2S GO MARCHING ON AS 1STS IMPLODE
Well, it's been an intriguing start to the season. Going into this weekend's fixtures, the 1sts remained unbeaten in the league on the back of 3 straight wins, while the 2s were going even better, with maximum points from all 4 fixtures. The firsts faced a tricky trip to Failsworth, scene of some mixed results over the years, while the 2s hosted Farnworth Social Circle down at the Meadows. Big Bird and Doc returned to the 1sts line up, with Crabbers, Hayesy, Si and Meg all unavailable, due to a mix of being arrested for impersonating a 1930s Aussie batsman, being too old, seeing the kids, and having a social life among the key reasons.
Meanwhile back at base, Rick "I have a bachelor's in graphic design" Carr decided that the best thing to do would be to create a new whiteboard detailing all the jobs that need to be done before and after each game, so we can divvy them out to people each week - a very sensible idea. Here's Rick in action ...
Anyway, to the games. Si had cried off in the morning, so KC was lef tto skipper the side. Having won the toss Kieran inserted Failsworth on what looked to be an absolute horror of a pitch (in the end it actually played pretty well). Despite good early bowling from Doc and Asif, the breakthroughs weren't coming and the home side accelerated to 60-1 and then 85-4. However Asif and Bird started to exert some influence, and after Asif had taken a couple of wickets, Bird managed to spin one out of the footholds behind Marriott to remove the dangerman. Asif then ran through the middle order to leave Failsworth teetering at 101-8. However, the last couple of batsmen hit some tremendous blows and a total of 149 looked more than competitive on a wicket that was rapidly turning to mud. However with relatively small boundaries, we remained confident.
Thoughts of racing to victory were put firmly on hold as the Failsworth opening bowlers put Nick and KC under the cosh. With Kieran's bat sounding like part of an IKEA Billy bookcase, it was one of those days where nothing would beat the field. After 17 overs we were 21-2 and really up against it. Doc and Bird then transformed the game with a partnership of nearly 50 in under 7 overs, before both got out playing one shot too many. The Totts innings then wilted, with Nelly, Rick and Craig also succumbing quickly as we collapsed to 88-8. It was left to Asif to try and restore some positivity, but with partners fast running out he was unable to salvage the game and we fell disappointingly short on 111 all out. Credit to Failsworth for a good performance in the field in particular and for some good banter throughout. Well done also to Asif who celebrated his birthday a day early by taking 7-68 from 21 impressively controlled overs.
There was time for one good comedy moment as both Russ or Doc had hit the ball into the houses and one blow had broken a soil pipe ... the irate owner came out and remonstrated with one of the Failsworth lads, who explained that the club would pay the insurance - and then asked for the ball back. "Are you taking the p*ss?" asked the guy. "Well no, they coast a lot of money and it's a simple question - yes or no?". Cue unprintable outburst.
Back at the Meadows, the 2s were aiming to extend their 100% league record, and boy did they do it in style. Ryan Stoney clearly enjoyed the Farnworth Social Circle bowling, hitting an impressive 86 as the Totts lads rattled up a highly creditable 233-8. Clearly a cohesive team enjoying its cricket together is working a treat. Farahn then took centre stage, taking 5-27 to show his improvement this year as FSC were knocked over for just 69. The 2s thus have 5 from 5 in the league and go into a short break sitting proudly atop the league. Good work boys!