For the fourth match in a row our captain lost the toss but for the first time, we were asked to bat first. Our opponents had taken note of a greenish looking wicket and clearly fancied their chances of breaking through our top order.
The Law Society were two players short and we were delighted to have arranged for George Williams and Stevyn Jackson to play for them.
Simon Pettit and Dr. Nick had done well to get the game on after 48 hours of rain earlier in the week.
With the sun poking through and a suspicion of heretofore unforeseen September warmth, our batsmen set out with season averages and batting records to target following mid-week updates to the stats and a rallying cry from captain Simon.
Whilst keen to meet Simon's expectations, batting conditions were difficult as the ball seamed and swung at will. Jay Mumtaz (13) and Simon Pettit (7) (elevated in the batting order to allow him to target batting awards and possibly to ensure he didn't manage another not out) batted defensively, waiting for the bad ball and despatching it to the boundary. Unfortunately, Simon didn't last long and was the first of seven batsmen to be caught. Jay was looking the part until he was also caught failing to keep one down as it was smashed into the covers.
Debutant Ben Vincent (1), resplendent in his 70's cardigan (sorry, 'cricket jumper') played very straight and hit everything safely into the ground. Unfortunately, that was whilst receiving some throwdowns in his warm up. No chance of giving his wicket away caught surely? Out for 1, caught behind. Plenty of promise however and Ben looks to be a valuable member in the future.
Meanwhile Tim House (23), in at three, was patiently building the highest score of our innings. Joined by Mark Ford-Langstaff (12), the pair began a repair job only for Mark to fall when he managed to pick out the fielder at mid-wicket with a mistimed shot (caught). Tim feeling the weight of the innings on his shoulders soldiered on before falling to a jaffa from the skilful Henderson.
Tim Riley (19) and the newly married Sathya Vadivale (14) put up some much-needed resistance before both were out, you guessed it, caught.
The tail failed to wag as first Tim Cranston, then Stuart Midson and Simon Lee fell for a combined total of less than 10. Mark, who was umpiring by this stage gave Stuart out (run out) and Simon out LBW. Both decisions unfortunate but correct at least in this author's opinion.
It should be noted that George bowled rather well for the opposition and finished with figures of 7 overs, 4 maidens 2 wickets for just 9 runs. Well played, George who was later awarded the champagne moment. Dad, Jason, our not out batsman, was very lucky not to have to face him!
Tea was upon us early and Jim and Posy Watson treated us to an excellent spread of sandwiches and cakes that put a smile back on most of our faces. Great debut, Jim and family.
The Law Society only needed 100 to win and we were all hoping for a low scoring thriller. However, the weather and the cricketing gods had other ideas and with the wicket now playing in a much friendlier manner (honest, even the opposition said so) scoring runs was rather easier this time around.
Simon juggled his bowlers and used six in total. Tim and Sathya picked up a wicket apiece but despite some excellent deliveries none of Simon P, Jason, Stuart or Simon L could make any more breakthroughs. The first wicket didn't fall until 74 runs had been scored and the total was reached in 26 overs.
Very well played, The Law Society, who were excellent guests as always. They stayed to enjoy drinks and the barbecue which captain Simon had invited your author, as the umpire who had given him out, to supervise. We look forward to providing a sterner test for the Law Society next year.