The traditional season opener was a cracker. The usual bad weather was banished in favour of a dry run bonanza. Seniors Captain Nigel Wilkinson
won the toss and inserted the Juniors on the Wray Crescent artificial pitch with a fast and bumpy outfield.
Juniors 274-5 (40 overs) , DeKeller 71, Ralph 69 no, Wiehan 51, Hollman 2-48.
Seniors 222-8 (40 overs), Picknett 81, Hardisty 36, Stubbs 3-40, Dekeller 2-46
An even game on paper saw the Seniors take first blood reducing the Juniors to 39-3. Tight bowling saw the Juniors on 106-4 by 25 overs, the only resistance having been Guy Wiehan making an assured 51. A below par target of 200 looked optimistic until Dougal DeKeller (71) and Matt Ralph (69 no)changed the shape of the match in a 123 run partnership.
The final 15 overs
yielded a staggering 168 runs, with the final six yielding 79, the fall of DeKeller's wicket almost unnoticed as young debutante Jonathan Stubbs hit
a whirlwind 13 to close the innings. Pick of the Seniors bowling was Captain Wilkinson with 1-27 from his eight overs, with Pete Hollman picking up 2 wickets for 48 in 7 overs, his fine early figures damaged by 28 from his last two.
Despite the daunting total, Seniors got off to a flyer lead by a rejuvenated Ben Hardisty hitting a quick fire 36, and with Adrian Duthie putting on
56 for the first wicket. Indeed, Seniors were ahead of the Juniors run rate until the 27th over, when they could not find any acceleration, scoring at more or less 5 an over from the first to last over. Miles Picknett top scored with 81 runs, anchoring the innings well but lacking the kind of explosive support that had characterised the Juniors. Jim Davies with 24 and Rob Allum with 26 both gave it a go but the ask was too much. All the Junior bowlers kept it tight with medium seamer Jonathan Stubbs a revelation
with his 3-40, considering he had to be persuaded to bowl. Dougal DeKeller with 2-46 possibly just nipped Matt Ralph (1-40) to the man of the match,
though it was a close decision. Joe Cannon's spin (1-43) also kept the Seniors hitters pinned down.
But in the end perhaps it was the all round team effort that won it for Juniors. Their fielding was much sharper and holding all their catches
(Seniors dropped 3) and stopping numerous runs in the field was the difference. Juniors Captain Paul Attwood was outstanding behind the
stumps and ran a disciplined and spirited team.
Juniors Vice Captain David Murray said, "The best team won. Everyone pulled their weight and it was a real pleasure to be part of the effort. Matt
and Dougal stood out, but without Guy, Stubsie and some great fielding from Pete Czabotar and the Skip things would have been a lot closer. The Seniors were always up against it and we never let them get away. It was a great win."
Juniors: M Holliday, Guy Wiehahn, David Murray, Joe Phelan, Dougall DeKeller,Matthew Ralph, Jonathan Stubbs, Joe Cannon, Pete Czabotar, Paul Attwood+*,
Seniors: Ben Hardisty+, Adrian Duthie, Miles Picknett, Steve Lay, David Gluckman,Craig Jones, Jim Davies, Rob Allum, Peter Hollman, Nigel Wilkinson*, Ray