Match Report

08/06/2003 v MONTROSE


This Sunday saw us return once again to Waller Park for the fixture against our old friends Montrose. And it was especially nice to play them this year as they had invited us to compete for the first ĎDerek Merrall Memorial Cupí who Iím sure many connected to Old Dartechs would have known and sadly passed away last year.

Despite some heavy over night rain the conditions were, for a change nice and sunny if a little windy which was just as well as it had dried the pitch out nicely. The team largely remained the same as against Southfleet save Neal coming back from injury for Anthony (Holiday) and Colin stepping in for his brother Adam (bizarre beef burger accident!!!)

Richard won the toss and decided to bat first duly taking up the honours himself and opening with Neal. Montrose opened the bowling with Grant Merrall and a lively youngster who could at best be described as a little erratic. This proved to be the undoing of Richard who after fending off a couple of head high deliveryís miss judged a full toss and lost his middle stump for 4.

This saw the introduction of Chris who had himself declared he was due an innings - dangerous words at any time. The score had moved on to 21 when Neal top edged one which went over Grantís shoulder but in spinning round managed to hold on to it for a good caught and bowled.

Mark was in next and after an initial few wobbles soon settled down and with Chris in fine form soon the score was ticking along nicely with the 50 coming off of 12 overs. The opening bowlers were seen off and some gentle spin was introduced much to Mark and Chrisís delight and they soon notched up a 50 partnership in just 8 overs. In one of the most appalling pieces of tempting fate in recent times this spell saw Neal polishing the trophy much to the horror of those near him!

Sure enough soon after in the 17th over Chris just managed to survive an lb. appeal when he fell to the next to a ball which skimmed off the surface and clipped off stump for a good 33.

Paul joined Mark next and announced his intentions straight away with a couple of powerful hits only stopped going for six by the increasingly strong wind. Soon though, Mark was caught out by a ball that sat up and pushed it to cover, seemingly changing his mind mid shot

Tim joined Paul in the middle for a brief resumption of last weeks match wining pairing but Paul was soon on his way back playing on to his own stumps to a deceptive slower ball.

This set the scene for our very own born again batsmen Mr Bob Dunkley who despite the rumours of lessons in the Caribbean insisted the secret was a golf ball, a stick and a pooch Ė the mind boggles, but apparently Mark Butcher has been seen walking down Camberwell High St with all three tucked under his arm.

Whatever the explanation Ė it seemed to work and Tim and Bob both pulverised the bowling. The 150 came up after 30 overs including a 50 for Tim who seemed reluctant to believe the cheering gallery especially after Southfleet. And the final five overs saw them pushing the score up to 191 for 5 with Tim finishing on an excellent 68 n.o. and Bob unbeaten on 28 an excellent effort.

The tea interval saw a torrential shower hit but by the time we resumed the wind had changed direction and blew it away again leaving more glorious skys.

Bob and Richard opened the attack for us an as per usual were straight into a good bit of line and length Bob was especially unlucky at first not to strike early , but accounted for the opener when a decision to bowl round the wicket to the left hander paid off handsomely the score being on just 16. Richard struck next getting one caught behind by Chris for just five more Ė but after this Grant and Steve Bennett really got their heads down and batted well putting on a wicket stand of exactly 100. After a change which saw Neal and Martin take over it wasnít until the introduction of Paul that we finally made a breakthrough getting Bennett caught behind once again by Chris.

Another small period ensued when the batsmen got back on top once again when the score was pushed on to 151 when Paul had a glorious spell bowling the new batsmen and following up to take Grantís off stump having scored an spirited 65 this signalled a bit of a collapse for Montrose having reached 151 for 4 they soon found themselves on 158/8 with Martin taking the off stump. Richard then proceeded to bowl out two in one over (One of which was the dangerous Steve Oakden who frustrated us last year with a 98 n.o.).

However things were still not cut and dried as Montrose batted all the way down. Martin claimed another wicket for lb. And it was left to Neal to bowl out the last over with Montrose needing.14 to win. The first couple of balls went to singles but then a wide and two fours had everyone (especially Neal) sweating, thankfully the over was seen out with only one more run procured and Old Dartechs had their hands on the (already polished) cup.

Although a bit disappointed to have missed out on such a tight match Montrose were gracious in defeat and are looking forward to the return in a few weeks time.

Itís been quite hard in the last few weeks to keep praising the efforts of the team without it sounding a bit cliched Ė but once again the efforts of all were terrific. Paulís 3 wickets for 13 runs, Chrisí quick 33, Timís 68 n.o. and Bobs rumbustuous knock obviously standing out. But it you take Martins comment that the last few matches have been as exciting games as he can remember for ages (and then you realise how long ago that must be!) Then it shows the remarkable progress made by all this year. Excellent!

v MONTROSE 190 for 6



Richard Coverly




Neil Priddy




Chris Beard


Mark Cooper


Paul Allen




T McArdle

67 *

Bob Dunkley

28 *



Martin Smith



Pete Smith



Colin Deal

Jonathan Stringer

191 FOR 5 ---won