It was a Clash of the Titans – new skipper Daniel Sherman taking on illustrious predecessor Matt Small.
Sherman fielded a strong side of pickle-packed sausage rolls while Small responded with a zesty cheesecake.
But there could only be one winner, and Smally’s cheesecake contributed to a tight victory for Team Sweet over Team Savoury.
Either side of a classic King’s Road tea spread – with honourable mentions for Matt Cocken’s bacon, avocado and mozzarella ciabattas and Peter Jackson-Eastwood’s chicken and bacon sausage rolls – a game of cricket broke out.
For Sherman’s side, Raju Mazumder and Matt Cocken opened the batting but could add only two before the Lancastrian culinary ace was caught by James Couldrey off the bowling of Osman Khan for a duck.
Raju was next man out, trapped LBW by Rich Harper for 4, before Chris Pluck was also out leg before to Adam Paterson for 0.
At this stage, Sherman’s side were reeling at 17-3, but Lewis Robinson cantered to 24 as the skipper’s team fought back.
Robinson was caught by a juggling Matt Small, embarrassingly deceived by the lack of pace on offer from David Hughes with the score at 51-4.
That soon became 51-5 when Jamie Keating was bowled by Michael Rossi, which some are describing as the Ball of the Century.
A stand of 26 was ended when Peter Jackson-Eastwood was bowled by Joe Conway for 8, with the bowler adding the scalp of skipper Sherman in the same over – caught and bowled without troubling the scorers.
With the batting side reduced to 78-7 and the Wandsworth Common pitch typically unpredictable – a mixture of grubbers and steepling bounce – any chance of a competitive total looked beyond Sherman’s side.
But Dan Long and Chris Brown had other ideas.
The pair smashed their way to 124 before Brown retired on 30 and Ali Tyzack entered the fray, stroking his first delivery to the boundary.
Tyzack was out for 5, caught by Couldrey off the bowling of Matt Small, with the scoreboard reading 135-8.
Next in was Andy Tryphonos, who scored 7 before being out LBW to give A-Patz a second wicket.
His dismissal saw Brown return to the crease to resume his partnership with Long, and the Little Bear resumed his assault on the bowlers – a lovely straight drive off Mo Shaboodien and an imperious 6 off Rossi helping him on the way to 51 not out, with Long unbeaten on 38 at the close.
A half-century of extras – testament to the perfidious pitch and some rusty bowlers – helped Sherman’s side post a total of 209, meaning Small’s side needed exactly a run a ball of their 35 overs for victory.
Fortified by the sumptuous spread at tea, Small’s batsmen set out attacking the formidable target.
A-Patz hit three fours on his way to 15 before falling LBW to Pluck, who also accounted for Rich Harper, clean bowled for 4.
Doug Phethean also hit a boundary and looked set to press on until his innings was ended on 4 by a stunning diving catch from Robinson off Mazumder’s spin.
Hughes bludgeoned a 4 before missing a straight, low one from Andy and, after a quick-scoring start, Small’s side were in trouble.
The trouble became a full-blown crisis as Long entered the attack with a double-wicket maiden, followed by another victim in his second over as he recorded figures of 3-1.
Long had Conway caught and bowled for 3, Osman bowled for 1 and Couldrey caught for 0.
Shaboodien hit a pair of 4s on his way to 10 before one that kept low from Glover – bowling spin – pinned him LBW for 10.
The skipper was not going to go down without a fight and in partnership with his brother Elliott the pair of Smalls offered some resistance.
Robinson accounted for both brothers – Matt clean bowled for 16 and Elliott caught for 3.
Rossi was the last man standing, not out for 5 as Small’s side were skittled out for 101.
Long’s all-round brilliance saw him win the man of the match award, while Brown’s 6 and Robinson’s catch missed out on the champagne moment due to the brilliance of the tea spread.
Brown did manage to pick up the tantrum of the day award, laying down a promising marker for the rest of the season after being signalled wide by Harper.
Sherman added to victory in the match by claiming the coveted embarrassing moment award for his clumsy demolition of the stumps at the non-striker’s end whilst bowling to Rossi.
All in all, a fantastic intraclub with promising contributions from newcomers to the King’s Road both on the pitch and the all-important picnic blanket.