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Sunshine and clear skies created the teams of Curdridge and Langley Manor at Reading Room Lane on Saturday with yet another Jon Edwards masterpiece providing a picture perfect backdrop.

Skipper lost the toss (again) and was asked to have a bowl by a youthful looking side.

Blessed with three front line opening bowlers in Steve, Del and David someone was going to be disappointed. Skipper applied the logic that as Dave only got home at 6am that morning he might take a bit of time to get into the game so Monster and Del started off.

It wasn’t long before we had the familiar sight of an opening batsman trudging back after missing a straight one from Del (4 balls to be exact).

Monster likes a challenge though and he bettered Del’s feat by removing the number 3 with his third ball cleaning up the leg stump.

This bought the opposition skipper to the crease - he soon demonstrated a liking for Del’s bowling as he proceeded to dispatch it to all parts of the ground for a brisk 31 before Del found his slower lower one and did for his middle stump.

Monster, not to be outdone then dispatched the remaining opener with a regulation catch in the slips.

Del them sent one back LBW and then the game delivered a quite unique period of 7 consecutive maidens as Del and Luke tied up the batsmen / women at both ends.

In his last over Del then picked up a fourth - standard catch by Clodey at Mid on and then another catch was delivered to finish with yet another 5-for. JUGTIME!

With the score at 53-7 Curdridge were lulled into false sense of security and slowly a steady partnership was built between the lower order batsmen. 

They were helped by some mediocre fielding - clearly Mike Punt was so excited about the football season starting that he wanted to demonstrate his skills by volleying the ball over the boundary. Chris V was so impressed that he tried the same trick a few overs later gifting the opposition runs. 

Skipper tried a few options before Jon Edwards delivered the vital breakthrough to break a partnership that delivered 52 runs to bring the score up to 104-8.

David was now tearing in and bought a filthy wicket with a wide long hop that the batsman contrived to bottom edge onto his stumps, and Jon cleaned up the innings with no more damage, Langley Manor ending on 108 all out.

Tea taken then Chris V and David strolled to the middle to begin the reply, however after a few lusty blows David missed a straight one and Alan was summoned to the crease,

Taking off where we left off last week Alan dispatched the bowling to all parts of the ground and the game looked like it was going to end in a hurry,

Chris had other ideas though and hatched a cunning plan that saw him keep the strike over after over much to the crowds amusement as Alan was left leaning on his bat at the non strikers end.

Finally Alan got back to face the bowling but only succeeded in missing a straight one that sent him back for an agricultural 39.

Skipper then made his way to the crease and utilised the same tactic of ‘biffing' before a top edge saw him depart with the score on 89.

Curdridge then started to wobble with Jack and Jon Edwards sent back in quick succession and Langley Manor started to sense an upset.

However, Clodey and Chris then put paid to that with a series of well placed boundaries to get the Machine over the line. 

A good win without playing particularly well, Curdridge will need to up their game for the trip to Paultons next week.

Man of the Match: Chris V with a match winning innings, carrying his bat to ensure the win was delivered. 
Champagne Moment: Not many to choose from today, but Jack deserves credit for walking when he nicked one.

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