Totteridge Millhillians – Friendly – away – lost 14 runs

Totteridge Green, London N20 8PB


With thanks this week to Jim (Merrick) – making his editorial debut – here’s the report of our trip to Totteridge yesterday:
Before I kick off I’d like to say that I feel truly
humbled to be asked to write the match report for
a game on such a momentous weekend in the
clubs history. Let’s hope I don’t royally make a
mess of it


And so it came to pass that the first ever Graces
second XI (not really but sort of) travelled to
Totteridge Millhillians for a Sunday social friendly
fixture. Most of us decided to travel there directly,
others chose to chance their arm at a spot in the
league fixture at Broxbourne by turning up there
first. Lesson 1 of the day; email apps are
important commodities in 2021.

After a few fielding drills around a sainsburys
shopping bag, the toss was had (possibly won by
Nigel?) and Graces found themselves in the field first up. 

Having all been fooled into expecting a belter by the brown astro practice
pitch, the actual wicket looked green and sticky.
Hope at least that the wind and sun might dry it
out for the second innings. The league umpire for
the day informed us he’d like an over rate of 17
an hour, clearly already having one eye on his
sunday dinner plans.

Pete and Jamie opened us up looking to make
early inroads. A few lusty blows from the openers
moved the score along but there was some
encouragement for the bowlers as some outside
edges dropped short of eager fielders and there
were regular plays and misses. Something
unfortunate was to follow however as Pete went
over awkwardly on an already injured knee and
was forced to withdraw in just the 8th over of the
match. We hope that it’s just a tweak and not a
season ender.

With 1 sub fielder already in place (to cover for
those still downloading the uber app) a second
was now required (the home side kindly obliged).
Jim stepped in to finish Pete’s over and would
take the reigns from the same end for a spell.

Wickets were needed and they did finally start to
fall Jim producing a beauty of an out swinger to
take the edge of the home captain (or was it a
long hop caught very well at square leg by
Jamie? I forget..) and Manish, bowling his first
spell of seam ever, taking another shortly
thereafter (another super piece of cricket from
Jim at backward square).

Having travelled most of the trains, tubes and taxi
routes of north London/Hertfordshire Bena joined
us and immediately joined the attack. A few
looseners were quickly followed
by an excellent spell of line and length bowling at
pace. At the other end, Dom had taken over and
was doing an excellent job of holding down an
end. A lovely spell of flight and dip was rewarded
when he had young Leo (who played very nicely
indeed) stumped by Adam.

Bena would finish the day with an excellent 3
wickets, 2 of which fell in the same over (with
another great stumping by Adam in the bargain)
and Jamie (back on to finish the innings) got the
reward his efforts deserved by taking a wicket
before the end.

Lots of great contributions in the field too from
Darren (always in the game at square leg), Scotty
(who was at one stage fielding at both mid off
AND mid on, much to Jim’s amusement) and
Sam (the specialist fine leg fielder who Adam and
Manish constantly squabbled over the positioning

The home side finished on 208-7, what looked a
very decent score. Graces would need 6 an over
from the off to chase the target.

After a quick turnaround and some inspirational
words from Adam, Manish and Dom headed out
to the middle. The two set about keeping ahead
of the rate in the early stages. Plenty of excellent
running between the wicket combined with timely
dispatching of the odd bad ball raced Graces up
to 50 while being ahead of the rate. Manish
looking resplendent as ever in his yellow helmet
was in excellent touch and Dom hit some lovely
late cuts to keep the field settings ever-changing.

Unfortunately Dom was given out LBW just short
of the 50 run partnership (the league umpire
perhaps now with a second eye on his
sunday dinner plans) and Manish followed shortly
after, caught behind by skipper Clive. An excellent
foundation had been put in place by the openers.

This brought Leo and Adam to the crease. Again,
a few lusty blows in amongst quick singles kept
the scores ticking over but after some slower
paced bowlers had been and gone, the home
side began to turn the screw and the run rate fell
behind a touch. Leo was then caught and this
brought the well travelled Bena to the crease. He
and Adam worked to move the rate on again with
some quick running and the dispatch of the odd
bad ball. Adam, sensing the rate needed to jump
was bowled shortly after while playing across the
line so Jim joined Bena in the engine room.

Some incredibly tight and frugal bowling followed
and the 2 worked to rotate the strike
and keep out the good balls when they came.
The 7 overs from Inpon in particular were
incredibly accurate, reflected in his figures of just
9 runs given in his spell. At this stage, Jim was
more than happy to keep Bena on strike as much
as possible. The latter really striking the ball
sweetly on his way to a half century. One house
in particular we hope has cricket ball insurance
as Bena dispatched a half volley over the square
leg boundary rope (and net!) to an almighty crack
of roof tiles. It looked like it needed retiling

With the rate up at 12+ an over, the 2 batters
swung hard at everything but unfortunately it
appeared the chances of winning went along with
Bena, caught on the rope at cow corner for a well
played 59.

Chanal joined Jim in the middle but unfortunately
neither man could get the ball far off the square
as a result of some tight
death bowling and the innings finished with
Graces 14 short on 195 for 5.

Lots of decent starts and some great shot making
at times but with the scoreboard pressure, it was
always likely that it would eventually come to hit
out or get out from the middle order.

Regardless, a great game of cricket in lovely
settings that very nearly went right down to the
wire. A well earned win for the home side in the

Player of the day was of course given by Adam to
Bena for his excellent all round display. Perhaps a
long commute to games is the answer to playing

A small note too for the TM crop of youngsters.
Many of them batted and bowled (Chanal even
doing so for us!) and they all
gave a great account of themselves with great
attitudes to boot. The future of the club looks well
assured in their hands and they were a joy to play

I’m in no position of power or authority to advise
here but there’s probably a game, some games,
cricket etc next weekend which Stu will tell us all
about as the days go on. So keep your eyes
peeled and your email apps installed as we go
through the week.

Peace out, G-town down.

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