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“Buckhorn storm through Stalbridge”

Stalbridge 74 all out (25.3 overs)            Buckhorn Weston 79 for 1 (10.5 overs)

The game was set to be an improvement on last year’s fixture, as rain was not forecast.  The ground looked in excellent condition, with both head and deputy curators putting in lots of work during the week.  The wicket looked in better shape than at any point in April last season, and looked set to facilitate a higher-scoring match than the one that actually transpired.

Adam lost the toss and Buckhorn were put into the field, a sign that Stalbridge believed their batting to be strong; however this was before Simon B and Joe Hamblin-Boone (making his first appearance of 2011) were let loose with the new ball.  Simon B set about taking apart the Stalbridge top order in his first spell, taking 4 wickets for the loss of only 2 runs in his first 4 over spell.  Joe bowled a good opening spell, finding swing and good rhythm; he finished with figures of 2 for 12 from his 5 overs.  The return of the Ellwood brothers to the team gave the Buckhorn ranks a boost, but it was George’s fielding that proved valuable; as he took an impressive catch – over his head – off Joe, to send another Stalbridge batsman on his way.  Jim Donnelly (also making his first 2011 debut) had a full allotment of winter nets and was ready to show Stalbridge and the Buckhorn Selection Panel what he had learnt.  Jim bowled a tight line and length in his opening few overs, restricting the middle order of Stalbridge from getting away.  As drinks approached, runs off the bat were almost non-existent, but the ‘Extras’ column was once again padding out the score.  George Ellwood was bowling well, but with little success; and the case was the same with his brother, Will, who put in a lot of effort, however he received little assistance from the pitch.  After drinks Simon B had another go and picked up 3 more wickets, to leave Stalbridge 9 wickets down, and at one point was on a hat-trick.  The final wicket of the innings was left to Theo, who deceived the batsman with his flight and guile and cleaned up Stalbridge’s last man with the third ball of his spell.  Stalbridge were left to defend a below par 75, after being dominated by a solid Buckhorn performance with some impressive bowling (Simon B: 7 for 2 from 6 overs, and Joe: 2 for 12 from 5 overs) and fine efforts in the field; notably from Jemma B, Courtland Taylor and Richard Telfer (whose fielding was impressively bad).  The only negative (apart from Richard’s fielding!) was the number of ‘Extras’ conceded; similarly to last week ‘Extras’ was the highest scorer with 31, a number that will need to be drastically reduced if Buckhorn’s League successes are to be continued.

Special thanks to Malcolm and Jackie for another Premier League standard tea, following on from the Beethams’ high-class efforts last week.  It certainly set up the batsmen for their run chase.

Buckhorn’s batting looked strong in the top order, and this was highlighted by the way they went about getting the runs.  George Wayman was keen to score, after only making 19 last week, but this was at the cost of Courtland Taylor; as George ran him out for 0 in the first over.  Next man in was the skipper, and he and George set about chasing the score in good time.  George played in his typical manner, blazing 4s and 6s to all parts and Adam played sensibly to build a decent partnership.  George finished the game with a towering 6 from the fifth ball of the 11th over, which took Buckhorn past their target and sent him to 55*; meanwhile Adam finished 17*.

Stalbridge 74 all out (25.3 overs)

Buckhorn Weston 79 for 1 (10.5 overs)