Enter Brethren Hulbert and Collingwood. From the side-lines they looked to be batting on and a against a completely different pitch and opposition. Finn struck a huge six over midwicket and in no time had brought up his 50. Reuben at the other end was looking just as comfortable, reaching his 50 with comparable ease. At 86-7 BB were in big trouble, however with some reverse sweeps, crisp hooks and a couple drops we were soon back in a commanding position on 215-7. Rueben fell on 62 leaving Finn at the other end in the nervous-nineties and ending a desperately needed partnership of 129. Another quick wicket of Luke Cross and our No. 11 Calvo was in the thick of it.
With those in the pavilion assuming Calvo would play it safe so Finn can get his hundred, we couldn’t have been more wrong. He struck 3 fours (one of which was a reverse pull) off his first 4 balls, however Finn eventually got the strike back and completed a much needed ton just in time, as Calvo was out shortly after. This gave the talented leg spinner his well-deserved 5-wicket-haul (perhaps a member for the future?) and ending the BB innings on a competitive score of 264 all out.
The 2nd innings was kicked off by Brethren Richardson and Meredith Junior taking the new ball as SV began their chase. First ball to the No. 2 bat and Piers had him caught behind, comfortably taken by Oli Humphrey; the scoreboard read 1-1. With the openers tails up and both bowlers beating the bat regularly we were sure to have another wicket soon; sadly this was not the case. The next wicket came at 52 runs, shortly after tea with a bit of leg spin of our own in the form of Luke Cross. Another 3 quick wickets fell soon after from the tidy bowling of Reuben (claiming 2) to remove the remaining opener and with Luke taking the other wicket with an excellent stumping from Brother Humphrey leaving the scoreboard at 70-4.
Our guest, Mr Morse was thrown the ball and in his first over took a wicket in what was another inspirational bowling change. The catch was taken superbly by Brother Calvocoressi at gully, one handed at that!
The next three wickets were taken in quick succession by Regan, Collingwood and Hulbert leaving the opposition on 117-8 with the BB only requiring one more wicket (as the bowler who was retired from the first innings was unable to return to the field), the end was surely nigh. Think again. A regulation dolly, dropped by the Skipper (who shall remain nameless) fielding at short mid-off. Could that be the game?
A further 8 overs passed and we were into the final 6 balls of this time game. Regan was thrown the ball and given orders that under no circumstances could this game end in a draw. He duly obliged and with his first ball their final wicket was sent packing being caught leg-before.
Despite this last minute plot twist, the game was won and we inflicted our revenge on SV from last year’s loss and the BB dream is very much still alive.
I’d like to thank all that were able to play and Sutton Valence School for their generosity and hospitality as always. Hopefully the exhibition of talent and sheer determination to win will bring with it a new band of brother once they complete their education at Sutton Valence.