The 2010 season started with an away fixture at local rivals Church Fenton, with the Saxton boys looking to build on last year's survival mission and push on up the league. The day commenced with the usual revelry and tales from the off season, including the most painful footlong Steak and Meatball that Lennox will ever eat, Potter and Faye becoming Siamese twins, the Wookie's increased waisttline, and how many phonecalls/emails everyone had received from the chilli addict Mr Dennison in respect of the remaining long sleeve jumpers left to sell.
Hopefully, the first hour and 47 minutes will be a sign of what is to come, with the away team, after a sluggish start reducing Church Fenton to 99 for 9, thanks in the main to a fantastic spell of 5 for 34 from the lame Beagle, Duncan Hawkins, who provided both seam and accuracy to tie the home side down, and earn an evening with Mrs Coe according to Potter. Other highlights included a tight spell from John Bear, some excellent fielding, particularly from Oringe in his favoured point position, and an unusually assured display from iron hands behind the stumps which resulted in 3 catches and only 10p in fines.
As for the rest of the afternoon.............who cares.
From the aforementioned promising position Saxton were undone by 2 batsmen whose combined age only just eclipsed half that of our new elder statesman DC. Much credit must be given to the number 10, who despite riding his luck, played a fantastically mature innings combining both grit and aggressive cricket shots. Saxton were simply unable to break the last partnership, despite the best efforts of the Wookie who feared cardiac arrest after bowling his first over since 1986. Eventually, Jeff managed to take the 10th and final wicket, but by this point the tide had turned and the home side were brimming with confidence after looking slightly down and out a couple of hours previously. Saxton on the other hand........didn't.
On a positive note the teas were fantastic, and included a lovely Banoffee pie which went down a treat, especially spread over a slice of Ham and Mushroom pizza.
Saxton's reply never really got going in all fairness, despite a positive opening between the Wookie, fresh from 10 minutes with a deffibrilator, the returning Steve Harrison, and a plethora of byes. Wickets started to tumble regularly though, Steve H and Jeff outdone by yorkers, Wookie once again bowled trying to cut a straight one, Steve Hutton......well erm to repeat his words 'i've already forgotten about that one', although the trip to the bank this week to withdraw fines money may refresh his memory somewhat. The skipper looked very fluent on his way to a positive 20 odd, but unfortunately partnerships were never built apart from a promising stand between Messrs Hill and Potter. However, it wasnt to be, JP eventually mistiming a flick to the legside, Steve finally falling to a mistimed pull from the left armer lollipopper who finished with excellent figures of 4 for 7, soon followed by DC and Smokey who once again managed to pick out the long on fielder, with Oringe following soon after. Lennox went in with the intention of losing a few balls, but only managed to lose his middle stick despite a few huge swings. 97 all out.
More practice needed, especially with the bat. First game of the season and a winning position squandered, and lessons to be learnt. Lots of positive signs though, and quite a profitable day as far as the end of season drinking session goes, mainly thanks to Gareth's new idea of fining people for actually getting wickets.
Its good to be back isnt it, although I do hope everyone is aching as much as the reporter.