|Date||17 June 2017|
|Venue||Polo Field, Hall Green Lane, Hutton, CM13 2QT|
|Result||W (Hutton IIIs 257-9, Brentwood IIIs 298-5)|
Hutton IIIs 257-9, Brentwood IIIs 298-5
Brentwood won by 41 runs
It would be nice to report Brentwood barely broke sweat in beating bottom-of-the-table Hutton but unfortunately each member of the side lost several litres in overcoming tenacious derby opponents and recording a sixth successive triumph.
After mastering the timed matches at the start of the season, Brentwood were faced with the first of the limited-overs fixtures – 45 overs a side, no draws, nice and easy for those of limited intellect.
The day began well when captain Ryan Pocock called correctly and despite Paul Degg’s exhortations to bowl first did the only sensible thing on the hottest day of the year by opting to bat.
In a meteorological quirk, the scorching heat was joined temporarily by a hurricane as Harry Hobson launched himself into the Hutton bowlers. Hobson knows only one way and bats in the fashion I imagine would have been favoured by his near-namesake Sir Harry Hotspur, the famed 15th century slayer of Scots.
Sir Harry (Hotspur) made his reputation by defending England’s borders from angry locals and Sir Harry (Hobson) furthered his by upsetting Brentwood’s neighbours.
Wielding his impressive weapon, Sir Harry (Hobson) smote the ball to all four corners of the ground (OK, there was a slight bias towards deep mid-on, and not forgetting towards third man off the edge). The Scots, sorry, Hutton, had only themselves to blame as they dropped two early chances, and Hobson reached his 50 off 25 deliveries, the half-century coming up with a lavish swing and an edge over first slip’s head.
George Bull was not exactly pedestrian at the other end but it did seem there were two matches going on – T20 when Sir Harry was facing, ‘proper’ cricket when George was facing.
The fun only came to an end when Sir Harry shrugged aside the age-old advice to ‘take a look’ at a new bowler and smacked Joe Hill’s first delivery down long-off’s throat. His 82 had come off 38 deliveries and included eight fours and six sixes.
A score of 130 for one in the 14th over was quite a platform but Hutton recovered somewhat, mainly thanks to a tight spell from off-spinner Andy Bliss. Bull had reached 65 from 81 balls when he miscued Bliss and was caught to make the score 180 for two.
Nigel Bacon had crunched early boundaries but found Bliss’s clever changes of pace a problem and after one life edged behind, falling for 33.
Mick Davis was not at his most fluent, and was not at his most amused when given out caught for 30. Davis had played and missed and was just explaining the fact politely to the wicketkeeper when he realised the umpire (Sir Harry, you couldn’t keep him out of the action) had raised his finger.
Sonny Willis hit a pleasant 50 before sacrificing himself in the late charge for runs, and Pocock (22 not out) finished the innings with a flourish, hitting two sixes off the final over as the total finished at a commanding 298 for five.
The headline act at tea was the sausages, supplied locally by Olivers Butchers (I’ll be in on Friday for the usual, thanks) and Brentwood retook the field feeling confident after the way their bowlers had performed in the opening weeks.
Luke Wells opened up and instantly gave the batsmen problems with his pace and bounce, one edge flying through slips and another chance looping up into no-man’s land.
However, he gained his reward when taking a sharp caught and bowled, swiftly followed by another wicket when Luke Brailey ran in well for a low catch at square leg to make it 40 for two.
Grant Smith induced a play-on from the No4 but Hutton’s fourth-wicket pair dug in and started to build an impressive stand. As the runs flowed and the temperature seemingly rose, Brentwood became slightly ragged.
In such circumstances, someone has to grab the moment and here it was who else but Sir Harry. After a plethora of long hops and full tosses from his team-mates, Sir Harry ran in at a good lick and produced an accurate six-over spell that included the key wicket of No3 Chris Blake, who drilled a return catch back at Sir Harry to fall for 57.
Bull added another wicket, taken at slip by Davis, only for another obdurate stand to develop which left Hutton needing a not-impossible 130 off the last 13 overs with five wickets in hand.
That was just about as worrying as it got for Brentwood as runs started to dry up and Wells and Peter Bainbridge returned to claim late wickets, including that of 14-year-old Tom Debenham for an impressive 83.
Brentwood remain 44 points clear at the top and this Saturday are at home against Buckhurst Hill.
Report by Peter Bainbridge
For a superb gallery of pictures from the match (including Brailey's catch in the face of a charging Rhino, kindly supplied by Dave Berry), go to https://flickr.com/photos/149836914@N08/sets/72157682167797582
This report was brought to you by Olivers Butchers, award-winning sausage makers.
|Name||Squad number||Position||Runs||Dismissed||Wickets||Overs bowled||Runs conceded|