The great and the good came to Southwold Cricket Club on Saturday the 8th of June for the 2013 President’s Day. Earlier than usual in the year so as to allow the President to attend the day in full rather than having to nip back to the farm half way through, it was a day enjoyed by all. Following a tremendous lunch put on by Mrs Middleditch, the wife of the President, a cricket match of 30 overs aside was held between a Southwold XI and the invitational President’s XI.
Before the match took place there was a special moment as a plaque to Adrian Hambling was unveiled behind the cricket nets. As the Chairman put it, they are the most used nets in England and Adrian would have loved to see them in use, particularly by his grandson Bryn and his fellow U9s. It was a poignant reminder of the immense amount of good one man can do for a whole cricket club,
The match itself was a good natured affair punctuated by large sixes (wind assisted and non-wind assisted) and buffet bowling. Played in the right spirit throughout, almost all of the players either bowled or batted and the match came down to the very last ball – but the Chairman of Southwold couldn’t get the one run required for victory, so the game was tied with both teams scoring 221.
There was the past, present and future on show at the club, which is an indication of the healthy state that the cricket club is in. 13 year old Alfie Hunt bowled 4 overs up the hill and into the wind claiming two wickets for his troubles whilst club stalwart Steve Hines tied up his former protégé Chris Middleditch with accurate bowling.
Despite a current investigation from the Suffolk Cricket Board into the legality of his bowling action, the ever controversial Andy Hirst rolled his arm over and bent his elbow to the full 15 degrees of legitimacy for one over – an interesting display of slow – stationary bowling that neither spun nor swung nor looked very pretty at all. Hirst awaits the results of biometric tests over whether or not his action is legal – the signs, however, are not promising.
Club captain Craig Gorst-Allman, playing for the President’s XI, thundered 73* in a withering display of power hitting in which he hit 6 sixes. He took the game by the scruff of the neck in one over from his brother as he struck 2 sixes and 2 fours as the golfers on the fairway behind the Common took cover as shells rained down on them. More shockingly however was the fact that he ran 2 twos, a fact even more confusing given that there were 12 fielders on the park. Gareth Gorst-Allman got his own back though as he led the Southwold XI’s reply in tandem with Ryan Moore. The younger of Southwold’s Kolpak players hit a much less eccentric 77 – still glittering with 12 boundaries – whilst Moore hit 83. His knock was a combination of the two South African’s as he hit 9 boundaries and 5 sixes.
Southwold’s reply came down to the last over and although the scores were tied going to the last ball, Craig Gorst-Allman delivered one which snaked past the defence of Mr. Clifford, a veritable python of a ball that hissed and bared its teeth before eventually dislodging the off bail and the game was over. A sporting tie.
The only down side to the day was when an errant return throw from an U15 cricketer landed on the head of the President, drawing blood. Accusations of underhand tactics and gamesmanship came flying from the mouth’s of the President’s XI as their leader was helped from the field, only for him to return to the match to bowl in the second innings of the day, praising his “bullock-like thick skull” for saving him from further injury.
It was a fantastic day that displayed the upwards trajectory of Southwold Cricket Club. Having gone through some difficult years recently it was great to see that cricket in Southwold has got a long and promising future.