Knockers descended upon Bitchet Green for a rare 'home' fixture, there was a feeling of uncertainty in the air- would the weather hold out? Would Knockers put an end to the recent slide in form? Who were all these new names on the team sheet? All such questions would be answered in due course. Captain Ollie Marsh won the toss and elected to bat. It looked a good decision, as Knockers were still well short of 11 players at the time.
Debutants Adam Wilkinson and Russel Alexander went out to open, keen to impress their new teammates. After a promising first few balls, it all started to fall apart. Adam Wilkinson fell when he chipped the ball to point. He was quickly followed by his opening partner and the number 3 bat, Jake Cowley - another newcomer - with early dismissals. Knockers looked in serious trouble, and a third straight defeat already seemed likely. James Rawlins was in at 4 and Oli Boreham at 5. Rawlins settled in nicely and accumulated runs in a calm fashion. Boreham, using Ziggy's bat having finally realized that his was a plank, hit his first ball for six and it was never to be seen again. He then proceeded to try and hit every ball for six from there on, occasionally succeeding. Rawlins fell for 20, which brought Guy Howe to the crease, who played some dramatic forward defenses and took a few blows. Boreham continued attacking from the other end, firing his way to 41 before making the mistake of playing a defensive shot and was out, caught.
Ollie Marsh was in next, looking like he meant business from ball one. He looked solid, putting the bad balls away with ease. As for his partners, Howe missed a straight one, and Neil Dave nicked off soon after. David Bowen was in next, and to everyone's surprise, got off the mark straight away. For the next few overs Marsh and Bowen rotated the strike well, with Marsh upping the ante with some big shots. He got to his 50, and then went completely berserk depositing the bowlers to all parts, bringing up his first ever career ton. Bowen was caught at gully for a useful 25 in the penultimate over have formed part of a record 8th wicket stand of 135, also the best for any of the last four wickets at the club. Marsh farmed the strike well at the end meaning Jonah Munday didn't have to face a ball. Ollie finished unbeaten on 126, which will undoubtedly go down as one of the all-time great Knockers knocks which you can't knock, unless you are a knocking kind of Knocker and we knocked those types on the head a while ago. The captain dragged his team to 248-8, which looked like a very good score.
Penshurst started their innings positively, with Beeny quickly on to anything overpitched or wide and Lear holding firm at the other end. Matt Watts was regularly beating the bat, but Jonah had more of tussle with Beeny and the run rate started to accelerate. Marsh decided to bring himself on, and although he did stem the flow of runs somewhat, it didn't bring the breakthrough. Watts, after some patient, high quality bowling, finally started to get into the Penshurst batting lineup. He bowled Lear with a beauty for 20, then got Beeny with a shooter, for a brilliant 61. Nicholls, the Penshurst captain, came out to bat and played well. Marsh opted to bring Munday back on, with Bowen from the other end. Munday's second spell was much better, which was just as well because Bowen was initially struggling, going for considerable runs. He did eventually bowl a good one, which dipped and beat the Pensurst skipper in the air, who departed for a well-made 42. With their best batters back in the hutch, figuratively speaking of course, the target looked a long, long way off. Munday got a deserved wicket, Bowen his second, before Neil Dave came on and pushed home the advantage with two wickets for not many. Penshurst finished on 201-7.
So in the end, the weather held out, the new names on the team sheet all belonged to good blokes, and Knockers returned to winning ways. A few beers were had afterwards- although they wouldn't serve Ollie Marsh a jug to toast his ton, so he still owes us that.
|Batsman||  How Out||  4s||  6s||  Runs|
|Adam Wilkinson||  caught||  0||  0||  3|
|Russell Alexander||  bowled||  0||  0||  1|
|Jake Cowley||  caught||  0||  0||  0|
|James Rawlins||  bowled||  4||  0||  20|
|Oli Boreham||  caught||  3||  3||  41|
|Guy Howe||  bowled||  1||  0||  12|
|Ollie Marsh||  not out||  11||  10||  126|
|Neil Dave||  caught||  0||  0||  0|
|David Bowen||  caught||  1||  0||  25|
|Jonah Munday||  not out||  0||  0||  0|
|Matt Watts||  dnb||  0||  0||  0|
|Bowler||    Overs||    Mdns||    Runs||    Wkts|
|Matt Watts||    8.0||    1||    35||2|
|Jonah Munday||    7.0||    1||    45||1|
|Ollie Marsh||    3.0||    0||    13||0|
|David Bowen||    6.0||    0||    44||2|
|Neil Dave||    6.0||    0||    32||2|
|Russell Alexander||    3.0||    0||    17||0|
|Adam Wilkinson||    2.0||    0||    6||0|
|Guy Howe||    1.0||    0||    7||0|