Sat 25th June 2016

RD4SW

Sway IV 77-6 (rain reduced target) Mudeford III 80ao. Sway won by 4 wickets

Sway fourth eleven narrowly beat both the weather and a battling Mudeford side to record a welcome first win of the season.

After a monsoon-like shower and delayed start, Sway skipper Derek Seward was fortunate to win the toss and naturally asked the visitors to bat first in what were likely to be tricky conditions. Sway opened with the diminutive pairing of James Howard (9-3-24-2) and U14 star Bradley Balcombe. Both bowled tidy lines with Balcombe particularly impressive & tight fisted. The Mudeford openers had reached  a modest 15 runs in the 6th over when Paul Turner attempted to break the shackles but his cover drive off Balcombe was driven straight into the ever catch-hungry hands of Dave Marshall. Fellow opener Liam Kelly did not last much longer than his partner - clean bowled in the next over by a Howard corker and Mudeford's innings then received another blow a couple of overs later when Howard picked up his second wicket, pouched by promising new keeper Rees Owen to leave the visitors at 23-3.

Mudeford staged a recovery of sorts under Chris Turner and Ian Hassell with the pair not afraid to punish any wayward deliveries. Seward turned to veterans Dave Marshall and Steve Wilson who both initially struggled - Marshall with excessive swing and Wilson with an over or two where the deliveries resembled a popular Red Arrows manoeuvre. The pair did, however, settle into a rhythm and were soon amongst the wickets - Marshall produced an inswinging yorker to send Hassell back to the pavilion whilst Wilson had Turner caught superbly by Dan Simonini at backward point. This ended any realistic Mudeford hopes of a 100+ score and the remaining wickets now tumbled at regular intervals, a further one for Marshall (9-4-15-2) and three more for Wilson (8-1-19-4) with another catch for Simonini. Balcombe junior (7.1.-2-16-2) returned to the bowling attack and finished off the innings with a catch taken by dad Andy, as the visitors subsided to a soggy 80 all out.

Sway opened their reply with the stylistically contrasting pairing of Derek Seward and Tony Owen - equivalent to Emerson, Lake & Palmer sharing the metaphorical stage with a Metallica. Seward looked to anchor the innings whilst Owen was clearly intent on getting the game finished as soon as possible. Sway were going along nicely with 34 on the board in the 15th over when Owen was superbly caught on the deep mid off boundary. Debutant Stuart Hudson went in at three but after blasting a ball to the mid wicket boundary attempted to repeat the stroke and was bowled for 4. The Sway innings then suffered all all-to-common crisis as a further 4 wickets fell for just 9 runs. With the score on 47-6 Mudeford scented an unlikely victory as Marshall went out to join Bradley Balcombe in the middle. Marshall soon got the scoreboard ticking over and with Balcombe playing an excellent solid, supporting role the visitors chances gradually diminished and the pair brought Sway home to victory without and further drama with 7 overs to spare.

Bradley Balcombe - man of the match with ball & bat