Headley: 183 all out (A. Pickering 49) lost to Woodpeckers: 184-8 (Elburn 3-25) by 2 wickets
Having lost the toss on a damp, wet, minefield, Headley were unsurprisingly inserted and James Midmer was unsurprisingly asked by his team to accept responsibility and open the batting himself. Midmer put together a painstaking innings of 44 which anchored some more entertaining knocks from Tom Laudy, Mitch Pickering, Will Midmer and Seb Stewart. Woodpeckers opener Oliver Mott bowled a particularly good spell- accurate and with constant seam movement. Batting wise- Stewart in particular impressed with some entertaining strokeplay from the slower bowlers. However, the steep and variable bounce from a spiteful pitch made scoring hard, and the Woodpeckers, led by the aforementioned Mott, gave nothing away to reduce Headley to 110-5 (with only 10 batsmen available). The time had come for a classic village-cricket-lower-middle-order-cameo and it came from Andy Pickering, who looked in violent form from the outset of his knock at No.7 and soon began raining down slog sweeps on the nearby woods. His 49 powered Headley up to a previously unlikely 183 all out at tea.
Headley were initially sensational after tea and the Woodpeckers were soon reduced to 7-3 by the young and not so young opening bowlers Elburn and Clarke. However, the Woodpeckers are made of stern stuff and were past 100 by the time the fourth wicket came, their aggressive No.4 batsman holing out at long off for a Pickering-esque 65. Headley were still well in the game at this point, but a fifth wicket agonisingly evaded them for some time, and by the time it came the Woodpeckers had reached a seemingly comfortable 130-5. However, a big breakthrough then came when Midmer W removed the No.5 batsman, who had been steadily accumulating, LBW to leave the Woodpeckers still around 30 runs short with 4 wickets remaining. Scenting blood, Midmer J then brought Elburn back into the attack, and was rewarded with two quick LBW wickets from the slow medium, occasionally full on medium paceman. The Woodpeckers were now 170-8 and Headley had a few balls at the tail to win it, but Oliver Mott had by this point re-emerged as a steady batsman and in partnership with visiting skipper Patrick Owen-Browne, he steered the visitors past the target for 8 wickets down. Headley will hope that with some more luck (and an eleventh man!) they can record a first victory for some time against these thoroughly nice opponents next year.