It was a pleasant evening at last after the unseasonal rain of early August that had seen two fixtures abandoned to the weather.
After the promise of a surfeit of players the Badgers again displayed their catholic tendencies for late withdrawal and by the start of proceedings were down to a bare eleven. Such cavalier brinkmanship will surely end in tears one day.
The opposition have conceded more to the Badger ethos than they had in years gone by although they still seem to regard this fixture as a bit of a net for their band of Saturday cricketers. Tomos ap Thomas stood in for the absent skipper and having won the toss elected to bat. Rito who has been missing in action for some time and Phil got things going against an attack which was pretty accurate without being fearsome. However, the poor wicket and some millionaire batting led to a steady decline in the innings. Phil lobbed a drive to mid on which he would normally have thrashed to the boundary and Gareth was bowled trying to be Ben Stokes. 5 for 2. Rito and an emaciated Chris Price steadied the ship for a while until Rito decided to launch an expansive shot six inches outside the line of the ball and was bowled. Always the samurai. Dave and Tony did not interrupt the momentum Tony being caught and Dave unluckily falling to a superb direct throw in the field. Chris, despite being nurtured on the rolling decks of a fishing smack, couldn't deal with a leg break and despite scoring the first 2 of the game was bowled. The chairman, raised from his armchair, arrived at the crease and was shortly joined by the in form Riddler. Together they put on 40 odd runs at a decent rate both finding rare boundaries and Alyn making the chairman huff and puff for some sharp singles. They both scored 20 runs giving the innings an air of respectability. Out of the total of 68, there were 50 singles.
Gareth and Ian opened the attack for the Badgers and demonstrated the continued remarkable improvement in the field. Ian was unlucky eliciting a number of false shots and half chances. Feeding off the pressure Gareth steamed in with great purpose and took three wickets in short order one bowled, one caught and bowled and one smartly caught behind the wicket off a classic outside edge. Rito joined in the fun bowling as quick as ever despite his dodgy shoulder. He induced a top edge off a threatening middle order batsman that Chris took one handed stretching high and to his right. It was one of those instinctive reaction catches that somehow stick against all expectations and all the more sweeter for that. Undoubtedly this had been facilitated by his recent practice in hailing his leader.
The faint whiff of victory, however, soon evaporated as the runs were gradually knocked off. The ground fielding was again good and the bowling pretty tidy but 68 runs were too few to defend.
Colin and Dave witnessed proceedings and Roger instinctively knew that the Newton had re-opened and sausage and chips were on offer.
Sadly, only two games left so a special effort is needed to see the season off in style.
Underhill Park, Mumbles, Swansea
CAPTAIN - Dave Smith 07941 255846
VICE CAPTAIN - Simon Jones 07590 677504
Guildhall Pitches - 3.30-4.30pm - 635411