Brentwood Cricket Club v England XI July 2006
It was celebration time on Sunday as Brentwood played hosts to an Old England XI to help commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the Club. The day was an overwhelming success as such star names as Monte Lynch, John Lever and Ben Cocklin were all on display and the Brentwood public duly flocked to the Old County Ground in their masses to catch a glimpse of their heroes.
The Brentwood 1st XI had been in confident mood in the run up to the fixture and this was further enhanced by the news that Brentwood were to have a late addition to the line up. Adding a touch of glamour and showbiz to proceedings small screen legend and conqueror of Pat Butcher, Patrick Truman, a.k.a Rudolph 'Valentino' Walker, graced us with his presence.
After being hounded by Ash Patel to pay the necessary subs, then making sure Yolandi was okay to cover his shift at the Minute-Mart, the EastEnders Lothario became a late and welcome addition to the Brentwood side preparing to take on the Old England XI.
Nick Childs and England Stalwart...Patrick Truman..?!
So as the players prepared for the game, over in the VIP tent things were going with a swing. Pimms was being drunk, Hawaiian cocktails were being eaten, the Chair was regaling tales of his epic season and the Havering majorettes twirled. Even Sutho was smiling as the cuddly one threw an admiring glance in his direction. The Harris gardens had arrived in Brentwood.
But events unfortunately were marred as one of the residents from Warley mental health hospital wandered un-noticed into the tent. At first his presence wasn't apparent but during the charity auction, when a bid of £120 was made to watch Leyton Orient in the first round of the Carling Cup, security was promptly alerted and the patient was duly escorted back to his darkened padded room.
Trevor Coote was once again in full flow as Auction Master and raised a total of £1,900 much to the delight of the Little Havens charity who also hosted a fantastic raffle where the top prizes were a radio 'cassette' player (not sure if it had a soft eject or not) and a Silver Cross dolls pram. Ambassador, with this Little Havens raffle you are really spoiling us! But everything was for a good cause and by 2 o'clock everyone was in the mood for the main event.
Brentwood chose to field first and opened the bowling with pace duo Joe 'the Hoff' Fryd and Paul Degg. Derek Randall and Alan Wells opened the batting for the legends of England. Randall, as ever, was fidgeting around like a hyperactive child who'd drunk one too many glasses of Sunny D but alongside him Wells was relatively untroubled and this allowed England to get off to a decent start.
Derek Randall (Notts & Eng.) with supporting cast...
'Funky' Frydder Buchanan was unlucky on several occasions but eventually it was Paul Degg who claimed the first wicket. Derek Randall middled a pull shot that flew to Nick Childs at square leg. Childs, lithe like Jenna Jameson, dived full length to pull off a majestic two handed catch, his father swelled with pride, at least I think it was pride and wasn't anything to do with the low cut tops of the catering staff. Randall was gone and Brentwood had the breakthrough.
Lynch (not sure if it was Monty or Kenny ...) was next to the crease and it was the perfect opportunity to begin the Truman show. Paul Webb decided to leave the pitch before he was asked to bowl at the irrepressible Lynch and allowed Club Captain Richard Whitehall to enter centre stage having just flown back from his holiday and landed on the adjacent field. With Patrick Truman replacing Degg and Fryd replaced by Sutho it was time for an all out spin attack. Truman's bowling was tight like Nigel McKay, and Sutho was getting into the mood as he bowled like Patrick's best mate Jim Branning.
Lynch dispatched him for three massive sixes over cow-corner but the real Sutho soon returned and he claimed a prize wicket of the in-form Wells. Lynch was by now in full flow and soon posted an aggressive half-century.
Back in the public bar and Cootey was only too keen to oblige as he was inundated with requests for a Brazilian ... although he soon became slightly dismayed as he realised it was the dodgy bottled beer from Rio that the WAGS were after. The OCG was at this stage looking a picture, no doubt close to capacity and after Lynch's hitting they didn't have to wait long for the next champagne moment.
Rob Coote....judging by recent Lashings' performances there was a theme emerging as far back as 2006!
A deep pull to midwicket looked to all the world as if it was landing safe but not to one man, whether it was the naivety of youth or the adrenaline rush of playing in front of such a big crowd but Ben Cocklin had other ideas. Racing in from the boundary he cast aside fear and the threat of a rather nasty graze to the elbow and dived full length to take the catch. Lynch was out and Cocklin was mobbed, colt's player Dave Childs even ran on to the pitch to collect a prized autograph.
Benjamin Cocklin (BCC & MCC).
The OCG was now buzzing and the atmosphere was higher than a piece of inflatable art in Durham.
Although the imposing figure of England wicketkeeper Bobby Parks batted sensibly for 42 not out a procession of wickets followed. Brentwood were going through the England line up like lasagne through a Yid. Boon held his catch and with wickets for Belchamber and Whitehall England ended their 37 overs on 210 ... ish ...
