Following a week of heavy rain this match was one of anly a handful to go ahead in the Mid Essex League. Having won the toss, Willow Herbs, not unsurprisingly asked Rayne to bat first on a damp but firm wicket.
Al Stevens perished early on skying a catch to mid on, a feat that Richard Whiteside tried to replicate at the start of his innings but was reprieved thanks to a dropped catch. He and Mark Rainbird kept the score board ticking over and reached 55 when, in his own words, Mark Rainbird was dismissed by the softest dismissal ever!!
Chris Barton came and went having struck two nice fours (quite an achievement through the long grass) whilst Richard tucked in to some generous leg-side bowling as he passed his half century. Richard Banks helped get the score to 127-3 with 12 overs remaining as a score of 200 beckoned, however the wheels well and truly came off as Rayne collapsed to 145 all out.
The chaos starting when Richard Whiteside went for 72, and with two further batsman caught, two bowled, one run out and one LBW, Richard Banks (29 not out) watched from the non-strikers end as Boyd wrapped up the innings with a hat-trick.
The target was always gettable but had Rayne have held their chances it could have been a different outcome. The most painful dropped catch was the one which saw Richard Banks 'ping' his hamstring as he stretched to take a routine catch.
Seven bowlers were used with debutant, Lee Nicholson beating the bat on countless occasions without success. Jon Sainsbury had Grainger caught on the boundary for 47, and Russ Barnard plucked a nice catch out of the air from the bowling of Chris Barton. Russ then bowled Harris for 38 but the target was well within reach of the Herbs as they completed victory in the 31st over.
Let's hope the weather and our catching improves next week against Terling!!