SATURDAY XI v VENTNOR 3rds - 3rd June 2017
Ventnor made the trip to the mainland this week to face a Curdridge side full of confidence and looking to make it three wins on the spin. Unfortunately for the opposition they were only able to field 9 men, but this didn’t prove to be a hinderance to them as the afternoon progressed. Curdridge made a couple of changes to their side with youngster Mike Hillier making his seasons debut.
Skipper was offered the option of a bat, and on another Jon Edward’s road there was only one option. The Curdridge opening partnership was built for comfort and not for speed, as Tav and Luke took to the field. They found runs were hard to come by early doors, as tight bowling, and very slow running kept the rate down.
Eventually Tav succumbed to the pressure and lost his middle peg. It could however, have been a lot worse for Tav had groundsman Edwards Senior witnessed his next act - with frustration getting the better of him, a swipe of Tav's bat created a sizeable trench on a good length that would require some significant gardening to repair.
Luke then followed him back to the shed as he too lost his stumps, and he was rapidly followed by Chris Vickery, who clearly wasn’t in the mood for a bat - gently guiding one into the hands of first slip.
The ‘nurdlers' then made there way to the middle, with skipper and David needing to stabilise the ship, however skip managed to miss a straight one and the innings was rocking at 61-4 at the halfway mark.
Dave and Alan decided the answer was to play their natural game and for the next hour, the ball was despatched to all areas of the ground as a series of lusty blows meant no area of Reading Room Lane was safe. The scoreboard struggled to keep up with the run rate, and it was Jon Edwards who eventually bought the show to a close, deciding Alan would like to avoid a jug and judged him to be LBW for a rapid 47 and a fine partnership of 129 came to an end.
Dave kept the foot to the floor and continued his onslaught until his luck ran out as he was racing towards a century, eventually dispatched for 87. Well batted!
Jack, Mike and a Jon Edwards cameo then took advantage of the platform created and pushed the score on past 200, and the innings eventually closed on an imposing 232.
Following a fine tea, Ventnor started their innings as if they had a boat to catch, with Del being dispatched for 13 in his first over. Jon Edwards suffered similar punishment as the scoreboard rattled along well above the required rate. Curdridge’s fielding suffered under the onslaught with Tav in particular showing the skills of a matador to wave past an opportunity for an early catch.
The first breakthrough came as Dimmy swooped to take a good catch at mid-wicket off the bowling of Edwards Senior. Unfortunately this proved to be the best contribution Luke would make to fielding on the day, as a couple of drops and a nutmeg that cost four were to follow. Chris Vickery also dropped a tough chance and the batsman made the most of Curdridge’s generosity and the scoreboard was racing along.
A couple of fine catches then followed to get Curdridge back into the game, David with a diving effort in the covers that he grabbed at the second attempt, and skipper with a leaping one handed effort at mid-on. It’s yet to be confirmed whether both feet managed to leave terra firma to make the grab.
The batsmen then re-grouped and the home sides fielders continued to be under the pump. Mike Hillier in particular making a spectacular effort at point putting his 'marine build' into a slow motion roll that unfortunately took place several seconds after the ball had passed him, but got him full marks for artistic impression.
Skipper then turned to plan B and introduced David and Luke to the attack, and it was Dimmy who had an immediate impact getting the well set batsman caught behind, and followed this by bowling another. The Ventnor batsmen kept coming though and the run rate was well ahead of the required rate as the score passed 150 with the weather closing in.
David then came to the party with two wickets in an over that broke the back of the visitors innings, helped by a fine Mike Punt catch and a good grab by Jack behind the stumps. Dimmy then took the last wicket on offer as Ventnor finished on a credible 162.
A fine game, and credit to Ventnor for the fight they put up with two men short. The result was in the balance until the last 10 minutes of the game, and Curdridge will need to improve their fielding in particular if they are to continue their winning streak.
Man of the Match: Luke bowled a match winning spell with figures of 3-14 that finally turned the match in Curdridge’s favour, but the win was set up by David’s belligerent knock, and he followed that up with a catch and a couple of wickets so Dave is the MOTM this week.
Champagne Moment: The Hillier roll is this weeks winner!
Next Week: Away vs Bedhampton 3rds, another difficult fixture!