When St Mary Cray pulled out of the scheduled fixtue, local boys feared a trip to the far reaches of the A3 but those fears proved unfounded when a repeat of last year's match with RACS was arranged, moving the venue just a few miles up the A20. 2011 had seen a fairly comprehensive defeat but concerns were reduced when news reached us of the left-arm fast bowler being absent on holiday.
Taking the field, captain Sharpe elected to open proceedings with a double-pronged Edghill attack. Dan's inswing up the hill was complemented by Rob's outswing at the other end and it was the younger brother who drew first blood. First-change Springer picked up the next two wickets, second of which was the RACS skipper who had been threatening to move through the gears following his 90-odd last year. With Tony keeping things tight from the top, Seymour had licence to loop, which he did to good effect, quickly picking up his first wicket with an LBW and his second to a smart catch by Colin Smith
at mid-on. Despite being ill-treated by Harry the left-handed top-scorer (40) Chris had the last laugh, drawing the man forward and beating him several times before the skipper took a sharp (pun intended) stumping. A second such dismissal followed next ball but no hat-trick was forthcoming.
Bowling change of the day was the choice of Edghill Senior, though. A wicket in his first over (a cunning second-bounce yorker) was followed by Sharpe's third stumping in the second, before Dan was recalled in the hope of wickets for all three from the family. It was not to be however; Mark Clarkson
completed the innings with a final wicket, thoroughly well-deserved after an excellent spell.
The final pair had added a good thirty runs, however, a stand that was to prove costly.
Set a relatively undemanding 3.5 an over, Trinity started to make likfe more difficult almost immediately as Sundip drove over the top of the yorker-length second ball he faced to establish ownership of kit-packing duty after only 9 balls of the innings. Mike Woodhouse
(13) was dismissed in similar fashion a while later after which Sharpe & Springer started to take the match away from the opposition, their 59-run partnership taking the score to 84 at the halfway mark before Dave (23) drove over a yorker-length ball. Seymour (5) got himself in and as quickly out again and disaster struck when Springer (44) followed him shortly after.
Half the wickets down but only 43 to get and plenty of overs to get them in. Only eight had been added before the next calamity - Middleton bowled by a monster inswinger that brushed off-stump, Clarkson (4) trapped LBW and Colin Smith
electing to become the victim of the inevitable run out that followed a calling cock-up. 34 runs needed and it was all down to the Edghills again. Only 6 were added before Rob was undone and the rate started to rise as Clive and Dan tried to survive and pick off the needed runs. With 20 balls left and 13 needed, Dan missed a straight one and it was all over. Defeat from the jaws of victory indeed.
If the RACS last pair had produced only half what they did, we'd have won by one wicket.