Sat 26th May – 7th XI vs Witham Priory

This game was particularly distinguished by the pre match politics that occurred within the confines of the Dulwich Camp. Most notable for his absence this season was President Smith (also known as Erdogan or Orban) the strong man in the Dulwich Cricket power structure. This meant that lesser mortals in the shape of self appointed Tour committee Pylas, Rochford and Gibson ran roughshod through the ancien regime of John Smith. Pylas had already abused his new found freedom to act by changing the start and length of the game in order to assuage his own selfish desire to watch a minor football match occurring some 2,500 miles away in the Ukraine. As a bribe to the electorate, Pylas removed himself from the team for today’s match.

The team was joined by tour debutantes Lindsay Morton and John Comerford who immediately got in to the swing of things by drinking pints of the Seymour Arms world famous Warthog Urine: a highly toxic brew which is also sold to the Gambian republic as fuel for paraffin stoves.

The team was led by Lord Blenchart, something of a faux aristocrat, given his predilections for junk food, pornographic literature and mass produced ice cream. He is also an Arsenal Supporter.

Departing from the custom in this fixture captain Blench decided to bat first. At first, this appeared to be a wise decision. As Blench himself and the allegedly incapacitated Cross dispatched opening bowlers Pritchard and Hyde to various parts of Witham Friary Parish. The good ship Dulwich then became becalmed in the Sargasso Sea of few runs and much flailing and wailing. The heavy artillery “biff bang merchants” Comerford and Branch were removed for a total of 6 runs. Rochford pitched in with a brisk 24, but at 93 for 4 off 21 overs the Dulwich innings was neither nowt nor summat. At this point, one was reminded of the series of Roger Hargreaves children’s books about the Mr. Men. Gibson entered the lists in the form of Mr. Lucky. Dropped no less than 4 times by a hapless Witham Friary he swashed and buckled his way to an improbable 17 not out including a towering and majestic 6 over Long-on.
Dulwich set about defending their total of 124 with all the miserly zeal of a Scrooge or a Shylock. Morton, Comerford, Both the poor man’s Matt Craig (David Hawes) and the rich man’s Matt Craig (Matt Craig) bowled with commendable parsimony, Friary found it hard to reach the required run rate until Gibson was introduced into the attack, at which point, the game looked as if it might slip away from Dulwich’s vice like grip as this luxury bowler served a delicious combination of Ferrero Rocher gift wrapped long hops, and wides. Not for the first time one, is reminded of his classification in the Playfair Cricket Annual. Not RFM or SLA but POF. Purveyor of Filth. Blench wisely removed him from the attack and entrusted the last few overs to Craig and Mascarenhas who efficiently wrapped the Witham innings up for 101 runs. Lindsay Morton asked me to mention her Run Out. And so we say thank you once again to Witham Friary for a truly splendid day out.

As a postscript, I am delighted to tell you that the best Greek Cricketer in SE23 was obliged to watch the match in the company of 10 Real Madrid Supporters all of whom were sporting the Spanish team’s official shirt. Surprisingly all 10 were from south east London and coincidentally, on a cricket tour.

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