Alstonefield Ladies HOME – 19th September 2010


The writing was on the wall from the moment captain Cathy Reavy confidently posted the Ladies XI team on the village website. This was a determined band of sisters who were not going to let a little mud and rain get in the way of revenge. The Gargoyles in contrast, arrived at the ground more concerned about dirtying their pristine whites and the inevitable laundry bills. The Ladies won the toss and elected to wield the willow first. Opening with the hard hitting Reverend Anne Ballard and Siobhan Hayes, who had impressed in the nets. The Gargoyles’ unorthodox spin attack of Pants Salt and Terry White made the early breakthrough. It was a false dawn, as Cathy Reavy and Carrie Ross quite effortlessly stroked the Gargoyles all over the place, in their stand of 40 runs.  Simon Smith caused problems with his height and almost took two brilliant catches, but the Ladies were on a roll. Annabel Simms held the tail together with a beautifully composed innings and the Gargoyles’ frustration was becoming palpable, leading to an official warning for ungentlemanly behaviour for Finn Allen as the Ladies waltzed past the 100 mark to reach 106 off their 25 overs. It was an apt metaphor for their performance that the Gargoyles contrived 17 no balls.

The teas were wonderfully presented on checked linen tablecloths by Muriel Griffin, Margaret Cohen and Caroline Siddons, with the coronation chicken (wholemeal bread) sandwiches and the raspberry jam and fresh cream scones, the clear winners. It was also clear the Gargoyles were over indulging with seconds and not giving thought to the task in hand.

Youth was sent in first in the form of Finn and Mikey Allen. They batted with energy and purpose, putting on 26 before Finn Allen was run out by a whirlwind direct hit from Helen Bonsall, whistling one in from the boundary. Young Finn took his fate with good grace. There then followed the sort of batting collapse which would interest the anti-fraud squad. First on the block was Alan Hayes, greeted fourth ball with a wicked inswinging yorker, which removed his middle stump, much to the ecstatic wailings of the bowler, Siobhan Hayes. Annabel Simms, during a marathon spell, managed to swing one away from George Wood and then made one swing the other way to clean bowl Rob Wood. We then had the sight of three successive batsmen putting their bats behind their pads and wondering why the umpire’s finger keeps going up whenever the Ladies appealed. White, Smith and Ross all succumbed in this way to the estimable Simms, who finished with 3 for 11 and the seam up skills of skipper Reavy, who finished with 4 for 20. In the final act of a sorry Gargoyles tale, Pants Salt, who had reminded everybody of his talent, by carrying his bat for most of the innings, was joined by his son and captain John. With 32 runs still needed for victory, here was an opportunity for family glory. Captain Reavy bowls her first ball to captain Salt, the trusty sword parts the air with an almighty whoosh and the ash stumps collapse in a heap. A fitting end to a titanic struggle.