Fantasians vs Palmers Brewery – 10th August 2015

A story in which there were a flurry of boundaries, forlorn underpants flying at half mast, how the Fantasians got in touch with their feminine side, and O’Reilly finds, after 53 years, his proper role in cricket

From knocking off the winning runs at Lord’s to Cattistock came our opening bat, Nico MacD. Followed by a panoply of young Fantasians with T20 cricket in their blood they racked up 145 runs in a revised 16 overs. Showing the disdain of the true Fantasians for sweaty singles, 108 runs came from boundaries. Special mention goes to Ed Lyle, Mike and Dan Salmon and a late burst from Marcus Williams. All this against a pink ball which was easier to see, and easier to find after Ed had hit it. Jules, being a gent, was not so easily persuaded to give a girly ball a smack and made do with more singles than boundaries.

Palmers came out to bat against a daunting total and were pinned back by the wily Younger and quicker Tom Salmon, ably supported by zest in the field they kept the openers down but it was Banger that made the breakthrough. The change bowlers brought more wickets with two catches caught off Henry Scott’s bowling and two more missed. Tim Evans bought himself a wicket and it was great to finish with Dan Salmon’s leg spin bringing Nico MacDonagh a stumping and a third catch for Ed Lyle. The muddiest trousers belonged to James Kelway Bamber being the zest in the field.

In a remarkable moment of symbolism and serendipity a pair of rain sodden underpants was flying at half mast on the club flagpole as we arrived. Originally I had no clue as to the portend until I saw a batsmen embarrassingly caught halfway down the wicket hanging there like said under garments. It was Cleeves stranded halfway down the track as the throw came in. I felt almost as sorry for him as the ‘in’ batsman who, being out moments later, followed Cleeves in to the dressing room to meet his employer.

Palmers mustered 109 in reply with only 50 scored in boundaries being the difference. Their runs were scored from 48 of the 96 bowled versus the 47 balls from which we scored 145. Could Fantasian fielding have really been the difference? O tempora o mores

Which only goes to prove that I am suited to being non playing Captain. A cricketing pimp introducing younger and more capable performers on the field is a more appropriate activity for a middle aged man. Just as proud, half as sweaty, un injured and un humiliated. I was fit enough after a jovial evening at the the Fox and Hounds to beat Cleeves on the last hole by 08.30 the following morning

Special mention to Peter Salmon for scoring and fathering three of the team, Nick and Max, the two umpires who much increased the jollity and sociability of the evening and for Simon and Lesley MacDonagh for their unstinting support.

Charles O’Reilly