The 3s headed to Charlton Park needing a win to keep their promotion hopes alive. Despite Blackheath only having three players ready at the designated start time of 1pm, Bickley were put into bat on a green surface knowing they would have to negotiate not only a tricky wicket, but also a lack of sight-screens and multiple football matches taking place behind the bowlers arm.
A slow pitch meant scoring runs off good balls was difficult at the outset, and a tight spell from Shanks (10-3-19-3) meant that Bickley were reduced to 46-3. Owen Davies and Jack Cooper batted sensibly to negotiate the remaining spell from the opening bowlers, before reaping the rewards once they were set and the field began to tire. Together they shared a stand of 171* (of which 100 came off the final 10 overs); Davies in particular unleashed some fine attacking shots once reaching his 50 with seven overs remaining, accelerating to 94* by mixing power with placement. Cooper, who was eventually batting to a 3-7 leg side field, ended unbeaten on 69.
However, what will live longer in the memory was the outstanding tea provided by the small cafe on the outskirts of the boundary. It seems unfair to describe it as tea, for this was a professional outfit: we were joined in our delightful spot outside in the dappled sunlight by paying customers. And the service! Drinks poured for you, remaining food brought out to your table (many of us gave up trying to politely refuse more cake on the third time of offering) – truly magnificent.
Excellent opening spells saw Sunny and Leo reduce Blackheath to 44-6, which included fine catches from both Simon Davis and President Hewitt, and ultimately end any notion of a run chase. Unfortunately, the remainder of the innings was soured somewhat by Blackheath’s nominated umpire (having been aggrieved at not getting an LBW decision against OwenDavies earlier in the game) to not only refuse outright any LBW appeals, but also clear edges to the keeper, which denied Alex Macpherson his first senior wicket. This was after Cooper, standing up to the stumps at wicket-keeper, had been ‘warned’ by the same player that he had been known to hit keepers in the head when playing the cut shot – a lovely bloke. Davis (S) decided to take matters into his own hands by clean-bowling the tail, to leave Blackheath all-out for 148 and Bickley with a welcome 20 points.
Bickley 3rd XI remain top of the league but are likely to relinquish that spot once OD CUACO have played their games in hand. With only one league game remaining for Bickley – they will be spectators next weekend – and are reliant on results elsewhere to help the cause – but it looks likely they will need something from their final game of the season to secure promotion. Against… OD CUACO.
|17 August 2019||1:00 pm||1B - Met/West 2019||2019|
|Charlton Park Oval|