Welcome to my final Cooks report of 2020, more on that later.
When I left you last, it was the eve of our semi final showdown with Rushton. An opposition who had beaten us on our last 3 meetings. The semi-final was drawn to take place at Compton Park, a great boost to Cogenhoe to play such a big game at home. An advantage that was then doubled when skipper Ryan Knight won the toss and decided to have bowl. As has become the norm this season opening bowlers Dan McLaughlin and Jake Morrissey made sure runs were very hard to come by for Rushton. 15 year old Jake yet again took a wicket with his first ball of the game, putting Cooks in the driving seat. Tight bowling from all the Cogenhoe bowlers meant that despite Rushton’s grit they struggled to accelerate the scoring. However keeping wickets in hand looked to have paid dividends for Rushton when they eventually changed gear and powered 20 runs off the final over of their innings to post a respectable 183 for 6 off 40 overs.
The talk over tea….. well when I say tea, more accurately a packed lunch as Covid restrictions have put a stop to many village cricketers favourite part of cricket, the lavish feasts that make up a cricket tea! These far inferior, bring your own pack-ups didn’t have a hot drink in sight, but were still consumed with usual dissection of the first innings. Cogenhoe players knew that if we batted well on the reliable wicket produced by Paul Browning (thank you for all your hard graft this season) scoring 184 to reach the final shouldn’t cause too many difficulties. However this is easy to say, and a lot more difficult to execute, especially with the pressure of a semi final. A typically elegant 46 from opening batsman Henry Swallow, who makes the art of batting appear a lot easier than any village cricketer has a right to, got Cogenhoe off to a confident start. However when Henry was clean bowled the Cogenhoe innings sat on a knife edge at 80 for 3.
The passion to win games of cricket for Cogenhoe runs throughout the squad, but not many players hate to lose more than Ben Garratt and Captain Ryan Knight. In fact such is Ryan’s desire to play for and lead the cricket side of the village he grew up in, he cut his holiday plans short to make sure he didn’t miss the semi final. A decision that more than paid off as he notched up his 22nd fifty for the Cooks (56*) supported by Ben (41*) in an unbeaten stand of 105 to power Cogenhoe in to the final with 4 overs to spare.
As Cogenhoe marched onto the final, we were again drawn to play at home against the unknown opposition of Bugbrooke, who we did not play in the shortened league stage of the season. Bugbrooke won the toss and asked Cogenhoe to have a bat. After a clinical performance with the bat in the semi final, the Cooks seemed to have continued where we left off reaching 31 for 0. However in a blink of an eye this became 35 for 5 and was quickly turning in to a nightmare. Matt Irons managed a few counter punches to fight his way to 28 not out, giving Cogenhoe a glimmer of hope as he dragged the score to 96 all out.
That glimmer soon became a bright ray of hope as Dan and Jake once again shone with the new ball to leave Bugbrooke reeling 2 wickets down, for just 4 runs at the end of the second over. Credit must go to Bugbrooke who regained their composure and despite Matt Morrissey taking two wickets for just 6 runs in his 4 overs later in the innings it proved too little too late to for Cogenhoe who had to settle for the runners up spot as Bugbrooke finished the deserved winners by 6 wickets.
Chairman Dan McLaughlin would like to thank everyone who has supported us this season, whether this be at matches or behind the scenes. As a club we are truly grateful for all the support we have received, especially at the final. To play in front of that crowd was amazing. We just wish we’d have turned up.
With no time to dwell on the disappointment of the final the following day the Coooks were back in action in what could prove to be the last game of cricket for Cogenhoe CC at Compton park. Cogenhoe were narrowly defeated by our friends from Lilley in the annual Suzanne Tarpley memorial game. Should this be just the last game this season, or the last game for longer period, it would be a fitting summary of our club. Yes we don’t win every game, but we take pride in everything we do, remember those who have given us so much, and are proud to be part of a cricket family throughout Cogenhoe, Northamptonshire, and beyond.
I am confident I speak for everyone at Cogenhoe CC when I say we are so grateful to have had any cricket in this most peculiar of years. I hope you have enjoyed reading about it as much as we’ve enjoyed playing it. As the dark winter days are now upon us, and no cricket to report on I will be taking a break from writing, but when cricket hopefully returns in the spring my reports will to. Fear not though, Roy will be back again next month as he continues to look back at the many highlights of the cricket club as it edges towards the start of its 140th year in the village.
And finally….. this winter will undoubtedly be tougher on everyone than normal as the on going battle with Covid-19 continues in to 2021. Please remember, we have some very dedicated volunteers who make up Cogenhoe Cricket Club, they are still prepared to help those in our community having to isolate with tasks such as food shopping, or prescription collection. Please do not hesitate to contact the club if we can help. Until next time I wish you all a safe and healthy winter.
- By Nick Lester and kindly sponsored by Richard James Estate Agents