CURDRIDGE vs FIVE RIVERS - 30th April 2022
The April weather gods were as generous as a Punter spread with another sparkling day on Saturday as Curdridge welcomed Five Rivers to the lane.
More juggling of personnel as into the side for debuts came little Craig and young Steve, and some old faces returned with Sammy flying in a few minutes late as he was busy all morning running his ‘how to quit smoking’ course, and Woodsy with some UN style negotiations to extricate himself from family commitments.
Out went Dave (starting his Transatlantic row to save the monkeys), Reece (nasty rash), Rob (Same rash?) and New Jack (no rash!)
You know the next bit, skipper lost the toss but was pleased to be given the option to have a bat.
Dom and Steve started up, but unfortunately it was a quacking debut for Steve, who departed to one that bounced a little.
Skipper then wandered out as a newly formed number three and it was deja vu from last week for the masses as a steady partnership developed - Dom finding the boundary at will and Skipper nurdling the strike back to Mr Quincey.
Drinks arrived and the scoreboard was a healthy 94-1, and with a decent platform set the plan was to accelerate.
A sight rarer than an Alan Bollard expletive then arrived as the partnership passed a hundred before Skipper got trapped plumb in front with 112 added since the first wicket fell.
Craig then made his way to the centre mixing sensible blocks and a couple of crashing boundaries for a solid contribution, meanwhile Dom managed to find the only fielder on the fence smashing a full toss down his throat to depart for an excellent 57.
Lots of quick singles were then on offer as the clubs best runners took to the middle to take the innings to a close, Punter and his Volcano chum taking the score to 206 at the close - the second week in a row that the Machine has passed 200, representing a fine effort on a track that had something in it for the bowlers.
Punters best butties were devoured before the Curdridge outfield took to the field.
Del started down the hill, and Sammy the hat opened at the car park end.
An early breakthrough was proving elusive until a swoop in the covers by Dom followed by a rocket to Alan who completed a sharp run out.
That was followed shortly after with Del getting in on the act taking the edge and both openers were in the shed.
Then a solid partnership was in place with the two batsman finding the boundary at will with both Sammy and Punter being on the end of some clubbing, and the score raced on at pace.
Drinks arrived and the scoreboard showed 115-2 with the River boys well ahead of the rate.
Mark was in the action with his twirlers but it was Skipper with the sinking feeling the he was going to need to turn the arm over.
Obviously the pre-season sitting around not doing much has done wonders though as the ball game out straight and a few that troubled the batsmen. One of the well set was eventually dispatched with a mis-hit to mid-wicket, and then another fell to a straight one, and suddenly Curdridge were in with a squeak.
Skipper then raised the tension with a run out, and then bought us all back to earth dropping a simple C&B chance, and the game was nearly up
Mark bowled out and Dom replaced him and dispatched the other well set bat within 3 balls (maybe should have been on earlier Skipper), and there were only two more wickets required.
But three balls later the opposition got over the line to win a game that was competitive throughout and could have gone either way.
A really good run out for the Machine who go into the league season with two good performances under their belt.
Next Week: First league game - away vs Solent Rangers 1pm start
Man of the Match: Dom with another great knock, 1 wicket and a run out makes a strong claim, but Skipper needs some compensation for the pain he was in on Sunday so he takes it this week with runs, wickets, run out and a dropped catch.
Champagne Moment: An Alan to Dom relay was a special bit of fielding that dispatched the opener after a DRS appeal
Donut of the Day: Sammy was adamant that Skippers drop was the donut, the cake, the fruit salad, and the Christmas Pudding, so who am I to argue