Another weekend, another mixed bag of results, despite some excellent individual performances. The 1sts march on, courtesy of a fairly comfortable 43 run win against Winton, though the performance was not quite up to the same high standards as the first 2 weeks - blame the cold! The 2nds meanwhile racked up an impressive 223-7, only to be let down by a pretty poor bowling display.

Over at Winton the 1sts started brightly, with Kieran and Bret looking untroubled on their way to another impressive opening partnership of 70. There was another ridiculous 6 from Bret amid some good strokeplay from both. However the day's biggest talking point came when Bret was adjudged LBW having hit the ball; after exchanging words, he was recalled to the crease by a very sporting Winton side, who once again display excellent humour and spirit on a very cold day.

That seemed to rattle our openers, and both fell in quick succession on 70 and 73. When George was given out LBW with the core on 90, Doc and Minaj had some rebuilding to do. Doc was looking uncharacteristically out of sorts, and was dropped a couple of times, but Rick played the innings of the day from our side, looking completely untroubled as he compiled an elegant 40 at a run a ball. When Doc sacrificed himself, the innings gained momentum, with Watty and Nick Marsh in particular putting bat to ball to take us to an "about par" 194.

An excellent tea helped ward off some of the freezing weather, but we were back out in it before long. Marshy struck three early blows, and with Doc tying up one end again, the Winton innings didn't get going for a good 20 overs. By that point the score had reached 46-3, with Brown the only batsman really looking comfortable. Nick Marsh and Birdy had spells at the top end, while Si finished his 14 overs straight, and deservedly took his 5th wicket with the final ball of his spell, leaving him with a highly impressive 5-29 from 14.

Despite the cold and a huge outfield, the Totts boys kept going, but there was a huge slice of luck for Brown when KC spilled him at slip, the moment eventually earning our erstwhile spokesman/CDO/Hon Sec/Groundsman/Professional Yorkshireman his second successive Nacho Libre at Winton (see pic below). Russ spilled a tricky caught and bowled, but Clive - having one of his best games in years behind the stumps - was excellent in stumping captain Seenan and then taking a sharp chance off his brother to leave the home side reeling at 120-8. Doc was brought back and managed to winkle out Grundy, but the other Grundy and Fairhurst gamely hung on to secure a point.

There were plenty of positives - a win is a win and we're still unbeaten, the batting held together despite a couple of periods of pressure, while Clive in particular was superb in the field. Marshy was his usual frugal self, and everyone kept focused until the end, despite it getting pretty dark and extremely cold! Credit as ever to Winton who were sporting, friendly and a good set of lads before, during and after the game, and whose facilities are lovely.

Back at the Meadows, the Totts innings was one that promises much for the future. Danielle Collins struck her first senior 50 with 9 boundaries littered amid some delightful strokeplay. Mark Parky continued his form of the previous week, and there was a half century for Mahmood in his first appearance of the season. The innings second highlight was Stoney, who crunched several sixes on his way to an unbeaten 55 off just 37 balls to guide the side to a competitive 223-7.

Any thoughts of an easy win were very quickly dispelled. The opening bowlers were punished for anything loose, with Farahan in particular suffering amid a barrage of attacking shots. The opening wicket fell at 115 with just 15 overs on the board, and it was left to Leigh Dickinson to exert the first bit of pressure, taking 3 wickets for just 19 in 7 overs, a highly creditable effort given the carnage going on about him. Ryan and Mahmood were also despatched here, there and everywhere, as Patel, Patel and Patel carved their way past 200 inside 30 overs. The innings closed on 226-6 with a shade over 13 overs remaining.

The 2s will be looking to get back on track next weekend as they make the short trip to ELPM, while the 1sts host Blackley.


I Will if You Will Biffaward

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