Saturday 17 June 2017 Mole Hill Green
Sunday 18 June Little Easton
Despite early availability hiccups, the Tigers managed their Brexit Means Brexit tour of Stansted Airport and its environs, though disappointingly lost both matches, making it four defeats on the spin.
The Saturday fixture, on the small Molehill ground, was unsurprisingly a high scoring affair. Batting first, Tigers made a decent start, Chris Dane (16), Craig Murray (25) and Chris Wright (31) getting them to 100 by the 20 over break, but the meat of the innings came from a fifth wicket stand of 95 between Simon Warren – a Tiger best 52, and Mitchell Greenham (56 not out).
For the home side, M Coleman made 54 and J Coleman 63, leaving them in pole position at 170-4 after 22 overs, but three wickets from John McGirr and two from Rob Fowkes then had them tottering at 207-9. However, all the last four Molehill Green batsmen made double figures, with the last pair adding 32 to win the game, the Tigers’ second successive one wicket defeat.
With only six players staying overnight, reinforcements were called in for the Sunday fixture at Eastons, with Webster, McGirr, Warren, Fowkes and Mann-Short being replaced by Bignell, Ward, Herlihy and the Ravis Pooran and Sondh from Mayfield CC.
Batting first, the Tigers’ innings was built around a stand of 118 from Chris Wright (71) and Chris Dane (32), toughing it out against the usual tight bowling, which was just as well, since the other three batsmen in the top five failed to activate the scorer’s pencil! Wrighty looked well on the way to yet another classy 99 before he miscued a simple catch back to the bowler, sparking a collapse from 118-1 to 127-5. Thankfully, some positive cricket from Craig Murray (18 – including a six into the pavilion), Ravi Sondh (15) and Mitch Greenham (13), boosted the total to a slightly under-par 188 at the tea declaration.
Eastons innings was perfectly paced, despite regular wickets from Sondh, Bignell, Greenham and Wright, with skipper Barnard hitting an excellent hundred, finding a fifth wicket partner in Matthews (29*) to hit the winning runs with nine balls of the final 20 overs to spare. The Tigers needed some leverage, but it just wasn’t there, despite some Trojan bowling at the end from Wright and Greenham, the match not finishing until after 8 pm with the air temperature still in the high twenties.
This was the Tigers tenth match in less than two months, a punishing schedule for a team struggling for players (27 having been utilized already this season). Seven games have now been lost (including the last four), with the club being unable to field a full team on four occasions. On reflection, this weekend may have been an enterprise better embarked upon later in the summer. Nevertheless, top marks to Matt Webster for getting it done when it looked a dead duck a few weeks back. Hopefully the season will now settle down with more players becoming available.