SATURDAY XI v SARISBURY 4th's - 6th May 2017
The league season commenced with a trip to Sarisbury 4ths, Stubbington Rec was the venue and obviously a tricky one to find as Nick Hillier rocked up at 10 past 2, apparently this was his brothers fault - something related to a late night at the Railway?
Skipper had lost the toss and was invited to have a bowl on a decent looking track accompanied by an outfield that still resembled the winters football pitch, with ruts in abundance and strategically placed sandpits at long off.
Del Boy started off and the normally metronomic line and length was a bit out of kilter, perhaps it was the banked approach to the wicket, or maybe it was the trip to the chiropractor in the week before where a young lady had released parts of Del that had not been loosened in years?
David started the car at the other end and also had similar struggles working up to his warp speed.
The breakthrough finally came when David's variety induced a caught and bowled opportunity which he snaffled inches from the turf.
The score moved on at a steady pace with the batsmen intent on keeping wickets in hand, and tied down by a combination of good bowling and tight fielding, Mike Punt in particular making full use of the body to stop the ball reaching the fence.
Skip turned to John and Luke and it was Edwards senior who trapped the opener who had looked set to move through the gears, with a trademark in-ducker that crashed into the pads in front of all three.
Luke bowled a good spell at the other end but the batsmen were still accumulating at the other end so David was asked to unleash his momentum to break the partnership.
Wicket number 3 arrived but that would be the last breakthrough for Curdridge as the batsmen made the most of the conditions.
The score continued to rattle along despite a decent bowing and fielding display and the innings finished on 209-3 which was about par for the track and lighting fast outfield.
Burgerking's favourites, Tav and Luke opened up, looking to produce a fast start, and some controlled batting was delivering just that until Tav departed with the stumps dismantled. Chris then employed 'the wall' to steady the ship and further good progress was made until Luke departed after a sensible knock.
Skipper then rode his luck, deciding that the edge of his bat would be best employed for his first three scoring shots, before finding the middle to despatch one into the playground. He too though would fall to the curse of the number twenty, as a unique sequence of batsmen getting a start but failing to get past the hallowed 20 followed.
Curdridge's efforts finally petered out in the face of a strong bowling attack and the innings finished on 160-9, top scorer was the postman (Mr Keogh) but no batsman went on to anchor the innings and ultimately that was the difference between the sides.
A solid performance from Curdridge in all aspects of the game, but this served as a wake up call that more will be needed in this league to get over the line.
Champagne Moment and Man of the Match: This week it is a double roll over, a good team effort with no stars and nothing of note to trigger some champagne so double points are on offer next week.
Next week we are home vs Old Netley, 2pm start, all welcome!