On a glorious afternoon at the legendary cradle of cricket the might of the Rioteers took on the Brigands. VC Bickford was again in charge and successfully called the coin toss and elected to field, no doubt in the hope that the Rioteers could follow the successful run chase of the week before at Bramshaw.
Rioteers opening bowlers were the seasoned Williams and the extremely seasoned Hall. Both started right on the money and the Brigands openers were beaten on numerous occasions. Hall then produced a beauty that nipped back and made of mess of the opener’s stumps. Brigands then progressed steadily until Williams produced a rare half volley then was dispatched back past Bickford at short mid off…. or was it? Like an aged Salmon desperately straining up river to reach the spawning grounds one last time Bickford flew to his right and plucked the ball out of thin air.
Brigands then progressed steadily with the openers being replaced by Wood and Harrison “one boot” Hill. With Hill bowling a tight line the Brigands looked to get after Wood. But that was their mistake as their No.3 blasted a ball (“going like a tracer bullet” to quote Wood) through midwicket where Hawthorne stuck his right hand out and snared a catch to rival Bickford’s early effort. Brigands then continued to accumulate steadily. Other highlights for the Rioteers included a sharp stumping by Brazier S and by his own assessment three tidy and unlucky overs by Brazier R. Needham also bowled a tidy spell and Harrison Hill despite the borrowed shoes again bowled very well snaring one wicket and being unlucky with other shouts. Brigands declared with their total at 201-5.
Tea was again excellent with the homemade Strawberry cake being a particular highlight.
Rioteers opened with skipper Bickford and Brazier S. Bickford departed relatively early and was replaced by Needham. An excellent partnership then developed with both players passing 50 and the 100 partnership. Needham then departed for 51, an excellent maiden Rioteers fifty. He was replaced by Stafford who unfortunately got a good one first up. He was replaced by Hawthorne who calmly stroked the hat trick ball to the cover boundary. Another good partnership developed until with about 30 required Hawthorne managed to miss a straight one and was bowled for 27. Wood then strode to the wicket and progressed at a run rate of 2 per ball (out second ball for 4). He was then replaced by Williams who played a beautifully paced cameo of 20 not out and in conjunction with Simon Brazier’s excellent 81 not out saw Rioteers to another fantastic victory on the first ball of the final over.
The team then repaired to the Bat and Ball pub to celebrate another Rioteers victory.