An eager Jon Webley led side were keen to end an ever lengthening run of games without a win. The records show there was a run of 6 consecutive defeats in 1989 but it's now 10 full length games without a win. Which team will bear the brunt to end this run ? Unfortunatley, it wasn't P&H.
Pre merger, Headstone had lost out to Pacific in the last 3 fixtures so confidence was high & Jon was happy that this was a line up he had faith in. Losing the form opener in the 1st over is never a good start & Sammy Purcell's premature dismissal lofting the bowler almost over mid off's outstretched finger tips keeps Sammy's disappointing run going but that is what happens when your out of form as we all know.
Rob Bastin & Jon Webley confidently rebuilt the innings but Rob's dismissal at 80-3 began an unlikely collapse to 91-7 when Ali Pritchard was run out to a direct hit from mid off.
The P&H Skipper Robin Willis had mercy & rotated his bowlers & used all 10 (11 if you were to count his 6 ball impersonation of Mark Ramprakash although the tumbleweed went through that particular visual gag).
James Smith was the main benficiary & his exemplary marshalling of the tail & shot selection saw Jmaes reach a half century & the home side use up all but 1 ball & another defendable total posted.
Following a curtailed tea - it had been another late start by 45 minutes as P&H rolled up extra late citing traffic in Harrow - so they knew they were likley to bat in lesser light. The James boys - Smith & Gleadow bent their backs & wickets did come but P&H also kept the run rate on target as not enough pressure came despite the wickets.
The skipper was short of a bowler or 2 & incredibly Hollman's introduction saw key batter Russell dropped THREE times in his 2nd over & later he was dropped again. No dollies but chances a side desperate to win needs to take.
The writing was on the wall & although Pacific were finally able to exert pressure & wickets came - 2 to runs outs & at last a catch when Russell (82) was caught by the skipper himself - it was a re-enactment of the Graces game or the Fulmer game or the Isis game.
Very frustrating particularly to lose the honour in such a way. Perhaps a relegation threatened football manager would say "plenty of positives came out of that but the lads are going to have to dig deeper" Perhaps a change in the fielding routine & introduce skyers catching practice would be the first step.
XI:-Rob Bastin, Joe Bennett, James Gleadow, Matt Holliday, Peter Hollman, Sammy Purcell, James Smith, Jon Webley*, Steve Emmins, Ali Pritchard & Ben Haley
Reserves:- 12th Andy Harbourne.