This was originally a Tour fixture for the Tour that never was. So after meeting for a pleasant Brunch at Newmarket we headed to the outskirts of the village of Reach where our opponents relatively new Cricket Field was located. The field was sat in a patch of National Trust land, surrounded by recent plantings of fruit and traditional trees. The ground was flat and windy, with a telegraph pole within the field, and lacked a Clubhouse. The pitch was rock hard and pock marked with a thin cover of green grass and promised to provide some challenge to batsmen.
Reach batted first. The bowling was opened by Richard (2-46) and Ciaran with an economical and fiery (managing to bruise Reach’s openers) spell of 1-24. Wickets from Andrew, John Loveday (First for club), and a welcome return from Max (1-19) made some progress at slowing their Innings before we had an excellent spell from Matt of 4-13 which ended the Reach Innings at 197. Ciaran starred in the field with 4 decent catches in the outfield. Phil.K performed a brave job behind the stumps and suffered much bruising caused by the variable bounce of the pitch.
So a gettable target and after a pleasant Tea, Ives started our innings. Bob and Phil.K fell cheaply before Richard, with an excellent knock of 60 (with his typical batch of 13 boundaries) was aided by Matt (26) and Ciaran (23). Chris P was elevated to the middle order and did not disappoint by swatting the ball round the field for 4 runs. The match see-sawed with Ives at times looking certain to win before late wickets in a second spell from their quickish opening bowler stopped us in our tracks. Phil.P (24) batted solidly at the end but was left without partners after Max and Andrew were out.
So an exciting but in the end disappointing result but a lot of fun had by all with drinks with the friendly opposition at the “Dykes End” (hmmm – puzzling choice of name for the village pub!).