Week 1 of our shortened 2020 season saw all three senior sides in action; the fact that at least 10 players missed out on matches is testament not only to our developing squad but also to the commitment and willingness of players new and old to get involved in these difficult times. Results were mixed but all three sides put in a high degree of commitment and determination which bodes very well for the next two months.

The firsts pulled off what would have been (on paper at least) an upset win over Unsworth 1sts though anyone watching the game will not have been too surprised by the result. Having made a strange decision to bat first on a dampish wicket, the home side were put under the pump straight away by an excellent opening spell from new boy Smalley and Ry Marsh - a couple of quick wickets put our tails up and there was a high level of commitment shown in the field; indeed with no dropped catches and only one run given away on a damp field this was one of the 1sts better team efforts in many a long time. Conditions were unusual, with a lengthy and sizeable outfield preventing many shots which normally might have raced away to the boundary from getting there - indeed this was a most unusual match with only four boundaries scored, all of them sixes!

With Totts on top, there was a new change combination of Saj and Si Marsh used through the middle part of the innings, and they managed to wrap up six wickets with some fine bowling; Marshy had the ball on a string as usual and Saj was most effective with his mix of spin. Si ended with an excellent 4-26 as the hosts were restricted to just 67 all out, with only Totts old boy Ryan Wilkes reaching 20.

However, despite our positivity much talk at tea was around what would have been a good total - there was no sign of the pitch or outfield getting any better, and when Tom went in the 3rd over it could have proved ominous. However the returning Doc P showed little signs of any rust and was soon working the ball around. Watty looked good until a tremendous delivery from Wilkes knocked him over, and then Rick joined the Doc in the game's ultimately crucial partnership. The duo made steady progress and never looked in any trouble as Unsworth tried valiantly. The home side thought they had their man when Rick seemed to be caught behind; not out was the verdict and despite a few verbals that was pretty much that, as the duo eased Totts to a comfortable win. There was late drama as Doc managed to comically run himself out with the scores level and then Rick threw it away trying to hit the winning runs, but Nathan came in and secured the points first ball!

This was a terrific team performance, and full of encouraging performances; all four bowlers did a great job, the fielding was sharp, Clive was excellent behind the stumps and Doc took us to victory with few alarms. Bring on next week!

Back at the Meadows, an entirely different type of game was in progress with almost 400 runs scored in easier conditions. After a lengthy clean up restricted the game to 34 overs, the visitors batted first and got off to a blistering start with Berry smashing 57 in an opening stand of 78 in just 12 overs. Unsworth's top four all got runs, with Earnshaw helping himself to a quick 61 before Russ and Ben got control and ran through the middle order. Russ ended with 4-34 while the most economical bowler was Awais, whose 9 overs went for just 28 despite Unsworth rattling up 198-8 in their 34 overs.

Totts got off to a poor start with the top four all falling before 40 had been reached. The middle order all got going, with Russ, Ben, Nick Marsh and Matty Bradshaw smashing nine maximums as Totts just about kept up with the run rate. However the loss of Russ and Ben in successive deliveries proved too much and Nick was last out with the hosts 30 runs short. Credit to Unsworth on a fighting performance and two excellent innings in particular.

On Sunday the thirds hosted Stand in very wet conditions. Morning rain restricted the game to just 27 overs per side, with further interruptions early on. Totts batted first and lost Bret early; Rowdy and Gav steadied things but the veteran Yates was struggling to find the boundary and when Gav perished it was left to skipper Mark Parky to get the innings going again. He hit a useful 31, and then the pair of Sam Collins and Ant Moore added valuable runs at the end, with Ant's 22 not out guiding us to a solid 107-4 total.

That size target meant that Totts needed early and Kieran and Katie delivered, each thanks to a Sam Collins catch. However the 3rd wicket partnership proved too strong, McGladdery providing the innings of the day with 62 not out to guide the visitors home.

A good, competitive performance from all three sides, with plenty to build on for the remaining nine weeks - well done to all, and good luck next week! Thanks also to Unsworth and Stand and their supporters for enjoying their visits to Totts and supporting the bar and club. Many thanks to Dickie, Dasher and Donna too for their efforts in manning the bar and keeping things clean and safe during the games.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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