Three cricket matches in a week is just my kind of lifestyle but sadly, two of them were halted by the rain. Making the most of some time off, I almost squeezed in a fourth, only to receive a call-up for MAL's midweek Twenty20 eight-a-side regional semi-final too late.
In between the postponements, I enjoyed a great day out at Hatfield Peverel. I hit 51 off 58 balls before the club pro tempted me with a wide one that the keeper snaffled at the second attempt. A world-class lunch and tea followed before I gave my teammates and home fans some entertainment in the outfield with my Stevie Wonder impersonation. Some late heroics from wicketkeeper Trevor Woolf failed to deny our hosts.
Cricket was followed by a football match between the teams with Finchley starlet Sara Begg, who was guesting for LMV, putting in an early challenge of the season contender with a tackle that Alex Haffner would have been proud of.
Sunday features a re-run of last season's classic Stuart Neils Cup final when London Maccabi Vale 1st entertain Belmont & Edgware 1st in the Middlesex Sunday League Division One at Rowley Lane. LMV know that a win is essential if they are to maintain their title hopes. It's also a must-win for BECC who lie just a place above the relegation zone.
Neither team will be at full-strength for the crunch clash with the hosts missing captain Jon Galloway and opening bowler Andrew Daniels. BECC are without Daniel Geey and the injured Simon Durban.
JC MSFL Division Two outfit Temple Fortune have launched an online store to commemorate their 40th birthday. Players and supporters will be able to purchase a range of TFFC garments and other items, all carrying printed club emblems and motifs. Part of the proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research.
On the pitch, Ollie Squires (2) and Paul Walker helped Fortune draw 3-3 against a combined North London Raiders team. Fortune's Andrew Souber enthused: "It was very promising. We should be a very competitive."
London Maccabi Lions B overcame Premier Division rivals Bafana Bafana 3-2 courtesy of goals from Josh Morris, debutant James Steele with a 35-yard free-kick and Hadley Silver. Bafana's David Ossack missed a penalty while Lions trialists Sam Senchall was ordered from the pitch after a late challenge. New signing Sam ‘Adebayor' Arghebant and another trialist, Henry Ziff, were introduced as second half substitutes for the Rowley Lane club.
New Lions boss Gavin Stollar said: "I can see potential in the squad and overall the fitness levels looked good. I have set the lads a challenging target for this year but am confident we have the resources to achieve the goals set."
Lions C overcame Pure Orange Function Band 6-1 though the biggest talking point was as to why POFB talisman Gabriel John played outfield wearing gloves. James Stanley (2), Max Radford, Eddie Zneimer and Guy Marks were among the scorers.
Adam Goldsmith scored the only goal as FC Team A overcame North London Raiders B. A strike from Montana Boca United B keeper Lee Duskwick deep into stoppage time denied Zig Zag in a six-goal thriller. Ashley Ilsen (2) and Darren Conway netted for Zigs. Daniel Stone and Jamie Rosen converted for Montana with Duskwick, who went up for a corner, powering home an effort past makeshift keeper Neal Cohen who sprained his thumb trying to stop the shot.
Division Five new boys East London Knights beat third division Faithfold C. 4-2. Player-manager James Ryan did all the damage, leaving assistant Michael Marks to comment: "It was fantastic to be involved in such a great game of football. This was the performance we were looking for. James was lethal. When he is hungry and feeding off good deliveries it's hard to stop him."