Forgive any inaccuracies as your newly appointment reporter is in severe pain today (Sunday!).
A 1pm meeting for the team at a beautiful looking Hunter Park, with a shabby dawdling appearance by the club umpire via South West Trains First class service @ 1.45pm.
The first shock of the day was delivered by skipper Moreland, when the in form Andy Thorne was made 12th man for the day, Thorne the week before had helped steer Twyford from a sub 100 score to respectability. The one positive of this axing was the demotion to 13th man of Mike McKenzie, peace and tranquility restored to Hunter Park.
Moreland was pacing, looked to be in two minds over what to do if he were to win the toss. Luckily the mature brains trust were on hand to guide the skip, the square looking slightly moist but in excellent condition.
Bat first, runs on board… toss won.
East Woodhay coming off of a huge win scoring 320-4 last week at their exquisite Malverelys ground, were looking to maintain their perfect start and soaring table position.
Moreland opened with Twyford’s very own Peter Pan, Kevin West, after a morning earning a few shillings on the golf course. The openers tried in vain to get on top of the accurate opening bowlers, who both swung the ball. Sadly Moreland and West failed to fill the rows on the scoresheet. At 26-2, Alex Reidy and Jon Bance were once again looking to stabilise the innings following the previous week’s troublesome start.
Resolute defence and brutal hitting, the brutal bit being Reidy, as Bance appeared not to be able to hit the ball off of the square, were the order of the day as the upper-middle ordered slowly began to get on top of East Woodhay. The running between the wickets coupled with a plethora of boundaries put the visitors on the back foot and Woodhay really had no answer for the right-left partnership. Bance comically calling for an ancient relic in the form of an old bat, as the current stick was “about 4lbs too heavy”. Reidy, having failed to reach a century in previous years with a high score of 95, managed to reach his maiden Twyford century thanks to a single down the ground… Or maybe the next ball when he crunched it to cover. Pandemonium in the scorers box meant that Reidy probably reached his 100 the ball before his teammates applauded it. A large crowd at Hunter Park had witnessed a real treat as Reidy’s century was simply brilliant. He barely mistimed a shot, his sublime innings including a serious of crunching cover drives to the allotment fence. Bance, who had finally got to grips with the pace of the wicket and the bowling crawled to a century, although not without it’s highlights – punishing bad balls at will, whilst respecting good deliveries and enjoying the flamboyance at the other end. When the partnership was finally broken, 241 runs had been realised, a magnificent effort and records sent tumbling. Reidy caught well by captain Chapman in the deep for 149. Bance followed shortly after for 119. With 3 overs left Will Paterson and Lee Nicholas, through excellent running, moved the score on to 307-4, ending with a comical all-run 4 when the ball only reached silly mid off. It really summed up the contrast in fortunes of the two teams.
An excellent tea was had by all, Tom Ducker’s legendary Coronation Chicken sandwiches causing a large queue to form. Thanks to Kate and Janet Bance for washing up (Painer, it was not ever in doubt!).
Ducker and John Paine opened up as Woodhay began their response. Despite a quiet and military medium opening over from Ducker, cleverly associated by the brains trust to a late night stop over by the pace bowler’s girlfriend, Ducker in his next few over’s ripped out the heart of the Woodhay top order with 3 quick wickets, one snaffled by keeper Moreland.
Paine bowled tidily to frustrate at the other end ensuring the building of pressure. John, of course, used this opportunity to unleash his full repertoire of deliveries. He assures me we saw the googly, slower ball, shooter and cutter in a tidy 5 over spell yielding just 10 runs. Reidy replaced Paine and the ever improving Brennan, Ducker. Brennan was quick to snaffle a wicket bowling East Woodhay’s number 5 with a gorgeously flighted and spinning delivery, rearranging the batsman’s furniture after sneaking through bat and pad. A period of stabilisation followed with Woodhay’s skipper Chapman and Batchelor, who had bowled very well during Twyford’s innings (the only bowler not to have 20/20 looking analysis) playing respectably and punishing anything loose. Both looked to be well set particularly going after Brennan and Simon Bance, his first spell for Twyford. Will Paterson took up the mantel from the Forest end/Basketball courts end/Far end (whatever you want to call it!), initially bowling short, but beginning to settle into some sort of rhythm.
It took a touch of brilliance to break the partnership, however. Batchelor, calling Chapman through for what looked like an achievable if not slightly tight single, lost his batting partner when Simon Bance at short cover turned and produced a dead-eye bullet throw removing middle stump, the umpire confirming that the batsmen was a good few yards short with bat in the air.
Once Batchelor was removed for an excellent 50, bowled by Ducker, the tail neither threatened to wag or indeed to even trouble the scorers’ pens, Paterson cleaning up with three wickets, whilst having a further two denied by a couple of tired looking dropped catches.
A superb 183 run win for Twyford, taking maximum points.
Special thanks to Andy Thorne and Nobby Bance for doing a superb umpiring job, to the groundsman Matt Riley for a beautiful looking Hunter Park and a very good square.
A few pints were consumed afterwards with the McKenzie clan rejoining the victorious Twyford team.
Away to Littleton & West Hill II next week as Twyford look to win their third game out of three.
A. Reidy 149
J. Bance 119
East Woodhay II 124 all out
A. Batchelor 50
T. Ducker 4-13
W. Paterson 3-32