Collegiate maintained winning ways after breaking Calver’s unbeaten record. This week was a much more experienced team compared to last week’s winning team against Ashford. The veteran’s consisted of Hickman, Schofield, Stewart, Miller, Pearson, Longley, Watson and the return of Butler. They were joined by the youthful Willis, Wellman and Walmsley (first game back after the unacceptable absence due to examinations).
Bully won the pivotal toss and elected to bat on an unusually green, but true wicket. Schofield and Walmsley opened the batting and got off to a solid start. Walmsley got off the mark by punishing a full toss out of the ground, exploiting the extremely short boundaries. Meanwhile, in the pavilion Bruce was informing the team ofhis ventures of the previous night and his three favourite sayings much to the delight of Stewie. Not sure the scorers appreciated these words all too well. Unfortunately, Stewie’s laughter was cut short as he attended the crease after Walmsley chipped the ball to mid-off for 17 runs. Nevertheless, Schofield and Stewie’s collaboration was a joy to watch as they exploited the boundaries well. Yet again, Stewie eased to a half century in an aggressive nature but could not extend this total like last week as he was bowled for an impressive 50, 112-2. In came Bully, whose fine form continued as his innings accelerated from the start leading to several balls having to be collected outside the premises of the petite ground as he reached 50. Schofield and Bully exceeded a 100 run partnership which saw Bob similarly reach a steady half century. His total accumulated to a top score of 75 before he departed, after he too was bowled. He both laid the foundations and held the innings together with many fine strokes, the score now reading an impressive 225-3.
After the loss of Bob the innings grounded to a temporary halt and lost some momentum as T joined Bully briefly at the crease before he sadly picked out mid-wicket for a duck. Although, further contributions for Bully with the help of Butler, Wellman and Watson meant Collegiate posted a very competitive score of 262 as they used up the full 46 overs with the loss of 7 wickets. Bully’s contributions from the middle and final overs were key to this healthy score. He finished on an impeccable 71 runs off only 68 balls before he was stumped trying to pump the ball out of the ground. Not for the first time! In fact, Bull was swinging at the ball so hard and connecting mostly, he nearly destroyed Rooty’s bat. At least it wasn’t the same scenario as last year’s incident with Stewie’s bat. Overall, another fine performance with the bat from the VP’s XI.
The general consensus of tea was fine. Once again tea was unsurprisingly full of glutenous products. It emergedthat Wellers has replaced his gluten-free Jaffa cakes with fruit-pastels, much to the amusement of T who thought he nearly killed Wellers by spilling cake on him accidently.
Post-interval, Willis and Wellman opened the bowling for Collegiate. Wellman opened from the top end much to Bruce’s disgust. Nevertheless, it was Bruce who struck first with the all-important wicket of Adursh, a Collegiate reject. Bruce could not hide his emotions when this psychological wicket was taken as the ball was caught behind by Schofield. Furthermore, Bruce took the second wicket in similar fashion. Calver had a stuttering start in which they were 27-2. Meanwhile, Wellers struggled to adapt to the top end slope (Perhaps the fruit pastels were not such a good move after all) and so was replaced by Watson. He too faced this dilemma at the start of his spell, going for no less than 22 runs in 3 overs. Bully’s superb captaincy prevailed though as he stuck with Benji. This choice paid off because Benji would end up taking 4 wickets, including bowling that of Calver’s number 3, Howie, who hit a quick 41 runs. Watson adapted and bowled wonderfully inhis remaining 6 overs, bowling effectively at the stumps. There was simply no reward for width on this ground.
After Bruce’s crisp spell, Longley came on at his preferred bottom end, bowling gracefully as he cleaned out thetale end with a very economical spell of only 12 runs from 7.4 overs. No shock there! Certainly the pick of the bowlers with 4 wickets. Pearson came on for 1 over from the top end during the dying embers of Calver’s uncomprehensive innings that totalled only 100 runs. In this penultimate over the slip cordon identified that Bob was not such a pessimist after all.
This was a complete performance from Collegiate from all aspects of the game, even in the fielding departmentwith a superb catch from Butler rolling back the years. The crushing defeat of top table Calver, has sent a clear message to the League and will assist Collegiate’s promotion campaign. Well done to everyone.