Fresh from a magnificent victory against The CB XI, Remnants took to the field against the Woozlers with such a sense of purpose that it was clear from the first ball that we were going to play dismally and lose by an enormous margin.
The Woozlers batted first and had as easy a time batting as any team this season, the bowlers (all of whom conceded more than a run a ball) serving up at least one long hop or rank full toss per over. These were dispatched to -- or over -- the boundary with ease, in stark contrast to our treatment of similar deliveries later in the game.
The Woozlers batsmen also ran brilliantly, nicking countless extra runs and revealing just how brittle our fielding can be when the pressure's on. Dave Williams did at least get a chance to show off his virility by scoring a direct hit run out (although most of us thought the batsman was home, even Dave admitting that he only appealed because he was so excited at having hit the target). But we also missed a number of run out chances, the most galling being when both batsman ended up at one end and the fielder scored a snappy direct hit . . . at the wrong end. More annoyingly, a less accurate throw would have enabled wicketkeeper Dave Green to lob the ball to the bowler to complete an easy (if indirect) dismissal; as it was it ricocheted sufficiently far away that the two could organise an envoy to head up to the less-populated end of the pitch.
The only Remnant who really had a good day in the field was Nev Fidler, who got lots of work on the short pavilion boundary and didn't make a single mistake (which made it all the more mysterious when he was replaced mid-over having just stopped three vicious cuts in three balls).
Still, with plenty of batting strength a target of 147 wasn't out of reach. Dave Williams accumulated 21 runs through clever batting, but was dismissed just when he seemed likely to accelerate, bringing Tony Malik to the crease. His last few Remnants innings had been 79*, 1, 53, 62*, 12*, 50* and 81* (338 runs at 169.00), so when he quickly found his rhythm and some support from Daniel Mortlock (21*) we seemed to be in with a good chance of victory.
We certainly had our chance: the weakest of the Woozlers' bowlers delivered an over made up mainly of juicy full tosses, but whereas their batsmen had repeatedly sent such deliveries straight to the square leg boundary, we let these golden opportunities go begging. Or, more correctly, I did: the first one was hit very hard but directly into the ground; the second was hit very hard and directly into my knee; the third was completely mis-hit and dribbled off in the direction of square leg. Wasting that over was bad enough, but when Tony was bowled for 15 we were left with the dubious task of getting some batting practice. Mike Jones attacked the bowling to make a rapid 9 before John Young (7*) and Daniel stayed together 'til the end, peering into the gloom as the final Woozlers bowler (clocked at a scintilating 25 mph a few weeks back) finished the game off with a few Watson-like deliveries.
It was somehow appropriate that we finished the day by drinking in the gloom of an early nightfall.