Such is the cache of a match against the gentlemen of Fernhurst's Sunday XI, one of their opponents drove from Durham simply to say 'I was there'. As his car engine cooled and he pulled on his whites, few can have predicted the drama about to unfold.
Yes, the Flemish Giants are a welcome, recent addition to the roster of nomadic teams at Fernhurst. They are very, very good. They are very handsome. And they are young. God, they are young. But could Fernhurst's unique blend of charm and treachery be a match? Sam Meier and Ali Kid opened for FCC in excellent style, batting for one another for 15 overs before the giants drew blood. Meier finished on 45 while Kidd made 43; both were caught off Creasy who ended with stunning figures of 7-1-17-4. Fernhurst were delighted to welcome back their 'overseas player' Tim Whitehead who has long-standing links to the village: on this occasion the Sussex Texan did not trouble the scorers but the same can be said of much of the middle order. Red-faced skipper Simon Vigar foolishly believed a new bat would cure his scoring maladies. Yet again, after a streaky four, he was proven wrong. Mark Langridge scored three boundaries on his way to 13 while fellow physician Simon Ralfe notched up an assured seven not out. FCC finished their 35 overs on 162 with the colts Jack Kidd and Harry Adey making valuable contributions.
As the skies brightened, an exceptional 'Irish tea' was taken with much quiche, high end sandwiches, cake and even fruit. Some Fernhurst players muttered that 163 'would be easy for this lot' but they were underestimating the ferocity of the FCC attack.
Suffice to say Meier ended with figures of 7-2-16-4, while A Kidd had 5-2-7-3. It was an astonishing blitzkrieg of swing bowling which had the talented batsmen of the Giants reeling. Meier's average was four while Kidd's was 2.33. Clean bowled, leg before, caught, the lot. Langridge bowled seven accurate overs, Jack Kidd claimed a scalp while Geoff Howe got two. The outfield catching by Jon Meier was a sight to behold and even the keeper held onto one. Self-effacing to the end, Howe actually removed himself from the attack to ensure young Kidd had the last wicket. Flemish Giants were all out for 85.
Three wins out of three for Fernhurst. Not a bad way to gauge some mid-season form.