On a glorious afternoon Cowley travelled down to Maisey Hampton to play Kempsford. Last year it had been Erics game as he made runs, took catches and wickets in a losing cause.
Hoping for a closer game he elected to bat on a good looking dry wicket and promoted himself to open with Dave (although to be fair no-one else was particularly keen to do it).
Kempsford are a good side and hit their lines and lengths straight away making life difficult for our valiant openers. It was hard going but they stuck in there with Jack Leach like tenacity (in fact Eric was batting in glasses for the first time having only brought the solitary contact lens with him...). The odd bad ball was dispatched and the running became more fluent and at 10 overs we were 30, and 20 overs 59. It looked like we were on for our usual 120 (give or take) but we did have wickets in hand - the sceptical among us just waiting for the cowley collapse. After drinks Eric went up through the gears and began to find the boundary more frequently. Ably supported by Dave, the pair doubled the team score in the next 10 overs as Eric passed 50. Not satisfied with this Eric continued to take the attack to Kempsford and plundered more runs making them pay for a drop in the deep. Eric was playing some super cricket and played a sumptuous drive up the ground to go to 99 and then let loose a lofted straight drive to go to his maiden century in style (103 in 114 balls, 18 fours). The ground erupted with applause as we insisted he continue batting (this was making contention for the batting award interesting). Eric was bowled a few balls later (a lapse in concentration caused no doubt by exhaustion) for a wonderful 110, and a fantastic opening partnership of 179. Dave then completed his 50 and retired having played a crucial role in supporting Eric. Jonny came in swinging but had a swipe too many and was bowled for 6. Ed got us over the 200 hurdle with a maximum and finished 11 not out with Will 3 not out.
Cowley enjoyed a very pleasant tea in the knowledge they had finally this season produced a score that was very competitive thanks to an outstanding knock by the skipper - and went out to defend their total in high spirits.
Keith opened up for us and got us off to an amazing start. his 4th ball beat the bat and skimmed the top of the off ball to dismiss one opener for 4 and then he bowled the no3 for a golden duck. The hat trick ball safely negotiated, Mike backed this up with a decent over himself and then Keith was back in business - knocking back the off stump of the no4. In the 6th over Mike struck as he beat the defences of the other opener to have Kempsford reeling on 4 for not many (a position it was nice to be the right end of). Keith wasn't done though and forced an error from the no5 who drilled the ball at Dave Holt in the covers who could only parry it up and away with his arm - for Will to complete an extraordinary catch. 5 down. Keith continued to bowl his full allocation but was not able to snare any more wickets (despite beating the bat numerous times) and finished with excellent figures of 8-1-19-4; Take a bow. Dave Holt replaced him and was slightly erratic but how often does a bad ball get a wicket, as a leg side full toss was smacked straight to Eric at fine leg who completed the catch as cool as you like. Tom had taken over from Mike and was unlucky with an LBW shout earlier in his spell but got a deserved wicket as the no6 played all round a delivery to be bowled for 20. Kempsford were 7 down in the 17th over and surely up against it. Their no8 had other ideas and took a liking to Phil - trying to hit the ball all the way to Kempsford by the look of it as he lost about 3 balls into the hedges. As is often the way though the bowler got the last laugh - the batter tried to hoist Phil for one 6 too many, slightly miscued and Dave Holt was in the action again, taking a high catch at point to dismiss the batsman for a quick fire 41. Ed replaced Phil and promptly had the dangerous looking no9 sharply caught at point again by Dave Holt, and then a couple of overs later wrapped the game up bowling the no11 to give Cowley victory by 82 runs in the 28th over.
In the words of a wise man "I love it when a plan comes together" - what an afternoon for Cowley! Inspired by Captain Erics tremendous century we backed this up with an excellent display in the field (particularly bowling and catching) to register our 4th victory of the season as it draws to a close. Nicely done one and all.