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Curdridge returned to Reading Room Lane on Saturday looking to bounce back from the previous weeks slip up. In came the heavies as  David, Dan C, Alan and Nick H made up a strong looking 11. 

Solent Rangers were the visitors and the ground was again a picture with the only blemishes being a few crevasses in the surface, caused by the recent hot weather - some Jon Edwards magic soon got rid of these.

Skipper then broke with tradition and won the toss before choosing to have a bat.

In went Dan and Dan, and then shortly after Dan and Dan returned both missing their middle stump and causing skipper to wonder whether batting first was the right decision.

Dave and Nick then righted the ship with some sensible batting, Nick in particular rolling back the years with his late cut specials and David mixing biff with bang to get the scoreboard motoring.

What had looked like a difficult start was soon looking like a good one as Nick built his score into the thirties whilst David raced past fifty.

David continued to dish out pain to the bowlers, aided by some indifferent fielding from the Rangers who were all suffering with holes in their hands as a series of boundaries went straight through them. 

There was one inspired piece of fielding in particular as Dave misjudged one and sent the ball straight up. The fielder positioned himself underneath it and managed to drop it and whilst it dribbled away from him Dave and Nick snuck two runs. The fielder then completed his contribution by hurling the ball back to the stumps but he doing so he bypassed his colleagues and the ball raced away to the boundary, giving Dave 6 runs from a ball that should have brought an end to his innings.

Nick was then caught and skipper made his way to the middle and leant on his bat at the non strikers end as Dave continued to accrue boundaries and then tap a single from every 6th ball. 

A few more overs passed before Dave made his way to three figures, back to back tons for the Welsh wonder - well batted Dafyd!

Skipper then gloved one and biffer number 3 made his way to the middle as the Bollard looked to indulge in a bit of smashee-smashee time. Alas it wasn't his day leaving Chris and Jack to accompany David on his run quest. 

Each played their support role well and Dave was able to continue to nurdle his way along and by the time the innings closed Curdridge had amassed an intimidating 280-6, and David was unbeaten with a fantastic 164 not out - Jug time!

Tea was welcomed and a fine one it was too, before Curdridge took to the field looking to put the pressure on.

Skipper temporarily faced the potential challenge of fielding with ten men as Fireman Nick was called away to a shout. He is our hero - It most be so relieving for people in their moment of strife to see the physique of Nick Hillier waddling towards them to save the day!

Tav and Del started up and the Rangers clearly understood the size of the task as they invoked their own version of biff and the scoreboard was moving on at a pace.

Step forward the housewives dream as Jon Fields took a stunner at deep mid off, with a full length dive to his left to cling onto a rocket, and break the opening partnership.

The next one for Tav soon followed with an odd dismissal, as the batsmen top edged the ball straight up in the air. Neither Jack nor the batsman knew where it was and it dropped between them before spinning back to knock off the bails and the confused batsman was bowled.

The Rangers continued to press the accelerate button though as they kept up with the stiff asking rate.

At the other end Del eventually got some reward with one well caught by Jack, and then followed it up bowling the dangerous looking batsmen.

Four down after 18 overs but with over a hundred on the board so skipper turned to Dave and Dan to stop the Rangers train.

All results were in the offing at this stage including the potential for bad light to stop play as the game had made its way well into the evening and Curdridge had to get a hurry on to get through their overs.

Dan was the then the man as a series of straight ones did for the middle order, Dave showed he is 'all round' as well with a caught and bowled followed up by the removal of an off stump as the wheels finally came off for the visitors. Clarkey cleaning up the tail with four wickets that saw the visitors dismissed for 161.

A good win for the Curdridge machine and back on track with some tough games coming up against the better teams in the league which will ultimately determine who is going to finish top of the tree.

Man of the Match - only one contender this week, well batted Dave, top knock!

Champagne moment - A few contenders this week with one taking place after the game as Del Candy was spotted driving his car from one end of the car park to the other to reduce the amount of walking required when he tottered home - he must have left all of his energy out there on the pitch!

However this weeks Champagne Charlie is Jon Fields for a brilliant catch that stopped the Rangers openers in their tracks. 

Next week - a tough trip to Portsmouth who sit right behind us in the league.

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