On Saturday the 1st XI travelled to Division 2 strugglers Fawley looking to keep the momentum going in their push for a return to Division 1. With the oil refinery in the back drop and a howling wind coming across the open ground at Waterside Sports Club, skipper Lavelle was again successful at the toss and chose to bat first looking to put runs on the board.
Openers Matt Hardy and Tamlyn Goodrich negotiated the opening overs well, as the wicket seemed to be assisting the bowlers early on with some invariable bounce, and this was to be the undoing of Hardy when a short ball offered no bounce and he was adjudged LBW. With Ben Johns at 3 and by his own admission not weighing in with the runs he would like so far this season the pair got into their stride, with some loose deliveries on offer and a lightning outfield, the ball was disappearing to the boundary on regular occasions, although finding the fielder with some sumptuous cuts and drives was stopping the scoreboard from getting away from the opposition as much as the Calmore boys would have perhaps liked. Goodrich with the majority of the run scoring passed his 50 just before the drinks break and looked set to ‘go big’. At drinks, Calmore were in a strong position at 83/1 with plenty of batting to come.
3rd ball after drinks however, Goodrich (52) fell trying to go over the top, being caught at cover. To the crease came Aussie import Ben Moss and him and Johns continued on the good work, progressing the scoreboard well and finding the boundary. The pitch now deteriorating slightly and offering good assistance to spin was becoming harder to bat on, after a partnership of 40, Johns who was looking back to his best, was caught behind for a well constructed, and patient 46. Skipper Lavelle out of form with the bat himself soon came and went without troubling the scorers and Calmore were now teetering slightly at 123/4 with only 17 overs left. Ben Perry joined Moss at the crease and after getting set, the pair began to push us on with some excellent running between the wickets, their partnership of 48 came in no time before Moss (46) was bowled.
Trying to push on for maximum batting points, Calmore steadily lost wickets, however Ben Perry (43*) remained at the crease and helped Calmore to a total of 212/9 off their 50 overs narrowly missing out on maximum batting points.
After tea and with 4 spinners in the side on a turning pitch, Calmore knew that early wickets could apply the needed pressure on the Fawley batsman to see us home. Fawley opened with the experienced pair of Andy Parratt and Paul Marks, both of which would need to bat long and score big should Fawley have a shout. Thankfully for Calmore, Steve Wright dismissed Marks early in the innings. Parratt now being the prized wicket wasn’t hanging around, with some hard hitting and lusty blows to the boundary he was flying along, and it was the introduction of West that turned the game on it’s head. West trapped Parratt (37) LBW and the very next ball Leach LBW to leave Fawley rocking at 43/3. This soon became 45/4 as West again dismissed Elliott Earl, one of the 3 Earl brothers in the Fawley side. West and Wright bowled superbly in tandem, with Wright finishing 1/23 off his 10 and West a game changing 3 for 13 off 7 overs.
The introduction of spin was always going to be tough for Fawley, and Lavelle and Rose swept in to clean up the Fawley middle order and tail, helping to dismiss Fawley for 91 and secure a 121 run victory. Lavelle finishing with 4 for 9 off 7 overs and Rose 2 for 15 off 6 overs. A fantastic team performance with bat and ball and arguably Calmore’s best performance in the field was the catalyst for the victory and a standard has now been set for them to follow for the rest of the season. The 1st XI face Hartley Wintney this weekend who have been rejuvenated in recent weeks and will put up a stern test!