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Doctors lost to Pencombe by 170 runs

Pencombe 264 for 4

Doctors 94 all out

Pencombe, a touring side from Herefordshire, made a dream start in perfect batting conditions with 50 coming up for no loss in only 8 overs. The advent of Phil Barker and Peter Reed checked the run spree but there was no margin for error for the bowlers on a flawless Kings Hall pitch and it was a relief when Barker accounted for Bob Townsend (17) with a good inswinger. The hundred came up as the bowlers’ toil continued, with a couple of half chances going begging, until Reed (1-41) finally induced a miscue from T.Thomas (30) to David Gwynne Jones at extra cover. Alan Davies came in for a hard-hitting 28 which was ended by a fine pick up and throw by Harry Lee aided by an athletic take by keeper Dave Rooke. When these teams met last year Pencombe were bowled out for 48. Doctors bowling attack this time was missing three key bowlers but there was only one change in the Pencombe batting line up, the addition of Owen Thomas. The change was a significant one as opener Thomas contributed a masterful 105 out of 191, giving only one chance in the eighties. He was finally bowled by the heroic Barker (2-51) who had sustained an exceptionally painful blow to the "groin" while fielding but had continued bowling – no doubt sustained by the sympathy and helpful advice of his medical team-mates. Alas for Doctors there was no respite as Stuart Barrett (50 n.o.) took up the cudgels to push the total above 250.

On this pitch, with a fast, sloping outfield and short boundaries the target was not insurmountable but the start of Doctors innings was an unmitigated disaster with a score of 4 for 4 after 14 balls. The wickets all fell to the excellent Brian Pilliner (4-18) although there was some disgruntlement in the home camp as two of the dismissals were to catches which might well have touched the ground before being held. Lee and Jeremy Budd batted well in a recovery stand of 45 until Budd (22) became the first of three batsmen to fall to fast inswinging yorkers from James Brown (3-8). Lee’s classy innings of 25 ended unfortunately when he smashed a full toss from Joe Bengry (2-27) straight into the hands of short extra cover and thereafter the only resistance was from Barker (26 n.o.) who compensated for an understandable reluctance to run with a collection of boundaries. Doctors miserable total of 94 meant that the margin of defeat was the highest they have ever suffered.