SATURDAY XI v LOCKS HEATH 3rds - 1st July 2017
This weeks match report is sponsored by ‘Fat Country Ted’, who are playing in Piers Ockenden’s barn on Friday 14th July. This is your clubs summer fundraiser - comprising an evenings entertainment from one of the South Coast’s premier bands, a gourmet hog roast courtesy of Señor Hillier, and a guaranteed good night. Tickets are £20 per head - available from all reliable club officials, and failure to purchase one will result in a club fine of £25! Please bring a friend, and if you haven’t got any then buy an extra ticket anyway and try and find one to bring along!
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On to Saturday’s matters and Curdridge made the trip to local rivals Locks Heath on Saturday with a much changed side following a series of ‘unavailabilities’. John Edwards (Tutu fitting appointment), David Janes (Whiplash following an accident at Mr Spandex UK), Dan Clark (parent duty) and Al Bollard (Pace setter for the first stage of the Tour de France), meant a much changed Curdridge side went into battle.
In came Simon ’Big Rig’ Pitter, Matt ‘Costa’ Cozens and Nev ‘Oz’ Kratzmann, who were joined by Sian ‘sponsored by Mount Gay Rum’ Edwards, who was returning from a working holiday in Barbados.
Royal Victoria Country Park was the venue, and a good crowd of picnics were treated to a familiar sight as skipper lost the toss and was asked to have a bat.
The youngsters, Nev and Tav started up, and a promising start was swiftly brought to the end when Nev got a dubious decision and was asked to retire the pavilion. Tav also had a short stay at the crease, needing to get back to his BK special which was getting cold back in the shed, and skipper made his way to join up with Sian in the middle.
Steady progress followed as a rebuild job was required, and the ship was righting itself before Sian was unlucky to play on, bringing ‘the Wall’ (Chris Vickery) to the crease, with the scoreboard at 20-3 and the visitors were in a spot of bother.
Sensible batting followed as the opening bowlers were blunted before gentle progress was made, and a significant partnership flourished as a mixture of good judgement, picking the bad ball, and some old fashioned ‘biff’ got the scoreboard moving.
Twenty overs and another hundred partnership passed before Chris lost his wicket as the accelerator was bring pressed. The Postman (Jack), showed some promise with several good shots disappearing to the boundary before a top edge finished his contribution and Fieldsy bought out his experience and dispatched a few more to the fence as Curdridge pushed on.
Three ‘two’s’ in a row then bought the skipper close to declaring, as his engine was running on empty, and the innings was entering the final overs before he finally departed for a patient 71.
The lower order wagged and added a few more, the highlight being a Matt Cozens ‘three’ that left the artificial track smoking with the pace of the big lad’s wheels as he turned on the afterburners.
The innings closed on a competitive 169-8 and gave Curdridge something to bowl at.
Tea done, and Curdridge went to work with Del and Tav opening up, and the first wicket arrived with Mike Punt taking a fine catch at mid-on off the bowling of Tav, and this was soon followed up by Del with the dangerous number three trapped in front.
Tav then had one bowled and Del claimed another following a lighting bit of keeping from Jack, taking a rising ball down the leg side before whipping off the bails to stump the batsman who had only momentarily left his crease.
A decent partnership then built as skipper rotated his bowling options. Sian rolling her arm over with a decent spell of leg-spin, the machine Jon Fields slinging down his seamers and Mike Punt were all given a roll without success until Skipper decided enough was enough and he employed his right arm junk. Three balls in and the breakthrough was delivered but not before Lock’s Heath were approaching the target score and despite another wicket from young Jon Fields, the home side reached their goal with a few overs to spare.
A really spirited effort from Curdridge who did themselves proud but ultimately came up a few runs short, and their lead at the top of the table has been cut.
Next week: Solent Rangers at home - 2pm, get down the club and support the boys as they start ‘the streak’ again.
Man of the Match: A lack of alternatives means the Skipper is claiming it for his ‘right the ship’ knock.
Champagne Moment: In most weeks Matt Cozens powering down the track running a third would be a strong contender, but the classiest piece of cricket on show was the stumping from Jack Keogh - top keeping son!