The Plough descended on the Actonians home pitch on Sunday, with many players reminiscing about the good old days of the local pitch at Gunnersbury Park, and the many nights and days of drinking that went on at the bar.
With the toss won, and Si Carson choosing to bowl, we were underway in overcast conditions with the opening bowling of Tom Lonnen and Matt Ridgway. Both bowled exceedingly well, with only 27 runs coming from the first 10 overs on what was proving to be a pretty precarious pitch for the batsmen.
With barely any runs on the board, Puff and Hopper were brought into the attack. The latter being incredibly unlucky not to get all 10 wickets with a probing and uncomfortable spell to face, however only somehow managing to finish with one wicket. Puff, however, faired better, picking up 3 wickets with some sharp swing bowling bringing about a catch, an LBW and one bowled.
With the oppo 4 down, it was time to bring the spinners into the game. Mo, on his debut, came in and bowled lofted missiles and managed to expertly force one batsmen to play onto his stumps with a mistimed sweep, first wicket for the Plough!
Parrish, coming in from the other end, counterbalanced the loft from Mo with skidding sharp spin, picking up 3 wickets, two of which were caught by the belatedly safe hands of Barra, the other wicket a catch by yours truly.
With the final bowling change, Oli Lonsdale, it was all but over. After bowling full charge bouncers and beamers at some 12 year olds, he finally had one chipped to the ever safe hands of Lonnen, and that was the end of the innings. Actonians setting a relatively tame target of 139 after 36 overs.
Opening the batting was Paddy and Hector in what would end up being a partnership of 83. Paddy started sharply, scoring 3 off just 2 balls to the excitement of Lonnen and Ridgway, who were taken aback by the sheer speed of the innings. However, this pace was not to last, with Paddy patiently playing the anchor role for Hector at the other end.
With the weather pretty inconsistent, and a rain break half way through the innings, pressure was on to get the game finished with plenty of overs to spare. With a bludgeoned 63 off just 60 balls, Hector did not wait around, ending up with twelve boundaries and a strike rate of 105.
Finally, Actonians got the breakthrough, with Paddy falling for a very patient 11 off 44 balls. As the age old saying goes, one brings two, and it was to be the case today as Hector inexplicably charged down the wicket playing and missing at a ball which was not there to be hit, which ended up being an easy stumping. Both wickets fell without the score changing.
This meant that Parrish and Barra were both at the crease. Both playing free scoring shots, they never looked troubled, and with an unbeaten partnership of 58 brought the game home for the Plough with 15 overs to spare. Parrish finishing on an unbeaten 19, and Barra finishing with a ballistic 33 off just 28 balls.
All in all it was a solid victory, one that was never in doubt before the game even started, with the Plough fielding 10 bowlers in the attack and using only 4 batsmen in the game.
Here’s to another victorious weekend next week, and hopefully to not have to refer to myself in third person for the foreseeable!
Plough on lads!