Great Win For Fourth Team
By James Wheeler
Stoke Green who were promoted with along with the Fourth Team last season. Captain Andy Grout won the toss and decided to bat first. Our visitors had strengthened their team and bowled well from the start with six maidens in the opening eight overs.
We dug in and after losing our openers John Graham and Krishna Mohan built some momentum.
Mohan fell to a great catch on 45 and wickets fell regularly to leave us 137-7 in the 35th over.
Captain Grout with a useful unbeaten 22 and young Ben Bezani with an excellent 45 not out put on 75 to take the Fourth Team to an unlikely 212-7 off 45 overs. Bezani showed great maturity in his innings to give our team a competitive total.
This was looking less competitive after 20 overs when the Stoke Green top four who all looked very useful got them to 130-2 . We had bowled well with Finlay Wade taking a wicket on his men's debut but were definitely in trouble.
Time for the old boys to get involved , Grout and Graham started taking wickets despite chances going down and doubt crept into the batting side. Joe Maggs was having a brilliant game behind the stumps and suddenly Stoke Green were nine down.
A very vocal balcony had turned their attention to over the hedge and that always inspires us. But they were 211-9 with five overs to go and their experienced keeper was batting with a young lad.
They decided to go for a risky single to Steve Wale, our best fielder, a great stop and return and Maggs whipped off the bails to give us a one run victory.
Absolute scenes with one of the best celebrations seen for a long time. Full credit to Stoke Green as well for playing their part in a magnificent game. Captain Grout finished with 4-33 and Graham with 3-46 got the wickets but this was a great team effort from all involved.