It was a bit of a family affair with four Rydons and two Leefes on the scoresheet, but the family combinations were all thrown out of the window as Henry Rydon declined to open the batting with his cousin Alex (as Henry had enjoyed too much gin at the previous night’s Olympic party). Simon Leefe manfully stepped in and battle was commenced in bright sunshine. Alex saw the shine off the new ball and then gracefully made way for debutant Buccaneer, James Goodman. The young graduate trainee from Cazenove (and previously Kent CCC) dispatched the ball to most parts of the ground and even managed to run a four (an impressive feat on such a fast outfield). Simon was less impressed, as they were not his runs, and gave way, after and a good thirty odd, to Will Rydon. Will proceeded to mistime most of his shots and try and shepherd James to his hundred. His animal husbandry skills were lacking as James lunched on 95 not out and the Buccaneers in a healthy position of 157 for 2.
An excellent lunch and new bat transformed Will’s stroke play and shepherding. James made his hundred and politely was caught on the boundary soon after. This enabled the first father/son combo as Henry staggered to the crease. Will smashed it out of the ground while Henry didn’t trouble the scorers. Richard Hobbs entered briefly and scored as many as Henry and when Will holed out there was a danger of the momentum being lost. The captain need not have worried, as first Paul Hobson and Steve Moules steadied the ship and then upped the stroke to enable the captain to declare on 251 at 3.20pm.
Rob Rydon opened the bowling down the hill with his son keeping, brother at first slip and nephew at second. Fortunately, there were no histrionics as Will dropped a regulation catch (was he standing too close for such pace?). Meanwhile, Freddie Bjorn had the dream ticket of up hill into the wind, and was using it to good effect with a sustained spell of inswing bowling and the reward of the first wicket. Rob bagged a couple of wickets and tea was taken in good spirits. Charlie Leefe raised them even further when he produced some quality leg spin and a fine catch from Will at first slip. His second wicket was less classical as a rank long hop was spooned to Henry at mid off. Hobbo tried some variety from the top end but was replaced by Simon to create another father/son combo. Simon clean bowled the number four bat, who foolishly was playing for the turn. The Leefes wheeled away for a while and then Henry came on to bowl some great off spin deliveries from the bottom end, but as is so often the way, it was the full tosses that got two wickets. Some of the youngsters started complaining about the declaration as they worked out we would be bowling sixty overs if the match went the distance, but Rob was happy to have enough overs to show the full repertoire of bowlers. Richard Hobbs bowled an over of wide filth, but then surprised the batsman with a straight one to claim the only LBW of the day. Just as Will was warming up to bowl in tandem with his son, Richard enticed the number ten into an errant shot and deny the use of our ninth bowler.
The victorious Buccaneers gathered in front of the pavilion with beer in hand to listen to ‘Last Post’ as the Old Hurstjohnians’ flag was lowered for the last time in their cricket week of 2016.
F. BJORN dnb
251 FOR 7 DEC
WELCH BOWLED BJORN 5
J.PILGRIM BOWLED R.RYDON 11
WILLESDON BOWLED R.RYDON 0
MEREDITH BOWLED S.LEEFE 19
WARRENDER CT W.RYDON BWLD C.LEEFE 18
ARMITAGE CT H.RYDON BWLD C.LEEFE 6
HALL CT HOBSON BWLD H.RYDON 57
J.MCGAHAN CT GOODMAN BWLD H.RYDON 10
CORDAN LBW HOBBS 4
D.PILGRIM CT W.RYDON BWLD HOBBS 4
P.MCGAHAN NOT OUT 6
ALL OUT 164