It was a day to forget for George Taylor, as not only was he dropped as Sunday skipper despite a 100% record, he went on to miss the biggest dolly Wooburn Park has ever seen.
With Martin Tennant being preferred as skipper, he won the toss and had no hesitation to bat, taking no prisoners with the batting order and electing to face the first ball himself. It was a sure and steady start from Tennant and Dave Small who both played nice strokes to get the innings off to great start.
With the scoreboard ticking over nicely, Small was bowled for 16 and was soon followed by Chris Hall also bowled for 16 having never really acclimatised to the pedestrian Wooburn wicket. Tennant was looking in good touch and was playing a sensible captains innings with Nelson, both starting to score big runs. With Tennant cruising past the 50 mark and on for a big score he was caught behind in bizarre fashion trying to guide the ball down to 3rd man, but ending up sending it into the keepers gloves, for his first clean catch of the game. This made way for an ill looking George Taylor whom was on the back end of an FA cup bender. He’ll tell you that the slow start to the season is down to his new batting helmet, but this reporter never lies and can confirm he was caught behind chasing a wide one. Tom Lees was also a bit under the weather after his end of year Ball, the hungover middle order collapsing for a shocking 5 runs. Despite this, Jon Nelson was looking in good in good touch, playing sensible cricket strokes, and running well to try and counteract the slow outfield. He was eventually undone for a pleasing 31. Matt Curtis continued his motions of turning back the years, once again showing the younger gents how to bat properly on a Wooburn wicket, before being bowled for 8.
As the wickets tumbled Wooburn still needed a to keep the rate ticking over, cue Luke “Jonty” Carter and Rob “Dynamo” Hall to take the team home. Carter was playing some of the best strokes seen so far, taking no time to play himself in, timing a nice four from his first ball. Hall continued to keep the selectors interested playing another controlled innings, with straight shots and a keen eye. His 10 on the scoresheet possibly not reflecting his impact on the innings. Cater then turned on the class smashing two boundaries, and making a real go of things.
The innings was mopped up by Matt Paine who is finding his feet with the bat scoring a personal best 9.
Big thanks to the girls who provided a great tea to fuel the men for the fielding innings. Tom Lees opened from the river end, and Matt Paine from the church. Lees was finding it hard to hit the length that gives him wickets, possibly due to a mid innings scrap with the Taylor involving jam, tobacco, sawdust and a mop. Paine however was bowling full on and really making the batsmen work. Despite a fruitless spell, it entertained the Wooburn fielders no end. The fruitless could have so easily been fruitful as specialist gully Taylor put down the easiest post-war catch the cricketing world had seen. The spinning excuse could not make up for the appalling technique. A dim hush filled the park for a good 20 seconds before, with Taylor almost in tears, the whole place erupted with laughter. He had been the most vocal player on the park, but a good 7 overs followed without a word. This humiliation spurred Lees on at the other end and he now started to find the rhythm, being rewarded with the wicket of resilient Woodman.
Small replaced Paine and looked like a man possessed as he charged in with intent and pace. A devastating 2 overs brought 2 wickets that included a career best catch from Matt Curtis diving low to his right at 1st slip, and 0 runs. A mystery back injury then saved the Twyford batsmen from further humiliation. Taylor, now fully fired up replaced him, and bowled good length offspin, to remove the dangerous looking Benson. Good backup from Tennant at the river end tied up both batsmen and the innings began to run firmly into Wooburns favour.
After some tight bowling from Tennant, which deservedly brought a wicket, it was time for the Hall show. Both Chris and Rob occupying the bowling attack, and to good effect. Chris brought a demon off-spin out of the locker to show the fans that maybe wicket keeping is not his forte on the field, and Rob bowled a beautiful line and length to take two wickets, leaving the Halls with a collective of 3.
It was left to a good bit of fielding from Lees to secure a runout, and some teasing bowling from Carter to sew up the innings thanks to a catch from Chris Hall.