30 July 2016 v Holkham

Holkham won the toss and elected to bowl in what is usually a high scoring affair. They had put out a strong side and were rather confident beforehand, which seemed justified as the Ramblers struggled badly on a pitch doing some (but not a ridiculous) amount of strange things for Holkham’s strong seam attack. Guest Tom Cassady was a cut above all other batters and made a fine 51 as the Ramblers were dismissed for a seemingly well under par total of 143. The great drama though was Rory Aitken top edging a sweep shot into his mouth and losing half of both his front teeth. Heroically, he returned at the fall of the 9th wicket but shortly after we had the first occurrence I can recall of ‘Wife Stopped Play’. Mrs Aitken had been told over the phone that her ‘fella had 3 or so hours to get to a dentist before they would be unable to replace the dislodged pearly whites- and so she ushered him away from the crease to bring the innings to an early end.

In reply, a wonderful spell of swing and seam bowling from Charlie Erith (reaching 50 years old this year and taking a startling 4-14 off his 10 overs- bowled in a single spell), backed up well by Alex Illingworth (2-27) and young Arthur Pickthorn (3-26) on his Rambler debut, saw Holkham reduced to 38 for 8 and eventually 102 all out. Charlie Macnicol took 3 very good catches in an uncharacteristically safe display of grabbing.

All in all. a very strange game and a win ‘against the head’, so to speak. (The Rambler captain felt obliged to record that veteran Rory Macleay added very little to the victory other than some de facto captaincy from the slip cordon, and that possibly it should be his last appearance in the fixture)