SATURDAY XI vs BISHOPS WALTHAM III's - 31st August 2019
The last game of the season took place on Saturday with Curdridge needing a win to secure promotion. A full strength 11 made the short trip to Bishops Waltham to face a strong third team determined to stop their local rivals from progressing.
It was a good toss to lose - that’s what skipper thought anyway as he was invited to have a field on a flat looking track.
Standard operating procedures were employed with Del and Tav operating in tandem, limiting scoring opportunities but struggling to make a breakthrough with one of the Waltham openers in particular finding the boundary at will.
Jay swapped in for Tav and continued his good run of form with the ball picking up a wicket in the second over.
Dave then took over from Del but wickets were still hard to come by and at drinks the score was 50 for 1 and a decent platform was set for Waltham.
Dave then bowled the number 3 with a low one before Jay got the crucial wicket of the free scoring opener.
The Curdridge squeeze was fully on, and backed by good fielding the bowlers started to get the upper hand
Jay and Dave picked up one more wicket apiece as they completed their spells and the spin twins Sammy and Rob were summoned to finish up.
Sammy in particular found the track to his liking with the low bounce, combined with his turn and guile being too much for the tail and he wrapped up the innings with 4 late wickets.
Tea was taken with Curdridge happy to have dismissed their opponents for 111.
Mike and Mark opened up but the Punter block was unsuccessful as he lost his middle pole.
Mark then failed to lob mid wicket as he too perished and Dave and Jay then started the rebuild.
Dave though got trapped in front so Skipper joined Jay in the middle for a spot of nothing silly in the face of some tight bowling.
Unfortunately there was a Yes, No, Oh sorry! skip as a quick single attempt went badly wrong and skipper left the scene.
The score sat at 48-4 and that quickly became 48-5 as Jay played on a low one.
Jack and Alan then started to make progress into the target with Alan in particular being successful with the biff.
Jack was then also trapped in front, and Tav missed a straight one leaving the Curdridge innings in peril at 82-6.
Nails were being bitten all around the ground with the game very much in the balance.
Alan then succumbed and the tail was needed to scramble the last 30 runs.
Unfortunately it couldn’t wag, and the Curdridge innings closed all out for 93, leaving us 18 runs short of promotion.
Fair to say there were a few gutted faces last night but a couple of beers in the Railway sorted that out.
Some thankyou’s for the efforts throughout the season
Jon Edwards for the tireless efforts put in producing the wickets, without him none of us would be able to enjoy cricket at the Lane
Andy Patterson, for his support around the club and giving up his Saturday’s to umpire
Jan Bollard for her fantastic scoring skills which allowed us to confirm Mike Punt has got the lowest strike rate in the club
And all the wives and girlfriends for letting us out each Saturday to enjoy ourselves!
Some things don’t always end as you expect though, Sunday morning bought the results from the rest of the leagues and surprisingly Netley also failed to win their last game leaving Curdridge to finish in third position.
Unfortunately though it’s just the two best average scores from the teams in third place in the 5 regional one division that are promoted and the Curdridge average is only third best.
Normally we would just miss out, but Solent Rangers II’s who won their league cannot go up a division as they would join their first team in the same league.
This means there is an extra place available for promotion and that team will be Curdridge!
By the back door maybe but the Curdridge Machine will be going up to County level next year, I think that is our champagne moment this week!