Here is what I know of the first team game on Saturday. Woody was supposed to be doing the report, but he was too busy. Whether he would have been ‘too busy’ had he scored a fifty, we will never know…well, we do really.
So, onto the game. Well, we were well beaten by an organised team who are strong in all departments and set to prosper in C2 next season. What we need to do is work out how much better, and how, as a young group of players, we can get to their level.
If we were an ageing team that had limped up to County 2 due to our experience, I would fear for us next season. However, we are a team of young players all looking to get better, so we have a good chance if we work hard enough.
Obviously, a score of 88 is not nearly enough, and even that was disguised by a late show of belligerence by Tom Barnes. East Woodhay bowled well and some of their ground fielding was exceptional. As much as our batsmen tried to get going, it wasn’t to be our day.
Defending the score, the spirit in the team remained high and the boys made sure that The Woodhay batsmen had to work for their runs. Fawad and Josh Carpenter created half chances but Woodhay had plenty of time. In the end, only a fine run out by Dan Sumner halted a ten-wicket defeat.
No one was too disheartened after the game. We did our best and accepted we need to get better and train more regularly in the build up to next season. Rome was not built in a day and nor will our bid to maintain County status be. We just need to be stronger and show a tougher attitude towards batting.
For their part, East Woodhay were, as usual, sporting visitors with an excellent attitude. They are of similar stature to us off the pitch and there is genuine respect between the teams. We just need to be of similar stature to them on it.
There are not many players I know at the club who don’t think they can practice hard and raise their own standards to play in County 2. If they do that, the transformation in fortunes will be dramatic. We can then continue the trajectory that has taken us from RN2 to Hampshire County 2 in six years.
On we travel.