On a gloriously hot, sunny, still day at Whitecliff .......... who am I kidding .......... it was Baltic and bonus points should go to both sides for getting a game played on Saturday in challenging conditions. It was cold, had been wet for the majority of the week and the wind so strong at times even people flying kites gave up unlike the 22 hardy souls gracing the Whitecliff wicket.
After winning the toss Poole skipper Craig Rochford asked Witchampton to don the pads and asked opening bowlers Matt Williams and Joe Cornick to abandon plans to sit under blankets for the first hour and mark out their run ups, the latter was asked to run into the rather brisk wind from the car park end. Matt Williams quickly into his stride trapped Witchampton opener Ryan Allaway LBW for 0, taking advantage of the pressure being applied at both ends. With the senior Williams replacing the junior version from the harbour end he was quickly into the wicket column also, with wicketkeeper Ben Wright safely pouching a top edge that went high into the breeze, consistent with the 'keeping he showed through the day in tricky conditions. Chak Beagley ran head on into the breeze following on from Cornicks spell, and picked up two quick wickets, while from the Harbour end, Oli Baker making his league debut produced a sumptuous ball first up, dimissing Eli Cull LBW and leaving himself wondering why he'd been nervous all morning. With Witchampton 45-5 at drinks (18 overs) Poole looked to set about the tail, but skipper Luke Smith and James Allaway rebuilt the innings, assisted with extras being given away as bowling conditions were furthered hampered by the wind. Beagley picked up a third wicket bowling skipper Smith, before Rochford bagged the wicket of James Allaway caught at midwicket by Dave Spencer. Patrick Reynolds added himself to the wicket taking column before Matt Williams wondered what had taken everyone else quite so long and why he'd been out freezing as a boundary rider and took two in two balls to wrap up the Witchampton innings for 146.
Following a tea where everyone regretted not bringing a thermos of bovril Poole's openers looked to set about the target set, but were quickly a wicket down as James Allaway dismissed Matt Hobbs for a duck, and him walking back to the hutch fuming that he would have an extra passenger to take home in the form of Quack Leach, the 3rd team mascot. Dave Spencer came to the crease and looked to settle in on a wicket that while mainly consistent would take time to adjust to. Ben Pocknell quickly followed back to the pavilion bringing Ben Wright, bruised after wearing a few in the chest from keeping, to the crease to support the settling Spencer and the two looked to set about balancing staying at the crease with upping the Poole run rate which both managed superbly, in a partnership worth 80 runs with both making equal contributions run wise. Spencer, his usual swashbuckling self growing in confidence as his innings went on, he was compentently supported by youngster Wright who also grew as the innings went on. The pair confidently called runs and looked to keep on top of a well managed run rate before Wright played a tired looking shot and chipped a ball up to cover, dismissed for 30 but deserving of the applause as he headed for shelter infront of the pavilion. Chak Beagley joined Spencer at the crease as the pair saw Poole Town over the line, Spencer finishing on 70 not out scoring nine fours and a single six in an innings that was a pleasure to watch under two jumpers, four coats and a blanket while also getting pad rash.
Witchampton - 146 ao (38.4 overs)
Luke Smith - 25
M Williams - 3/13
Beagley - 3/40
Poole Town - 148/3 (36 overs)
Spencer - 70*
Wright - 30
Guirdham - 1/19