It’s not ever easy writing a report following one of those days but collectively Twyford CC’s new season started poorly.

A weakened team, missing a number of key individuals including top all-rounder Alex Reidy, currently discovering himself in the Southern Hemisphere, we all hope he discovers a sense of humour, faced 2016 mid-table Div 1, Amport @ Roman Road.

The proceeding week had us struggling to have eleven available and some last minute campaigning by Ducker led us to his old school buddy, Guy Taylor.

After last year’s opening salvo at Overton, where we decided to bat on a wicket that looked flat and quick but was a little more tricky than that, the skip, newly promoted to Professor of yeast, keen on no chat with the Oppo skipper, lost the toss but wasn’t unhappy to be having a bowl.

Ducker and Paine junior opened up for the newly promoted Ford and it was soon clear that this was a good wicket particularly with pace on. We removed both openers quickly, one run out by the Bance, Moreland, Matt Paine trio and then Matt getting one to shape back in and knock back middle. It was here that our day started to take a turn. Amport’s number 3 clearly was about 5 divisions too low for his abilities, regardless our bowlers simply fed his strengths and we could not contain him. In the sixth over, Amport were 58-2. Amport spokesman, head of sledging and number 4, also looked in superb touch and took pleasure in smashing anything full to the boundary.

In the ninth over we finally worked out that a short delivery might be worth a go, resulting in Amport’s number 4 skying the ball, well caught by Mike McKenzie. Their number 3 continued to smash us to all parts. Experience, in the form of John Paine stemmed the flow and we were back in the game, Paine snaring the tall character, brilliantly caught by Bobby on the boundary (with the dancing shoes on).

Amport’s overseas Kiwi continued the onslaught at one end but wickets were beginning to tumble with John Paine very effective, pace off the way. Extraordinarily, Amport were bowled out for 221 in the 27th over, Paine senior taking a deserved 5-42. The last wicket taken by Ducker needs some note, a one handed, wonder catch by Moreland, surely nothing better will be caught this season. Our bowling figures were a little untidy. Paine Junior 2-80 off of his allotted and Ducker 2-57 off of 8.

We had a sniff of a chance having fought back well, but there was underlying sense from a few players that we did not have enough batting to chase this total down, not by your reporter though. Good tea had by all and out to face the music. Bance and Smith the lefties to start the chase.

Amport, opened with two spinners, Amport’s number 4 bat, left arm over and sporting bright yellow cricket boots.. I am going to say little more as it might sound like sour grapes! He was a decent bowler, varying pace line and length and Bancey in particular without pace on was struggling to get much away, the pitch seemingly offering varying bounces at slower pace.

Both opening bowlers offered little, the highlights a towering six by Nobby junior the only shot of note by him and a Caribbean straight drive by Bob. Bancey and Smith survived to the twelfth over when a seemingly good single had the openers confused, stop/start, Bance run out a yard short.

Once Bobby had departed only Moreland offered a glimmer of hope and Wyatt Brennan looked comfortable driving down the ground. Our first game in Div 1 NW ended quickly with 4 wickets falling in as many overs.

Special note to young Ralf Fetherstonhaugh, playing his first competitive men’s game, he did very well at mid off during the barrage and equally played a couple of good shots. Also, to Guy Taylor who played at such short notice and traveled a good few hours just to play.

We set off to the Phoenix, a little down in the dumps, knowing that Summer Lightning was on the drinks menu, sadly that was not the case and capped a slightly depressing and a day to put down to experience.

We picked ourselves up with some excellent chuntering in the pub courtyard, particular Nick Ranger who was up for a game of innuendo bingo. Our star of the day was Fin McKenzie who managed to score throughout and still do some Biology, Geology, Geography or whatever it was revision. Far too cerebral for 99.9% of our players!

We will regroup and be more competitive next week and ensure that we keep things positive, it’s a blip.

Amport II – 221 all out
D. Holewell 90
J. Paine 5-42

Tywford – 94 all out
E Hall 4-15

Twyford lost by 127 runs


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