SATURDAY XI v RAILWAY TRIANGLE - 16th July 2016

Curdridge made the trip to Langstone Harbour on Saturday to face a mid table Railway Triangle side. 

Back on a roll following a good win over Bedhampton, confidence was high - that was until skipper lost the toss and for the first time this year we were asked to bat first. Cue a sea of concerned faces as the well oiled 'bowl first' machine was faced with the prospect of setting a target. 

This also set the tone for the skippers day which was not to go to plan.

First up Curdridge’s oldest swingers in town - Chris V and Nick, made their way to the middle and set about building a steady partnership. This was until Chris was surprised by a straight one that left his poles out of the ground. 

This meant Mick joined his brother in the middle for what was to be one of the longest innings he has played in recent times. 

The telepathic communication between the twins meant a series of quick(ish) singles until a local Pompey sniper picked out Mick’s calf and left him even less mobile than he normally is. Despite a brave attempt to carry on (lasting one ball), Mike hobbled off the pitch in search of anyone who would rub it better.

Skipper marched to the middle keen to steady the ship and avoid any further losses. His face was a picture then as Nick chased one that was as wide as the popping crease and lobbed it into the hands of cover. 

Experience was called for and Jon Edwards was just the man - Skippers advice was 'just take it easy for ten overs Jon and let’s see where we get to, nothing stupid!’ 

Next ball the skipper needlessly chased a wide one and guided it straight to the man at backward point. Part 2 of skippers bad day!

Jack was sent in and the combination of youth and experience worked a treat with some sensible batting and classy shots that soon got the innings motoring again with a solid fifty partnership.

Jon eventually holed out and Jack’s excellent knock was ended by one that turned a bit but by now the score had reached 100-5.

Solid contributions followed from Clodey’s new bat and Mike Punt before it came the turn of Mike Hillier to complete his innings. 

Sacrificing his long term fitness for the team he hobbled back to the middle with a runner to try and add a few more crucial runs. 

Unfortunately though Umpire Andy and Del have read different books on what to do with a runner and there then followed some Benny Hill style positioning of Mike that ended with a Del and Andy domestic - It must have been a frosty atmosphere on the drive home!

Del soon sorted the situation though by missing a straight one which closed the innings with Curdridge all out for 139. A below par total on a flat wicket.

Tea taken, and a fired up Curdridge set about defending their total. Del and Steve kept things tight early doors, and an early breakthrough from Del sent back the opener with his bails on the floor.

Then a solid partnership was building with Mr Blue-hat looking a particularly difficult customer to prise out.

Steve ‘powered by Monster’ Turner then got a reward for his efforts by removing the number three before a solid partnership took the opposition to 55-2 at drinks and Curdridge in a spot of bother.

Skipper turned to Clodey and Luke with Mr Blue-hat clearly the price wicket. Clodey almost got his man with a tough caught and bowled before skipper dropped one that was travelling (Bad day part 3).

Finally Mike Punt was the man as he snaffled a tricky catch in the covers to remove the Blue hat. Cue wild celebrations from Mike as the significance of the wicket was recognised.

With one end now open and scoreboard pressure mounting the task became too much for the Railwaymen and a series of catches were went into the skies which were gladly accepted.

Steve Turner has clearly negotiated a ‘catches bonus’ in his sponsorship deal with Monster as he ran fully 30 yards to take a skier which came down exactly where Jon Edwards had been standing all the time. Fortunately Jon heard the 16 stone juggernaut coming and stepped out the way to allow Steve to claim his catch.

Clodey was in a good rhythm now and his wobblers sent back a stream of batsman which resulted in him claiming a 5 - for. Luke also got in the act with a couple of wickets, and there was still time for the skipper to drop another catch and butcher a run out chance (Bad day parts 4 and 5) before Clodey finished the job with a straight one to finish with career best figures of 6 for 14. JUG-TIME.

This closed the innings and represented a collapse that saw 8 wickets fall for ten runs with the Railwaymen all out for 65.

Cold drinks were taken to celebrate another excellent bowling and fielding performance (from most of us).

Next week we are at home to Lock’s Heath - 2pm start.

Man of the Match - An honourable mention to Jack who rescued the Curdridge innings when it was wobbling, top scoring for the team, but the award this week has to go to Clodey 6-14 - take a bow!

Champagne Moment - Mike Punt’s Imran Tahir impression as Mr Blue Hat was finally removed, opening the door for another Curdridge win!

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