep talk from all of us. In the end he just did his own way, and when his own way works, it's unstoppable.

At the other end, Mr James Patient. Just the name is enough. I’ve known Jimmy P for 20 years. He played me Derek and Clive tapes when I was 14, and he’s batting better than ever.

With Callum not thinking about his new girl and Connor not fretting about the run chase, we watched from the shade as the score went past 100. Abid got to 60, fast, before missing a cut. I was in next.

In between creaming it, JP was actually dropped a couple of times - i mention this only because it’s well known that Bradman was dropped on average more than other players. Between us - me with my sweeps and leading edges and yellow bat grip, Jimmy with his runs, all his lovely runs - we kicked on. I forget how he got to his hundred - you’d have to ask him - but the little nod to the dressing room, where, to the right, Liam diligently scored while occasionally punching the air before writing off our chances in the next moment - that nod said it all.

Jimmy went in the end for 117, broadly shagged and blowing violently out of his arse. It brought out Peggers - I’m still not 100 per cent which brother I’m playing with - and that right there is not a boy bothered by such bollocks ideas as pressure.

We were pretty much there by the time I fucked up, run out going for a second. All that was left was for Connor and Peggers to complete an all-run-four as they brought it home. In the immediate aftermath, it was almost subdued. Bit shocked maybe. And then it started to sink in. The day that you’ll talk about next year, and the next. That day, you remember, when the 2s chased down 300 in 43 overs at Southchurch Park and Jimmy P was majestic.

Fucking brilliant.

Still should have batted first.

Phil Walker

Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
7nb 47w 8b 3lb 
for 6 wickets
304 (45.0 overs)
Valalveettil Caught  51
Wilks Caught  25
Worsfold Caught  40
Threadgold Bowled  81
Dennis Bowled  26
B Seadon Bowled  5
Chilmaid Not Out  9
Ashdown Not Out  2
M Seadon  

Gidea Park & Romford Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charlie Gordon9.0048148.005.33
Matt Connaughton9.0162162.006.89
Abid Alaracu9.0054227.006.00
Harry Thompson8.005700.007.13
Liam Neal8.0054227.006.75
Peter Collier2.001800.009.00

Gidea Park & Romford Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 27w 2b 5lb 
for 3 wickets

(43.4 overs)
Abid Alaracu Bowled  60
James Patient Lbw  117
Phil Walker Run out  44 1
Michael Pegram Not Out  39
Connor Donnelly Not Out  11
Callum Poultney   1
Peter Collier  
Matt Connaughton  
Liam Neal  
Charlie Gordon   1
Harry Thompson  


Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy