Wet conditions pre match resulted in a delay of 70 minutes to start the match. When starting the reduced 45 overs each Finches were asked by Buckingham to bat first.
Opene4rs Greg Smith and Tommie Predgen both batted very soundly to see the 50 up in 10 overs. By the 20th over the 100 was up. The pair put on 142 when Tommie was caught in the covers for a fine 50. Greg soon followed bowled for an outstanding 69 having mastered the conditions so well. With skipper Dan Lincoln and Toby Albert at the crease the runs continued with the pair seeing the 200 up.
At 203 Dan was caught in the deep for 26 this bringing his brother Josh to the crease. After receiving two successive wides Josh smote three sixes in a row. He perished for 24 in 7 balls but had seen 240 on the board. Toby Albert soon followed for his well struck 37 . Then wickets and flurries of runs saw Finches close the 45 overs on a very sound 275 – 8.
Finches opened the bowling with spinners James Woodford and Billy Rogers. The shrewd move paid off not only with fine early spin bowling but two crucial wickets. Opener Steve Brunning was caught playing too soon at Billy Rogers then former test player Andrew Hall did likewise to be caught and bowled by James Woodford so 22 – 2.
By the 14th over the hosts were in trouble at 45 – 4. Seamer Zak Jones bowled Lee Tomlinson in his first over then Josh Lincoln held a fine low catch to give Woodford his second wicket. Four overs later saw paceman Darren Augustus introduced to the attack. He immediately took two wickets in his first over. Firstly he had ‘keeper Jonny Cater caught behind then clean bowled Ron Rhyanmarch. So at 63 – 6 Finches were in control.
But a brave partnership between John Deal and Colin Price moved the score along by 54 runs. Then at 117 Deal was well caught by ‘keeper Simon Bell off Darren. Darren then at 125 had price dismissed by an even better catch by Simon. Fired up and bowling with real pace Darren bowled John Ell for his merited fifth wicket. The end came at 127 with Ryan Quinn taking the last wicket with 15 overs to spare.
A really fine performance all round by the team and a well merited victory. Although a real team effort singled out can be the match winning opening stand of 142 by Tommie Predgen and Greg Smith, the five wickets for 29 to Darren Augustus assisted by three fine catches behind by Simon Bell.
The usual four sides competing in the TVCL were fielded. In division 2B Finches Seconds hosted Thatcham Town Firsts. Finches posted 226 – 6 with good contributions from James Eaglesham 65, Andy Lazenbury 44 and Phil West 32. Thatcham had no answers to good Finch bowling and were dismissed for 110. Leading the bowlers was Henry Leach with 3 – 18 with two apiece for Andy Lazenbury and Sam Taylor.
At Cove Seconds in division 3A it was another win this time for Fiches Thirds. Finches totalled an impressive 273 – 4. Skipper Ian Rose led with 64 and Richard Reed 46 and Ben Simmons 47 not out. Cove were dismissed for 208 so a 65 run win. Liam Bulteel with 2 – 16 in 10 overs bowled outstandingly. There were two wickets apiece for Elliot Mitchell and Ganess Bun.
The Fourths hosted Cove Thirds in division 6B. Cove totalled 205 – 9 aided by a large extras count. Finches at 151 all out lost by 54 runs. Leading the batters was Gary Woodford with 48.
In division 8A Finches Fifths hosted Theale & Tilehurst Thirds. The visitors were 191 – 4 when heavy rain fell with the match abandoned.
NEIL DOODY 19 MAY 2019
Updated 14:30 - 28 Jun 2019 by Kwame Appiah