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Brigands v Oundle Ramblers, 3 September 2023

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Of his many magical moments, Sir David Attenborough picked as his favourite the beautiful encounter from Life on Earth in 1979 when a female gorilla approached him, a mother who would remember him the next day and groom and play with him.

Had he been at Broadhalfpenny Down this weekend, he might have added "caught and bowled Ladenburg" to that shortlist.

Bowling to the Ramblers' best batter, Guy Ladenburg reacted to a fiercely hit straight drive and leaped like salmon up and to his right to pluck a catch at full stretch in his right hand. The crowd gasped and even the square leg umpire clapped; a catch for the ages.

The game had started well for the Ramblers who picked up the first 4 Brigands wickets for just 45 runs bowling straight.

On debut, Harry Collier from the Isle of Wight (the second Brigand to travel to Broadhalfpenny Down via hovercraft) survived some early scares but then settled in to bat with his former Portsmouth CC teammate, Dave Henderson.

As the Oundle opening bowlers finished their spells, new bowlers were rotated and Brigands were merciless on bad balls with 4 sixes and 9 fours hit on their way to half-centuries; the momentum had shifted.

Ladenburg and Lovett-Turner finished the innings with a 46-run partnership including a slog sweep from Lovett-Turner that went into the neighbouring field, and Brigands declared on 213 off 36 overs.

The tea featured delicious blue cheese and bacon savouries and lemon drizzle cake as players sheltered from the sunshine.

Ed Hands continued his unplayable hot streak with the ball (four overs with 2 wickets and no runs conceded) and some 19th Century History discussion with the Square Leg Umpire.

Neil Wood picked up a wicket caught on the Deep Mid-Wicket boundary and Gerry Northwood bowled with guile to tempt the Ramblers into lofting their drives to waiting fielders (catches were sticking this week) finishing with outstanding figures of 4 for 14.

And then came "caught and bowled Ladenburg".

After the match, there was the customary speech from the Oundle Ramblers Captain and Chairman that included deserved thanks to the heroic groundsmen Harry and Peter, the wonderful tea team of Laura and Caroline, and to the wonderful guest scorer Nina. Halcyon days.

Brigands 213-6 declared beat Oundle Ramblers 48 all out by 165 runs

Collier and Turner on their way to open for Brigands

Collier and Henderson bully the bowlers

The umpires, Ladenburg out, and Hands hits out

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