As the curtain came down on the 2021 I’Anson Division 3 season Grayshott entertained already relegated Wood Street. A win would secure 3rd place in a season which never really seems to have delivered what might have been. It is a testament to the Skipper Toby Joyce and doggedness of Graeme Aggar that we were able to get the quality of side out each week when 32 different players represented the 2nd XI. When you compare this to Tilford 1st XI who won division 1, they used 18 players of which 10 played over 10 matches. Consistency of team is often more important than the quality within that team and playing regularly automatically brings with it improved performances.

That said far too many games finished before 4.30pm and with terrible weather and COVID getting involved the season has been one with few quality matches. The Bourne was a good game (apparently) and we made the Hindhead match somewhat exciting over at Broxhead.

Far too often we have been unable to field our best XI against the two top sides which is ultimately why we finished a very respectable 3rd.

So to the game. Joyce won a toss, for a change, and decided to have a bat. Danny Brown had been dropping hints all season that he was in fact a very useful batter and never gets the chance to show it, and so he was elevated to open with Graeme Aggar.

Graeme fell early to a very good catch at slip for a duck bringing Mark Morris to the crease. Danny looked every bit the opener playing the handy Wood Street openers without any problem and hitting some delightful shots. He hit a cover drive which by his own admission was exceptional. It didn’t score any runs but it was exceptional nonetheless.

This pair scampered 3’s and 4’s adding 35 before Mark was bowled for 7. Danny now taking the role as senior batter followed soon after for an excellent 31 off 32 balls. He will have sleepless nights wondering what might have been and will he get the chance to open again?

Dr Phipps and Skipper Joyce were next in and Skipper Joyce soon left the scene, bowled by one that kept a bit low.

47-4 and the visitor’s tails were up. The most entertaining passage of play followed as Will and Charles negotiated some risky singles before the inevitable happened. Charles hit it straight to the fielder and set off. Will forgot the English for NO and set off on a fools errand which would end in failure thanks to a very good direct hit amongst a cloud of dust. Some, Greame, may say Will got his just desserts from the Frensham game. Others would be less harsh! The doctor run out for 11.

Charles was joined by debutant Taylor who was exceptionally unlucky to be caught by a brilliant catch at short cover from a well struck drive. Taylor would be back for revenge in the 2nd innings!

Neil Sampson (41) and Charles Brayshaw (27) then shared the partnership of the match (45). Both playing some lovely shots and running like whippets between the sticks. Both hit 5 boundaries as the scored raced past 100. Charles was out for 27 bringing in Wheble at number 9.

The opposition had no idea of the past glories of this chap and proceeded to bring the field in and then drop them back to keep him on strike. This clearly flummoxed the poor chap and after being congratulated for a cover drive for 4 by the wicket keeper, he duly spooned a full toss straight up and so a very disappointing season with the bat came to an end.

Neil Sampson had moved into the forties and with overs left told Larby to bat sensibly and use up the overs. He then picked out deep mid wicket and was gone for a season high 41.

Barrie Owen, clearly not a number 11 then swashbuckled his way to a very exciting 24 off 15 balls hitting 5 boundaries before getting bowled leaving 3.1 overs still on the table! Grayshott posting a very competitive 172.

The talk at tea was mainly of the Danny Brown cover drive and how well he had negotiated the new ball but soon a new opening pair would appear. Neil Sampson and Any Wheble were selected to take the new ball!

Sampo somehow got to bowl down hill with the wind whilst Wheble struggling into the teeth of the gale!

No early wickets came as Wheble in particular struggled to keep the swing under control. Eventually he resorted to the two pace run up a wicket duly followed. Wood Street 31-1 as the change bowlers were made ready.

Larby and Owen bowled a little quicker and with some menace and wickets started to tumble.

The pick was a moment that would usually only appear on Love Island. Liam bowled an away swinging that caught the edge, Taylor dived full length at slip and grasped it with both hands rolling away with the ball. Scenes of high joy followed and the moment we all waited for. The embrace between bowler and fielder. Wow, just wow. I’m sure I saw a tear in a few eyes. What a moment.

After that, the game seemed almost insignificant. Brown clearly still had tears in his eyes as he patted away a simple slip catch from Aggar’s first ball and then simply refused a high catch, claiming the sun was in his eyes. The sun on a Saturday in the summer of 2021. I think not young man.

Joyce and Aggar then traded wickets in the fight for the bowling honours and it seemed that neither wanted it as run outs became the order of the day, Larby initiating two.

Brayshaw used his head band to good effect to take two good wickets. Both bowled with full tosses before the Skipper picked up the final wicket of the season. Grayshott winning by 82 runs.

You can see some video footage of the Grayshott innings here.

Our thanks to the many that make the season happen and to Toby for doing a great job all year.