Match Reports




Pencombe beat Doctors by 2 wickets

Doctors            76 all out


Pencombe        77 for 8


  Doctors chose to bat and found run scoring almost impossible in the first 6 overs and very difficult thereafter.   Attempts to break the stranglehold met with unmitigated disaster as Brian Pilliner (3-12) and James Brown (2-6) cashed in on a variety of loose strokes.  Andrew Paisley was unlucky when he unleashed a full blooded drive, only to see Owen Thomas at mid off hurl himself to his right to take a brilliant catch inches from the ground.  Sam Powell lit up the gloom with a 10 ball cameo worth 17 until poor shot selection led to him being yorked by Brown.  The crucial wicket for Pencombe was that of Graham Fergusson who was deceived by a fine, inswinging, off stump yorker from Thomas (1-20).  Fergusson’s score of 10 was his first failure of the season and reduced his batting average to a paltry 117.   Phil Barker (16) and Mike Sullivan (10) staged a partial recovery but when both were out to Phil Brooke (2-19) there was another flurry of soft dismissals to David Deakins (2-3), culminating in a careless run out when last man Robert Colledge failed to ground his bat.


  The home side approached the task of knocking off the runs with understandable confidence which lasted for precisely 6 hostile overs from Sullivan and John Down, after which the score was 3 for 3.  Two stunning catches from keeper Fergusson, standing up to the quick bowlers, and a fine low catch from Barker at point did the damage and the reeling Pencombe batsmen were glad of the delayed tea interval to re-gather their wits.  Not that the pressure abated after tea.  Down and Sullivan bowled with unblemished accuracy and penetration and their successors Powell (1-22) and Harry Lee (1-9) were no less attritional, each gaining a lbw decision to reduce the score to 23 for 5.  Thomas had watched most of the carnage from the non-striker’s end and at last he found a lasting partner in Brown and their aggressive strokeplay wrested back the initiative.  When the score had reached 68 without further loss Doctor’s captain Peter Reed turned again to the ever-reliable Sullivan and the change was soon rewarded as Brown (16) tried one drive too many and found the safe hands of Lee at mid off.  Sullivan’s spell finished with the impressive figures of 8 overs, 5 maidens, 9 runs for 2 wickets.  When Reed (1-5) lured Steve Townsend down the wicket his doom was sealed as Fergusson took the bails off in a flash and with Down recalled to bowl at the other end, Doctors hopes flickered.  But Thomas was still there and was playing a true captain’s innings and a boundary in the next over brought the scores level.  Down (8 overs, 3 maidens, 9 runs for 4 wickets) produced a superhuman effort to bowl Thomas (32) with his next ball but Brooke held out for the rest of the over and a thrilling match was concluded when Pilliner tantalisingly chipped the ball over short midwicket’s head in the next over.