Twyford gathered early at the Phoenix for their longest journey of the season to Aldershot, a team so unsure of their county location that three of their teams play in the Thames Valley League and the other two in the Hampshire league!
Both skippers and teams had agreed to an early start due to an important football match going on somewhere, isn’t it the cricket season? Yet another friendly toss up resulted in Twyford inserting the home team.
Twyford, missing four key personnel, fielded a very youthful side plus an old head in Bobby Smith, making his first appearance in 3 years. Ducker having passed the test of finding the ground on his own, seemed very fired up on an M25-esque wicket. It was not long before a breakthrough was made. Pace and swing at Regional two level is very unusual and the Aldershot batsmen found it difficult to get even a bat on the opening Ducker salvo, skipper and keeper Moreland standing around 20 yards back. Openers Burnett and Taylor played just a couple of scoring shots between them before being removed LBW first-ball and bowled respectively (with leg stump cart-wheeling out of the baked base). At 45-6, with Paine getting in on the act with an LBW and removing Shots skipper Harris who played on chasing a wideish delivery, Aldershot were in serious trouble.
Youngsters Morten and Brown had other ideas and with Ducker running out of steam the two stabilised the innings, admittedly riding their luck with chip shots and a few midfields bouncing to the boundary fence. Bance replaced Paine for his first bowl this season and hoping for no adverse reaction from the troublesome shoulder. Brennan replaced Ducker and found conditions difficult, unable to get in to his usual rhythm, Paterson replacing him with his own form of twirlers.
A fine partnership was finally curtailed when Brown tamely chipped a short ball back to Paterson before Bancey took a low caught and bowled; Morten having reached his 50, exhausted his luck. Paterson then removed the remaining 2 batsmen, Aldershot reaching 142 all out, respectable after their troublesome start but well below par on such a good wicket with short boundaries.
Tea taken (including jelly beans) whilst watching Aldershot 1st XI playing Falkland 2nds on the main square.
Smith and Moreland opened up and clearly Moreland wanted to ensure he had plenty of time to beautify himself ahead of the Reading University Summer Ball the same evening, Moreland’s first scoring shot disappearing out of the ground into the waterworks straight over the bowler’s head. Twyford’s openers looked in excellent form, Smith showing no signs of being out of the game for years. With the score at 59 and with the batsmen in no trouble whatsoever Smith was run out taken a second, seemingly turning like the Ark Royal to try and make it home. Twyford one down.
Bance joined Moreland and both respecting the good deliveries, were brutal on anything loose. With six needed, Bance was caught for 47 at gully cueing a half-hearted and jovial “send-off” having received a number of overenthusiastic appeals in the proceeding overs. With 6 runs needed to win, Moreland assured batting partner Lee Nicholas that he wouldn’t finish it with one shot. Two balls later, Moreland drove a half-volley into the fields over long off, finishing on an almost faultless 69 not out.
A good victory in a game that could have been a potential banana skin for Twyford. Well done to all of the lads, special mention to Tom Andrews, Lee and Robert Nicholas who fielded credibly throughout . Credit goes to Mike McKenzie for his encouragement throughout and also his daughter… for scoring during the game.
The usual thanks to umpire Nobby for putting up with us all!
Whilst heading to the changing rooms and cars, the 1st XI game had been suspended with Aldershot’s bowler having dislocated his shoulder, unfortunately he had been on the ground awaiting an ambulance for 45 minutes, we all hope he recovers quickly.
Off to the Phoenix for a few Summer Lightning’s . I am told under good authority that Moreland and Ducker made it ‘til 6am at their Summer Ball, clearly not enough energy was spent on the cricket field…
Twyford win by 8 wickets and maintain a strong 2nd place in the league, separated from next week’s opponents Langley Manor by just 0.10 points.
Aldershot IV 142 all out
G. Morten 57
T. Ducker 4-25
N. Moreland 69*