It seems that every game is pivotal as we head deeper into July but none may be more so than this weekend. The weather is set for a fair but cooling trend tomorrow, so all three games should go ahead.
The First XI have, without doubt, their most important and probably toughest game of the season. IBM Hursley are the visitors and they will be in a buoyant mood after battering Romsey & OT’s last week.
However, The Oaks, after scrambling together results at the start of the season, now look full of confidence with batsmen and bowlers all moving through the gears. Skipper, Dan Sumner, makes just two changes with Fawad Ahmed coming in for Clive Welsman and Tom Barnes replacing Ronnie McEwan.
Otherwise its as you were with the boys raring to go and ready for a huge test. Hursley will be ready for the game too though so it should be a good one, with James Bayliss in particular worth keeping an eye on. He likes his average and he likes the name Hursley.
Team: Hennessey, Sumner, Warner, Montgomery, Tiley, Bayliss, Compton-Bearne, Bennett, Brundle, Ahmed, Barnes
George Lethaby’s Two’s travel locally to Herriard in what is a must win game if they want to cling on to any lingering promotion hopes. The boys were well beaten by a decent St Mary Bourne outfit last time out after failing to put on a decent target. As Bownie pointed out, there are a lot of good hitters in the side but we appeared to lack anyone who could build a middle order innings.
Ollie Rabley and James Adams reminded George they could bat last week and encouraging performances from them have been rewarded with places up the order. Out of the side this week are Alan North (drunk in Turkey) Jack ‘Safe Hands’ Brundle (crashing a go kart) Tom Barnes (up to the Firsts) and Jeff King (not sure why?)
In come the other King’s, Perry and Brett, Bob Lethaby, who took six wickets last Sunday but won’t talk about it, and Nathan Rabley. It is a big day for young Rabbers as he is taking the gloves with Steve Savage gradually passing the responsibility down the line, despite some fine performances this year. Good luck Nathan, your time has come.
George has spent the last two days tinkering with his line up and is still not sure but the team you see below, is roughly where he wants it to be. The Oaks have a decent enough side out, but the top and middle order need to deliver with willow in hand if we are to give the season renewed impetus. Win and the season is still alive. Lose and it is a quest for mid-table respectability.
A big game this.
Team: Savage, Bown, R Wood, Adams, G Lethaby, W Cheyney, N Rabley, O Rabley, B King, P King, B Lethaby
The Third XI, still reeling from their ‘Devon Loch’ defeat from last week, must pick themselves up and go again. It is all about getting games and seeing individual improvements from the boys and they continue to do that. It would just be great to get a win under their belts because they have been excellent at times without quite being able to put together a complete performance.
The main thing is that these lads have been providing a platform for the club. The success of The First XI is due to being bolstered from below with the development of new and young players. Despite the results, I have been delighted as chairman at our ability to get a team out every week without any trouble. I also understand that the lads are enjoying it and improving all the time.
If only we could get that win…Come on boys!!
Team: D Beckell, James, J Carpenter, Clift, De Vos, N Beckell, P Carpenter, Kancharla, T McCewan, Tall Jeff, W Rabley
It Karaoke night at the club tomorrow. We have a professional DJ who can bang out any track you can think of. Brad will undoubtedly be the highlight of a fun filled evening unless any of you can surpass his brilliance. It was a huge success last year and is complimented by a BBQ by Mannie Fonseca this time round. Tickets are £5.00 with excellent food at £5.00 a plate. All members are welcome and remember, all the profits are reinvested.
You might even see the chairman doing ‘Sixy Thing’ or ‘I Want Your Six’. If you want to know why he has subtlety changed the lyrics, feel free to ask him. He might not want to talk about it but that is highly unlikely.
Have a great weekend keeping the wheels of the wagon rolling on!