Travelling to the unbeaten top of the league Trojans was always going to be a tough challenge for the 1st XI on Saturday, sadly it’s a challenge they failed to rise to as they were skittled out for 64 inside 26 overs.
After a week of wet weather, Calmore were greeted with a bowler friendly wicket and the overhead conditions to suit as they arrived at Trojans, with the M27 in full swing in the background, and the sound of Harley Davidson’s roaring constantly into the makeshift campsite next to the pitch, skipper Mark Lavelle won the toss and chose to bowl first. Proudley and Wright got into their work early, giving away barely anything in the opening overs, Proudley in particular absolutely unplayable at times. It was Proudley himself who took the plaudits with the ball removing the Trojans top order in a sublime 1o over spell that returned figures of 3 for 10 with only 2 runs coming off the bat in his spell, Wright at the other end, perhaps not at his usual best went wicketless. Ex Calmore player Simon Williams was looking good at the crease having survived many run out opportunities and at 46/3 and on 22 an attempted sweep off James Rose was his downfall as he was trapped LBW for 22.
At drinks Trojans sat at a precarious 55/4 and Calmore had high hopes of getting through the middle order cheaply, however, spurning 4 good opportunities to remove Babidge (34) and Le Bas (20) they were made to pay as some loose deliveries and good middle order batting meant Trojans finished 178/9 a great effort from where they were at drinks much owed to Badbidge, Le Bas and latterly Wright (25*) and number 11 Mohammad (16*). Ben Perry returned with 3 for 38, although at tea the Calmore boys felt they had let the opposition get at least 30 more than they should have through our fielding and discipline in bowling too many wides.
What then unfolded was a demolition from the giant opening bowler of Trojans Jamie Donaldson (5/21) as he destroyed the top and middle order of Calmore with some superb swing bowling, that at times was completely unplayable in the bowler friendly conditions. Before Calmore even had time to breath we had been reduced to 30/7 with only Matt Hardy (17) offering resistance in the top order as 4 of the top 8 were dismissed for ducks. Skipper Lavelle (13) & the experience of Pegler (15) offered a bit of resistance and put on the highest partnership of the Calmore innings with 21 before Pegler was dismissed. Lavelle stuck around and frustrated the Trojans bowlers and with the help of Proudley & Wright managed to squeeze a few more runs in before we were finally bowled out just after drinks for a disappointing 64.
Not the result we wanted and plenty to improve on as we now have two home games on the bounce at Loperwood Park, a day to forget quickly as I am sure we will, and go again on Saturday aiming to put it right! We now sit 3rd in the table with Sparsholt in 2nd and Tichborne in 3rd all separated by a couple of points, plenty to play for in the coming weeks!