And season’s end is in sight!

Just a few photos of a couple of end of season matches – Surrey v Glamorgan at the Oval and Essex v Northamptonshire at CloudFM County Ground.

It’s all flown by too quickly

Ostensibly the only team heading for any realistic prize is Essex for the Division Two title (and trophy) but all teams really playing for position if, as seems likely, we return to two divisions next season. The divide between the two divisions is likely to be somewhere in this year’s Division Two – so the nearer the top, the more possible Division One beckons!

At the end of day one – Glamorgan (379/4) seem to have the upper hand over Surrey who looked a bit clueless (Ollie Pope having his first try at captaincy…is the England job just over the horizon?) and Essex dominate Northamptonshire (25 wickets fell in the day) with Lawrence having a try at captaincy too!

But a few photos from the Oval to start with…

July or September?
No flies on Ollie Pope!
Virdi Variations
Classic pose by Joe Cooke!
Not what it seems!
And Moriarty gets in on the act!!
Second new ball was ineffective but you can almost see the maker’s name!

Day 2 of this round and I’m at Chelmsford to witness one of the worst batting displays of recent times. The hope of watching Sir A in possibly his last match was thwarted in under 30 minutes by Cook S and Shane Snater reducing Northamptonshire from 23/5 to 45ao. Essex won by an innings and 44 and only scored 170 runs themselves! Must be some kind of record!

The lack of footwork by the batsmen was criminal, the lack of gumption and intention an insult to members and the paying public (who should get their entrance fee refunded!)

Whether Essex deserve a points deduction – either for this season or suspended- is a moot point but of eight possible full days at Chelmsford in this phase of the Championship we have witnessed 3 full days and 2 and a bit sessions.

Nonetheless Essex win the Second Division and the trophy. I managed a few photos of the final death throes from Northamptonshire but it was all so quick and clinical, I didn’t get to finish my morning coffee!

The contrast between the batting paradise at the Oval and the seamers delight at Chelmsford is stark and something needs to be done but with the ECB trying to kill off the County Championship I doubt if anything will be done!

Leaden footed
At both ends!
I could go on…
Snater in full flow

A closer look – Lord’s September 12, 2021

After the angst and disappointment for everyone following the cancellation/postponement/forfeiture (delete as appropriate) of the last test in Manchester, a little light relief today with Middlesex playing Worcestershire at Lord’s in Division Three.

So with 18 wickets falling in one day for 270+ runs, you’d think there’s a lot to write about but no! This blog is more picture centred as this could be my last visit of the season to Lord’s

Suffice to say when it comes to the match – it’s clear why each side is in Division Three; the early September start and the ball swinging round corners, plus variable bounce, lack of footwork and application all contributed to the situation.

But I would say the bowling by Murtagh and Bamber in particular was something to behold! These two were almost unplayable. Not a sight you see every day!

So, let’s take a look at a few more obscure sights of Lord’s – enhanced or not (you decide) with a few photographic ‘tricks’.

Let’s start with one of the best views in world cricket
Sunshine and warmth to start the day
Bamber in full flight
Murtagh with the most stretchable flannels known to man!
Roderick managed to avoid this one!
Fish eye view of the new Edrich stand
Surprising how the slips can look with the odd trick shot
Wouldn’t look to fly in this plane!🤣
But finally bad light caught up with proceedings

An angel in Chelmsford

At the County Ground, Gloucestershire needed more than an angel or other supplication to overcome a rampant Essex side who won by an innings and 3 runs in just over two days play. On each day, and even today’s morning session, the over rate was exemplary – only extending play by 20 mins across the two days and each day’s quota being more than a Test match day. But I’ll leave my thoughts on over rates to another time.

Every knife from off the streets and blunted to make this statue

With extra spare time, I decided to take a look at the Knife Angel sculpture which is touring the UK and is currently being hosted by Chelmsford. The following photos say more than I can except that over 100,000 knives from 43 constabularies were taken off the streets and made into this statue.

The light plays magnificently across the statue showing that there is always light and violence never solved anything.

Would recommend all of my Essex readers to come and take a look.

And the peace of downtown Chelmsford