I should have read the terms and conditions more carefully. Nowhere does it say that Walton 1st XI will be in the least bit consistent or that any player will turn in two solid back-to-back performance in a row. I’ve seen more predictable roulette wheels!
Walton went out to field brimming with confidence as for the first time this the season they had both the nominal first choice strike bowlers available. Well guess what – they went on strike. Matt Nichols opened with a no ball, never a good omen. After two otherwise unremarkable overs Nico picked up a wicket and bowled a wicket maiden – so far so good. Things went downhill fairly quickly with Nico being taken off after 4 overs (1 for 34) and then Jamie Aldrige picking two wickets and then being banned for bowling two beamers and being sent to the outfield in disgrace (2 for 42). After 13 over Valley End were 90 for 3.
Jack Dominy (0 for 49) and Ben Monk (2 for 48) plugged away but the projected score was somewhere in the region of 300 to 350 for most of the next 25 overs. After 27 overs Valley end were 170 for 3. Dan Roberts finally broke the partnership after 107 runs and to your correspondent’s amazement Valley End were reduced to 217 for 7 after 38 overs – a veritable collapse. However they went on to finish their 50 overs on 284 for 9. This was not as good a score as looked likely at some stages, but it looked to be too big for Walton unless they batted really well. Dan was of course hugely optimistic, but then he had just burgled 3 for 53. The only other bowler used was Harrison Perry who returned figures of 1 for 45.
So now to the batting – any guesses how this went? On the plus side runs came quite quickly, but so did the wickets. The first wicket fell at the end of the 4th over (1 for 24), and by the end of the 20th over Walton were 102 for 5. Nothing wrong with the run rate, just an acute shortage of remaining batsmen. Jamie Mann was the top scorer at this stage with 27 with Dan and James Madoc-Jones each getting a symmetric 14.
Fortunately the tail wagged a bit. Jamie Aldridge, still in disgrace from his bowling problems played what can only be characterised as a responsible innings and topped the scoring with 37*, ably supported by Ben Monk (20) and Jack Dominy (9). The final score was 189 all out after 37 overs – losing by 95 runs. A special mention should go to Mr VE Extras who did his best to help Walton with a steady 33 which included 17 wides.
This game followed the really solid performance against Spencer the previous week and it came as a severe disappointment. Walton didn’t bowl as well as they can and then just didn’t bat well enough. With a Spencer-like performance this game could have been won. Well I wonder what will happen next week.