From the Secretary (4-3-1-3):
Following our indifferent form in the three pre-season warm up games, Barford recorded a splendid victory today in the first proper match of the season against Temple Grafton. Batting first against a youthful looking side (albeit only nine of them), Sandy couldn’t continue his early season form and was soon back in the hutch, but this bought Ben and PJ together at the crease. Both were in excellent nick, playing shots all round the wicket and running (reasonably) hard. Paul was finally out after drinks for 44, having notched up a partnership of 90 with Ben. Simon D (30) continued the good work before Ben was eventually out for 71 with the score on 160. James Beavan tried to push the score along and was unlucky to be caught on the boundary but the cause was taken up by a strident Stacey (25 not out) and a rampant Rabbit (15), followed by a cameo performance from Will Morgan. We ended on 213-8; a really excellent all round batting performance.
Temple Grafton is a lovely ground, set in a valley overlooked by Grafton Court, and we enjoyed an excellent sit down tea. before lumbering out into the field. The home side were forced onto the back foot in the second over when their opener drove an Andrew Sherratt delivery hard into the waiting hands of Paul Stacey at mid-on. It seemed like a false dawn, however, as Temple Grafton’s opener (and Leamington player as we subsequently discovered) Liam Killian pounced on anything loose. He raced to 50 and looked set for a big score, until he drilled a fierce shot back to bowler Jolly who caught it in the crook of his arm. A sharp run out from fielder Beavan and keeper Sandy shifted the odds back in our favour, before Tim snaffled another caught and bowled, this time more or less elbowing the butter fingered PJ out the way. In his next over Tim bowled Grafton’s number 6 with what Sandy described as a “banana ball”, but the best was kept for last when he pulled off yet another caught and bowled, which was identical in every particular to this
Tim’s four wickets, of which three were caught and bowled, was bad news for the Jolly family finances because a four-for and three catches both qualify for jugs.
The tail was finished off by your humble correspondent (modesty forbids me from mentioning any figures), Will Morgan who bowled 2 excellent overs and Paul Stacey, whose slightly wayward spell tested Sandy’s patience and flexibility, but got the final wicket. Temple Grafton were all out for 128.
It was a very enjoyable fixture, played in an excellent spirit which carried on long after the game at the pub, where Shawn in particular was keen to taste the sweet, free larger in Tim’s jugs. We can definitely look forward to playing Temple Grafton again next year. Well played Barford and well bowled Banana Balls.