28 Jun 2012 - Gavan Burden
Team: George Baker, Alfie Berger-North, Max Beverley, Jack Brown, Angus Chambers, Ryan Gavin, Hugh Jones C, Matt Oster VC WK, Tom Spurin, Callum Turner, Henry Woods
Spurred on by our second win we travelled to the Nevill relishing the challenge of our return match against top of the table T Wells.
Skipper Hugh Jones finally won the toss and elected to bat. We knew we would have a tough task ahead but the boys were in buoyant mood and HJ strode out with opening partner Callum Turner.
Having negotiated a couple of tough overs CT was trapped LBW for 4 bringing Matt Oster to the crease and with HJ looking comfortable at the other end we had reasons to feel cheerful still. MO hit a boundary and the swagger was in full swing until Run Out for 10 and the score on 23- 2.
Enter debutant George Baker looking confident of a decent first knock, but by this time our nemesis from last year, spinner Tom Nicholls, was in the attack and looking dangerous again.
HJ was grinding out a decent score but soon he, GB, and Tom Spurin were all back in the hutch as Nicholls foxed them all. HJ top scored with his 14 but Max Beverley (2), Angus Chambers (1) struggled to score and Jack Brown, Alfie Berger-North and Henry Woods failed to trouble the scorer at all. Only a spirited 6 runs from Ryan Gavin at the end gave us anything to cheer about in the final stages and we finished on 66 all out from our 20 overs, and then only with the help of 28 ( yes 28 ) extras from the TW bowlers.
Yes, Tom Nicholls is a good spinner but if we had been more disciplined against him then we could have picked off runs from the rest of a wayward attack. But his 4-12 was well deserved, although your less than happy writer also had to have a serious word with the TW umpire to stop him from excessive coaching on the field.
It was not going to be easy to defend our total but after a meagre tea offering of crisps and chocolate bar ( gee thanks, league leaders ! ) the boys went out knowing that they had a chance of providing an upset if they bowled and fielded well with absolutely no lapses in concentration.
CT and RG gave their openers something to think about for a couple of overs but then TW got into their stride and we were up against it from about the 4th over. GB bowled with pace but lacked accuracy as did AC, and despite a maiden from HJ and brave attempts to stem the flow from MB and HW it was simply not going to be our day.
TW made the runs from only 10.2 overs handing us a comprehensive defeat but they are a good side and like Holmesdale, have a squad of around 40 boys.
As I said to our team afterwards, let’s just put this off-night behind us and focus on getting one over Holmesdale.
We are a good team at our best but we have to find that level more often.
Man of the Match – Jointly awarded to Hugh and Matt for continuing to urge the team on even when thing’s didn’t work out.