A day of unbroken sunshine, when Spring slipped into Summer and the football season conceded to cricket.
A warm welcome to Stage Cricket Club for their debut at Broadhalfpenny and a pre-match Cap presentation to Jim Morris, a Marine so tough he doesn't wince when he stops the ball with his kneecap.
Sargant bowled the first over, playing for Stage, to Ladenberg who paddled the first ball shoulder-height full toss to gully, caught. But a no-ball. Then a dot ball, and then the third ball of the innings was flicked to short mid-on, and the first wicket fell.
Ainsley & Henderson then set about building the Brigands innings, opening their shoulders to a brisk 58 and 39 respectively. Stage’s two spinners had settled in at either end by the time the second and third wickets fell; Maund’s debut for Brigands was marked by a classy 50*, with further contributions from Henderson Junior and Ali. Stage’s leg-spinner departed to A&E with a dislocated finger attempting a caught & bowled, and Brigands declared on 194 for 5 from just 32 overs.
Ali & Maund get Brigands to a defendable 194
A healthy tea was had by all, and Brigands ambled out to the middle knowing only 9 wickets would see victory. Stage openers proved stubborn obstacles as both Gray and Wood toiled away in the afternoon sun. The ball beat the bat a lot and Ainsely was flawless behind the stumps.
But a run-out and a smart change of bowling from the Monument End brought wickets for Morris and Gray and put the Brigands on top.
The Brigands think-tank, Gray gets a wicket with a loopy leg glance caught behind & Stage opener with Maund walking in at square leg
A middle-order partnership of 50 progressed the score towards three figures, but once they fell to high catches in the deep the remaining Stage wickets fell swiftly. Ali came on to bowl a wicket maiden and Maund followed up his half-century with 4-15 from 4 overs. The final wicket fell, Sargant clean bowled, with Stage on 104 and victory to Brigands by 90 runs.