A glorious spring day at the Down with nature to the fore; the errant badger damaging the outfield was seen and chased across the road by the Ground Member before the start of play, whilst a pair of male Jays, Garrulus glandarius, the mature male in full plumage offering only a fleeting appearance and totally outshone by the juvenile looking confident and displaying with a flourish.
Bacchus (who disappointingly did not produce the wine or grapes that their name would suggest they might) started poorly thanks, appropriately enough, to safe hands from Ed but despite several near misses during opening spells from Ed and Os moved steadily on to 40 for one. Good tight bowling from the Brigands chipped away and steadily reduced them to 72 for 6, but strong innings from James Danson of 44 enabled a declaration at 175 for nine wickets.
Highlights included Hendo making a relatively straightforward catch more difficult, only taking it for the points, a maiden Brigands wicket for Jake Heslop, fittingly enough his victim being a turncoat Brigand and the Chairman whilst umpiring at the pavilion end showing athleticism of a man of far more tender years to avoid a hard hit straight drive.
After a tea, Brigands started their response even more poorly than Bachus with Adam Jay failing to trouble anyone, let alone the scorers, and Ed and Hendo following swiftly leaving the Brigands staring down the barrel at 17 for 3.
Cometh the hour, cometh the men; Northwood resplendent in new boots (with an unusual velcro cross strap, height of fashion, or a secret Malvolio emerging?) and Turner righting the ship with a splendid stand of 98 ensued with a mixture of delicate placement and bludgeoned power moved the game firmly back Brigands way.
Both reached their fifties before falling leaving matters in the hands of Os and Zeb Jay, the latter producing some sparkling drives and looking as if he would be there to take the Brigands home but sadly it was not to be, departing for a well crafted 13 leaving the Brigands on 174 for 7 . This swiftly became 174 for 8, Neil, “not in it for the points this time” Wood departing caught behind first ball before the calm head of skipper Beardall saw the Brigands home
Sons of Bacchus 175 for 9 declared (James Danson 44 no . Ed Hands 4 for 30)
Brigands 176 for 8 (Northwood 57, Turner 59)
Brigands won by 2 wickets.
From top left; Jake on debut, Umpires Nick Harris and Bryan Burns, Man of the Match Dave Turner, the beautiful Bailey tea, Jay and Hands digging a hole, the partnership of Northwood and Turner, Turner out, Zeb Jay the magnificent, Neil Wood out first ball.