Skipper Jaime Waring won the toss and chose to bat given the rising temperature and Alex Waring and Tom Richings set about building a total. If there is one thing Minch remember from the previous fixture it’s that Cheltenhams opening attack of Hunt and Bush were good and they needed to see them off. But Richings fell early for 2 and Waring despite looking good for 15 also fell both bowled to Hunt. Jon Ablett and Dave Gordon dug in and added 30 for the 3rd wicket before Gordon missed timed a full toss straight back at the bowler to depart for 11. Ablett looked fluent and was joined by 2nd XI stalwart Matt Hole who had earned a call up. The two added 20 before Ablett picked out the fielder at square leg for a well crafted 35 but furious with himself for not going on. At 80 for 4 from 26 overs Minch were struggling slightly, but youngster Hole and skipper Jaime Waring re-built and set off at a fast pace punishing anything loose to the boundary. Hole played very well for his 27 before he fell bowled again by Hunt, the 2 adding 40 for the 5th wicket. There was still work to do however and firstly Shearman added a vital 14, then Cruickshank with 9 as Waring started to up the tempo adding 44 at no.6 before falling in the last over. With 45 runs added in the final 5 overs this gave Minch a healthy score of 180 for 8, captain Stefan Hunt the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 17.
In reply Minch promoted another 2nd XI star to the side, as 2s captain Ben Pitman (leading wicket taker in the club) stepped up to open the bowling alongside Pete Wallis. Wallis started well, on the money from the start as always. Pitman had a loose 1st over that Gallagher put away for 10 runs, but soon found his stride. Pitman (2 for 18) had Gallagher caught at slip by Jon Ablett and then followed up with a corker of a ball to remove Turner for a duck. When Wallis had Blake LBW for 6 the pressure was really on. Not for the 1st time this season Minch let a great early start slip slightly as Waters and Nicholls built a healthy 50 partnership. The usually economical John Turton was taking the brunt of the runs and Jaime Waring from the other end initially struggle for line and length. But 2 well held catches, both by Alex Waring changed the innings as firstly Nicholls (32) skied one off Turton and then Waters (17) picked out Waring again in the deep off the bowling of brother Jaime and he held well.
Minchs strength all year has been the depth in bowling, highlighted by Tom Shearman coming on as 5th bowler and bowling an impeccable line and length. He quickly removed Wyatt for 1, Ablett the catcher and then Burford for 4, a sharp catch from the reliable Cruickshank behind the stumps. Captain Hunt did his best to salvage the innings for his side with a well played 24 but he ran out of partners. With the weather looking to draw in, Minch raced through the overs, conceding no bowling extras on the way. Shearman finished with 3 for 15 and Minch then turned to opener Wallis to return from the top end and he took the 2 wickets of Hunt and Nicholls to wrap the game up, Cheltenham all out for 107 in 35 overs and Wallis finishing with 3 for 10.
A big thanks to Leon Pretorius for firing up the BBQ after, the Cheltenham lads for sticking around and the MCC club committee for putting on a few free beers and burgers to celebrate the last 1st XI home game.