Faire vs The Authors CC - Report
This artisanal feast would have satisfied a Fulham picnic basket. Donning maroon caps were The Authors CC - famous throughout the land for their best-sellers and better geniality. In purple, were the choirboys of Faire.
As it was, Ascott House (just the right side of Leighton Buzzard) played host, and after eyeing up the stately track, skipper Stobbs min asked his openers to box-up.
But whilst only a hundred years separates the founding of the two sides, a gulf in wisdom was quickly apparent. First, CM Stobbs's pre-match pint proved too strong for a vicious Parker in-dipper, and he was lbw for 4. Next, DDEWJ Watkins wafted his bat in the Buckinghamshire wind and was caught behind - the first of three classy catches for the eagle-eyed Fiennes.
As might be expected, fine lines and lengths from the Authors were the order of the day, and even rugby lads Potter and Stephen couldn't biff Faire into the game. But after the former dragged one behind, the latter opened up and his 46 off 33 balls almost obscured the customary mid-innings collapse. 77 for 2 became 85 for 6, and the writers were rampant. But club barrister Nick Daly proved the Authors' bête noire, stroking a chanceless 50 to take Faire to 157 all out.
After some fine Assam, Faire entered the fray once more. Ruairi Bowen - fresh from mass at Westminster Cathedral - bounded in with pace, drawing gasps from the crowd and gasps of air from diving wicket-keeper Chris Stobbs. Daly played foil, moving the ball both ways with craft, but batsmen McGowan and Fiennes were up to the task. 26/0 off 11.
It took the introduction of spin-doctor Kanagasooriam to get the breakthrough, as a well-directed wrong-un spat into leg stump. Three further wickets from the big man (4-33) and a couple for Stobbs mi (2-24) applied pressure, but some romantic hitting from Matt Thacker (30) and Nick Hogg (43) kept the Authors in the hunt. 30 were required off 3 as Hogg squared up to Bowen, but Faire's resident leek-eater clipped the bails, leaving Stobbs mi to serve out the match. It had been a gripping contest - with perhaps Faire's fleet of foot in the field (including a tumbling catch from Stafford and some big blocks from Scarlett) proving decisive.
Huge thanks must go to The Authors for a gripping game, Suzanne Stobbs for an historic coffee cake, and umpires Chris Potter and Tim Stobbs for intervening only when strictly necessary.