Waverley foiled by their own generosity...
Despite some poor weather in the days running up to the fixture (and the home side only having eight available at the start of the game), the willingness to play cricket once again conquered all. Adrian Day ("Mog"), Russ Golding ("Terry"), Andy Minshaw ("the Mincer"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Tristan Brown ("Trist"), Simon Knox ("Chewy"), Adam Carmichael ("AC"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), David Stockwell ("Stockrates"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B") and Will Knox ("Will, son of Knox") were on show for the visitors, who kindly agreed to lend the home side a couple of fielders during the first innings in an effort to restore some balance to the proceedings.
Mog and Terry looked to lay the foundations of a good score on a damp pitch, not helped by the persistent drizzle that arrived at around 3.00pm and stayed for the remainder of the innings. Undeterred, both batsmen quietly went about their business until Terry holed out for 28. Mog was joined by the Mincer and Waverley maintained a determined pace, as Mog continued his rich vein of form with the bat by scoring a third consecutive half century. Next to pass that milestone was the Mincer, whose six over the square-leg boundary moved him past 50 in some style. With the declaration time marching ever closer Mog sensed an opportunity for a ton and promptly started accelerating the Waverley scoring rate. When the Mincer holed out on the boundary (courtesy of a catch from Terry, on as a sub-fielder for the home side) Mog got the strike and needed 13 runs off the remaining five deliveries. Clipping one round the corner, Mog and new batsman KV decided that two was worth the risk as the wicket keeper, with no one behind the stumps, had to score a direct hit with his throw. The keeper promptly did so and Mog was run out for a well made 88. Trist saw out the remaining four deliveries without incident and Waverley declared on 182 at tea.
Knowing they only needed seven wickets for victory (on account of Thursley's eight players), Waverley could be forgiven for having a little bit of a spring in their step as they looked to make early inroads. Doogs and Stockrates led the line both bowled a decent line and length. However, the pitch was offering them nothing and any deliveries slightly off line or length were punished. Chewy was introduced and the Wookie duly struck in his second over, Stockrates running round from fine leg to pouch a looping chance. However, despite the continuing efforts of Chewy and Mr B the score continued to creep relentlessly upwards. Another bowling change saw the introduction of AC and Will, son of Knox. The latter had never taken a first-class wicket but only had to wait until his second over to trap Smallbone LBW for 72. One wicket did wonders as Will bowled an excellent line and length for the remainder of his spell and was duly rewarded: castling Fuller, seeing a run-out off his bowling from old-man Chewy and then a catch to Doogs to leave him with three wickets and a career-best return.
At the other end and despite struggling to find the right line, AC managed to keep a lid on things until his fifth over (and the third remaining in the game), when two half-volleys ruined his figures and put Thursley right back into the game. With eleven needed from two overs Doogs picked up the sixth of seven wickets needed, leaving the home side needing nine to win from the final over with one wicket in hand. The willow was flung, the runs were scored and Thursley won the game by one wicket.
The fact that Waverley were thoroughly dejected should take nothing away from the achievements of Will, son of Knox as he was properly awarded the Man of the Match Hat for his excellent efforts with the ball. Terry was the recipient for both the *Anchor Hat and the Pink T-shirt, for catching his own team mate and generally complaining throughout the game. It was a clean sweep for the Golding family as sister Rachel got the Supporter's Pink T-shirt for getting "baby brains" (thanks to some fawning over the newly-arrived Emily Claire Brewer) and messing up the score book. There was also a welcome return of KV's special masks made famous by a certain programme screened on Channel 4. Always an entertaining distraction, although Doogs's missus Portia looked a little baffled by it all...