Skipper Ian Antonio was left rueing missed chances as a day of what if’s occured at Stokes Field. With Battersea winning the toss they elected to field first which with grey clouds and overcast conditions up above it was going to be a tough effort to get a decent score. The wicket was bowler friendly and Downey was out first, driving to point for 4. Turnbull followed the next over by an unlucky dismissal. Ditton in chaos as Plunkett then fell for 5 and Antonio leaving a ball that swung late to take out the middle stump. Ditton were 20 for 4 and in serious trouble. Mike Hall and Jim “The Nugget” Mumford were resolute in their play with Mumford hitting some beautiful drives. Mumford fell off the determined bowling off McLagen for 13. In came out of form Tom Bennett who had scored a pitiful 8 runs in 3 innings.
Bennett and Hall then stuck about there task of batting time, Hall shortly abandoned this tactic and was out attempting a pull. 50 for 6 and up stepped Oli “Kebab Delivery Service” Fegan. They both endured some abuse from the B.I.C.C. players for there slow and defensive play. Fegan eventually was out via a leading edge back to the bowler for a 44 ball 26. By this time Bennett had scored 12 runs off 41 balls and was looking to push on. Richard Wilson joined the bowling attack to where he was treated to a cover drive 6 by Bennett! Adam Hunt stayed around for a while allowing Bennett to bring up a well needed half century with a 6 over Mid on (Mike Hall style) LDCC were out eventually for 139.
Battersea Ironsides started badly with overseas party boy Ben Henderson steaming in from the cementry end bowling all types of nasty short stuff. Battersea Ironsides found themselves 28 for 3 with Henderson ripping through the top order with what Aneesh “The Sulk” Chityal could only describe as the best spell of short fast bowling he had seen down the club. Henderson finished with 3 wickets for 24 off 9 overs. A great effort. It was a joy to watch. Unfortunately with frontline pace bowlers missing like Huxford and Desai the bowling seemed a little short, Plunkett gave valiant support with 1 for 35 off 9 but it was not enough as Battersea got to the target with 4 wickets remaining.
Captain Antonio said of the performance: “We didn’t get enough runs, maybe 30-40 more and we would have been in the game. But to put things into perspective, Battersea Ironsides won the league we got relegated from last year, so in theory they are 2 divisions above us and we’ve competed well. Ben Henderson’s spell of bowling gave us a real chance, he bowled beautifully. Tom Bennett also gave us a chance with a top knock, so many positives to take into our first league fixture next week”
LDCC Sports Pyschologist Dave Downey said of Tom Bennett’s heroic performance: “Tom and I worked hard in the week on positive thinking and forgetting about previous low scores. Tom clearly took the advice on board as he was a different player, showing his true talent with a patient and classy half century, passing 2000 runs for the club. I’m really happy for him..Also has anyone seen my batting average this year? If not, it is 97.5 which included a career best of 133 not out. Thanks”
LDCC 1s are in action against Wandgas with the 2s also in action against Wandgas at home this saturday. The Thameside Sunday league also kicks off with LDCC playing Byfleet away.