It was a Kiera Knightly of a total ... eminently do-able ... and Brentwood were confident they could chase down the runs. After the Pimms break Childs and Walford set about the total. With JK Lever opening the bowling, runs didn't exactly flow to begin with but Childs and Walford looked comfortable, that was until Childs edged to first slip. At this point the exact details of who scored runs and who bowled to whom started to become a little hazy so apologies if one or two of the stats aren't quite to Chris Stewart standards. But it didn't take long for the entertainment level to be cranked up a couple of notches.
Walford pulled aggressively in the VIP tent ... (not sure if they exchanged numbers or anything) ... and then after the fall of Chris Sains it was Patrick's time to show us what he could do with an old bat, but with no big ear-ringed lesbians in the vicinity he made his way to the crease. Truman with his impressive helmet hung around for a few overs repelling the spin of Peter Such and at one point swatting him straight back over his head for a notable boundary.
But it wasn't to last, eventually in pursuit of quick runs, Patrick was out but no doubt his performance would have made Anthony so very proud. As he left the pitch to a rendition of the 'Enders theme tune it had been an eventful day for the Little Havens patron.
Walford at the other end was by no means being square ... (ouch) ... it had been business as usual as he accumulated runs with aplomb but as wickets were lost at the other end the chances of victory were slipping away.
Neil Radford had guessed as much with an approach that was so relaxed it makes Mahadeo look Lee Evans, he decided to take a seat from the VIP tent onto the outfield, to do his fielding sat down with a glass of Pimms. Although he bowled fast it was nothing to compare with how quickly he moved when he got the chance to mingle with The Chair and his harem ...
Neil Radford (Worcs. & Eng.) with supporting cast...
With one over to go Brentwood needed 42 runs to win, it was a tall ask, some may say impossible, but with captain marvel, Dickie Whitehall, at the crease anything was possible. Dickie managed to spank 20 odd of the required runs including a couple of big sixes but alas it wasn't enough. Brentwood had been defeated but definitely with heads held high.
The day had been a roaring success, Leyton Orient had increased revenue for the season threefold, Webby not only had a new mountain bike but had his eye on Patrick Truman's helmet, Sutho eventually swapped numbers with a majorette and the cricket wasn't half bad either.
So in true Andy Gray style ... "Paul Webb take a bow son ... take a bow."
BCC Chairman Paul 'The Chair' Webb with chair (and refreshment).
- N. Childs - A catch that made his Mother so very proud but his innings was short and sweet bit like Bobby Parks. Bless Him. 6/10;
- J. Walford - Captain and top scorer and Lionel Ritchie fan. Had it easy like a Sunday morning until his untimely dismissal that meant there would be no dancing on the ceiling for the Brentwood boys at the end. 8/10;
- C. Saines - A victim of Radford's excellent caught and bowled, but until that point some lusty blows and a pretty haircut added up to a decent game for the number 3. 7/10;
- Ayres - Didn't come off for one of Brentwood's chief run makers, still looked the part and had his shirt tucked in at all times which is always important. 6/10;
- Joe Fryd - with more testosterone on display than a Justin Gatlin urine sample, Frydder's opening spell was unlucky to go unrewarded. Bowled hard fast just how the ladies like it. 7/10;
- Ben Cocklin - Well with a catch that will take up more column inches than Jo Surtees, Cocklin defo left his stamp on the game. A couple of boundaries kept the crowd entertained. 7/10;
- Chris Boon - The Brentwood 'keeper was on top form behind the stumps and was up and down more often Gillian Taylforth's head in a lay-by. A few runs as well and it was a good day's work the Boon. 7/10;
- R. Walker / Patrick Truman - Arguably the star attraction, batting with all the finesse of a night out with Jodie Marsh, coupled with his steady bowling and animated commentary style - Patrick Truman we salute you. 9/10;
- Sutho - Unlucky. Monty Lynch was barely able to lay bat on Sutho's bowling and we witnessed three of the streakiest, edgiest sixes that have managed to find their way over the trees and into the next field ever to be seen at the County Ground. Beat Wells all ends up for his first wicket. 6/10;
- Paul Degg - Pacy opening spell, made the first breakthrough, made Randall hop around his crease just that little bit more than usual. 7/10;
- R. Whitehall - Took wickets and another over or two who knows, he could have been our Michael Caine as we escaped to victory. Where does he stand at a corner Colby? 8/10;
- Belly Samson - Let's hope its not a case of cutting his hair and losing his powers, but he's just back from injury so I'm sure the spinning genius will return quicker than you can say, "To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle," or something like that. 6/10.
Happy days all round and it's a big thumbs up from him.
Match Report and photographs courtesy of Damian Muncaster.
Photo gallery to more images from the Old England match