SATURDAY XI v OLD NETLEY - 20th August 2016
Curdridge welcomed an Old Netley side who were on the up having beaten the league leaders the previous weekend.
Following a couple of days of rain that left a soft looking pitch, winning the toss was going to be a significant advantage, however as is the norm, skipper dulyThe lost the coin flip and was asked to have a bat.
Experience and bulk opened up (also known as Nick and David), and a good partnership was forming against some decent opening bowing before one popped off a length to lob up off David's bat and send him back.
Al Bollard then strolled to the crease to play one of his classic innings - unfortunately this wasn't classic in a good sense, more so because we had seen it all before, first ball biff back over the bowlers head for a one bounce four, minutes later the Bollard is walking back to the hitch with the leg stump missing.
Skipper trundled to the crease with a repair job on his hands and toned down the biff coefficient to push the ball around with Nick to steady the ship. Unfortunately Nick was bowled by a good one and his doppelgänger brother waddled out, styling it out with his new sunnies despite the light drizzle that was now falling.
Again a short innings ensued and the man in form Johnny Edwards was summoned to the action. More sensible batting followed to bolster the total with a mixture of nudged singles and biffs - most of which failed to reach the boundary due to the damp, leaving skip and Jon panting like a couple of fat dogs on a hot day as all run threes and twos were necessary.
Skipper then pulled a fetlock leaving him even less mobile than normal and reducing shot selection to standing at the crease and waving the bat at the ball. This was a relief to the opposition spinner who had just fetched the ball from the kiddies playground.
Eventually Jon departed for a well made 25 and Jack came and went before skipper eventually succumbed to a very low slow one that made its way onto the stumps via a bottom edge for a decent fifty
A bit of lower order bulk and biff was then required and Clodey,Steve and Luke fitted the bill perfectly to add a few more to a reasonable total of 159-9.
Curdridge started in reasonable fashion but fielding was not at its best and a couple of early catches went down. Some things don't change though and Del was soon in the wickets hitting the stumps on a regular basis. Steve bowled well at the other end and despite the wickets falling Netley were well up with the rate.
Del managed to magic up another 5 for just before drinks - drug test required! But the game was still in the balance as it became clear that Netley batted a long way down.
Jon Edwards and David picked up 3 more wickets to keep us in the game and with 5 overs left twenty runs were needed with only 2 wickets in hand.
Unfortunately it was not to be for Curdridge as Netley found the runs required to get them over the line with 7 balls to spare.
A great game of cricket but a loss that leaves Curdridge still needing points from the last game of the season to secure the third spot that would have meant promotion (before the leagues were restructured).
All support welcome - at home 2pm start!
Champagne moment - Del Boy delivering yet another 5 for!
Man of the Match - Skipper is claiming it, if only to avoid Del winning it again!