1st Round Away to Harrow Wanderers.
The Old Brightonians travelled to Harrow School for the 1st round of the Cricketer Cup. We have not played at home for several seasons now, but that is the luck of the draw. We have a long history of cricket against Harrow both at school level and in the OB's Cup. Our last two visits have been unsuccessful against The Wanderers. One sticks out in my mind in particular when we lost to them in the semi-finals of the competition back in the early noughties, the furthest we have reached in the Cup since we won the competition back in the 60's.
Despite the recent stats being against us the team led by Adam Davies (Le. 2005-10) were in high spirits and a more youthful team than we had put out in recent years. Also the news that the recently retired Matt Prior (Ry. 1995-2000) was definitely going to get a call for his availability for the rest of the competition, spurred the team on to perform well.
On arrival in north London the weather was inclement and led to a delayed start. Harrow won the toss and elected to bat. A wet ball caused problems for the seamers and Harrow got off to a flyer, racing to 69 for 0 off the first 10 overs. The spinners were introduced as the ball dried and the college captain from last year, Josh Hayward (Ha. 2012-14) making his debut in the competition began to slow the run rate down. He bowled with maturity and control, taking 4-27 in his 10 overs and had wrestled the initiative back to the Old Brightonians. Some excellent fielding and catching in the deep and some fine work behind the stumps from Hugh Richards (Ha. 2007-12) had restricted the opposition to 180-6 with 10 overs to go. Unfortunately even though we continued to take wickets the tail wagged and Harrow finished on 252-9 from their 50 overs.
The College started their chase in the worst possible way losing two quick wickets. Adam Davies joined Ollie Gatting (Ha. 2003-08)and the repair work started. By the 20th over the pair had got back on terms with the run rate, with Ollie in particular plundering the seamers to the straight boundaries. Harrow's turn to introduce 'pace off the ball'. Ollie for once misjudged an expansive drive and got bowled for 41. Pressure was put on the middle order with the ball keeping low as Harrow continued with their spinners. Adam departed LBW for an impressive 47 and although the late order battled well we fell short all out for 178 trying in vain to keep up with the run rate.
We must therefor wait for another year for further challenges in this competition. Talk at the end of the day was of ifs and buts, and having tried our hearts out we were all disappointed.
My thanks to Adam Davies and his team: Ollie Gatting, Ben Hansford (Sc. 2002-07), Elliott Cloy (Al. 2002-05), Felix Jordan (Sc. 2004-09), Hugh Richards, Jamie & Drew Thornely (Ry. 2007-12) and (Ry.2003-08), Charles Davies (Ry. 2005-10), Josh Hayward (Ha. 2012-14) and Milo Gough (Du. 2005-12).