The 1st XI arrived promptly for their first league match of the season barring a couple of timing disputes only 2 fines were handed out to messers Birch and Russell. Delicious Cow Corner breakfasts were taken down my the group and we proceeded to warm up with an intense game of football, won by the blues!
Losing the toss Ferndown elected to bat and that they did, for the first part extremely patiently, for the second part somewhat more fluently. Scott McGaughrin and James Birch kept it tight and after 20 overs Ferndown were only 65-2. Two well earned wickets for James Birch left him with 2-18 from his 10!
Jon Hawke and Ed Ikin came on to a slightly different intent from the Ferndown Batsmen but they continued to bowl tightly and work hard for the team. Ed Ikin breaking through the number 4 batsman with an ice cold LBW. Jon Hawke taking down the patient left handed opener with a great catch by Debutant Liam Doran. Ed did brilliantly from his 9 overs taking 1-26 and restricting the runs well during a tricky period.
The spinners were soon on and into their work, some great questions being asked by Will Kettle’s leg spin was countered by some good batting from the lower middle order presenting a frustrating patch for the O’s. A great catch by Ed Ikin removed the opposition captain made for some happy viewing in what was a tricky period on an improving pitch. However we refocused, some sharp fielding and hands from Chris Davis led to 2 late run outs and keeping Odiham in the game towards the end. The team did well managing to keep Ferndown to 213-9.
With an improving pitch this felt like a total that our deep batting line up could have a real go at chasing. But firstly a wonderful tea was consumed, leading to mass satisfaction from home and away players, being one of the only clubs still offering teas it really is special to sit down as a group enjoying this great cricketing pastime!
The innings started cautiously with the new ball moving around a bit and the Ferndown bowlers hitting good areas consistently. Charlie Russell and Craig Williamson patiently worked through the new ball until a first in cricketing history which involved an LBW upon which the ball did not hit the incumbent batsmen’s body, leading to an understandable amount of dismay from a disappointed Craig Williamson out for 17.
Liam Doran came to the crease and showed his talent working hard for his 18, however the runs were not forthcoming quick enough leading to a fair amount of scoreboard pressure and the team needing runs at just over 6 an over. Charlie Russell departed for a well made 62 anchoring the chase with some great defensive work but also some superb attacking shots. The lower middle order of Jon Hawke and Jack Malden managed a reasonably successful partnership of 41 in as many balls to try and keep the match going but unfortunately despite going to the last over the efforts of the team came up short against the newly promoted Ferndown.
A great game of cricket, getting the emotions ticking and hopefully giving us as a team some aspects to work on leading into next week!
The squad feels in a good place as is ready to compete at the top of Hampshire 1, not many things would have to change for that result to have gone our way!