Around 3pm on Saturday afternoon new boy Rick "Good engines" Carr noted that Springhead's first innings total "feels like 400". The fact that we'd bowled them out for 36 should tell you something, dear reader! At that point we were 17-7 and apparently on the verge of total humiliation. Fortunately the league's best number 4, er 6, er 7, er 8, Marshy decided finally to stick his pads on and after a few toe ends, shoulder shrugs and looks at the rest of us, belted a dozen runs in one over to get us closer to the finishing line.

Arriving at Springhead in the middle of summer is usually a fairly damp ansd chilly affair, but at the end of April it was surprisingly clement - usual shivers were replaced with slightly puzled looks as there didn't appear to be a wicket to play on. A few rolls later and part of the square was converted into use, and off we went. Marshy won the toss and inserted the home side. 4 overs in and a score of 17-1 gave little clue as to the carnage ahead. After the initial shine wore off, the ball started to basically stop dead in the pitch and with Asif and the returning Doc just putting the ball on a length, there was little the batters could do. A calamitous run out sparked the most dramatic of collapses, and from 29-3 the home side succumbed to just 36 all out. Asif bagged 6 wickets, completed by a fabulous juggling catch straight out of Barnum and Bailey, while Doc took the other 3. With sharper early fielding the score could have been even lower, but we were quite happy as the teams turned straight round.

Half an hour later and Rick's comment about the first innings score appeared spot on. We were 17-7 and heading for disaster. At that point 14 wickets had fallen for 24 runs! With the Springhead bowlers copying the Totts pair, and putting even less pace on the ball, scoring was next to impossible, and the wicket (as in the first innings) accounted for several victims attempting to play off the back foot. Asif was getting angrier and angrier, and when he strode out to join Si you sensed fireworks. As it was, he played a calm innings to support Marshy, and the relief on the sidelines was palpable as a pair of wides secured our first points of the season.

Credit to Springhead who played the game in good cheer, despite the obvious issues, and made us feel welcome on our return there.

Back at Totts, we arrived to find the 2s in a tight tussle. Having made a below-par 126 all out, thanks to a maiden 2014 half century from Mick Durrans and a lusty 30 odd from Ry Marsh (and the inevitable 7 wickets for the veteran Leesy), the boys had taken a couple of early wickets and were looking in control. However some big hitting and a few wayward overs got the visitors off and running. Half an hour later they were well in charge at 60 odd for 2. Duncan arrived to announce to all and sundry that he was here to do some gardening as "I get aroused at the sight of bluebells". 2s skipper Watty meanwhile was sporting both a new belle and a cracking line dancing shirt, having opted not to play because he had so much to do (but then turned up to watch). A third wicket sparked a mini-collapse before the visitors got over the line to complete a 3 wicket win.

So honours even, and both senior sides now have a win and a loss from their opening two games.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC