Photo courtesy of Stuart Tree – Hopes were not high of finishing this game the third of a trio of fixtures against Grayswood 3s at the tranquil but far flung setting of Lurgashall. Some late arrivals meant another all important toss for the skipper to win, which he duly did. He probably soon regretted it as the Shotts top order continued their poor starts, 0-2 soon becoming 23-5. Raghuvanshi the pick of the bowlers picking up three wickets as his partner Rist left the field due to an unfortunate injury.

This week, however, the lower order did exactly what was required of them and that was to occupy the crease. Brayshaw and Owen putting on a 49 run partnership. Owen top scoring with 35 including a six which almost put a hefty dent in the bonnet of Peter Messina’s car as he duly arrived for the game. The partnership was broken due to the first of two run outs in the Shotts innings. Brayshaw was joined by Barclay who shared a 44 run partnership which was at first broken by a heavy rain shower resulting in three overs lost out of the game. The fresh pitch helped the bowlers more than the batsman as the Shotts passed the 100 mark before Barclay fell for 21. Brayshaw soon followed with a second run out for a fine 22 off 63 balls. Crucial in the context of the game. The unbeaten Messina father and son partnership of 16 including some lusty blows ensured the Shotts finished with a defendable total of 154 albeit on a small ground.

After tea the Shotts knew that either wickets or strangling the runs was the only option to win the game. They did both, in the first instance strangling the home side’s run chase with Avery and Barclay bowling tight lines at less than two runs an over, well supported in the field. Avery bagged the first wicket as the openers tried to increase the run rate and the change bowlers of Weekes Jnr, Messina Snr, Owen maintained the grip as wicket started to fall at regular intervals as the pressure grew on the home side to score runs, including a couple of run outs. Cole Messina in his first adult game bagged a wicket as did Barclay who returned to bowl the last over and finally bowl Grayswood out for 89 in just 36.2 overs.