Walker Ground, Southgate – Sunday 14 September 2014
The ageing Tigers went down to a heavy defeat at the hands of the rampaging Saracens at Southgate, losing to a powerful side by 85 runs. This was a hastily arranged fixture after Potter Street pulled out at the eleventh hour, so full marks to Matt Webster for finding not only new opposition but also an excellent venue at the last minute.
Opting to field first with a weakened batting line-up, the Tigers got off to their usual good start (a recurring theme in recent games), Webster having King caught behind and John McGirr bowling Wafford round his legs to leave Saracens 21-2. But this was the only success the bowlers achieved for 30 overs as Archer (86) and Wallis (124) put together a massive partnership of 209 for the 3rd wicket. There followed much chasing of leather around the field, not to mention rummaging amidst the brambles around the boundaries to redeem the ball. Stewart Taylor and Steve Bignell were bagging pots of wickets earlier in the season, but now can’t buy one, their combined 13 overs going for 0-122. There was a flurry of wickets in the final overs – Matt taking a creditable 3-34 and Chris Wright 2-34, but a total of 246 in 35 overs was imposing. The fielding held up well in the circumtances, with ‘keeper Dave Rawlings taking two sharp catches in his first outing behind the stumps this year.
Needing seven an over the Tiger batsmen went gung-ho, dying with their boots on trying to force the pace at 7 an over. Wrighty, fresh from his eye surgery, struck 4 fours and a six in bold 24, but once he holed out at 53-3 the Tigers’ best chance had gone. At 85-6 the writing was on the wall but a positive stand of 68 between Webster (27) and the unflappable Mike Herlihy (batting through the innings for 64 not out) ensured the day did not subside in dishonour. Saracens fielded very well, particularly their professional ‘keeper, standing up to all the quickies, although his habit of demolishing the stumps every time the ball passed the bat became increasingly tedious.
Fixtures arranged at the last knockings often evolve into mismatches, but the Tigers put up a good show in the circumstances, particularly Mike H, who refused to be intimidated and put in a herculean shift with the bat after chasing the ball interminably around the long-off boundary during Saracens’ innings. After having 16 players available the previous week the Tigers were back to their usual 10, with the youngest player in the team being Stewart at 42! Had leading run-scorers Chris Dane and Barnaby Pinfield been available the result may have been much closer.
So, some positives then, especially the excellent teas, which included curry, chips, heaps of cucumber sandwiches and ginger beer, cakes, salad, etc., and all for £10 less than Winchmore Hill!