Lose :: Played on Sunday 22nd August 2004
A disappointing day for Knockers was had at Ightham. On a green wicket that offered slightly variable bounce and speed Knockers opted to field first on winning the toss.
Lynden Spencer-Allen and Paul Seldon opened the bowling and swung the ball but with differing successes. Seldon bowled a challenging line and soon found himself amongst the wickets, deprived of more only by some poor fielding. Spencer-Allen was wayward for most of his first spell and only looked likely to take wickets when he returned later in the innings. In his place Dan Turner made an immediate impact bowling a tight line with aggression. Had his appeal for LBW against Nick Preston been accepted by the umpire removing him first ball, the match may have been a different story.
Jeremy and Nick Preston once again built a solid partnership for Ightham to bring them out of trouble at 45-4 to the 150 mark. Jeremy Preston was then removed by the persevering Ken Cowan. The final wicket partnership put on more runs to further demoralise the Knockers and to seemingly push the game towards a draw with little time for Knockers to bat. Ightham eventually declared when a run out ended the partnership, Preston on 99 not out and Ightham on 203-5.
The Knockers reply started with Stuart Seldon and Paul Styles with high hopes of chasing with a strong batting line up. Styles's disastrous season continued falling to the second ball of the innings caught at second slip. Boreham at 3 produced a lofted drive for two before being bowled fifth ball of the innings and then Paul Seldon, this years run machine, was himself bowled first ball of the second over. Knockers were left reeling at 4-3.
Skipper Miller and Stuart Seldon steadied the ship both scoring in the twenties before Seldon was himself undone. Druce-Smith did little to trouble the scorers bringing last years partnership of Miller and Spencer-Allen to the fore. A brief stand to 'get the head down' was broken by a gap in Miller's forward the defence the size of small dog. Chris Childs and Dan Turner showed defensive promise but then succumbed to the temptations of the big hit and when Ken Cowan was undone by a big spinning ball the Knockers attempt to salvage a draw was over, Spencer-Allen left on 9 not out. Knockers all out 73 and wondering how it all went so wrong.
With a handful of games left of this season the emphasis is on building the side to gain confidence and to turn more of the loss situations to draws. The ability is there, just the gel of the side is not quite there yet. Possibly the beer and aforementioned gel don't mix - answers on a postcard
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