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TOTTS NARROWLY PIPPED IN 2014 BOXING DAY BLAST [Boxing Day home]

Another year, another very close match on Boxing Day. This year the sides met at Brooksbottoms on a gloomy morning - despite persistent rain for several days leading up to the match, the ground was in pretty good order, with just one corner boggy. Both sides appeared to have pretty strong teams out and with Brox 4-3 up in the series, the Totts boys were hoping to get back to parity.

In what could be his last game as skipper, Marshy won the toss and chose to bat, sending in regular opening pair Nick Marsh and KC. Nick was soon finding his feet, and hit the first 6 of the day into the car park. With fielding proving quite tough, the openers made a steady start, before Nick lost his wicket. Rick Carr was sent in to speed things up and managed to do so briefly before getting himself out. Clive was promoted to number 4 and managed a few lusty blows, while KC continued to play his natural game and tick things over - after 12 overs a total of 75 looked encouraging. After Clive departed, KC and Doc P put on a very quick 35 before Doc fell near the end - Ste Dearden went in and ended the innings with a couple of boundaries to leave Totts sitting on a respectable 135-4. KC ended with a very good 64 not out. Would it prove enough?

The Brox innings got off to an absolute flier - after 6 overs the home side had charged to 65, with just a wicket apiece for Nelly B and Doc P; the two Marshys exerted a little control, but with Brox passing the 10 over mark on 80, things were looking pretty ropey for Totts. However the introduction of a most unlikely source turned the game on its head, with Dickie P exerting all the guile and spin of a snooded-up Mushtaq Ahmed to claim 3 wickets - much to his, and everyone else's mirth. It would have been 4 but for Richard slipping just as he was about to take a caught and bowled.

The home side were left with 30 to win from the final 6 overs, with 4 wickets in hand. Experienced hand Graham then took charge for Brox, sending a couple of big hits into the car park and rapidly bringing the victory in sight. However two more wickets, one for Deardo and one for Nelly, meant that the scores were tied with 8 wickets down and just 7 balls left. Unfortunately for Totts, Wheels nudged his 2nd ball past point for the winning run and the game was over.

Congrats to Brox on their victory and for hosting a very friendly game played in excellent spirit. Commiserations to Totts who played a very good game and had a thoroughly good time, mainly through watching 'Bambi on Ice' Ry Marsh slide everywhere and bowling sensation Dickie P! Thanks also to the umpires, scorers, Cathie and the band, and all who got the ground ready for what was yet another enjoyable Boxing Day clash - here's to next year!

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