Short of captains vice or otherwise, Steve Lisle took the poisoned chalice for this encounter on an evening that started off warm and sunny. His first job was to lose the toss and set a field with 10 players until Alyn soon showed up to make up the full complement. Steve seemed to be working the magic as Rito the two Ians and John managed to get through the first 8 overs at just about 3 runs apiece. Rito was the pick bowling his two overs for 1 run and clean bowling the opening batsman. He claims to have cut down his pace but he has certainly upped his accuracy and menace - great things are expected. However, after the resolute containment of the first ten overs the All Stars who have clearly been very busy in the transfer market started to open up. With wickets and a surfeit of regular league players in hand the innings took an exponential acceleration notwithstanding the vagaries of the Underhill wicket and some steadfast bowling. There were chances created and on another day this would be another story, yet again Craig took great catch to remove a dangerous batter. Late in the day Steve showed his astute leadership qualities by bring on Dave Bratley against the full broadside of the Mumbles batting. His 3 wickets for 16 runs was a welcome and deserved reward for bravery under fire - he is probably the leading wicket taker of the season. At least the bullies did not have it all their own way and all were cut short before a fifty was scored. However, a score of 159 was daunting.
The Badger reply got under way with Craig and Alyn starting brightly against a pacy attack. The wicket had gradually become slower and lower with the occasional unexpected bounce. Alyn departed first after his usual belligerent knock and Rito did not trouble the scorers impatient to get off the mark. Phil, Alex and Ian all chipped in perhaps trying to force too hard. Craig stuck around for some time playing the ball very late until he eventually played too late and was bowled for a fine double figure score. Simon after his cameo the week before also departed for a double figure score of 2. Everyone found the going tough as the attack was unrelenting and the wicket difficult to play. Steve, however, came in to play the captain's innings and scored a rapid 25 in trying circumstances. The Badgers fell well short in a one sided game but stuck to their guns and their ethos.
The opinion polls point to a landslide victory over Pennard next week with the return of some senior players. Dave, Gareth and Chris have been away on various fishing expeditions and must be concerned about their ratings. Ian Sullivan pulled off a majestic, slow motion stumping which must be of concern in certain quarters and Ian has proved to be made of the Wright stuff with his all-round performances under severe questioning. Good to see Colin and Roger leaning slightly to the right in support which had nothing to do with the hot dogs and chips on offer at the Newton. Rhodri strangely umpired for a change practicing for his night at the count. The Badger constituency has always been marginal so now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.
Underhill Park, Mumbles, Swansea
CAPTAIN - Dave Smith 07941 255846
VICE CAPTAIN - Simon Jones 07590 677504
Guildhall Pitches - 3.30-4.30pm - 635411