Before we start I've been asked not to mention the following in this report:-
- The general election
It was not quite a sunny June day at the end of May (well not quite for another few months!) that greeted Goatacre 3's to the County Ground but overcast and windy conditions.
Uncharacteristically Ali called wrongly and Goatacre elected to bat on what looked like a "belter" of a pitch.
Their innings set off at the pace of a geriatric snail thanks to some very tight seam bowling from both Tom Lloyd and Harry Robbins who between them bowled 4 maidens in the first 10 overs.
Stephen Johnson back from "Uni" replaced Harry after the latter's statutory five and was soon firing in some extremely quick and hostile although not always entirely accurate deliveries. In his third over he had opener David Horton caught behind by Ali for 2 (from 42 balls)! At the fall of the first wicket the score had only reached 24 from 11 overs.
From the other end Prabhu Vanniyar was bowling his variety of yorkers, slower & faster balls not conceding a run until his third over.
However when Mark Atkinson joined Ferd Van de Merwe they managed to get out of first gear and finally got the score motoring along.
Trowbridge's last pair of bowlers Chris Dicker and Jake Paxton began accurately and hopes were that they would get amongst the wickets which were momentarily realised when Jake bowled Van de Merwe who was starting to look dangerous for 41, the score having advanced to 70 from 23 overs. Joe Haines then joined Atkinson and between them put on 71 for the third wicket.
From the other end Chris was unable to get his line and length right partly because he was bowling into a howling gale and partly because his "golden arm" was somewhat tarnished! He finally bought a wicket - after brother Matt had spectacularly spilled a spiralling skier - from his last delivery when top-scorer Atkinson advanced down the pitch - almost as far Hilperton - and was stumped by Ali for a well made 71. Amazingly the square-leg umpire who was either momentarily distracted or severely myopic did not raise the finger and after a short "discussion" the batsman was given out by the standing umpire. Alpha Taxis were sent to Hilperton to retrieve the batsman!!
This was in the 38th over with the score on 148.
Prabhu bowling the penultimate over consisting almost entirely of fast yorkers had Joe Haines caught behind for a painstaking 33. At the other end Toby Iles struck Harry for a six and skipper Les Stoneham struck 17 from Jake's last over ending the opposition's innings on 198 for 4.
Pick of the bowlers were Prabhu with 6-2-25-1; and Stephen Johnson who turned on some serious wheels with 6-1-19-1. Harry Robbins & Tom Lloyd also bowled accurately with 7-1-19-0 & 9-3-38-0.
There was however a sense of lacklustre about the team's performance perhaps without their cheerleader "Tanner" who was consigned to the sidelines, and you hear a "pin drop" for much of Goatacre's innings. The bowling was also often on the short side.
And so to tea.
The menu included "Filet de Blaireau Seymour" with a hedgehog spine crust, marmite crumb, a demi-glaze of fire-ant saliva, steamed baby Giant Hogweed, and a chocolate and marijuana soil: described by the Guardian's food critic Hugo Grott as "simply inspiring darling"!
But the assembled hoards avoided this rubbish and scoffed the excellent crusty bread sarnies, pizzas, chicken dippers and Jaffa Cakes not even saving any of the latter for the scorer!
Back to cricket!
Trowbridge were looking at a significant score of 199, a total which at one stage looked unlikely, given Goatacre's slow start.
Things got off to a disastrous start when Kyle Oakley went for an expansive drive which he edged to the keeper Atkinson from the first ball of the innings.
Adam Bolton joined Ali and they both had a good look at the bowling of Stoneham and Garland which was accurate without being threatening. They moved slowly on to 30 from 10 overs before Ali with Adam in the support role started to accelerate gradually.
Ali then began to play the captain's innings that was needed punching, pulling and driving the ball to the boundary almost at will whilst Adam at the other end was content to take the single and give Ali the strike. Now it's fair to say that Goatacre's fielding wasn't all that it should have been. As well as dropping Ali, often spectacularly, on no less than 4 occasions their footballing antics in the field surpassed even that of the national side who were trying to beat some third world country on TV in the bar!
The pair put on 123 before Adam was run out for a "Boycottesque" but vitally important 30. Matt Dicker played a couple of decent strokes before holing out unnecessarily to mid-off for just 7. Having ridden his luck Ali had marched inexorably on to another three-figure score. He was eventually out when Iles clung on to a catch off of Corries' bowling.
His final score was 116 from 122 balls and 16 fours.
It was then left to Tom Lloyd and Chris Dicker to see the 2's past the winning post which they did with an all run 4 with just over five overs to spare and six wickets in hand.
So the resilience of the 2's exemplified by the skipper's excellent knock saw them through to another win.
Next week it's off to Blunsdon (you know what I'm going to say - wherever the **** that is!)
PS - no mention of the election or badgers was there?!
Your correspondent from the scorebox.