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Finchampstead CC Match Reports - 2nd September 2023

Finchampstead CC Match Reports - 2nd September 2023

Kwame Appiah4 Sep 2023 - 21:44
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Last matches of the season as Finches fielded their five sides on Saturday.

Already safe in the HCPL Division One the senior side hosted Aston Rowant.

Improving weather conditions at the Memorial Ground, so on winning the toss Rowant skipper Max Mannering elected to bat first. They did lose an early wicket, Liam Bulteel securing a slip catch in the 4th over with 20 on the board. The next 13 overs saw 60 runs put on until Guy Ashby bowled Hayden Rossouw; so 80 – 2.

The next to fall was Tom Condon, run out for a well-played 58 in the 29th over. The runs continued steadily and when the fifth wicket had fallen it was 181 – 5 in 40 overs. Liam secured both wickets – one bowled and the other lbw. At 226 the sixth was down, then at 240 it was seven. The sixth was a deep gully catch off leg spinner Mark Laithwaite then Josh Smith was caught behind for his fine 67.

Keen to gain a fifth point, Finches put on the pressure in the final two overs. They did succeed with two wickets taken by Samm Daniel for the Rowant innings to close on 249 – 9. Fine bowling by the only seamer playing for Finches, saw a return of 4 – 54 for Liam Bulteel.

A match losing poor start for Finches saw them reduced to 25 – 3 in the eighth over. All three batters - openers Tommie Predgen, Ben Moffat and on his debut, Joe Sheldon were dismissed lbw to left arm seamer Leo Bethell. By the 16th over, it was 56 – 5. Mike O’Donoghue was caught behind off a leg side delivery, then Jed Crerar was also caught behind off the second ball bowled by spinner Ben le Bas.

Seven were down at 99 and only the halfway stage with Guy Ashby lbw and Stuart Parsons stumped after scoring 32. There were good strokes played by Samm Daniel, but then after James Woodford fell at 119, the last two wickets fell in successive balls to leave Finches all out for 135 in 30 overs. Samm was left on 38 not out. For Rowant - Leo Bethell took 4 – 26.

So, a poor last match batting display. Finches finished seventh in the table three points below Henley and thirteen above Wokingham.

The four TVCL sides finalised their action. In 2B at Slough 2, the hosts were 210 all out with Abdullah Iqbal taking 3 – 37. But Finches collapsed to 82 and a loss by 128 runs. Already relegated, they play in division 3A next season.

Division 4A and visitors Purley on Thames posted 224 – 8. But Finches also lost heavily, being dismissed for 108. Jamie Brown batted well for 51. The side finished in seventh slot.

Already relegated, the Fourths in 6B visited Purley on Thames Seconds. They posted 192 – 7 with Kwame Appiah 39 and Harry King 31. They bowled the hosts out for 169 to record a welcome win by 13 runs. Max Hall took 3 – 37. The side play in division 7a next season.

In 9a the Fifths needed a win at Bradfield Seconds to avoid relegation with the bottom two sides immediately below them playing each other. Bradfield totalled 204 – 9 with Lewis O’Donoghue 5 – 30 and Rob Cooper 3 – 14. Finches valiantly came within 13 runs to be 191 – 7. Jack Spooner 56 and Rui Wright 51 led the batters. So, the third relegation and the side to play in division 10B next season.

All in all, a modest season with three relegations and the Firsts and Thirds both finishing in seventh places. But every week all five sides were fielded. There must however be work ahead to register improvements next season. The very much “plus” factor are the fine grounds and wickets all summer here at Finchampstead.

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