Headline writer unable to think of Three Peaks-related pun
but he decides not to make a mountain out of a molehill...
Despite pretty grim forecasts and some overnight rain, the Loxwood area seemed to escape unscathed. Waverley rattled into town featuring one James Wright ("Mongo"), fresh from attempting to climb three mountains in the space of twenty four hours (he and his friends raising £870 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in the process). Joining Sir Mongo Fiennes were Waverley's own intrepid adventurers: Adrian Day ("Mog"), Marcus Carmichael ("MC"), Sam Vass ("Sausage"), Simon Brewer ("KV"), Warren Vass ("Wozza"), Chris Beanland ("Beanie"), Kyle Moxham ("Foxy"), Matt Du Gay ("Doogs"), Peter Brewer ("Mr B") and Adam Carmichael ("AC").
With the temperature soaring, Waverley fielded first in what was a 40 over match. Beanie (fresh from a run-in with a clothes bin) and Doogs opened the bowling on a dusty track with little margin for error, the openers quick to put away anything back of a length. It was skipper Doogs who scored the early breakthrough, castling the first of the three Woodhouses. Beanie was bowling well from the other end and saw a catch put down in his first over, a sign that it wasn't to be his day as his eight overs ended without a wicket. With Doogs also bowled out, AC and Foxy were introduced into the attack. Showing no signs of 'honeymoon fatigue', AC got in amongst the wickets courtesy of a good high catch from Mog at mid-wicket. Foxy continues to develop as a good all-round cricketer and an excellent five over spell produced the third wicket of the day, the stumps splayed via a deflection off the batsman's hip.
Martin was looking dangerous for the hosts, poised as he was on 37; but AC finally got one past the bat to knock back the off-stump. He had a third wicket shortly after, a rising delivery top-edged straight up into the air and pouched by Wozza behind the stumps. From the other end, a brief bowling cameo from Sausage gave way to a three over spell from KV, who bowled Dudman for 30. However, with the overs ticking down the run rate was accelerating (thanks mainly to Jefferies). Mr B exerted a measure of control and helped himself to a wicket, castling Green. He grabbed a second wicket when Jefferies, having just brought up his half century, found the safe hands of Doogs on the boundary. A two over spell from Mog yielded no further wickets and with the 40 overs up, the home side had posted a commanding 229. Of note for all you saddos stattos out there was that Waverley did not concede a single bowling extra in their innings.
After what was easily the best tea of the season so far, Waverley commenced the chase through Mog and Mongo. With Mog providing the control, Mongo was free to provide the acceleration and this saw Waverley up with the required run rate at the ten over mark. Although Mongo was eventually undone by a Woodhouse for 37, the visitors were still in a good position with plenty of batting in the hutch. However, the wheels fell off to some degree with the loss of four wickets for just 23 runs. MC, Sausage and KV trooped back to the pavilion in quick succession, along with Mog (26). Waverley rallied with Wozza and Beanie at the crease, with Wozza in particular determined to get the visitors back on track with some big hitting.
Beanie was eventually sent on his way for thirteen, having been bowled by Martin, with Foxy following not long afterwards. With seven wickets down and four overs remaining, Waverley needed an unlikely 67 to win. Any outside chance of victory was extinguished when Wozza holed out for a well-made 34; however Doogs continue to fling the willow to further reduce the deficit. The visitors lasted the 40 overs and although they fell short, 192-8 represented a good effort given the middle-order batting collapse.
The Man of the Match Hat went to Wozza for his batting, with Mongo being awarded the *Anchor Hat for dropping a catch off Beanie and then missing another chance a few overs later (residual altitude sickness, presumably). The Pink T-shirt was awarded to MC for some questionable fielding off AC's bowling and, to a lesser extent, for canoodling with the missus once again (with AC accepting the award in his absence).