In total contrast to the start of 2018 season where all warm up game were washed out due to rain, this season's first friendly match against Finchley was played in a well welcomed and appreciated sunny day, the hottest day of the year to-date.
It’s understandable that most players had other commitments this early in the season so the unfortunate loss overnight of Sheridon Gumbs and new signing Steve Clark was a blow to the team. However, with the ever reliable Simon Shearman rolling back the years to get into some whites and one of our ex-players in Robin Pritchard excepting a late invite we were able to field a full team of eleven.
Having won the toss, Captain Charlie Macdonell decided to bat first on what was a very hard wicket, uncharacteristic for early April, credit to the best groundsman on the Home County Circuit David Doyle.
With a few key players missing, an opportunity was presented for young debutant David Burnell (pictured) to open the batting with Macdonell. The pair batted extremely well together providing a glimpse of what’s to come for the season, scoring 164 in the opening partnership. Captain Macdonell was the first wicket to be dismissed when he was caught behind for a well compiled 93 off 72 deliveries which included 14 boundaries and 1 six.
Young Solly Woodall joined Burnell and the pair added 31 before Woodall went caught giving Lowe his second wicket.
Burnell and his new partner Michael Payne continued the excellent batting which saw Burnell scoring a century on debut to the excitement of the supporters including a proud Mum and Dad. He eventually fell on 101 from 109 deliveries including 10 boundaries and 2 sixes, soon followed by Payne as we pushed to maximise the total in the dying stages of the innings. Pritchard and Rory Criddle composed a quick 24 from 13 to close our innings on 268 for 4.
After a well delicious spread for tea, our visitors found themselves up against another of our debutants in Tom Weymes who bowled a brilliant opening spell in partnership with the young Simon Stanway. On his 8th delivery for the club, Weymes celebrated his first wicket, brilliantly caught at 1st slip by MacDonell and a second in his fifth over.
By now Finchley was starting to fall behind the rate. As MacDonell made the changes, the bowlers kept chipping in with wickets, Weymes the pick of the lot with 3 for 30 off eight overs, while Payne also took three wickets and Andy Harris two all supported by some excellent catching and a sharp stumping by Steve Dutch as Finchley was restricted to 213 from their 40 overs.