Report by Daniel Mortlock:
With the World Cup in full swing it's compulsory to consider every other sport in football terms, although maybe it's not too contrived to suggest that Andy Owen is the Wayne Rooney of Romsey Town. Both are classically handsome; both possess a delicate charm that belies their on-field steel; and it's quite clear that their respective teams are missing their most vital member whenever they are unable to play. Of course England and Romsey Town have both been doing without their talismans of late, the former due to the world's most written-about metatarsal; the latter because of Cambridgeshire's most famous lip. And just as Rooney managed to play international football a mere seven weeks after sustaining his injury, we had Andy back less than a fortnight after he was sitting in A&E at Addenbrooke's (don't tell his doctor). But, just as Rooney hasn't dominated in quite the way we all know he can, Andy was forced into an unusually subservient role today - that of mere player - with Tony Desimone becoming the third Romsey captain in as many weeks.
When Tony won the toss it seemed that "Desimone era" might be one of change; when he chose to field things veered back towards normality; and when our bowling got smacked around the park for the next few hours it was way too familiar indeed. By drinks Great Chisill had reached 112/0 - hardly struggling, but no real indication of the mayhem to follow. And when Chetan Lad came on and immediately made a breakthrough we maybe had the chance to take a few more wickets and keep the total below 200.
At which point the surviving opener went rampant: Chetan's 1 over, 0 maidens, 1/6 became a scarcely believeable 3 overs, 0 maidens, 1/57, the least economical spell in club history. In the space of half an hour of awesome hitting the match was gone. The Chisill batsmen timed their run perfectly, taking risks and losing wickets in the name of runs, scoring at about nine an over for the second half of their innings and finishing up with an awesome 291/8.
We did at least manage to take a few wickets during the carnage, Roy Page (4/47) and Oliver Harris (2/61) doing most of the "damage", although Andy Owen's ten-over spell of 1/33 was probably more remarkable in the context. Ev Fox, with three dismissals, continued his great form behind the stumps, and Arnie Garside also took a good catch, but the day belonged to the aforementioned Chisill opener, who eventually made 139 (although not, of course, without having been dropped before he'd made it to double figures).
After that (and given we only had ten men) we were always going to struggle, and struggle we did. Roy Page (20) and Andy Owen (28) completed good all-round efforts, and Phil Watson made a defiant 22* (although not before somehow being given out on a bump ball despite both umpires having their doubts, only for the opposition captain to save the day by withdrawing the appeal) and, er, well that was about it. We finished up all out for 130, of course continuing the year's trend of not batting out our overs.
Maybe the one consolation was that we'd broken our season record for the most points: despite the 161 run loss we came away with eight of the buggers - almost one per team member . . .