Headley: 105-9 (Smith 37)
The Sunday XI were well beaten by a strong RNVR side in what was, despite the scoreline, a very friendly game. The day started in chaotic fashion with half Headley’s team heading back from a wedding in Somerset and stuck on the A303. The shambolic nature of proceedings was evident by the fact that Steve Barton was one of the first on the scene! With hardly any batsmen present, Barton had little choice but to insert RNVR and once Headley were up to 11 it was soon obvious the visitors would have the better of the conditions. The ground had received 8 hours of overnight rain and was generally soaking wet; huge quantities of sawdust could not stop bowlers sliding on landing and the ball was constantly wet. Some scintillating shots from RNVR’s opener set the visitors away and Headley couldn’t get any control with either seam or spin. Steve Barton continued his man of the day performance with the best spell but RNVR moved along comfortably at around seven an over. As the sun came out the pitch dried out and became very tacky with the ball stopping. This enabled Headley to reel the run rate in in the closing stages, but a chase of 228 looked very tough on what was now a tricky wicket to time the ball on. Headley actually started the chase well with James Midmer (22) reeling off some boundaries and Oli Winters (7) playing the shot of the day, a pure back foot cover drive remiscent of Ian Bell. But Winters then skied one and the arrival of the tall Piers Vacher’s accurate off-spin then led to four quick wickets, including Midmer and then the crucial one of Barton for 0 to kill off the game. Rob Smith (37) batted through the carnage and hit some stylish cover drives as he took Headley close to the respectability of three figures before some great batting from the youngsters, Bobby and Ty Barton and Harry raised spirits in the evening sunshine, but this was a game where Headley were never really in the hunt against RNVR’s phalanx of decent spinners. As always, the visitors were a thoroughly top bunch of guys, playing the game in a great spirit and staying for a beer afterwards. We hope to give them a better game next year! Headley take on Mpingwe next Sunday and will be hoping for an improvement.