The season starts here
First game goes down to the last ball...
An earlier start than in recent years (owing to the random pin in that map that is Easter) saw Waverley travel to Shalford. The weather certainly played its part, a glorious afternoon greeting James Wright ("Mongo"), Adrian Day ("Mog"), Russ Golding ("Raoul"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Andy Du Gay ("Daddy Doogs"), Sam Tempest ("Troy"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Matt Pride ("Pride of Waverley"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), David Stockwell ("Stockrates") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
Doogs is the man in the man in charge this season and his reign of terror commenced with Waverley batting first in this 40 over game. Mongo and Mog looked untroubled during their opening stand of 133 runs in 27 overs, Mongo the aggressor to Mog's Mr Patience. No surprise then that Mongo soon brought up his and Waverley's first half-century of the season. It was the slow bowling of Critchell that was responsible for the first wicket, Mog looking to take advantage but holing out for 20. He was followead a few deliveries later by Raoul. KV chipped in with a couple of lusty blows before he too was caught of Critchell. Mongo remained at the crease and a boundary saw him reach the 100-mark before he also returned to the hutch, caught. There were then useful runs down the order from Daddy Doogs, Troy and Beanie to ensure Waverley had posted a competitive 204-5 at tea.
After the interval (an excellent spread, as usual), the visitors set about the task of restricting Shalford with an opening bowling attack of Doogs and Troy and it was Doogs who bagged the opening wicket, castling Rogers with the score on 15. Both Troy and Doogs gave a good account of themselves with the ball, preventing the home side from exploding out of the blocks and keeping a lid on the run rate. AC and Beanie kept up this good work with some accurate bowling of their own, the latter bagging the second wicket of the innings in his third over (a high catch well held by Stockrates). AC was rewarded with a wicket of his own in the final over of his spell, a simple return catch.
Although Shalford's run rate was not spectacular it was, nevertheless, steady. Pride of Waverley and Stockrates were introduced into the attack, but further wickets were not forthcoming despite their best endeavours. Unsworth, the other opener, was playing a vital innings for the hosts but was eventually dismissed courtesy of Raoul's change of pace. However, the powerful hitting of Crawford and some early season rustiness in the field from Waverley saw the home side needing eleven to win off the final over. Specialist death bowler Mog certainly didn't bowl badly but Sewell, flinging the willow, clipped a six over the mid-wicket boundary to leave the scores tied with one ball of the match remaining. The field came up but Crawford found the gap, a four bringing victory for Shalford in this hard-fought match.
The Man of the Match Hat went to Mongo for his excellent innings. The *Anchor Hat was awarded to AC, the Saxons not really going in for arrow heads it seems. There was no need to award either the Pink T-shirt of the Supporters' Egyptian Hieroglyph Pink T-shirt, there being no offences of note during the game, although Beanie's post-match ode to his comfortable slippers didn't go unnoticed...