This was a game of at least three halves and as much ebbing and flowing as you could have observed on the nearby river Deben (there was quite a lot of ebbing actually). In fact, our first taste of the excellent Woodbridge School facilities for this fixture was only made possible by the brilliant last ditch recruiting skills of sometime Buccaneer John Levick who mustered from Suffolk no less than six of the Buccs team of ten, supplemented by the Gents generously lending us a fielder. Your correspondent was also very grateful to Gus Berry who journeyed heroically from Earlsfield to Woodbridge by delayed and cancelled trains and replacement coach in order to play.
Cunning was in the air from the outset as Mark Nicholls inserted the Buccs on a very good looking surface and opened his attack from one end with the left arm slows of Roger Luxmore-Styles. Two early stumpings and a score of 26 for 2 was the result. However, guest batsman Sam Powell had survived an early slip chance and was now into his stride dominating the scoring to the extent that his runs were the only ones on the board at 35 for 2.
Suffolk over 60s player and Buccs veteran Peter Boughton then began to settle in nicely at number four as Nicholls went through frequent bowling changes. Just as the innings seemed well under control Peter called for a sharp single and was run out by a direct hit. Sam continued on his merry way providing the vital flow to counter the strong ebb coming from the Buccs efforts at the other end!
As is traditional a fine luncheon caused a train wreck of a batting display in the early afternoon so that our innings ended for 170 with the extraordinary statistics that Sam Powell’s 130 was accompanied by five ducks and only one other score not in single figures! The Gents had used eight bowlers with the pick being the leg-breaks of Carlisle and the aforementioned slows of L-Styles.
Although the tide looked like it had gone out for the Buccs events began to turn again as the Gents innings unfolded. ‘Aussie Rob’ Sullivan – another Levick recruit – reached into his memory bank to produce three early wicket-taking deliveries assisted by sharp catches from that man Powell and colt Harry Croft. The skipper then decided to have a go into the stiff breeze which was now blowing straight down the ground (no doubt something to do with the incoming tide) and managed to induce some injudicious swings across the line from the Gents middle order. With Gus Berry keeping it tight from the other end tea was taken with the Buccs very much in control.
But the breeze had not blown Mark Nicholls’ cunning totally away because Roger L-Styles bobbed up again at number nine to turn the tide in favour of the Gents. By efficiently putting away some loose bowling and knocking tighter stuff around for singles he began to close the gap of around one hundred runs which existed when he came to the crease. However, when Berry bowled number ten Carr the Gents were still about thirty short. In strode the ‘old salt’ Nicholls to see his side home by one wicket with Roger L-Styles finishing on 73 n.o. at the other end.
Innings of Buccaneers
J.Levick (wk) 0
JP Levick 0
S.Woolfries (c) 0 n.o.
Bowling of Gents of Suffolk
Innings of Gents of Suffolk
R.Luxmore-Styles 73 n.o
M.Nicholls 17 n.o.
TOTAL 171 for 9
Bowling of Buccaneers
Result: Gents of Suffolk won by 1 wicket.