With some cloud cover and uncertain conditions Henley on winning the toss asked Finches to bat first. Openers Greg Smith and Ollie Soames took charge of the early match by hitting 70 in the first 10 overs. The fine stroke play of Ollie Soames then ended at 70 being bowled by Harry Jordan for 46 his innings containing 11 fours. When skipper Dan Lincoln was caught on the mid wicket boundary it was 93 – 2.
Greg Smith continued his fine strokes to put on 73 with Billy Rogers until Rogers was stumped off spinner Euan Woods. After a rain stoppage at 44 overs Greg Smith on resumption saw his century reached then caught off Euan Woods at 209. His magnificent innings of 104 contained a six and 16 fours. Finches continued to seek runs with the main assistance of 45 from Ryan Bone. At the 63 overs closure a good 298 – 9 score was set by Finches.
Another rain stoppage between innings saw a reduction of 10 overs for Henley so only 45 overs to bat. Un deterred openers Mike Roberts and Matt Rowe set about the bowling. They put on 115 in 22 overs with fine stroke play. Then another rain stoppage saw a further 10 overs reduction so little prospect of a result in the match.
With fielders a plenty in the deep Finches did gain a wicket as Mike Roberts fell at 130 for his good 68. But the match prospects having been offset by the rain stoppages meant the closing overs saw Finches trying to tempt false strokes to vainly seek a wicket or two. They failed as Matt Rowe completed his century in the last over to leave Henley at 207 – 1 and Matt Rowe on 100 not out.
So quite unsatisfactory closing stages of the match but the innings spoilt by the rain stoppages. What could have been a run chase giving a really good challenge foe Henley ended in the draw.
All four TVCL sides saw action.
At Finchampstead Henley Seconds were visitors in division 2B. Batting first Finches collapsed after a promising start to be dismissed for 138. Only Richard Reed 29, Mike O’Donahue 26 and Matt Eldridge 24 troubled the scorers. Henley romped home at 139 – 3 with Rodri Lewis hitting 56 not out.
The Thirds in division 3A hosted Sulhampstead & Ufton Firsts. The visitors were 198 – 7 at closure with Liam Bulteel taking 4 – 40. Finches chased the score but fell short by 35 runs all out for 163. There were good batters in Scott Osler 44 and Tom Wroot 40.
The Fourths faced Sonning Seconds in a tough away fixture. Sonning batted first and closed on 251 – 5. Finches drew the match totalling 182 – 9. They were indebted to skipper Chris Ward hitting a fine 104 .
In division 8A the Fifths hosted Royal Ascot Fourths. After being asked to bat first Finches totalled 224 with Dave Higginson hitting 74. The visiting Royal Ascot were dismissed for 136 so a comfortable 88 run win. Brandon Mahadeo returned 3 – 25.
REPORT BY NEIL DOODY