The last week of August – bank holiday week – saw The Blades don their whites and their baggy Blues for the final time this season. The dry weather this year meant this was the 17th match of the season – a total bettered only once in the illustrious Blades history.
The captains decided on a 15-over match and Blades to bat first. Humphrey and Fay opened, the latter falling to a c&b in the first over, and Hamer took over duties in the middle. The KH-KH duo, not for the first time this year, set about the attack building a 40 partnership peppered with boundarage, and ended only when K-Dog returned to the kennel, unbeaten on 25; the score on 31-1 after 5. Hamer, joined briefly by Ellerby and then by Davies, was bowled for a well-batted 16 in the 9th, the rate still ticking along nicely as Blades reached 58-3 from 9. A maiden 10th – including a dropped c&b chance – didn’t help Blades but there were runs to be had from the other end. In the following over Hunter got the measure of the maiden-bowler, pushing the total to 80-4 but then succumbing to a brilliant running catch. The OMCCer covered a good twenty five yards to pluck the ball from the air and it was adios Billy for 16. Davies was bowled shortly after, leaving Galpin and Dan Brown to steer the innings home, running brightly to steal a few more for the total, reaching 97-5.
It was a game of two halves, at least as far as the weather was concerned, as thick black clouds gathered over the Sporty between innings which, although they didn’t threaten rain, made the teams glad for the pink ball. Afzal only allowed 2 runs from his first over, then Galpin took the first wicket next over, bowling number two and breaking the bail in the process. OMCC clearly hadn’t bothered to read the script or the form book though, and took 16 from Afzal’s three overs – surely more than he has gone for in the last two seasons combined, if I could be arsed I’d look that up, but let’s say that’s right. Galpin at the other end claimed his and Blades’ second wicket when Ellerby took a sharp catch in the sixth, and ended his three with 2-10, with OMCC restricted to 26-2 after six – behind the rate and not looking likely.
But from the seventh, they began to set about the attack, boundaries beginning to come off Humphrey and – shockingly – even the King of Sping himself saw a few go over the ropes and even on occasions over the fence. Ellerby and Fay also had spells as the evening began to draw in and the OMCC scoring rate increase. They ran well, surprisingly well on the infamous 1 or 4 postage stamp, and whittled away at the total. With three overs to go they were 19 shy of their target but they had the bit between their teeth, the bull by the horns, the cat among the pigeons, and the boundaries continued. Four runs only were needed off the final over, Davies showing great steel to step up and deliver it. But OMCC had done enough and with just one ball to spare, claimed victory. The official result – victory by 8 wickets – makes this sound like a romp but that’s far from the truth. This was a nail-biting pendulum of a match, a great way to end the season, even if it was a defeat as OMCC sneaked home on 98-2.
RESULT: OMCC WIN by 8 wickets