It was a comparatively short journey to Biddestone this week for our fixture against their 3rd XI.
There had been a few team changes because of non-availabilty and swapping between the 3rd's.
In addition we welcome back Ollie Weaver returning to cricket after sustaining a severe shoulder injury some while ago and who has not played for some considerable time.
The pitch was grassy with some sign of wear at both ends. Biddestone won the toss and as expected by the pitch-pundits invited us to bat.
There can hardly have been a better opening partnership for this team than Ryan Salter & Ali Goddard with their differing styles. Ryan is gracious pugnacity & high back-lift whilst Ali packs the short-arm punch of a middle-weight boxer into his pulls, cuts and driving.
Biddestone opened with the brothers Horn - Alex & Rob - who started off well but who then lapsed into bowling too short and were severely punished by Ryan and Ali; Ryan's hook for 6 off of Alex being a perfectly executed stroke.
Our openers took the score on to 98 from just 18 overs, Ryan racing ahead of Ali, although Ryan was first to depart caught by Gash off of Tim Sosby for 57. Ali and Rhys Evans moved the score on to 135 from the next 8 overs before Ali, who had survived a "near" LBW appeal (Karma Alex!!!), was stumped off of the flashy leg-spinner Kieran Gash. One run later the "leggie" also accounted for Rhys caught by skipper James Howells for 19. Off-spinner Sean Williams then bowled "Mr Dependable" Adam Bolton for 1.
As so often the middle-order all got starts but didn't go on to significant scores: Matt Dicker, brother Chris and Tom Lloyd all managed double-figures before succumbing - all caught - to leg-spinner Gash who had now taken a "five-for"!
But the 2's bat deep and Ollie Weaver and Luke Seymour shared an excellent unbeaten last wicket partnership of 48 from just 5.5 overs to give us a decent score of 235 for the loss of just 7 wickets. Ollie finished undefeated on 27 which featured a huge straight six off of Aldan Munch with Luke also undefeated on 23.
Biddestone's two spinners were the pick of the bunch, Williams with 9-1-39-1 and leg-spinner Gash with the excellent figures of 9-1-37-5.
Tea - the Interval
Tea was taken in the main pavilion after a children's party and much to our disappointment the children didn't leave any jellies although the two teams engaged in a series of party games including "pin the tail on the badger" and "how not to give a blindingly obvious LBW decision without anyone noticing"!
Trowbridge, spoiled for choice with their seam bowling attack, opened with Alex Tanner and Luke Seymour.
With his fifth ball Luke yorked opener Richard Toghill for a duck. Although AT's first delivery was a "for height " no-ball he was the model of accuracy conceding just one run and the extra from his first 5 overs which included 3 consecutive maidens.
Chris Meggs and keeper Henry Entwhistle then pushed the score painstakingly on to 46 from 17 overs before Ollie Weaver who had replaced Alex had Meggs well caught by Ali Goddard at slip. Meggs had made 17 from 64 balls. Entwhistle succumbed just 8 runs later caught behind by Rhys Evans from the bowling of Tom Lloyd.
A partnership then developed between skipper James "Howler" Howell and Rob Horn. Chris Dicker came on to bowl off-spin but was unable to make a break-through although he had one "near" LBW turned down (Karma Alex!!!) and beat the bat several times. This pair put on 37 for the 4th wicket before Jake Paxton had Rob Horn stumped by Rhys for 18. Tanner then pitched in again by having Tim Sosby caught by Luke at cover for 1.
What then ensued was the somewhat confusing spectacle of Ryan Berry who had injured his leg diving for a catch batting with a "runner". He and his partner managed to avoid a run out, the score advancing to 138 when AT bowled Howells who had just passed his half-century.
Our "nemesis" Kieran Gash then came in and batted with a certain amount of left-handed abandon. Together with the still limping Berry he put on 45 before Berry was bowled by Tom Lloyd for 15.
Biddestone were getting "too close for comfort" as they approached the magic 200 but on 192 the dangerous looking Gash was well caught by Matt Dicker off of Tom Lloyd for 37 in the 41st over. By then all of Trowbridge's main seam bowlers had completed their allotted overs and it was left to Chris Dicker bowling seam-up for 2 overs and Ali Goddard for the final over to see us over the line by leaving Biddestone 19 runs short of victory despite the efforts of Williams and Munch who put on 18 for the 9th wicket.
Biddestone's final score was 216 for 8 & they had given us a tough game.
Run-rate had however defeated Biddestone but it had been a close-run thing for the 2's!
Pick of our bowlers were Alex Tanner with 9-4-21-2, Luke Seymour with 9-1-38-1 and Tom Lloyd with 9-1-46-3.
Back on the road for the second round of fixtures to Purton next week - happy stamping grounds for us!?
Your correspondent from the boundary - more obscure collective nouns next week!