Fresh from a 3 week break the Piri Piri side returned to action at home to Rayne.
Inspiring skipper James Grange won the toss and elected to bowl on a slightly green pitch. With regular opening partner Wayne 'Puggy' Surrall on international duty, angry man Lee Dobson opened the bowling with newcomer Harry Spence. Both bowled well, Dobson adopting his customary bowl and shake your head at the batsmen approach while Spence bowled some nice dobblers foxing the batsmen on a number of occasions.
First change bowlers Pat 'Burt' Reynolds and Matt 'Shaggy' Illsley continued the good work, both testing not only the batters, but the flexibility of the wicket keeper down the leg side! Illsley was the pick of the bowlers for the day taking 3 for 19 off his allocated 10 overs.
Wickets were shared around with Bradley 'Bambi' Pitts taking two with his Suleiman Benn-esque spin bowling, Joey 'Essex' Couchman claiming two victims clean bowled and Matt 'Lemon' O'Brien finishing the innings off with a rare pitched up delivery.
Although Rayne were bowled out for 139, there were some lapse moments in the field, including a ridiculous shout for a catch from captain Grange, bull dozing Couchman and Reynolds out of the way to catch what he thought was an onion bajhi. Upon realising it's indelibleness the hands were quickly withdrawn and the chance went begging! Charlie Spence was the lucky recipient of the Flora award, unable to grasp anything that came his way for the first 15 overs. Hands were washed at drinks and a much improved second half performance was put in!
With Pitts injuring a paw in the field, Clacton got off to a horrid start to their chase, with small total syndrome well and truly kicking in!
Pitts was bowled playing around a straight slow delivery from Pettit before Lee was given out LBW by Dobson from the bowlers union. The struggling, rumoured to be balding pinch hitter tried for the review but a chav had stolen the camera's overnight so had to go. When Grange was then out caught behind off Pettit (3-30) Dan 'Smigs' Smith and Reynolds had a big task on their hands.
The pair batted beautifully, with a mixture of classical stroke play and agricultural shots to the boundary. Mid innings Smith's back seized up leaving many spectators wondering why there was a right handed John Stuck at the crease. Reynolds(51*) ably supported Smith (77*, seeing the team hobbling over the line in 35 overs.
Next week the team travel to Chapel in the Knockout Plate hoping to put in a better performance than they did in last years competition.