Windsor travelled to Beaconsfeild on the weekend to try and secure their Div 2A title. The lead up to the fixture could have been better with Hartridge presumably breaking a finger during the week, but deciding to play. That poor luck continued with Nichols losing the toss and Windsor having to bowl. From experience the Beaconfeild deck is very good to bat on first, very hard second, so it was important early wickets where taken. Luckily that was done as Kemp (1/18) and Nichols (4/39) got the early break throughs, but just as the deck flattened, Weston split the webbing in his hand from a tough chance and had to be rushed to hospital. This meant Windsor had to field with 10 players and 1 of them in Hartridge, nursing a broken finger!
From here Beaconsfeild found the gaps easy to identify and plundered 222/9 in 52 overs. Harris 2/28 done very well in trying conditions, and Windsor could only wonder what could had been, as Beaconsfeild must have scored an extra 30/40 runs through the gaps the man down created.
Windsor had to re-shuffle the batting order to deal with Westons absence, and with Hartridge unable to put a glove on, let alone bat! Windsor where effectively 2 men down. Birch (14) and San Jose (18) done their best and Gould (25) showed his promise, but it was left to Huggins (67) and Nichols (45*) to combat the very good Beaconfeild attack.
At drinks it was 101/3 and game on. But Beaconsfeild started bowling stump to stump on the up and down wicket and the partnership could never get going again, Windsor had to settle for batting points. with only 9 players able to bat
It was quite bemusing to hear the chirp from the Beaconsfeild side about “not going for it” when they had a long on/long off and sweeper in place from the first part of the innings!
Although their frustrations where valid, in the reverse position, it would be guaranteed Windsor would not have been so defensive with feild placing! This scribe thinks you need to “earn” a win, not wait for an opponent to hand it to you… Windsor with 9 x 25pt wins “earn” victory through positive feild placing and an aggressive mentality. At no time did Huggins and Nichols feel like the oppostion where looking to take their wicket, they seemed to be merely waiting for them to make a mistake. That wasn’t going to happen!
Maybe with a couple of back pads instead of a players riding the boundary to take advantage of a poping pitch, it could have been a different outcome?
Windsor would also like to take the time to thank Beaconsfeild for helping Weston to hospital after his webbing was split. The manner in which the home side came to his aid was very much appreciated by Windsor, and showed the spirit the game should be played in, hard on the feild and friendly off it.
So with a draw secured, Windsor look forward to hosting a bullish Bagshot this weekend, and hopefully with 11 fully fit players ready to go, can secure the title! Maybe!