The 1st XI welcomed previously unbeaten Bournemouth to Loperwood Park as they looked to close out what has been a near perfect return to Division 1 with a home win against one of the early pace setters in the league.
Following the previous night’s monumental thunder and lightning storm, Loperwood Park was a touch on the damp side, so it was slightly surprising as Bournemouth skipper Chris Park won the toss and chose to bat first. Steve Wright in his final game for Calmore before moving to Canada struck straight away , dismissing opener West smartly caught by Ben Perry at gully. This was to be our only breakthrough for a while as Nick Park and Luke Matthews consolidated to begin with before pushing the scoreboard on, Wright finished off his 1st XI career with 1/21 off his 10 overs. Liam Newton was operating at the other end and bowled arguably one of his best spells in a Calmore shirt, bowling in tandem with Wright and then skipper Mark Lavelle he got the two crucial breakthroughs of Nick Park (33) caught smartly by James Rose & Luke Matthews (20) trapped on the crease LBW, reducing Bournemouth to 67/3 off 20 overs having been 60/1 off 15.
The momentum had shifted somewhat and Calmore pounced upon the opportunity as Lavelle picked up two wickets in two balls dismissing Woodruff with a beaut of a delivery & trapping Bollom LBW, both batsman failing to trouble the scorers and Bournemouth’s innings now teetering at 70/5 at drinks. The drinks break saw the end of Liam Newton’s excellent spell finishing with 2/20 off his 8 overs, at the crease now was the experienced Martin Miller and Dorset and Bournemouth captain Chris Park, this was to be the crucial partnership to break and Jack Rutter came into the attack and struck straight away trapping Miller (3) LBW. Lavelle (3/18) then picked up his 3rd wicket immediately after, dismissing Pack (3) superbly caught behind by Pegler and leaving Bournemouth reeling at 84/7. Park (18) was the next man to go after some brilliant work by Ben Johns at point saw him work well with Pegler to run Park out by some distance and further reduce Bournemouth to 85/8 – losing 7 wickets for 25 runs. Clutterback (11*) and Michalowski (10) offered some lower order resistance and crept their side over the 100 mark, before Rutter (2/20) dismissed the latter and then West 2 balls into his spell dismissed Wilmore to bowl Bournemouth out for 109. A brilliant comeback with the ball and in the field from the Calmore boys, all this without the experienced pair of Rose and debutant Jimmy Manning not bowling and Mike West only bowling two balls.
With the sun now shining, Calmore set upon chase with Lavelle opening up with Pegler due to the absence of regular opener Goodrich. The innings got off to a stumbling start as Pegler miss timed a pull shot and was caught at square leg. This brought Ben Johns to the crease with Lavelle and the pair cautiously approached the start of their innings ticking the score along at 2 an over. They frustrated the opposition, offering minimal chances as they slowly crept Calmore towards the required total, at 40/1 both batsmen were well set until Johns got a very good delivery that he could only feather an outside edge to and was caught by Park behind the stumps off Woodruff, Ben Perry joined Lavelle at the crease but was soon on his way after being perhaps a touch unfortunate to be given LBW, and Calmore were now themselves struggling slightly at 47/3.
With opener Lavelle still there, and joined by Rutter the pair began the rebuilding process and planned to get themselves to drinks unscathed. Lavelle then had a brain fade and mistimed a shot over the top and was well caught at deep midwicket for a patient 21 just before drinks much to his own disgust. At drinks we were delicately placed at 56/4, with debutant Manning now at the crease with Rutter. However, Manning and then Rose both failed to trouble the scorers both being trapped LBW and it was now Calmore who were completely reeling at 63/6! Comeath the hour Comeath the man – Paul Proudley strode out to the crease at number 8, a man who in recent seasons has worked hard on his batting and scored crucial runs, most notably already this season alongside Rutter against Hook to provide a match winning partnership, so the lads on the pavilion hoped for more of the same, and did they get it! Rutter and Proudley took it to the Bournemouth attack with Proudley in particular scoring quickly including two sublime cover drives for 4, the pair had raced us up to the 100 mark in no time and eased some of the nerves on the pavilion. With 10 runs required, skipper Park had still only used 4 bowlers in search of ending the game quickly, a ploy that hadn’t worked out thanks to the work of Proudley and Rutter. With Bournemouth introducing their 5th bowler into the attack this offered up a few loose deliveries and with 2 runs required to win, it was deservedly left to Proudley (32*) to crunch another boundary to see us home, with the pair putting on 49 for the 6th wicket and Rutter finishing 24*. Another top performance from the boys to beat one of the division’s fancied sides this year.
We now move into joint 2nd with Bournemouth in the league table, a dream start on our return to Division 1 but still a lot of hard work left to do this season to maintain the great start we have had. We travel to Tichborne Park next week to face off with the other side promoted with us last Summer.