The work has now almost been completed on 2 new nets and this will provide plenty of opportunity for W&H players to practice. On the evidence of this match, they will be well used. The Ferrari stayed in the pits, Matt was still pleading injury and for those of you he did not tell, Smithy was “in Philadelphia on business”

On another lovely Sunday afternoon W&H went to Valley End and had what looked, on paper, to be a decent batting line up. Valley End rather unfairly decided we should play the match on a cricket wicket and not on paper. The W&H banter was at a slightly higher octave than recently, due entirely to the presence of Scott Stevens, making his first appearance for some time. When he speaks, very few people can understand him and his claims to be a Pom led us to believe that the locals have been adding something interesting to the Diet Coke.

The wicket looked good and stand in Captain Billy, decided to bat. The opening over was a bit wayward and our returning pal Scotty feasted off the first few balls. With the Umpire's arms half way out to signal a second wide off the over, Scotty chased the ball and lobbed it fairly gently to one of the youngsters in the deep. So, in keeping with many matches this season, Albert made his way to the middle at the end of the first over.

Conor and Albert hung around for a while and it looked like a decent total was still on the cards. Conor then missed a straight one and Uzi and John both fell fairly cheaply. Sam Way looked to be coming back into form, but played one lofted shot too many to hole out on 31. Billy joined Albert and scratched his way into double figures, making good use of the Chinese cut just past his stumps. Immediately after tea, Albert fell caught behind for a well played 41. Hamza’s new found resilience was, once again in evidence. He hung around for a while, contributing a dogged 17 before getting bowled trying to hit out near the end. Jerry’s quick fire 10 took the total to 188 for 9 – Peter adding another HPO to his collection.

Valley End set about the task with a purpose. The openers looked in good touch and one of them batted through finishing in the 60s not out. A very quick 50 from Ed Lea put the result in no doubt – along with some excellent blows, Ed really does know how to edge a ball very fast and hard!

The W&H bowlers kept trying until the end but, on a fast outfield, 188 was never really enough to defend. Valley End reached 191 for 3 with over 6 overs to spare. In the bowling department Albert took 2 for 41 off 9, Jack 0 for 14 off 6 and Sam took 1 for 9 off 4. Once again, man of the match plaudits to top scorer and top wicket taker, Albert. What will W&H do without Albert? We will find out next weekend, when he is away bowling (the 10 pin variety – that’s easier than the 3 pin bowling he does on a Sunday, because there is no one in the way with a bat!)

The hospitality and food were first class and this was an enjoyable game of cricket. Thanks to the Valley End people for the tea and BBQ and as always to Erica for scoring.

As for the result, W&H were well beaten – I blame the captain!


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