17th April 2022
Youngsters impress in season opener
Sway travelled to Bashley in a hastily arranged fixture following the withdrawal of Bashley's original opponents New Milton.
Sway's team featured very much a mixture of experience and extreme youth - with colts stars U11 Max Davis, U12 Toby Reid and U13 Lawrence Warner. Sway also handed a debut to the impressively athletic Rob Reid who, fresh from Sports Direct was playing his first game in many years.
With an older and stronger side, Bashley naturally elected to bat first on a fine deck on winning the toss, opening with the uber-experienced pairing of Paul Kemp and Tom O'Sullivan. Sway opened their attacked with Max and Chris Davis whose tight lines kept the batsmen very much in check for the opening salvos. There were a couple of sharp half chances in the slips/gully but no luck for the Davis boys. Max Davis's spell of 7 overs for just 21 runs however was the outstanding performance of the day drawing praise from the assembled crowd. In very much a captain's dream, he bowled 41 of his 42 balls in the channel on our just outside off stump - and the single ball that strayed onto middle and leg could only be squirted out to mid wicket for a dot.
Sway then turned to their second father and son bowling combo - Toby and Rob Reid. After an understandably rusty first ball or two, Reid senior starting to find his range and up his pace. Very much in the style of Sway legend Carl Osborne, there were some cracking "nasty" deliveries as he slowly ramped up the pace....until a calf muscle went restricting him to 3rd gear! At the other end Toby was tidy and very much bowling to his off side field.
No luck was to be had for the Sway bowlers and the Bashley openers used the drinks break to both retire unbeaten. Skipper Dave Marshall brought himself on and picked up two wickets, both safely pouched at mid-on by his new favourite fielder, the immobile but safe hands of Rob Reid. At the other end Steve Hannibal took a while to shake off the close season rust and was replaced with the leg spin of Will Baughan. Pace off did the trick with Wilbo bowling the number 5 round his legs.
At one point Bashley looked on for a 275-300 score but a tight second spell from Chris Davis picked up two further wickets including a sharp catch behind the wicket by Pete Bennet and Marshall picked up a wicket in the final over as Bashley were restricted to 244-6 off 40 overs
Sway opened their reply with Pete Bennet and Toby Reid - there followed somewhat of a stalemate. Runs were hard to come by, but Bashley never really looked like taking a wicket - Reid, with probably the most elegant leave in Hampshire and solid defence was giving nothing away. Bennet was trapped LBW when looking to open up, bringing in Niall Gallagher at number 3 who was soon into his business with a fine array of shots to all parts. Reid was eventually dislodged, caught at mid-off at the second or 3rd attempt, brining in Will Baughan who with Gallagher looked to put the Bashley change bowlers to the sword.
When Gallagher returned on 53 not out, young Lawrence Warner was sent in to partner Baughan - another Sway youngster the Bashley bowlers really struggled to dislodge. Baughan eventually snicked one through to the keeper for 27 and was replaced by a very determined Steve Hannibal. Although the chase was over by this point, Warner and Hannibal also proved difficult to dislodge with Warner only finally succumbing for 7 off a marathon 40 balls. Max Davis went on to face the final over bowled by his school teacher - and had the last laugh nothing up 5 runs as Sway finished up on 132-5.
So in the event Sway finished well short but some super encouraging signs for the future and a very enjoyable afternoon in the warm spring sunshine.
Not so youngsters chewing the cud!