SATURDAY XI vs BURRIDGE III's - 3rd August 2019
Skipper returned from his mid season break to join a Curdridge side that had remained unbeaten during his absence, and after two weeks of rain Curdridge’s finest athletes were itching for a game with Burridge the visitors for a local derby.
There was only one absentee from the first choice eleven, with Sammy away representing Hampshire in the National Ball Finding Championships. To avoid any confusion Old Sammy was replaced in the side by New Sammy making his debut.
With John Edwards away having his Prince Albert fitted, the pitch had been meticulously prepared by the bearded wonders (Dave & Jack), unfortunately though the outfield had been overlooked and at 11 o’clock on Saturday the lush Curdridge meadow was more suited to grazing cattle than a game of cricket.
A few frantic phone calls to work out how to start the mowers, and those present sprung into action to get the ground ready for the 1pm start, Kerys (roller), Dave (mowers), New Sammy (pavilion), Skip (marking pitch), Alan (tea), Jay (screens) & Rob (boundary) all getting extra brownie points for their efforts.
Skipper, enjoying a good run of form with the toss once again delivered and invited the opposition to have a bat with clouds overhead and a new ball for the bowlers to get swinging.
Del and Tav were the chosen pair, and proceeded to make good use of the conditions tying the batsman down, backed up by tight fielding limiting scoring opportunities.
After 10 over the visitors had crawled to 16 without loss, and the pressure to score became too much as a mix up between the opening batsman left them both at one end, and a quick Tav / Keogh relay did the rest.
Del then trapped the number three first ball with his topspinner, and Curdridge were on top early.
A steady partnership then flourished, with the Burridge lads running well between the wickets, but tidy bowling was limiting the scoring rate.
Del boy finished with a boring eight overs, 1 for 9, Dave replaced Tav but without success so Skipper turned to the spin twins, Jay and Rob to seek the breakthrough.
The score had moved onto 94 before Rob got his man tempting the opposition skipper to swipe into the deep and the reliable Mr Punt took a good one.
This was followed up by an even better catch from Jay on the boundary to bring Rob his second wicket.
Dave and Tav were then called upon to finish the innings, and picked up a wicket apiece as the Burridge innings closed on 136-6.
A Bollard family effort on the tea, with homemade scones and cakes the stars that justified skippers decision to bowl first.
The silver foxes were sent out to blunt the opposition openers, with Mark and Mike showing the full face of their respective weapons.
Mark perished chasing a wide one, and Jay made his way to the middle
Mike then departed and Dave joined Jay to face a dangerous looking bowling attack.
However scoring opportunities were limited, and at 20 overs the Curdridge innings had reached 55-2.
Dave then was caught looking to advance the rate, bringing Jack to the crease who blended block with biff before finding the one man in the deep.
Jay will need to cancel his modelling engagements this week, as he managed to top edge one into his swede. A bit of claret and a nice egg on the side of his head meant he had to retire hurt.
Skipper made his way to the middle and decided an early finish for bonus beer time was required, crashing a few boundaries supported by the Salmon and Tav as Curdridge reached the target with 6 overs to spare.
Possibly Curdridge’s best performance of the season with fine fielding backing up tight bowling, together with sensible batting and the Machine now sits two months unbeaten.
Next week is massive, with a visit to old foes Netley who sit top of the table, in a must win game for both sides in the race for promotion.
Man of the Match: The entire team could make a case this week, but no standout performance so this weeks award go to the ladies of the Bollard Family for their efforts baking the best tea of the year so far.
Champagne Moment: Jay took a good one on the boundary but the key catch was Punter to dismiss the dangerous opposition captain.
Donut of the Day: Skipper will be munching through a multi-pack this week with a couple bits of fielding that didn’t quite match the standard set by the rest of the side.