A disappointing week for the club this week saw losses for both 1st and 2nd XIs.
The first XI once again failed to put together enough runs with the bat as they fell 25 runs short of chasing Churchdown’s 170. Winning the toss and electing to bowl, Pete Wallis led the early charge picking up two early wickets that saw Churchdown struggling at 5 for 2. Good batting from Fredericks enabled Churchdown to steady the ship and, although they never really got away, managed to bat the full 45 overs and notch up a decent total of 170. Pete Wallis once again bowling superbly and picking up his first 5 wicket haul of the season.
In response Minch knew that sensible batting and wickets in hand would be the key to this chase. Alex Waring and Dave Gordon made a good start and saw off the tricky opening spell of captain Griffiths before they both fell in quick succession to bring Britton and Ablett to the crease. The two put together a decent partnership and at 90 for 2 Hampton could be forgiven for thinking they were in charge and had the points in the bag. But… as we have discovered this season a collapse is never far away and when the returning Griffiths captured Britton, caught behind for 18, Hampton wobbled. Skipper Jaime Waring would have been hoping to hold up one end and let Ablett continue scoring at the other but got caught in two minds and spooned an easy chance up in the air. Ittyavirah was then bowled first ball, Preist came and went without troubling the scorers and suddenly things took on an awkwardly familiar look; Hampton languishing with 6 wickets down and with over 70 still required. All hopes rested on Ablett who now had to score quickly as he realised he may well run out of partners. He reached his fifty with a six off Fredericks but after Cruikshank lost his wicket the pressure told and he was bowled trying work a straight one to square leg. Hampton were realistically always struggling from that point and limped their way through to the last over where Cole was run out scrabbling back for a second run. Once again this season just not quite having the staying power to see through an achievable run chase.
The 2nds also suffer a defeat on Saturday away to Charfield; incredibly this being their first loss of the season. Will Fortune 31 and Andy Naish 24 top scored in the team’s total of 143 as everyone chipped in with a few around them. Some experienced batting from Charfield saw off the dangerous spell of skipper Ben Pitman who bowled 6 maidens and only went for 6 runs from his 10 overs. After that Minch struggled to take wickets and to keep the run rate down as Charfield reached their target with two overs to spare. Skipper Pitman and the lads were disappointed to see the unbeaten run come to an end but great credit must be given to the side who, barring something miraculous in the last two games, look to have already secured the top spot and promotion to Stroud League Division 1 next season.