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'Toilets' flushed by rampant Retford

Retford champions

By Alan Rowley
September 21 2003

The self-acclaimed 'doddering old toilets' of Calverton were well and truly flushed out at Eastwood by a rampant Retford. The mighty Calvo, champions of the South Notts League, were clinically beaten by eight wickets as the Bassetlaw champions strolled to victory in the Champion of Champions.

Despite heavy rain being predicted all week, Champions day dawned bright and sunny at The Breach as groundstaff prepared for the final day of the season. A Champion of Champions between Calverton, winners of the South Notts League, and Retford, champions of the Bassetlaw, looked a thriller on paper.

Match umpiresAt the advertised start time, Retford only had eight players at the ground due to an accident on the M1, so Calverton, having won the toss, duly elected to bat. As the umpires (pictured) strolled to the middle, the missing Retford players were frantically racing through the Eastwood streets. The absent three arrived at the ground and were on the field within ten minutes.

Miller and Fraser-Darling started steadily against the Retford opening attack of Paul Singleton and Pascal Broadley. Both batsmen were batting sensibly as they averaged four an over during the opening exchanges. After 7 overs, they had moved on to 28.

Disaster struck for Calvo in the tenth over when danger man Fraser-Darling holed out to Stuart Adams at mid-on for 17. Retford had secured the breakthrough they were looking for and you could almost hear the sighs of relief as the big man strolled back to the attractive Eastwood pavilion.

Jordan attempts a stumping
Retford keeper Henderson Jordan unsuccessfully attempts to stump Chris Miller

Calverton looked to re-build after the first wicket shock, and 'Windy' Miller started to look impressive. The left-hander scored freely to all parts of the ground as he moved stylishly towards fifty. Calverton vice-captain Pete Crawley was also batting impressively at the other end as the pair built up a steady partnership.

Miller hits a four
Chris Miller drives Singleton to the boundary

The partnership was finally ended with the score on 121 when Miller was bowled by Adams an agonising two runs away from his fifty. Crawley, meanwhile, reached the magic figure with a boundary off a no-ball. Calverton were progressing steadily, but the wise money was starting to flow in the direction of Retford as the general view was that they weren't scoring quickly enough.

Crawley eventually fell to former Notts lad Steve Randall with his score on 55 and Sewell was caught off Adams for 3. Eddie Lee was unluckily run out backing up by Randall who deflected a Crawley drive onto the stumps to leave the luckless Lee stranded a couple of yards down the track. Hunter fell, bowled by Broadley, for eight and Calverton looked to be falling short of a decent score on 192 for 6.

The Eastwood tea ladiesSkipper Derek Pickering wasn't about to see his side close their innings below 200 and set about Randall hitting the last three balls of Calverton's 45 overs into the gardens of Greenhills Road. Pickering had raced on to an unbeaten 41 when the Calverton innings closed on 216.

The Eastwood tea-ladies Angie and Nicky (pictured) produced an impressive spread befitting the occasion, the famous 'proper chicken' sandwiches being particularly tasty. Well done girls.

During the tea interval, the general view of the assembled spectators was that 216 was not enough. A knowledgable crowd of around 150 had travelled from all parts of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire to view the spectacle and most seemed sure the Champions crown was going north.

Steve Musgrove and Pascal Broadley opened the Retford reply in style. They batted steadily and didn't panic as they fell behind the asking rate. Skipper Musgrove was the mainstay of the partnership which had yielded many big partnerships in a very successful Retford season.

Steve Musgrove in actionMusgrove (pictured right) reached fifty from the Retford total of 77 in the 20th over. At this stage, Broadley was only on 13. The Retford 100 arrived without loss in the 25th over with Musgrove on 60 and Broadley still in first gear.

Musgrove was dropped on 63 when he offered a simple catch to square leg, but the chance went begging. This seemed to spark Broadley into action and he rapidly started to gain on his skipper. Broadley reached his fifty in the 33rd over as Retford moved on to 135.

Some poor Calverton fielding saw the South Notts outfit's grip on the game gradually disappear as Musgrove rode his luck. At the other end, Broadley opened up after passing his fifty with a huge six which crashed into the Eastwood nets, almost hitting the club pigeon who took off in fright.

Randall congratulates Broadley
Steve Randall congratulates Pascal Broadley who has crashed the ball into
the boundary wall to win the game and secure his ton

Calverton finally achieved a breakthrough with the score on 177 when Haines trapped Musgrove leg before for a superb 82. Broadley took over the leading role and when Henderson Jordan fell caught behind off Wright for two, the score had moved on to 190 and Retford looked home and dry.

Retford team members
Members of the Retford team assemble in front of the pavilion to await the presentation

With stormclouds gathering and the wind dislodging a flurry of leaves and conkers from the boundary trees, the only question left to answer now was 'will Pascal reach his ton?'. With Retford wanting one to win, Broadley was stranded at the non-strikers end on 99, but Steve Randall blocked out the remainder of the 42nd over to leave Broadley on strike.

Pascal Broadley - man of the matchBroadley finished the game in style crashing Wright to the boundary wall for four to win the game and reach a magnificent century which won him the man of the match award.

<<< Pascal Broadley is pictured left admiring his man of the match prize.

It had been a fitting end to a highly enjoyable summer of cricket. Within an hour of the game finishing, the rain finally arrived suggesting that someone somewhere was watching the game and holding back the rains until the season was over. The 2003 season will be remembered for the glorious weather which lasted throughout the summer, but in Retford, it will be remembered as the year in which they strolled unbeaten back into the Premier.

How will these two excellent champions fare in the Premier next year? Well on this showing, Retford will be a force to reckon with and Calverton will need to strengthen their side to stay in the top flight.

The match scorecard can be found here.

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