After asking Horspath to bat first the match started in some style ! Before ten balls had been bowled seamer Zak Jones had trapped both openers LBW so a scoreline of 3 for 2 wickets. In the sixth over Zak bowled Darren Brown and when Tom Cosford was caught in the gully off Darren Augustus it was 28 – 4 in only seven overs.
This surge of early pressure looked certain to pay dividends for Finches but this remarkably proved not to be the case. Batsmen Steve Green and Kyle Hooper settled in very sensibly and gradually remedied the position even with seven bowlers used by Finches. At the halfway stage it was 86 – 4 so 58 runs in 28 overs.
This proved to be the platform for an outstanding partnership between the two. It was only broken at 197 when Hooper was bowled b y Ryan Quinn for a very fine 93. So a partnership of 169 in 38 overs for Horspath. With four overs remaining Steve Green continued good strokes which enabled the hosts to total 239 – 5 in their 50 overs. Green ended on an outstanding 92 not out.
Finches opened with Tommie Predgen and Josh Lincoln. By the fifth over both had returned to the pavilion at 29 – 2. Tommie was trapped LBW then Josh caught in the deep. At 47 Billy Rogers was bowled then skipper Dan Lincoln with Toby Albert saw runs arrive. But at 96 Toby was run out but only 17 overs had been bowled. At the halfway stage the score was 139 so just 100 behind the score.
At 152 the fine innings of Dan Lincoln ended as he was caught at cover point for 69. Immediately Simon Bell was also caught . But Finches needed just four an over so needed to work singles and keep the score ticking along. However at 211 two more had fallen so eight down. Darren Augustus was caught at deep mid wicket then the good innings of 40 ended for Ryan Quinn when he was bowled.
Trouble arrived for at the same score Zak Jones was LBW so 29 needed and one wicket remaining. A sensible rear action by Mike O’Donahue and James Woodford saw the scores levelled amid high tension. After playing eight balls soundly Mike clipped the next ball off his toes and was caught low down at leg slip. So a tied match with nine balls remaining. Honours even in a match that of course could not have been closer.
All four TVCL sides saw action. In division 2B the Seconds hosted Bagstot Firsts. The match turned out as a decisive win for Finches. They totalled 347 – 5 with a fine 122 from Ryan Bone in his maiden match. Good support from Andy Lazenbury 59 and Phil West 57 saw the formidable total on the board. Bagshot had no answers to the score as fine bowling ensured they were dismissed for 136. Leading the bowlers were Andy Lazenbury 3 – 25, Connor Corlett 2 – 13 and Nick West 2 – 14.
It was a “no contest” for the Thirds in division 3A. Hosting neighbours Wokingham Seconds the strong visitors bowled Finches out for a paltry 57 then gathered the runs without loss for the decisive 10 wicket success.
The Fourths in division 6B visited Sulhampstead & Ufton Seconds in West Berkshire. Sulhampstead batting first were 258 5 with Sultan taking 3 wickets for Finches. The score proved too much inches closing on 201 – 6. Adil Mohammed with 72 not out and Billy Oliver 51 both batted well.
High scoring as the Fifths hosted Bradfield Seconds. The visitors amassed 312 – 4 in their 40 overs. Finches gallantly went for the runs but fell short by 5 runs with a score of 308 – 4. Leading scorers were Scott Osler 142 and Simon Eldridge 95 in a fine run filled encounter.
NEIL DOODY 3 JUNE 2019