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Rogerstone away 3rd July 2005 - (author Steveo (actoor))

My dear brethren gather ye round and hear a tale of great splendour, well befitting the annals of this here honourable record of casual achievement.
Let us begin at the beginning… it was a cold bright dawn that witnessed the gathering together of a hardy band of travellers that Sunday, preparing themselves for the long arduous journey that stretched ahead. The mood was somewhat reticent, possibly due to the early hour, but also because some brothers had already fallen by the wayside. Our young offender programme, although largely successful, has its hiccups; Brother Scott was unable to attend the gathering, detained, as it were, by some other pressing engagement. Care in the community resulted in The old 'Silver' Fox being dragged from his sick bed and pressed into service… yet we were still to lose another team mate, as the slick wristed young Furnham suffered an oil leak on the way to the ground (at least that is what he said!) and was unable to join us.

And so, 20 mins after setting off we finally arrived at the distant ground of Rogerstone, where we rested up and waited a short hour for the opposition to arrive.
It's a pleasant ground and in the sunshine, with hope in our hearts -and a well won toss by the skipper- we took to the field with the sturdy pairing of Gough and M Stephens to open the batting. Mark appeared a trifle distracted, possibly due to the fact that tea was still some distance away. He was soon out to a catch for only the single run. Never fear tho' for O'Reilly was called to the fray. Together these two young willow wielders carved out a quick 60 - scalding the hitherto amenable Rogerstone gang into bringing on a proper bowler who scared the bejesus out of everyone. The big ol slack jawed monster (meant in the nicest possible way - webmaster) whizzed in a couple, tempting Plum to "have a go", leaving him caught behind by an admittedly spectacular bit of acrobatics.
[Controversially, the batsman claimed to have a better grip of the scoring total than either of the scorers - one of whom was a somewhat demented ol git who couldn't add up the figures in his own book, the other was from Rogerstone! - so Gough's score of 19 was temporarily adjusted up to 23 to pacify him. Full adjudication to follow.]
Meanwhile, back in the field of combat, O'Reilly fought on as those around him fell. Laughing boy scored just less than his brother when an in-swinging delivery of great vigour just clipped the top of his off stump. Paul pondered his fate for much of the afternoon. Hoody stepped up, and quickly down again. O'Reilly bravely faced the evil G.Berry, smiting one back over his head to run a 3. But sadly before he could repeat the act he swished one off the slow bowler for a simple catch at mid-off. His score of 43 made a modest contribution, satisfying in that it included half a dozen Fours and a few well-run 3's.

Prior added 3 (bowled), Skipper caught for 0. It needed someone to follow the O'Reilly lead, and sure enough, up stepped Big Dan. Ably assisted by the mighty Muff, Shagger put on a much needed 50 in splendid style (matching O'Reilly's 6 fours) to Foote's legitimate 23.

At this stage the casual spirit was matched by Rogerstone who offered us a couple of players. By the close "Pomy"and Nick added a further 43, and the casuals had the odd experience of only having umpires on the field (the Gough-O'Reilly partnership once again!). Final score 205

THE TEA INTERVAL. Extensive, varied, a range of sandwich fillings and cakes. With Paul off his food and Andy missing, there was even some left! Highly satisfactory.

To the field. A good all round effort took the attack to the opposition. The first fell quickly, a stumping off the bowling of Foote. Then they held us up til, on 96, Skipper brilliantly brought in O'Reilly who got Berry LBW on 40, quickly followed by Trinder, bowled on 45 (S.O'R -4 overs, 2 W's, 16 runs). 4th wicket caught by Shagger of the borrowed bowling of the guest Nick; Lewis followed up by bowling Peck on 16 (DL- 8 overs,1M,23r, 1W). now we were motoring and the next to fall was off the bowling of Prior (7overs,0m, 54r,1W).

Meanwhile Paul S has given us 6 overs for the loss of only 17 runs. This is where we witnessed the enormous hitting power of the mighty Berry, who seemed determined to get one over the highest tree possible. However, muff was merely luring him in, confident in his field support. Sure enough, eventually the big schmuk (again, meant in the nicest possible way - webmaster) launched a missile in the wrong direction… Foote was heard to exclaim 'that's out' with great confidence, but the fielder was not put off… O'Reilly was firm on the boundary, planted and ready, patiently tracking the ever faster falling lump of concrete. Reader, fear not; it was a jubilant celebration as all the team exhaled at last and the ball was prised from the hands of the overcome young fielder. The happy dance ensued.

But despite the glory of this deed it was not yet won. Foote had more in him than his diminutive body might imply. Drawing himself up to his full 5' he set about the bowlers with all manner of nurdly nonsense until their will was sapped and he had claimed a "fifer" to complete his happy day.

At the exciting end of play they needed more than they were able to get, the mighty fielding effort at full stretch, the oppo were defeated on 199 for 40 overs.
Now dear reader, I know what you are thinking. MVP. Man of the Match. Surely there is much to consider… Shagger batting to his ability at long last; Muff avoiding the distraction of his attentive missus to 'do his very best' or the all-round wonder that was O'Reilly… well gentle reader, it is of course for you to decide, but for my money, this was a tremendous team effort! GO CASUALS!

p.s. muff wasn't allowed out for a drink afterwards.

Epilogue (webmaster)

Well. Before I edit this report, I will have to consult The 'Book' as I'm sure the author has himself got confused with names and players..... or was there a pair of Berry's? Either way the author seems to have spent a loooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg time reporting on one player - someone called O'Blimey, and spent only minimal writing time on a superb (and potentially record breaking eigth wicket) partnership (75) of Muff / Shagger - a potential leathal (if not disturbing) combination.

Just for the record here are the exclued match facts:

The Casuals went from 61-1 of 9 overs to 66-6 after 12; then 160(odd)-8; 170(ish)-9 and 206 off 40overs.

Goughy stumped the opening bat in the first over (off a wide); G Berry (fast bowler/big hitter) scored 40 (losing four balls in the process) before O'Blimey somehow got himself between the ball and the boundary plus prevented the ball from striking the ground for a 'catch'; Foxy and Muff bowled a teasing line in the last 8 overs before Muff got his Fifer off the last ball of the game with the oppo falling 7 short.


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