Grace's fall short in the sunshine!
Match report v Hampton Wick Royals 6th September 2015 – lost by 59 runs
Our last scheduled fixture in the last few seasons has been at the Hampton Wick Royals’ lovely ground adjoining the royal park. This year was no exception as Grace’s journeyed south west on a lovely sunny afternoon to take on the youthful Royals. Dom had injured himself with some ill advised DIY so Leo took up the skipper’s mantle winning the toss and opting to bowl on the flat looking track. 10 man Grace’s took to the field with Dean carrying on from last week with some accurate bowling in tandem with Newton pinning the openers down.
In the 6th over Leo took a cracking low down slip catch off Newton to see the number 2 Maddox Brown (surely an RAF squadron leader!) back to the pavilion. This was shortly followed by a slow motion caught and bowled for Newton’s 2nd wicket to see off the other opener and when Dean bowled the number 3 for a duck Grace’s scented blood with the score at 21 for 3 in the 8th over.
However Jones (D) the number 3 – one of 3 brothers playing together! – together with Oliver (number 5) had other ideas and took the attack to us punishing anything loose with a fine partnership of 89. Noddy entered the fray and after a few overs of pace changed to spin – this paid dividends as he bowled Jones for a fine 39 – the score was now 110 for 4 in the 24th over and with young Oliver now past his fifty and hitting out a large total looked possible. Thankfully Dean bowled him for 75 and accurate bowling slowed down the charge with wickets falling regularly (a great running catch in the deep by Mahender a highlight) the Royals were eventually all out for 199 in the last over. Newton the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets. Colin had come along to score – with good fore thought he’d packed his whites so he came on in the 20th over to bring us up to eleven.
A great tea followed (the same cost as at Greenford!) before Dean and Mahender opened our attack. Mahender was soon bowled for 5 and when Niroshan was caught for 6 we were 19 for 2 in the 8th over. Dean had meanwhile showed his class with some stylish drives and with Noddy in at 4 punishing anything wayward our innings gained impetus. Things were looking good until Dean unfortunately found the only fielder on the offside to be caught (one of the Jones boys!) for 16. Newton in at 5 was soon caught for 3 and the score was 60 for 4 in the 16th over and rebuilding was necessary. Meanwhile Colin had been continuing his lovely psychedelic scoring while various players attempted to master the new digital scoreboard’s remote control!
Someone needed to support Noddy and Leo was just the man playing a captain’s innings with a combination of straight batting the good deliveries and his trade mark driving of anything over pitched. This partnership looked promising until Noddy was smartly stumped for 55 playing a rare loose shot. We were now at 114 for 5 in the 28th over and still in with a chance. The hosts changed the bowling around continuously (resulting in 10 bowlers!) and no one was able to support Leo. When he was eventually caught going for it (for a tidy 29) Grace’s ran out of steam being all out for 139 in the 36th over.
Everyone retired to the bar after the match to watch the beautiful sunset over the ground. A great day for a fun match and a fitting end to an outstanding season. We look forward to returning in 2016 – we’re sure the Jones boys will be too!