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Brigands v Hambledon, 25 June 2023

A heartfelt thank-you to the ground team that put up the marquee in the sweltering heat in the morning, and to Andy Reed for scoring, Clive Barnett for Umpiring, and Graham Inglis for tea and Match Management; it’s acts of volunteering like this that make cricket clubs operate successfully.

At the other end of the scale, a no-show meant a last-minute scramble for an eleventh player Leon Gray which meant that the Brigands team fielded two married gay men for the first time; fitting, at the end of Pride month.

Brigands were in a benevolent mood, giving Hambledon early runs as they raced to a 50-run opening stand in only the 7th over with misfields and boundaries galore. The spin of Bath and Ali slowed things down, the bounce was hard to play, and wickets began to fall with good catches behind the wicket and on the boundary. Tom Ladenburg bowled 3 tight overs as Henderson rotated bowlers to support Bath in particular, who bagged another stunning 6 wicket haul.

Hambledon all out for 185 and Brigand’s chase faltered as Guy Ladernburg was caught behind and was later seen walking around the boundary seeking advice from his son.

Jay (13) and Henderson (38) built a partnership but Brigands fell from 57-2 to 58-6 in the blink of an eye with ducks to slip catches for Northwood, Ali and Bath. Lee Gray hit 36 at the end as Hambledon opened up the bowling, but there was no way back from the middle-order collapse and an easy victory for the neighbours by 70 runs.

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