So Horsham. As a big club associated with a multi-sports club, they always seem to have strength in depth and depth in enthusiasm. And there they were warming up in their squad numbered tops, as we arrived.
The football is reaching majestic levels as we hit that mid-season period. Scribe is netting with alarming regularity and Xaviesque in his playmaking.
Kashy would lose the toss and Horsham opted to bat.
Two smaller lads would open for Horsham, one a youngster, both looked pretty solid. The youth would go first, very unfortunately chopping a back foot defensive onto his stumps after working hard to get going.
Young Devon Endersby looked fresh in from a Newquay-based Torres lookalike contest and decided to use his feet and hit Carl out of the attack. An interesting approach and not a terrible idea, but it was not to succeed as a Big C slower ball cut in through his gate and hit the top of middle, just another piece of regulation brilliance from Carlo.
Lord Green would complete a tidy run out after Faithy’s deceptive parry to him.
Then Sam Attfield would play a very tidy knock before Kashy found a useful arm ball to take the top of his off stump.
This brought in the dangerous Gallagher. His partnership with the solidly trundling opener would yield just under 70. Nigglingly, early in this partnership with the aid of DRS Scribe would actually have had both out. Riggy’s sharp turning nut found the faintest of edges from Gallagher, the deflection more pronounced than the noise and a tight stumping decision went in favour of their opener. This is not a criticism of the umpiring here, they were very tough decisions to make and the batsmen quite rightly got the benefit of the doubt, but Scribe has the benefit/burden of extreme proximity. It is a reminder of the margins by which games like this are decided, that would likely have made around 50 runs difference in the final analysis.
As it was Gallagher would impressively smash forty odd before he was out with some ludicrous misfortune and it wasn’t until late in the game that Mandu would bowl the opener for a well ground out 96.
We would also get another couple of run outs, one of which was a truly excellent piece of umpiring from ex-Bridges run machine Mark Newell, and Jimmy A joined the party after finding the slow deck hard going. The innings would end with Josh Levine neatly judging a skier and collecting the 10th point for the heroes.
Tea was a welcome break from what was becoming a warm day and Jan delivered the goods - as per…
The innings didn’t start well with Joe Gatts going for just 1 in the 3rd over. Sadly it slightly set the tone. Jez would somewhat carelessly chip a simple chance to the only man on the leg-side. Faithy was caught in the slips and then it was Jimmy A and Wakers.
Rather reminiscently of last year they would form a solid looking partnership, but Jimmy didn’t like the loopy leg breaks of “Just another manic” Munday, nicking a long hop to the keeper.
Horse joined the fray and together they put on 40 odd, but sadly Wakeford, who had been batting beautifully, had a brain melt and gave a moon ball the charge, never getting his bat within 2 metres of the ball as he collided with the bowler in his 1 step follow through. The only question was whether he and Horse had crossed.
Levine would try to pull a shortish shooty one, Horse would then nick off next over and it was left to Scribe and Mandu to steady the ship.
Mandu batted well, Scribe solidly enough. We set about just playing overs and then realised we were there or there abouts for a sprint finish for the line. That would end when Mandu looped one to point where he was brilliantly caught by Atfield.
Now with only 1 wicket keeping the wolf from the door, or at least the BEAST from the middle, we called it a day. Big C struck three 4s and we were left just 4 short of our 14th point meaning the scores were 13 to Nomads and 14 to Horsham. And that was a fair call really.Scorecard
Several final thoughts on this one. We had a serious side out today, unfortunately the rain affected deck was too slow for Jimmy A’s feisty pace to be a factor and Joe’s 1 wasn’t very many runs. That aside the reason we didn’t win was a lack of application when batting. The only partnership that netted over 50 was for the 8th wicket, by which the point we couldn’t play with enough freedom to seriously pursue the 8 an over rate. With very few of the dismissals could you say the bowler got them out, they were mostly self-inflicted. With a couple of exceptions (e.g. Chichester) the batting has been a little below par this year and we will have to sort that if we are to wrestle ourselves back on top.
That said, no need for despair, we probably need to make a 5% adjustment and there is still all to play for. We stay ahead of Horsham, who are consistently talented side, but Hastings have found the all important knack of winning this year and tis they we all chase.