Three Debuts, Two Pitches and One Century was the order of the day as Wooburn kept up their unbeaten Sunday record at home to Farnham Common.
With usual Skipper Paul Cooper on coaching duty in the morning, it was down to George Taylor to make his much-anticipated debut as skipper. His tenure did not get off to the greatest start as he had accidentally put the stumps out on the Colts pitch, fortunately a keen eyed spotter realised before play commenced, and order was soon restored. The Rollercoaster start continued and despite losing the toss, Wooburn were put into bat by the opposition, a popular decision amongst the Sunday finest. After that high came another low, as the batting order caused some seriously heated debate in the home dressing room. Rumours that a small scuffle broke out among senior players has since been denied.
The batting order situation addressed, Taylor sent out Derek Milsom and James White to open the Wooburn Innings. A steady start was established, both players trying to find their way on the slow track that on occasion produced a shock bouncer. With the wicket proving to be as predictable as Jerry Tennants time keeping, it was Milsom to fall first, bowled for 6. However, Taylor was unconcerned, as the innings had begun to progress nicely. Matt Curtis joined White at the crease, entering the fray slightly earlier then he is accustomed to these days. Curtis however seemed right at home in the number 3 roll, prodding the ball around nicely against the swing bowling of Grewal. Curtis was however getting frustrated at having to run plenty of twos, and found the boundary on a couple of occasions much to the delight of the pavilion crowd. The partnership looked like it was setting in. White not giving anything away, managed to keep the score ticking over. It was only a change in bowling that seemed capable of splitting the pair up, and sure enough that’s the way it went, Curtis being bowled by the most popular wicket taker of the day, the full toss.
Second debutante of the day Tim Peach was in at four and again began to make the Farnham fielders think, but was unlucky to be bowled by the returning former player Scott Wilcox. Wilcox injecting a bit of pace into the bowling attack despite an injured ankle. This wicket made way for Rob Hall to join White at the crease, White now looking well set and on for another high score. Hall, despite looking a little nervous played an innings that defied his age, delivering mature shots that scored runs, whilst backing up White superbly. By 35th over the pair were really in their stride, both hitting big with confidence, pilling on 32 runs in two overs. This changed the balance. Having been content with a 180 target, Wooburn now pushed for the 200 mark. White, once again in fine form, pushed past the 100 mark for the second time this Sunday season with a nice drive through mid-on.
The Farnham fielders were now getting frustrated at the lack of wickets, despite chances as Hall was dropped twice. As the innings drew to a close White was caught behind attempting one too many drives, and the replacement Barker also caught after receiving orders that the declaration was near. Indeed two overs later it was called with the score at 203 for 5.
After yet another high class tea, it was too the field as Wooburn looked to defend their total. Ritchie Barker and Luke Carter opening the bowling, Barker bowling an exceptionally good line and length leaving the batsmen with no options but to defend the ball. Three maiden overs followed, and it wasn’t until his 19th ball that a run was scored. Carter was finding his feet at the other end, however a loose first over brought confidence and guile into his game, which was rewarded with two wickets. Barker also then also joined the wicket taking party, dismissing J and L Woodland in successive balls and finishing with excellent figures. Realising his opening bowlers had fully achieved the task expected from them, Taylor rang the changes, and brought on the third debutante of the day, up and coming Colt Andrew Grable. Left arm Grable gave himself no time to become accustomed to adult cricket and picked up a wicket in his 5th ball, bowling Gulfraz with a now infamous full toss. Phil Clarke was also brought on at the river end to slow things down and instantly frustrated the batsmen while keeping the economy level very respectable.
With the game slipping away from Farnham, they started hitting out, only to be undone by the pitch, or excellent fielding display of Wooburn. Wilcox was the catalyst for this along with opener Bassi, who were both looking for the boundary, Taylor dropping Wilcox in the process. But revenge was on the cards and Taylor held firm three overs later off Clarkes bowling to send Wilcox back to the Pavilion and split up a potentially dangerous partnership. Tim Peach replaced Grable, and proceeded to bowl good lines, generating two wickets in the process, including opener Bassi who played big and found Carter in deep. With 7 wickets on the board it was time for the highly talented Ben Barker to come into the attack. Barker and Peach then wrapped up the 10 man Farnham Innings with a wicket a piece, Peach delivering a swinging ball to dismiss Witchell, whilst the clubs professional fielder Carter once again delivered the goods, ending the innings with a glorious catch low to his right at extra cover.
With the ever growing concern of rain avoided, a fine match played with real village cricket attitudes was wrapped up, leaving the players to reflect on the game in the bar.