Saturday 1XI 225 / 7 (45)
1st XI 143 / All out (39.5)
Saturday’s WCCL Division 1 fixture saw the Bears welcome local rivals Winsley in a derby fixture that never fails to produce drama. The Bears made one change to their side, veteran all-rounder Chris Bence coming in for veteran student Tom Harris.
The Bears took to the warm-up in enthusiastic fashion, a few of them buoyed by their excellent hugs from ex-Bear Mike Sherring. It was another excellent warm-up provided by Player/Coach and shandy enthusiast Alex Lear, even Parkyn managed to get his warm-up catch percentage above 50% for the first time this season.
Toss and Match Captain Joe De Souza lost the toss, and the Bears were inserted on a slightly used pitch – Lear and Wilson took to the pitch tasked with setting a solid base for the Bears. Lear got off the mark with a textbook on-drive as the two made a steady start before Wilson was waved off for 11 caught by old pal Sherring. De Souza strolled to the crease and he and Lear steadied the ship well for the Bears, combining solid defence with elegant stroke-play on a wicket that was perhaps not as easy to score on as last week’s. The partnership of 82 was broken when Lear was clean bowled for a dogged 37 (it would have been many more if hadn’t decided to extend his fielding coach remit to their mid-off).
In at number 4 was Ross Newman Mike Staves who got over the freezing 19-degree temperatures quickly and got off the mark in confident fashion. However, the Bears lost another wicket very soon as after as rig captain De Souza was also clean bowled by the skiddy Dearlove, falling three runs short of another half-century. Staves was joined by statistician Ross Newman and they went about the difficult task of rebuilding and increasing the run rate, the pair traded boundaries before Newman was bowled by Mckegg and given some constructive criticism on his way off. The Bears were struggling on 131-4 with 10 overs remaining and needed a hero if they wanted to reach the 200 mark, that hero proved to be UOB superstar Hamish Bell, ‘Mish’ struck the ball beautifully and hit four sixes on his way to a 21 ball 44. Bell, Staves and a sun-kissed looking Bence all fell in the pursuit of late innings boundaries as the Bears innings ended on 225.
After the Bears shared the factor 15 around the changing room, they approached the field with early wickets the clear target. In a throwback to 2009, the metronomic Morris opened the bowling with the skiddy Newman. The pair bowled accurately as the first three wickets fell LBW. In amongst the waving between veterans Gunning and Wilson was some excellent fielding from the Bears as the hard work in training was paying off. The excellent bowling was continued by skipper De Souza and Paul and Cassie’s fourth favourite child Henry ‘Hen’ Reeves who picked up the key 4th wicket – the unsledgable Mckegg LBW.
This wicket brought in ex-Bear Mike Sherring who faced the tough task of rebuilding the innings with his normal rapid running between the wickets proving difficult with a calf problem. Hen bowled a fantastic spell and took regular wickets as he was joined in the attack by tanning experts Parkyn and Bence. The chase fell flat as wickets were lost and the only Winsley resistance came via the youthful exuberance of the chatty Dod. The Bears took the last wickets as the sun was setting, bowling out their old rivals for 143 – an excellent 82 run victory.
As always, a big shoutout to all the supporters and everyone else who makes matchdays possible. An away day at Chippenham is next for the Bears who will be looking for revenge after a 5 run defeat there last season.