Saturday 7th July
On a humid overcast afternoon with rain threatening at any time, HOF played their first league match at Ashtead Park against Ockley 1st XI. The outfield was lush green and slightly long, not surprising given the recent weather. The wicket was in good condition and looked to be good for batting, however proved to be difficult.
HOF lost the toss and were sent into bat. Jeff Haywood was the first to fall in the second over, without scoring any runs. Hutter and MacDonald got the scoreboard moving. Some fluent shots were played but only resulting in 2 runs at a time. The outfield was playing very slow. Hutter was caught for 32 leaving HOF 53 for 2. Simon Camp was next in and quickly played a number of shots moving the score on. He was soon out for 23, which meant HOF were 85 for 3. MacDonald soon followed after scoring 29. At number 5 was James Moss, and with his opening two shots he still looked to be in good form, from his previous innings of 74. Unfortunately the support from Holliday was short and HOF were 114 for 5. Moss and Pickering got the score moving again. They struggled against the slow grenade-like leg spinner, however it was the bowler from the other end that undid Moss as he was bowled for 24. Keenan hung a round but could only master a single run before being caught, leaving HOF 133 for 7. HOF reached the 40th over with 142 for 7 on the board, a below par score for Ashtead Park. The next eight over’s saw 40 runs added to the score with Andy Pickering at the heart of it. Tom Haywood came and went for 4, O’Brien gave a quick burst of support hitting the only six of the game but was soon bowled for 11. With Ockley bowling the 48th and last over of the innings HOF were 183 for 9 and were all out when Pickering went to hit the ball deep to mid-on and was caught for 37. HOF 183 all out.
HOF started the bowling with a change of tack, using two spinners to open the bowling:- Tom Haywood and Jeff Haywood. HOF picked up the first wicket after only 3 overs, Jeff Haywood bowled and Alex Gregory took the catch. Ockley were 18 for 1. It was not long before the new ball was taken and Ross O’Brien and Alex Gregory were brought into the attack. O’Brien looked in good form nearly taking their number 3 twice in one over. He did not have to wait long before clean bowling him for 5. Ockley were now 36 for 2. The other opener looked in good form and could have been out, trapped in front by Alex Gregory but was denied. Both Gregory and O’Brien were bowling a super line and length, and not giving away many runs. Ockley were soon 48 for 3 when O’Brien struck again. Gregory was unlucky not to pick up a wicket and was replaced by Jo Hutter who soon found the way through and bowled their number 5. The score was 64 for 4. Hutter was bowling well. O’Brien was replaced by Tom Haywood. Hutter picked up the 5th wicket, again striking the stumps to bowl the number 6. Ockley were now 96 for 5. There was a good partnership developing between the opener and batsman 7. The opener reached his 50 and looked to push the score on quickly. He was soon out, caught off Hutters bowling for 64. Ockley were 141 for 6. Hutter stuck again, picking up his 4th wicket by bowling the number 8 without scoring. 150 for 7. The next two wickets fell for only 9 runs, O’Brien picked up the first by bowling the number 9 after replacing Hutter. Hutter swapped ends and bowled the number 10. Ockley were now 159 for 9. They still had their number 7 who looked comfortable and set. 39 over’s had now passed and with only 3 over’s left they needed 11 to win, as he had pushed the score up to 173 for 9. Entering the 40th over the score was 175 for 9. Would Ockley sneak past the post and deny HOF the win? On the 5th ball of the over the game was HOF’s. Hutter picked up his 6th and the win, trapping the number 11 plum in front. Ockley all out for 175 off 39.5 over’s. Hutter ended with 6 for 27.
HOF 183 all out, Ockley 175 all out. HOF Win by 8 runs, HOF 37 pts Ockley 7 pts.