SATURDAY XI v Salthill - 21st July 2018
Match reports have taken a few weeks off as skipper has been recovering from his recent cosmetic surgery.
Four weeks have passed where results have been good, bad and ugly, but Curdridge were sitting comfortably in the top half of the table at the start of the day.
Saturday brought a tough assignment for the lads as Salthill were the visitors to Reading Room Lane and sitting second in the table, with only one loss to their name all season.
The first battle for the skipper was to fill in the Grand Canyon. Despite the best efforts of Jon Edwards and his band of helpers, the recent tropical weather enjoyed by the Costa del Curdridge had left the pitch with significant cracks at either end on a Del Candy length and the game was in danger of not going ahead.
Cue a call to the groundsman and the advice was make some mud pies, stick them in the cracks and hope for the best.
All hands to the pump to get the pitch, ground, pavilion ready and we were finally ready to roll at the stroke of 1, with areas of the track looking distinctly Caribbean.
It was definitely a toss to win, and skipper did what he does best (lost) so was asked to have a bat on the recently finished masterpiece.
Craig and Jack took station and immediately got the scoreboard ticking before Craig perished, trying a repeat of a six into St Peters Close but only serving to dispatch the ball straight back to the bowler.
Jack played some quality shots before one stopped on him and he was caught and David got a similar result playing defensively to one that lifted and after five overs the pitch had contributed to 3 wickets.
Jay and new boy Mike then built a partnership, and demonstrated that with the right patience and shot selection, steady accumulation was the order of the day, putting away the bad balls which saw Mike in particular enjoying going on the pull before he got a good one bringing skipper to the crease with the score at 70-4.
A month off clearly showed as skipper played the majority of his first 5 overs with the edge of his bat (or just wearing them on his body), much to the bowlers frustration as they toiled away.
Meanwhile Jay moved up a gear and played some cracking shots picking off the bad balls and finding a way to keep out the good ones. Running was also a challenge with a fair amount of yes, yes, NO! keeping the fielders interested.
The partnership grew and Jay made his way to an excellent fifty before succumbing to a top edge, and skipper was dispatched by a fine catch at point bringing new recruit Ryan and Radio Tav to the crease.
A mixture of wafts and whacks through the last 10 overs built the score further and as the innings closed, Curdridge had pushed the score onto 176-6, which given the conditions, and against one of the leagues best bowling attacks, this was a fine effort with contributions all down the order.
A fantastic Janes family tea was dispatched (hope the pork pies weren’t stolen Mrs Janes!), and a fired up Curdridge took to the field.
Del and his great, great grandson Tav took the opening overs, and the batsman were watchful early on whilst putting away the bad ball.
Dots were joined by Del, and pressure told with the opener eventually producing an ugly swipe across the line which sent the ball straight up and Jack did the rest to make the early breakthrough.
Banter then came to the party, as the batsman was being unsettled by the pace of Del’s approach to the wicket. Cue a stand-off with Del rushing to the crease and the batsman taking guard at the last second, bringing a few comments from the masses. The batsman clearly lost the mental battle here through as the very next ball he served up a simple catch to Dave at mid-on. Giggles all round!
Tav then enjoyed being dispatched for consecutive fours, which got him a bit hot under the collar. The Moobster used his frustration to generate the yard of extra pace which was far too much for the opposition skipper, and his middle stump was removed from the ground. Joy all round until Tav pulled out a send-off which made Joe Root’s ‘mike drop’ look cool.
Two balls later and an action replay with the number 4 bat having his stumps dismantled by Hampshire’s fastest bowler and the visitors were staring down the barrel of a shock defeat at 40-4.
A new partnership was then growing before a Dimmock / Keogh special play. Full toss from Dimmy’s darts found the bottom edge and a stunning take behind the sticks from Jack bought wicket number 5.
A bit of punishment following for Luke with back to back sixes but the coolest kid in town had the last laugh with the biffer serving up a steepling chance to mid-on. Skipper had the lucky ticket and used his breasts to great effect before snaffling the chance at the third juggle.
New boy Mike then got in on the act with another caught by Jack, and Curdridge were well into the Salthill tail.
Final wickets were served up by Dimmy and Punter, the latter with a suburb catch in the deep from Dave, and the shell shocked visitors had been dismantled for 91 all out.
A really strong all round display by the Machine, showing just how good a side we can be on our day. Good contributions by all assembled meant we completely outplayed the opposition in batting, bowling and fielding.
23 points means we are now up to sixth in the table, and with a good opportunity to progress higher when we visit bottom of the table IBM next week.
Man of the Match: Lots of contenders this week, honourable mention to Jack for some cracking stuff behind the stumps but this weeks winner is Jay, showing he is a Grinder expert with an excellent 57 that held the innings together.
Champagne Moment: Getting a game on was a strong contender, but Jack takes it for his full toss catch standing up to the sticks.
Donut of the Day: Only one winner here, Tav takes it for his selection of send offs - some work to be done before next week mate.