Dragons Lose by 1 Wicket.
Half the team arrived from Harpenden having been melted on the trip round the M25 and were enthusiastic to win the toss and bat first. The captain duly lost the toss, but Dragons were asked to bat and it soon became apparent that taking ten wickets to win the match might be difficult. The Sutton Valence pitch being an absolute road, much like the M25.
Two century partnerships saw The Dragons race to 244-1 in 40 overs. Debutants from Harpenden CC,Gregg Cooper (139) and Jimmy Latham (43) took command from the off and highlighted that playing good cricket shots would be well rewarded. Josh Mihill (59) then joined Cooper and the scoring continued with The Dragons reaching 300 from just 50 overs. Matt Banes scoring a brisk 30* with Tim Golds, but when the latter chipped to point the declaration was made.
Peck and Boyns opened the bowling with good energy on the very flat deck but OS openers capitalised on anything wide and at tea were well set at 101 without loss. Banes bowled steadily with no luck and had a very confident lbw shout turned down. It was always going to be hard work on a hot day but a couple of dropped catches made the task even more difficult as OS cruised towards what was fast becoming a generous declaration total. The breakthrough eventually came with OS on 183 and Stileman having already reached his century.
Taking the pace off the ball at OS is normally a good idea and Churchman’s chinamen saw two batsman hole out to Tim Golds in one over. It was the change of bowling that this game needed and with Ross Davies and Simon Wade bowling tightly the OS began the last 8 overs requiring only 35 to win with 4 wickets left (2 batsmen now absent). Joe Peck returned to take a wicket in each of three consecutive overs and then had a huge lbw appeal against the last man facing his first ball. “On reflection” this would have meant a tie – perhaps fitting for the day but it was not to be. Joe finished with 11-2-37-3 which was outstanding in these conditions but OS managed to get home with 3 balls to spare.
A fantastic match and close finish that was worthy to celebrate the OS centenary. The Dragons presented a framed copy of the photograph taken of the teams at lunch and this was warmly received. We’re very grateful to all at OS; Des High, David Bunker and captain Richard Bradstock particularly for their continued hospitality and support for a firm favourite in our fixture list. Let’s look forward to many more great cricket matches in the future.
Report by Chris Arnold
Bowling – J.Mihill (7-0-15-3) R.Davies (7-0-18-2)
Batting – R.Davies (57) J.Mihill (53)
Dragon of the day – Ross Davies, (57) (7-0-18-2)
Another great tour closed and thanks again to all who participated on and off the field. An exhausted captain struggled to work on the Monday and then took the next two days off sick to recover from tour.