After a late flurry of withdrawals on the Friday and last-minute phone-calls, a full team turned out for the first match of the season on a cold and sunny afternoon. The pitch was unseasonably dry and hard and the only eyesore in sight at Snowy’s beautifully kept ground – the pavilion - welcomed the usual mixture of old, young, new, wise and inept.
To continue last years form, the Young Gaffer lost the toss and Saxton were put in to bat. The Old Master Bob set off at a steady rate, but soon lost his young opening buddy, Alex, to some accurate bowling from one of the elder statesmen of Wighill. Not long after, the OM was tempted and caught for a respectable 24. From then on it was a steady stream of single figure innings, with the usual notable exceptions of the YG and Nige. The YG in particular looked set for the rest of the innings, but was happy with his first 50 of the season – it’s always handy when the umpire forgets to signal the byes.
The only highlight near the tail-end was seeing Snowy back at the crease, starting with a lovely light touch to the leg-side short boundary, though he tried to start the season where he left off a year ago by running out Tyson – but Tyson appears to have finally learnt that he can say NO! to Snowy.
The innings ended on a respectable but slightly disappointing 153, but then I can remember when Saxton 2nds celebrated if they limped over 100.
The two Wighill openers set off on the chase in a fairly determined manner, but were held back by some tight bowling from Boysey, who rued the early season teflon-hands behind the stumps and at slip. After a couple of wickets to the slightly wild, but occasionally excellent newcomer Stuart, the opening bat Kevin continued to lose partners to Chris and Alex. Chris was much-improved now that the enthusiasm (or testosterone) levels appear to be under control and he isn’t going for pace at the expense of accuracy. Alex simply flummoxed the batsmen with his deceptive deliveries tempting mistake after mistake.
At the drinks break, Nige relinquished the keeper's gloves to the Young Pretender, Jamie. Unfortunately, it turned out that there weren't too many overs left to display his undoubted gymnastic skills....
Because it wasn't long before the YG decided it was time to show the kids how it’s done and bowled a maiden, culminating in the dismissal of the stubborn opener to a cracker of an overhead catch from Harry at mid-on. Good job he’s grown a bit over the winter. Not wanting to ruin figures of 1 for 0, the YG felt he could afford to relax and give away a few runs, so Tyson got the surprise call-up, with Harry ready to take over from the other end.
Four balls, two runs and two wickets later, it was all over. Shortly after that, it was all over the Greyhound taproom.