May 27th 2017

3rds lose out in tight encounter

Report by Nick Brien

East Christchurch 184-6     Sway 3rd XI 163-8

On a weekend plagued by selection issues and bank holiday hysteria Sway 3s returned to their home ground of Pennington for a winnable game against East Christchurch. Despite the chaotic selection conundrum skipper Steve Drayton had actually fielded quite a strong team as his men looked to carry on their fortune from the start of the season.

Drayton won the toss and elected to bowl on quite a muggy day that would get better as it went on. Drayton (1-49 off 10) opened up the bowling with himself and dynamic all rounder Charlie Smith (3-26 off 10). The pair started strongly early doors bowling a tight line and found a bit of movement off the seam, which kept the batsmen grounded. Sway then turned to Matt Burton (2-26 off 10) and Jim Metcalfe (0-22 off 7) who bowled equally as tight and managed to get through their overs nice and quickly putting the pressure back on the batsmen. Burton managed to find a good spot and rarely strayed from it whilst Metcalfe began to squeeze the runs from the batsmen, offering next to no width for them.

However in all credit to East Christchurch’s openers they weathered the storm and protected their wicket and both would eventually achieve half-centuries. First to pass the mark was Hadley who had played well within himself and dispatched the bad balls when they came, shortly followed by Robertson who also played maturely and stewarded the innings along nicely. Drayton would then throw the ball to Hammy Kavanagh and Andrew Burton for quick spells to see if they could buy Sway a wicket. However  it wouldn’t be until both Sway openers Drayton and Smith returned before the two batsmen were dismissed. Hadley would perish eventually for a very handy 60 after Charlie Smith stayed cool under pressure to hold on to a returning sky-er off his own bowling. Drayton would then have Robertson for an enterprising 56 after the in form batsman nicked through to Smith at first slip. It wouldn’t take long for Sway to strike again, this time the returning Matt Burton picking up number 3 batsman Wetherall for 20 just as he was starting to look good with Hammy Kavanagh holding on to the first of two super catches, this one requiring him to dive forward quickly out in the deep. Smith then picked up another one, this time the wicket of Young for 2.

Smith would strike one more time finally picking up the wicket of Owen also for 2. A few last quick runs from Christchurch’s Davey (13*) would see his team up to a respectable 184 as the 42 overs concluded.

Sway would have been pretty happy with their display in the field as standards of both bowling and fielding seemed to be pretty high. After a very nice tea provided by Matt Burton they set out to chase down the total which was very do-able providing Sway could just hold together and tick along nicely.

A good start is what the home team required and a good start was exactly what they got from openers Pete Bennet and Jim Metcalfe. The pair seemed well in control early on, fully aware they didn’t need to explode from the get go to chase this total. Both men played well with their partnership promptly moving past 50 however it would eventually come to an end when Metcalfe got a good one from Wetherall (4-42 off 10) to see him depart for a responsible 17 having established a platform. Hammy Kavanagh came in at 3 but his stay would be brief after a flighted delivery from Wetherall proved too tempting when the big hitter was bowled after looking to hit the ball out the ground. The East Christchurch off spinner then hit a bit of a purple patch by claiming the wickets of Feistead and Carr in back to back deliveries both for 0 to see Sway in a bit of panic. Nick Brien then came to the crease and he with Bennet started to push the innings back in the right direction with ticking singles and the odd big boundary to keep Sway in with a shout. The pair brought stability to the innings and steadied the ship having lost wickets in quick succession.  Brien would eventually go for a useful 25 having just hit a string of nice boundaries looking to give the innings a bit of a push but could only find the catching man at mid wicket.

As Sway reached the end of the innings it was up to Bennet to see if he could hit big to get Sway over the line with the help of Smith, the Burton brothers and finally chairman Chris Baughn. Bennet moved to his half century with a sweet strike to the leg side and then really began to motor but unfortunately the task at hand for the final over was just too great. Bennet would eventually be dismissed for a brilliant 76 as Sway fell just short.

So despite a very valiant effort from the 3s they just couldn’t get up to the grand total but it was by no means a disappointing performance from the team with some highlights in both innings that showed very encouraging signs for the future. I would just like to thank everyone on behalf of Steve Drayton who turned out for the 3s on Saturday whether you are a regular member of the team, somebody who has helped out from another team or someone like Andrew Burton who turned out for us out of the blue and played his first game of cricket for 33 years! It’s always a hassle when our games fall amongst very busy times in the calendar and I’m sure it’s been a nightmare for skippers to get people together all week but it’s a true wonder and testament to the club that we were still able to field all four teams this weekend despite being a small village club in the New Forest.

Thank you very much and well played everyone.