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Doctors lost to Bath & Wells Clergy by 4 wickets

Doctors 106 for 6

Clergy 107 for 6

Doctors lost the toss and were surprisingly asked to bat on a damp, overcast evening. This season wet pitches of variable bounce have been all too familiar and this one accounted for Ben Rich, bowled by the pacy and impressive B.Barnwell (1-8). For a while the wise old heads of David Gwynne Jones and Graham Fergusson made light of the conditions in a brisk stand of 36. If the old saying about Gordon Greenidge, that he was always more dangerous when he was limping, applies to these two then the opposition bowlers are in for permanent trouble. This time however Fergusson (15) was undone by a combination of low bounce and the impeccable line and length of S.Powell (1-12), and Gwynne Jones (26) followed soon after, run out by a direct hit from the boundary when ambling a highly improbable fourth run. John Ogle (11) played fluently until he played the ball straight to short leg, got kamikaze fever, and set off for a totally non-existent run. M.Rylands (1-10) capitalised on Doctors desire to push on but Alan Dunkley’s bold hitting and lightning running prised out an invaluable 31 and Charles MacAdam (9 n.o.) helped Doctors to respectability.

The Clergymen got off to a painfully slow start. By now it was raining steadily and despite the greasy ball Doctors opening bowlers Peter Reed and Steve Witts induced a good deal of playing and missing with no loose balls to hit. With the score on only 32 at the halfway stage desperation set in and the batsmen began looking for shorter and shorter singles with the predictable run out of D.Williamson (21) by the bowler Joe Lee who followed through well to collect the ball and coolly throw down the stumps. R.Graham (18) played some pleasing shots until he was the first of two quick wickets for Rich (2-21) who demonstrated the cardinal virtue of bowling straight. Meanwhile Rylands the visiting skipper had played himself in quietly and began to take command. Fortune swung to the clerics as runs were stolen but there was a major hiccup when the ageless Ogle effected two marvellous run outs with diving stops in the covers and rapid, accurate returns. 35 runs were needed from the last 4 overs but Rylands remained and was able to take advantage of some quixotic Doctors bowling changes. Eight were needed from the last over, bowled by Doctors captain Andy Paisley (1-12); six came from the first three balls, but from the fourth Rylands was comfortably stumped by Dave Rooke for a match-winning 43. A single was scrambled from the next ball but the thrilling match ended in anticlimax as the final ball shot past leg stump for a winning bye.