A bizarre prelude to this fixture. Having turned up at the complex that is Vale Farm, we discovered the oppo who's home game it was, were saying that someone was using their pitch. Later this someone turned out to be South Hampstead.
With 2 sides both claiming the right to play having paid, the council were summoned. 40 minutes later, Priory Park were declared the rightful tenants & South Hampstead were booted off - at least they were until they protested that they were the "regulars" & saught the higher ground because their match was a "league" match. For an unknown reason the L B Brent rep relented despite acknowledgng that PP were the rightful holders of the correct permit.
Nick Fuller's answer was to fight these FXXXXing CXXXXs for the right to play on it. Luckily Nick, in an earlier more sane stream of consciousness had made most of us aware that Wembley's 1st team, ground adjacent to Vale Farm was free due to Wembley being completely out of their depth in the Middlesex Premier League & getting all out for 64 against Teddington who duly knocked off the runs.
More delays enschewed while a committee member was summoned, permission was then granted & at 2.35pm Peter Hollman & Matt Holliday went out to bat . 61 runs later they were parted as Andy Leigh bowled 16 overs without break & picking up 5 wickets in the process while all manner of seam & bounce & standard came down the hill from the other end.
More grinding runs from Hollman but setting the stage for entertaining knocks from Ali Pritchard, Dan Bird & Darren Tempeny. 4 6 4 off Darren's first 3 balls for the club - it was cricket pornography - at least 1 opener felt inadequate.
A short tea & back on lads. Early & then regular breakthroughs from Nick Fuller were encouraging for Pacific included anothge slip catch from Rob Bastin but it was going too well. In his last ball of his spell Nick collapsed damaging his calf. Jon Webley tried a few more bowling changes but once Chirag was joined by Paul "The Wall" Sinclair 5 wickets down & 100 runs to go it was never likley to be any other result than a draw. . "I've seen him do that role many a time" said Hollman afterwards half in frustration half in admiration of the master. "it was very similiar to the Bank of England game, the pitch was placid & once someone wanted to stay there they could, & Pacific's bowling didn't have the cutting edge nor was there the time available to achieve the win despite being the stronger side.
STATS CORNER Steve Lay reports "The last time we beat Priory Park was almost exactly 10 years ago on the 6th September 1997. We played them at Oakhill Park, batted first and got 159 for 9 declared (top scorer and opener - a certain Mr P Hollman with 38) and then bowled them out for 128 (Frank Baglivi taking 5-44 in 13 overs). "
X:- Matt Holliday, Peter Hollman, Jon Webley*, Nick Fuller, Rob Bastin, Ali Pritchard, Darren Tempany, James Smith, Dan Bird, Matt Patel,