Paul Jordan reports:
A break in the fine hot weather meant that Tuesday's game was called off and if the weather forecasts were to be believed electrical storms and thunderstorms were all on their way. Dave Norman however is always the most reliable source and the game against Coton went ahead in perfect conditions. Our opposition were experiencing some team problems, but thankfully turned up with a full quota, including a number of young cricketers. Remnants on the other hand managed to scrape in with ten until Dave Williams and Dave Green both came to our rescue, Dave Green arm wrestling Dave Williams for the vacant slot.
Having lost the toss Coton set about their innings with the now familiar sight of Richard Rex yet again opening the batting . . . for the opposition; what price loyalty these days one wonders? The opening bowlers Olly Rex (1/17) and Naveen Chouksey (0/26) bowled a good line and in spite of some judicious edges and slices kept the Coton openers at bay and the score at a modest level. The return of the prodigal Ev Fox added some much needed fizz behind the stumps and always kept the batsmen on their toes. The change of Julius Rix (0/19) and Alec Armstrong (0/21) kept the pressure up and in this next period produced a sequence of wickets amounting to three run outs. The fielding was at times inspired and with Julius and Olly riding the boundary kept the run flow tight. Our new recruit Grant Kennedy, along with Dave Green, also produced some sharp pickups and returns. It's worth mentioning at this point that had Sally arrived slightly earlier she would have undoubtedly added Rob Harvey's catch at square leg to her 5* list. Rob's nonchalant one-handed take removed the other Coton opener, who needless to say had a Romsey connection. The flow of wickets continued and with Paul Jordan (2/25) and Alec closing the innings which produced the other catch of the match. Paul up until his last over was not giving anything away and a shot to mid on saw John Moore shape up to take a catch which he eventually took one handed at knee height - another one for Sally's 5* list.
So a total of 135 to chase, five run outs, a stumping and some good fielding, what could go wrong?
Well, not much on this occasion. Ev Fox (7 off 9 balls) and Julius Rix (85* off 45 balls) opened and pushed the score along briskly. After Ev fell to an inside edge, Olly Rex (14 off 15 balls) took up the challenge with Julius of upping the response with a mixture of big hits and good running between the wickets. Eventually Olly fell and John Moore (10* off 15 balls) arrived at the crease. He supported Julius well and as we crept nearer the total Julius decided to go into a different gear, pulling some big shots to mid-wicket and bringing us ever closer to the winning line. That we did this with overs to spare was pleasing, but more so was the restoration of a "feel good" factor in the team. This was illustrated perfectly as we all shared a beer after the game. The return of Ev to the fold and behind the stumps and a leg-side beamer from yours truly made his return complete.