Bedouins v Beacon at Wombourne, July 26th
Bedouins lost by 5 wickets
This is getting silly. In a Bedouins season that has been positively littered with down-to-the-wire finishes, the meeting with Beacon at Wombourne went all the way to the very last ball before the home team scored the winning run, leaving the Bedouins in the dark as to why they should be snatching so many defeats from the jaws of victory.
It was Beacon skipper and general factotum Alan Green who scored the winning run off the last ball of the final over, just as he had done at the start of the season in the game at Enville. There was a certain air of inevitability about it, in light of what had gone on before this season. Indeed, it was at least five overs before the end of the match that Jon Stanier was heard to be asking the Beacon lads whether there was a defibrillator on hand in case needed by the dodgy ticker of the Beds chairman/scorer. (Incidentally, there was one).
After a rain-soaked morning, Beacon had done well to get a wicket ready, and the Beds had first use of it. Neill Smith was promoted to open the batting with Ian Woodhouse. The partnership didn’t last long, as Neill Smith called for a quick run which only he thought was available. Sent back, he made an over-hasty turn and ended up in a crumpled heap in the middle of the wicket as the bails were removed, prompting an erstwhile Bedouin friend of his to ask where he thought the sniper had been hiding.
Ian Woodhouse went on his merry way, hitting two sixes and three fours In his 28 before being adjudged lbw. Jon Stanier reached the retirement point with 31, and there were double-figure scores for John Howells and Paul Lippitt (the dab that went wrong).
It was Jono Hill who gave the innings real impetus. With a fast-scoring efficiency coupled with minimum running effort that had echoes of his old man about it, he hit seven boundaries in his 32 retired, enabling the Beds’ closing total to reach a competitive 126 for 5.
With a number of the regular bowlers absent receiving treatment for damaged fetlocks and things, the Bedouins bowling department lacked a certain amount of experience, but that was more than made up for in enthusiasm. Paul Lippitt opened the bowling with Lee Bywater. The former completed four tidy overs that included clean bowling the Beacon opening batsman, while the latter’s first three overs went for just 9 runs.
There was a wicket apiece for Austin Gregory and Neill Smith, but most successful bowler was Ray Bate, who completed two overs to take 2 for 15. But it was all finally in vain, as the home side, needing 10 runs from the last over, reached the target off the last ball, although even then Ray Bate almost made “catch of the season” with his full-length dive to try to reach the winning shot.
Bedouins 126 for 5 ( Hill 33, Stanier 31, Woodhouse 28, Lippitt 10, Howells 10)
Beacon 127 for 5 (Bate 2 for 15, Smith 1 for 13, Gregory 1 for 19, Lippitt 1 for 32)