Lose :: Played on Thursday 11th June 2015
Unfortunately this was an unexpected first defeat for an improving Knockers side, with Orbilians giving no quarter in victory in a competitive game. There were very few of their previous regulars playing but they had a very strong line up, including several school first team players.
Dan Turner opened the bowling but the tone was set when his first ball was powerfully pulled for four. The first few overs were a blizzard of quick runs as Orbs rattled along at more than ten an over, boosted by the school players who were certainly up for the challenge of taking on the Tonbridge boys. Hugo Cheyne, opening from the other end, showed some promise but unfortunately struggled to master the tricky uphill stroke costing several wides and going also for a few runs. First change Dan Hutt though brought things back, with his loopy leg spin he snaffled a couple of wickets, one with a fine one handed catch from Jake Blew, the other a stumping, and this started to make Orbs think. Things were looking tough for Knockers but captain Howe excused himself from the field to introduce himself to Seamus's mother, leaving former captain Stuart Seldon in charge of the sinking ship.
Fortunately the change in captain reaped dividends as a new strategy was born. Jake Blew stepped out from behind the stumps to bowl some very sharp off spin, taking four wickets. Dan Turner returned to polish off the Orbs tail and sportingly Orbs didn't elect to send back in their retired batsmen, closing the innings early on an imposing 173-7.
In reply Knockers were up against it but Dan Hutt sent an early six a very long way to show some intent. Stuart and Paul Seldon were united at the crease for the first time in a while to put on a promising partnership, which was ended when Paul retired hurt with a side strain. Jake Blew carried on the momentum powerfully and Howe struck some great blows to give Knockers a glimmer of hope, but it wasn't quite enough as wickets were lost and Knockers fell eventually 30 runs or so short. A tough fought encounter and one we must look to turn around next time.
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