After a rain-sodden week which promised nothing but abandonment and a sharing of the spoils, the 1sts emerged victorious with a 7 wicket win over Westleigh Meths.

The report below comes courtesy of Watty ...

Despite a week of foul weather, and a heavy downpour at 6.30am – only the sterling, hugely appreciated work of KC and Dasher got the ground into a fit state to play; despite the track being like a sponge in some places – it seemed like a warm, clear day was in store on the opening day of the season.

Play got underway at 2pm and, in his first game as Captain, Asif won an important toss and rightly put WLM into bat –and some extremely tight bowling off the skipper was backed up at the top end from Si Marsh, who didn't take long to strike when he removed Ralph for 4. Next ball was simply a peach which has Turner beat all ends up – cue the hat-trick ball, a close field packed and an LBW shout against Brett which was heard in Bolton! Not out was the decision, much to the dismay of big Marshy and the TSJ players. Taylor and Brett managed to steady a rocking ship somewhat before the skipper and Nick Marsh struck, catching each other's bowling to leave Westleigh struggling with 5 down for a measly total on the board. The fielding team had their tails up and were working sharply in the field, efforts off Ry Marsh in the mid off region being well received with a fielding point and appreciation from his bowlers.

The introduction of Russ reaped immediate rewards, KC claiming a stumping with some sharp work and the following pressure at the top end from Russ no doubt helped minimise the WLM score; indeed Russ only conceded nine runs off his seven overs while Nick and Asif kept the pavilion end occupied with some excellent seam bowling. WLM produced some resistance however in the form of Swanton who played aggressively, fluently and with meaning as he quickly amassed 36 runs before the skipper removed him – he was striking the ball with real venom and a square cut which Watty stopped left his thumb in some discomfort – cue Craig Parky using all his medical knowledge, prodding and grabbing whilst asking "Is it broken??" – whilst Watty was off the field, the sub that WLM offered held a catch which removed their last man and brought the innings to a close for 87.

A total of 87 could have proved tricky on the soft wicket – TSJ were keen to crack on and beat the weather and when KC and Watty went out to open the innings, they were greeted with tight, accurate opening overs from Ralph and Brett. KC played his usual, straight bat and kept the score ticking over whilst Watty started to find the boundary when Ralph strayed onto his pads. A loose over from the pavilion end off Brett really saw Watty push the score on; a six over the long on boundary was followed by a 4 put back past the bowler – with Taylor's spin at the top end, the score was progressing nicely until a poor shot from Watty saw him trapped LBW for 24 giving the spinner the first of his 3-22, with Taylor also claiming Boris for 4 and Russ for 8 before Nelly "Nilly" entered. With some clever boundary shots and an appetite to close the game off, Nelly scored quickly and closed the game off with a 4 through the covers; KC 28* and Nelly 23* ensured Totts got the 2012 season off with a 5 point victory finishing on 90-3 ... the first of many!


I Will if You Will Biffaward

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