26/10/2019 Hackney Village

Menorca v Hackney Village Saturday 40 overs

The final weekend of the season got underway in superb weather. Biniparrell resplendent in the late summer sunshine. Hackney Village first time visitors to the home of Balearic cricket knocked Cotton off his stride with the coin and duly elected to observe how the wicket would play.

Probably not their best decision on tour as Menorca smashed a seasons best 377/3 from their 40 over allowance. There were 100’s for both debutant Ben Morley 115 and Adam Cockroft 105*. The former taking only 65 balls including 10 fours and 6 sixes which was quite an achievement in itself. However, talk about being upstaged, Adam smashed his hundred in only 37 balls it contained 6 fours, 11 sixes 5 of which were hit consecutively from the first five balls of the over. The final ball of the over was tossed so wide that he could’ve left it but decided to chase it and unfortunately couldn’t get enough purchase to complete a Sobers style 6 maximums. This is arguably the fastest century hit on the ground and certainly the most illustrious performance of the season. The statisticians will be frantically trawling through the archives for verification.

When the third highest score in an innings is 92 from 82 balls you know that you’ve witnessed a glut of runs. Adam Lavin looked positively lethargic in comparison to the centurions. Then there’s Sturgeon!!! He was the only batsman to miss out on the day his 17 runs coming from 28 balls the cravat sporting conveyancer back to his old ways following a marked upturn in recent weeks. Cotton 20* played second fiddle to Cockroft as he showed a flagrant disregard to anything resembling line and length. The other fodder served up dismissed with consummate ease. At over 9 an over the skipper certainly went out with a bang in his last game in charge.

Hackney’s reply was never up with the required rate as Cotton used nine bowlers on the day. Tom Stazicker top scored with 72. Sam Wilkinson 40 and Ed Whitehead 45* the main contributors to a more than respectable 232/6 which under normal circumstances would win many games. They were unlucky to come up against two strapping run hungry Yorkshiremen. Menorca sailing home by a whopping 145 run margin.

Sunday v Hackney Village 40 overs

Hackney opted for runs on the board on Sunday following Saturday’s leather fagging session. Stazicker once again the stand out performer for the opposition with 41. His opening partner Sartorio anything but sartorial as he was run out for 7 along with J Wilkinson 38. There was a useful contribution from Sylvester 29 and 22 from late arrival Arup Sen. Hackney posting 171/9. Great bowling from Skipper Roussel 4/20 and 2 wickets for Disco Joe Steen 2/34 pegging the visitors back to a moderate total.

The Menorca retort was disappointing to say the least despite having the wealth of experience in Bill Johnson opening the batting. The former Durham opener top scored with 36 and attempted to anchor the innings but the wickets fell around him far too frequently. Will Roussel hit 18 and Akter Husain 16 in an unfamiliar opening role. The lower order capitulation left the hosts shot out for Nelson handing victory to Hackney by 60 runs.

Two very contrasting games over the last weekend of competitive cricket. Both were played as the game should be. As is the case pretty much all of the time at the home of Balearic cricket.

There were emotional scenes following both games. Saturday saw your correspondent thank outgoing skipper Simon Cotton on behalf of the committee and his team mates for his tireless work and devotion to the club over the last six seasons. There have been many happy memories made under Simon’s guidance the pinnacle of which saw him raise the Balearic cup in 2016.

A guard of honour was also formed on Sunday as Phil Wright played his final game for the club after many years . Phil is very well thought of and respected by his teammates. His fearless approach to the game will be sorely missed.

So the curtain falls on what has been another terrific season. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed my weekly write ups and they’ve brought a smile to your faces. I sincerely hope there’s been no offence taken as that was never my intention.

There will be one final addition hopefully later this week as the Golden Rolling Pin award is made. There has been an objection and a steward’s enquiry. Once resolved the winner will be announced.

Winter well.