Rioteers v. Hursley Park Sunday XI, 21 May 2023

The Rioteers came into this game with a season record of WWW (WWWWW if you include the last two games of the 2022 season). Would they continue their run of form?

Two days out there were problems. Injury meant the team sheet was down to 8 men. Arrangements for tea were looking uncertain. How would the Rioteers manage…? Captain Campbell to the rescue! He found youngsters Tom and Zac to debut for us. And understanding the importance of a good tea for optimum Rioteer performance, he started baking! George found a second Hugo for the team and we were up to 11.

Our hosts kindly let us bat first as Campbell and Greg were delayed. Simon and Martin opened, with George at number 3. All started well, each suggesting the possibility of a big score, but Simon (14) and George (22) were both caught trying to hit out, and Martin (31) was run out. The early middle order came and went quickly and it was left to Alfie (top scorer with a beautifully paced 40) and Hugo Prince to stabilise the innings. Princey’s bat was making nice contact with the ball, until he overstretched clubbing a ball to the leg side, sustaining a side strain severe enough to need to retire hurt on 17. Following an elegant, but all too brief innings from Cledders, the second Hugo (Andrae) joined Alfie, and between them they accelerated the Rioteers to a decent total. Hugo was unbeaten on 27, joined at the end by Campbell for a 3 ball 11 n.o. Rioteers 206 for 8 at tea.

Thank you Campbell and Greg for the delicious cakes and sandwiches, and to Hursley Park for tea and hosting.

The Rioteers declared at tea. Consistently good bowling from the youth section (Zac, Tom, Greg and Alfie – who I understand is still only 17) kept the Hursley score under control and wickets fell at intervals, but at 115 for 3, and the Hursley’s two outstanding batsmen on the day Sharma and T. Flynn looking good, the Rioteers streak of wins looked about to end…

In steps the more experienced section of the bowling attack. Hugo A., Campbell and George subdued the middle order, leaving Martin to come in to bamboozle the tail with flight and guile, assisted by smart work behind the stumps by Alfie and clean up with the glory of bagging a fourfer. Hursley 174 all out.

Thank you Hursley Park for hosting and lending us a fielder.

Well done Rioteers. WWWW for the season so far.

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