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This report was originally written by Barry Gigg, captain at the time. All legal actions should be directed to him.
Due to much popular support, Ken, I started the season as the captain on the field of play and treasurer off it. Early season nets at Archbishops Park saw Tim engender himself to his teammates when a deceptively slow ball left Tony nursing a sore head after attempting and failing to hit Tim into George Carey's garden. The very dry April helped the batsmen
In the opening 20 over game of the season against Dodgers we slumped to 37 for 4 but that man again, Jonty pulled us round with a splendid 52 not out. It was also a foretaste of things came on to bowl and made the key breakthrough with 2-0 in his first over, meanwhile Phil eased his way into the season with 0-18. Some tight bowling by Ken left the Dodgers and an exasperated Adey six short. Next stop the tour which was fully covered by Phil but suffice to say that Stevie Carter is the only captain to win a tour game and Spencer the only person top field in a game 30 yards outside the boundary. Next up an early season win against DST, with Matt making 46 and Jonty taking two wickets again; Patten 0-14. On to Regents Park to BOCS, the least likely side to start a game on time. An easy 9 wicket win with some Australian chap from the Royal Oak scoring 54. During the game Tony announced that he would be the first Superstars player to hit a six this season, two sixes by the big Aussie and our laid back all rounder said that he would be the first proper Superstars player to hit a six. Meanwhile I promptly hit a six over mid-wicket - shame. My first reverse as captain was not long away however with Tony's OSD scoring 141-8 in a 20 over game, only Mike Taylor distinguished himself with 2-18. I managed 41 but we were never up with the required rate and our innings petered out on 112.
We were getting used to this no changing rooms, this time at Duke's Meadows, so once again we changed al fresco so exposing some ample waistlines, you know who you are. On a treacherous track against DSS we did well to get 116, with Ken weighing in with a quick 24. We weren't about to give the DSS any hand outs and our new man Yogesh took 4-10 and 4 ball Tony took 3-11, which left them all out for 51. Missed the next three matches, a 7 wicket defeat by Halcrow featuring an unlikely pairing of Benn and Stevie Carter. Still they made 68 for the opening stand. Stumpless were defeated by 18 runs with Paul chipping in with 22 not out. LCD obviously took a liking our bowling, 259 in 35 overs a record me thinks, while we could only muster 86. Normal service resumed on my return against much sterner opposition, BOCS. Despite an 8 wicket victory Stevie Carter didn't trouble the scorers. In the next game against BOCS Tim finally got in on the act with 25 and once again an easy 51 run victory. Phil also struck with 3-16 (including ace batsman Kentish).
Next our only trip to Greenwich saw us play DNH on a green strip. I recieved an unplayable ball, which was a bit unfair, and departed for a duck. With the elements against us we struggled to 58 for 6 off 19 overs. After lulling DNH into a false sense of security Ken and Jonty push and ran for all they were worth with Jonty scoring 58 and Ken 48no as we reached 181. This proved too much for DNH and they were never up with the scoring rate - finishing on 164-5. Tom bowled superbly 8-3-14-3; Phil 0-9. Next against OSD saw two batsmen dominating the scoring with Ray Owen scoring 52 and Merv a superb 104, including one enormous six over long on, OSD eventually reached 189. Meanwhile Paul was bowling impressively and this earned him a call up to the Departmental side. Barth on his final appearance was captaining OSD and must have confident at tea. Two hours later and OSD were in disarray I had retired on 104 and Jonty on 50. Final score 191-0!
Meanwhile Paul had hit a purple patch, which for him is normally two feet outside the off stump and took 3-4 against MOD. I scored 44 while Stevie made a valuable 2 in a 7 wicket victory. In the return victory against Stumpless they amassed 236 for 2 in their 40 overs with Mike taking the two wickets. Later on a failure to take a simple return catch resulted in Mike being carted off to hospital with a shattered knee. Still Siva took the honours in the batting with 52 not out but we finished 58 short. In the return afternoon fixture against LCD Siva 2-6 and Paul 3-28 excelled and they could only make 120. I retired on 50 with the score at 75 and Jonty retired by popular demand on 31 leaving us to win by 9 wickets.
An afternoon game against Dodgers saw us take the field with a weakened batting line up and an opening spell of fine controlled bowling by Neil Benn with 5-11 saw us slump to 22-5. Only a last wicket partnership between Paul and Tom lasting over 10 overs saw us limp to 89. Still we made them battle for the runs with Siva, in particular, always threatening 8-4-11-2. However Benn and McBarron steered Dodgers to a two wicket victory in the 37th over. Those that stayed had to suffer John Adey with a permanent grin all evening. Not sure what happened against Ealing Council. They scored a paltry 35, Neil Benn in one of his frequent guest appearences taking 4-3, while we took 13 overs and 4 wickets down to surpass them. In the next afternoon game against Stats, that man again Neil Benn scored 60 against us and Paul took 3-32. Stats set us a challenging total of 180 to win and we just made it, Steve Lomas making a valuable 44.
With the nights now drawing in we entertained BOCS at Lower Sydenham. A fine spell by John Underwood 5-8 saw us reeling at 22-5 but once again Ken and this time Neil Benn turned it around and we managed to reach a respectable score of 99. For long spells this did not look enough as Paul Brown and John Underwood were dispatching to all corners of the ground. In the last few overs fielding became hazardous in the failing light. This resulted in Stevie Carter sprinting, in the loosest sense, ten yards to his right when the ball was heading in the opposite direction. With only six to win off the last over, John took two off Ken's first ball but was then bowled by Ken. Dave Crozier came in but as he didn't possess a pair of night glasses we managed a 2 run victory.
In the final of the best of three matches against Dodgers we batted first and this time we made some early runs. I made 57, Tony 25 and hop-a-long Mike 20. Neil Priest was in fine form for Dodgers but fortunately this was not the case up the other end and only Phil McBarron, in again, reached double figures. Neil ended up with 77 not out out of 130 and Ken took 3-15 in a comfortable victory.
We finished the season against a strong Energy Exiles, well strong for us, and once again had to change out in the open. We batted first against some aggressive bowling, everyone except me got into double figures and Neil Priest just missed out on a 50. In the end we made 174 but this was knocked off with some ease by Exiles. Only a superb one handed catch by Jonty lifted our spirits.
Thanks to Mrs Block for the wonderful teas and to Andy for trying. My thanks also to Ken for sorting out the fixtures and dealing with selection.
p.s. Mary tells me that I have been the most successful captain in Superstars history - probably.
Barry Gigg Cheers, Barry
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