Wednesday, July 13th 2016 will be remembered as a significant day in modern British history. Less than three weeks after the referendum vote in favour of our leaving the European Union, that Wednesday saw David Cameron move out of 10, Downing Street and Teresa May move in. I read with some interest that Mrs May is the daughter of an Anglican priest of the Anglo-Catholic tradition. She apparently included amongst her BBC “desert island discs” the hymn “Therefore, we before him bending” – a hymn used at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
On this same evening St Margaret’s Anglo-catholic Vicar sent out his cricketing ambassadors against the Overoptimists at Olicanian Cricket Club. Whilst it was a pleasant evening there was much turbulence in the air which rather matched the mood of the nation. Having won the toss Fr Philip elected to bat looking for early stability. Father and son coalition Simon and Charlie Pilling did not disappoint as they both quickly negotiated their way to 25 runs each. The innings then continued at a good pace with, notably, Ross Webster quickly amassing 27, David Graves 12 and Chris Ramage left on 15 as the 20 over term came to an end. The Overoptimist “ringer” – the local cricket professional Harry – had taken all five wickets. 126 for 5 looked enough for a potential majority. A run rate of 6+ an over led the opinion pollsters on the boundary to have St Margaret’s just slightly ahead.
The Overoptimist benches represent many levels of industry and commerce, particularly within Ilkley itself. Players’ nicknames unimaginatively represent their vocations. So Matt Lovell dismissed “Bookshop Mike” after Fr Philip took a simple catch at gully. Later in the innings Fr Philip then dismissed “Coffeeshop Phil” after young wicketkeeper Sam Pilling executed an excellent sharp stumping. The bowling highlight, though, was Nigel Cork dismissing “Cricketpro Harry” for 22 with a straight one that he simply missed. With the “ringer” gone at number 3 the Overoptimists were always looking like the potential opposition. Cork ended with 2 wickets, as did Charlie Pilling, and there was also another wicket each for David Graves and Ross Webster. There had been two sound performances also from Cam Witham and Richard Anderson to complete an excellent all-round team effort. The Overoptmists ended on 107 for 8, a full 20 runs short of the target.
Man of the Match went to Charlie Pilling for the best overall performance with bat and ball, and “Champagne moment” to Nigel Cork for his dismissal of Harry. St Margaret’s can govern the local cricketing honours until the next re-call in 2017. Here! Here!