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June 17, 2004

Return of Prodigal Sees Chigwell Take a Stroll in the Park, by carbohydrate correspondent Harvey Brown(Ditchling Strollers 29/5/04)

Chigwell welcomed back 'Prodigal Son' Paul Newman from a six-year sabbatical along with daughter Hannah, who was making her debut for the 'Daisies', as the first game of the tour got under way. After winning the toss (I think) Chigwell openers Brown and McTaggart, fuelled on potato wedges and chips, got the touring side off to a good start with a stand of 97 for the first wicket. The Ditchling openers served up an array of full tosses, beamers and wides before being replaced by Hinge and Bracket who were given the treatment before McTaggart was bowled as he dozed off waiting for the ball to arrive for 43. Brown was then joined at the bizarre 'double crease' by Rob Allum who made sure Brown had burnt off every chip calorie before departing for 67. Nigel then kept the momentum going by dispatching one of his first few balls for four, before hearing the call of 'Wild Swing' in his ears and succumbing. Enter Paul Newman, who after a shaky start started to find the middle of the bat with some flowing cover drives. The pair started to build a solid partnership as Allum set his sights on a half century. As time was running out, Allum's eyes lit up with the introduction of the youngest member of Hanson to the bowling attack, who he promptly dispatched down the ground for a series of fours to bring up his 50. The innings closed on 246 with Allum unbeaten on 57 and Newman also undefeated on 29. After a tea of homemade cakes and Radish, Chigwell set about trying to bowl the opposition out. Captain Davis paired his strike bowler Addison with very occasional bowler Newman, a move that raised a few eyebrows. However, Davis had it spot on as Newman struck the first blow. Not to be outdone Addison then ripped out the next three batsman, removing the heart of the Ditchling batting with a hostile spell, before Newman added another scalp to go top of the bowling averages! Ditchling now realised that a draw was their only hope of a result and set about frustrating the Chigwell bowlers with a rendition of the 'Lolly Stick Challenge'. Their attempt to save the game was getting closer before Hannah had the batsman chip one to short midwicket, where Dad Paul pouched the catch to round off a memorable day for the Newmans. Nick took time to find his rhythm but responded to some gentle berating from younger brother Rob as he winkled out the last three wickets, aided by a brace of excellent catches from Rob O. The touring party then set off on a 150-mile journey to find hot showers and cold beer before assembling at the now legendary Golden Grill. Result: Chigwell win by 150 runs Man of Match: Paul Newman Hotel Barman: Professor Yaffel (Woodpecker from Bagpuss) H J Brown

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