Having secured a fine win last week away at Bickley Park, the Ramblas returned to Pickhurst Rise to take on London City in a match that turned out, to quote Dame Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads, to be a little case of history repeating itself…
Stand-in Skipper Sam Ford won the toss once more and opted to bat, as the hosts welcomed back with open arms/cotton-wool cuddles the returning pair of Jonny Stocks and Michael Cooper as they made their first steps back onto the pitch having been out injured. Also back in the side were Tom Danks and Ian Dacre, as the Ramblas looked to rectify last year’s defeat by the same opposition.
And it was a case of deja vu, as batting first the Ramblas put on 201 all out, with Alex Danks’s 82 the undoubted highlight – the majority of which was scored in an 82-run partnership with the returning Stocks who also batted superbly and showed no ill-effects from his broken thumb as he hit a valuable 21.
Alas, they were the two highest scores with the bat – and although it was competitive, the fact it culminated in another classic Double Dacre-ing for Chris Thomas, as first Rich Ford then the man himself, Dacre, offered up catches to the visitors should’ve been a sign of things to come.
Demolishing another superb tea from Mrs C and a truly great Thommo-friendly cake from Lucy B, the Ramblas headed out to defend a total that they felt maybe just fell short of challenging.
That feeling proved to be uncharacteristically prescient, as some wayward bowling across the board – barring the on-the-money twin spin of Doug Danks and Geoff Parrett – saw London City chase down their target in just 22.1 overs; the final runs coming off an overthrow that pretty much summed up events in the field for the Ramblas.
One bright spot, though, was the safe hands of Tom Danks, who equalled a Ramblas record of three catches in a game. Though the less said about that final shy at the stumps, the better…
It’s been a long ol’ season and after the benchmark performance against Bickley Park, it was tough to come crashing down to earth so dramatically, but there’s always next week.
Ramblas MVP: In truth, it’s pretty slim pickings this week, but the standout candidate – as has been the case for much of this season – is Alex Danks who followed up a fabulous 82 with another spot-on showing behind the stumps.