The Cassidy XI had a point to prove this year, having consumed 1 more bottle of cider than runs scored the previous year (2014 Cassidy XI 124 all out - 125 empty bottles of bulmers) could they improve on their performance, either on or off the field?
The weather had threaten with showers in the morning, but Nick had the pitch all under control, as usual, ensuring a fine wicket for the afternoon.
Skipper for the day, Jon Springer, won the toss and elected to bat.
Richard and Dan Simpson open the batting and got the score board off to a flying start with a flurry of boundaries. However, easy come, easy go and it wasn’t long before Rich was heading back to the pavilion after a speedy 25, having been bowled. Dan lasted longer but in a moment of brotherly solidarity was also bowled... by the same bowler... for 25.
Danny Clarke and Jay Mumtaz were the next in and their partnership contributed 30 to score, before Jay was trapped LBW. Martin Randall made a brief appearance at the crease before heading back to the pavilion, (though he would contribute in the field later on).
To the crease came Tim Cranston, and runs started to dry up somewhat. Danny ticked on towards 50 but a harsh pre-empted cheer for 50 saw Danny attempt to dispatch the next ball around his legs. He missed the ball but the ball didn't miss the stumps - he went back to the pavilion for a cruel 49.
Out came the skipper and runs started to flow again, with a rediscovery of the boundary, the score glided passed 150, with 4s and a couple of 6s clearing the marque. Alas a wayward shot in the air by the skipper was collect by mid-off, resulted in the skipper heading in for 35.
George Williams and then Liam Randall joined Tim for a brief bat, both providing a glimpse of their potential. George was unlucky, an attempted sweep saw the end of his bat break and the ball dolly up to silly mid-on. Tim and Liam ended the innings MSCC 187-7.
Many thanks to Springers and Williams for stepping in and providing the teas - a splendid selection of sandwiches and some wonderful cakes.
We were happy with 187, however knowing we could have scored more runs meant we knew there was still work to do in the field if we were to win.
George Williams and Olly Selway opened the bowling and started well keeping runs tight and both providing wicket taking opportunities in the form of catches. However, none of the catches were held, and within the first eight overs The Cassidy openers had been saved four, possibly five times.
With the numerous let offs the opening batsmen had, it was not long before they settled in and started piling on the runs. Tim was brought into the attack, but was rather less effective than usual, possibly the Cassidy Ball the night before had caught up with him! Richard replaced George and it wasn’t long before Richard’s teasing bowling provided another wicket opportunity. Fortunately Martin was in place to take this catch, and with that catch the balance of the game started to shift. Liam replaced Tim for a couple of overs, but didn’t get a wicket bowling, however, a few overs later Richard struck again and this time is was Liam who took the catch.
Paul Wordsworth was brought into the bowling attack and George was brought back, but with Cassidy 155-2 and 14 overs remaining, the game looked out of reach. With this, the seemingly last roll of the dice by the skipper, the final scene was set. George struck in his second over back, and removed the remaining opener (who top scored with 57), In the following seven overs, another five wickets fell. George and Paul's bowling rewarded with three wickets each, and catches by Martin, Jay, Rich, George.
With three runs needed by Cassidy and two wickets needed by Middleton, we ran out of runs. A new batsman, Moon, came in. Not put off by the tail end collapse, he smashed his second ball for a four, which saw Cassidy XI win the game.
In total six catches were dropped, and looking at what happen when we started holding on, just proves the adage "catches win matches”.