Sat 12th August – 4th XI v Spencer

DULWICH 142 beat OLD ALLEYIANS 138 by 4 runs

Before I start this report, I feel obliged to say a few words about the man on whom this trophy has been named after. Now. Stephen was many things to many people, but the most unfortunate thing about Steve is that he was a Fulham supporter. You see, in my book, football supporters fall into two categories: Supporters of teams that win things and teams that don't. Steve, and I feel sure he would agree with me about this, was in the second category. What can one say about Fulham?

In the 1960's everybody walked through Fulham Palace Park from Putney Bridge Tube Station and watched Fulham lose AGAIN. It was a Masochist's nirvana. Except they had Johnny Haynes, who was Eden Hazard and Linal Messi in one. Every year Johnny, somehow kept this team of one legged donkeys in the First Division. The inside right was Jimmy Hill, who was campaigning to get the maximum wage bill abolished (£20 a week.) The left half, yes that's how long ago it was, was a bloke called Eddie Lowe. Now in those days a number of footballers were follically challenged. What Eddie had, was a hedge that ran from here to there. (Demonstrate). Then one day, against Luton Town, Eddie kicked the ball over our heads over the Bovril Sign into the River Thames. "Give that man a rise!" Said the man in the shabby raincoat. Fulham was not so much a football club as a music hall turn. It was, of course, then chaired by Tommy Trinder, whose catchphrase was "you lucky people" So when I met Steve I was overjoyed when he told me he was a Fulham supporter.

As the supporter of another team not noted for its success on the field, Crystal Palace, I recognised a kindred spirit. Even though he was educated at the same school and at the same time as Nigel Farage (known to 48% of the population as Nigel Bleeding Farage).

Now when I arrived today a number of ex Dulwich players said to me. "Blimey Jim You're still playing. How old are you?"

The fact is Ladies and G's I was born in 1947. Now as I am sure we are all aware much has changed since 1947.
in 1947, for example, the leader of the Labour Party was an uncharismatic but principled man who believed in fairness, equality, the welfare state the NHS and a redistribution of wealth. But time marches on.
As one asks frequently why is the Conservative Party like a Rainbow? You realise it's is devoid of substance and is only there because of the Sun.

Now some of you may be asking what has all this got to do with the Steve Mayers Trophy?

Well, Steve was also had very forthright opinions mainly about other cricketers, describing my own efforts as a wily and resourceful pie chucker as "filth, crap and bilge". Many other members of DCC have used even more colourful language, but those words are not repeatable in the present company.

Cricket clubs, like East End Gangsters, have a method of christening certain gang members with an epithet inserted into the middle of their names. Who can forget the likes of Frankie "Mad Axe" Mitchell, Barney "blowtorch" Thugsworth or Sid "Chainsaw" Hackman. DCC have also adopted this method to call your correspondent Jim "3 Counties" Gibson as the only bowler to have been hit into 3 separate Counties while bowling from the same end in a single Cricket match. And it must be said that the Dulwich innings in today's game did little to correct Steve's opinions. Having held Dulwich's early order batsmen in a vice like grip despite the best efforts of Pringle and Ford until the OA's skipper decided to introduce the ageing pie chucking thespian into the attack. He was not encouraged by the Zulu war dance of delight that took place amongst the watching Dulwich CC spectators as Gibson measured his out his run. They were not to be disappointed. Gibson's single over was a turning point as the runs flowed freely from Atkins bat 124444 was the analysis of Gibson' single over, scored in John Lewis book in an eye catching cerise: the only bowler to be scored in cerise. and suspicion must be pointed at the finger of Pres… Smith as to just why Gibson was singled out as the spare man to be offered with such cavalier insouciance to the 10 men of  Old Alleynians. If you are 1 short YOU CAN HAVE GIBSON was the phrase used.  

Undaunted, McKee and Lane set about the task of overhauling Dulwich's 142 with gusto, brio and elan. Sounds like a trio of kitchen cream cleaners doesn't it? Only in hindsight what must be seen as an act of great magnanimity did both of them retire with the score 89. Unfortunately, the nest OA's batsmen were unable to follow their example and it was left to your correspondent and Omar Faruqui to restore equilibrium. With Duckett offering some dubiously flighted floaters it was with some chagrin Gibson departed when he was stumped by the infant prodigy wicket keeper Rochford. As the inky cloak of night inserted its willowy sinews of darkness upon the game, it became clear that the target was just beyond the reach of the OA's. Nevertheless, ending 4 run short of victory after overcoming the handicap of acquiring Gibson in the team was no mean feat. I feel sure that somewhere up there the man after whom this trophy was named is looking down on us all cackling away shouting: "Come On Fulham!"

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