WHAT A CATCH!
Winterbourne brought an end to their worst losing streak since reforming in 2012, by finally winning a game in June against lowly Fawley II by 42 runs.
Having dithered about whether to bat or bowl first, Matt Newman thankfully made the right decision at the key moment and elected to bat first on another belter of a pitch at the home of cricket.
Having had a "challenging" morning, opener Jamie Harvey was in no frame of mind to bat however, and predicted his score to the captain on his way out to the crease. Five balls later his predication came true as he pushed hard at a forward defence and the ball popped up for an easy catch at mid off. Fawley were off to a perfect start with a wicket maiden in the first over.
It would be another 19 overs, however, until the next maiden as Matt Windows and Richard Johnson compounded Harvey's misery by smashing the ball to all parts and made run scoring look a breeze. They put on a superb 133 run partnership in just 19 overs before the better Johnson eventually went for one big shot too many and was caught at long off for a spectacular 81.
Johnson's dismissal naturally saw the run rate slow, but Windows was still going well until he was trapped LBW four overs later for 48.
Manny Gurung and Will Everett had to ensure that the usual collapse didn't happen and batted sensibly putting on 61 runs for the fourth wicket. Everett was first to go, caught for 25 in the 35th over, but by this time Winterbourne had passed the 200 mark and were looking good for a decent score.
Simeon Douse joined Gurung and another 39 runs were added before Gurung was caught three runs short of his half century.
With four overs left and the club's number one pinch hitter eagerly padded up, surely now was the time to send in Malcolm Griffiths to try and push 'Bourne up to a really big score. But no, the captain, who famously admits to being poor at "hitting out from the start", elected to once again ignore his own advice that there is no "I" in "team" and instead waddled to the crease. Thirteen balls were wasted before he was put out of his misery for 5, and then Griffiths finally came in with only 10 balls of the innings left.
As is so often the case, a wicket fell with only one ball of the innings remaining, but Mark "Mad Man" Egan still had his head in the clouds and was in danger of being timed out. At this point, Andy "Arrows" Dunning, desperate to get another red inker and ten fantasy league points, shot out to face the last ball. He scored a single to take Winterbourne to 260 - the first time they had achieved a par score at home all year and maximum batting points for the second week in a row.
With the threat of rain, as predicated in last week's match report, very much in the air, Matt Newman opened with himself in order to get through the first 20 overs quickly. He struck in his second over when McElhenny was caught behind for four. At the other end, Ryan Le Boedec-Hughes was keeping things tight, conceding just twelve runs from his first 5 overs. It meant that after ten overs Fawley were 30 for 1 and well behind the rate. But more importantly, somehow 'Bourne had managed to get through the first ten overs of a match without dropping a catch. Despite a tough chance going down behind the stumps in the next over, and another one later in the match, not a single catch was dropped in the outfield - surely a first - and maybe the luck Winterbourne needed from "What a Catch" winning the quiz on Friday night??
Le Boedec-Hughes was rewarded with a wicket in his sixth over when Cooper was LBW for 16, but from then on wickets were hard to come by as Fawley put on 92 runs for the third wicket. At one point it looked like the unthinkable may happen again as complacency set in and Fawley were keeping up with the 8 runs an over needed to win. But as soon as Simeon Douse was introduced into the attack on the advice of the vice-captain, Winterbourne regained control as Coxall was caught for 54 and then the better Everett clean bowled John Doe for 8. Douse claimed two more scalps, finishing with 3 for 45 and it was left to Mark Egan to single handedly claim another bonus point as he picked up two wickets in two balls. Fawley finished their brave run chase on 218 for 8, giving Winterbourne plenty to think about again in the field.
In the fantasy league, "Sophie's Stars" return to the top of the table thanks to four wickets from her husband Joe, but Ganesh is manager of the month for June and wins the £20 voucher from Cricket-Hockey.com. Manny has deservedly overtaken Ed Dadd as the Club's most valuable player (that's what happens when you miss games for stag dos), and Simeon Douse is now the highest rated batsman, helped by his performances with the ball. Joe Cunningham remains top bowler and somehow Matt Windows is still classed as best keeper in the club.
With both teams winning this week, lets hope we can now get on a roll and start climbing up the table throughout July. Winterbourne will be strengthened by the news that Craig Johnson has finished his three month rehab stint at The Priory and is once again available for selection.