Another long journey awaited the players and supporters tonight, not as long as before but Belvoir Castle was still in sight.
Bottesford is a pretty ground and again, like Belvoir the welcome was very friendly and welcoming. Must be something to do with the influence of the Castle.
League rules say home side bats first.
What we didn't realise was it was their last game and they had tinkered with their batting order, but after the first 4 overs, manager and captain twigged this might be the case and altered the bowling.
Before I go on 2 things - Olly Stanley must be doing more push ups as the arm from the boundary is now a cannon, and James Pritchett's comments and authority around the field that he gets as a result was nice to hear.
With some early catches going down and some slight slip ups it is fantastic to hear positive things coming out of other fielders helping when things go wrong.
Fielding was super, even if 4 catches went down, but more of that later.
On came some bowlers who haven't seen much action, and they applied themselves really well, taking the extras to a better result - 13 over all - well done!
Much must be made of Alex Jan’s and his substitute keeping which was to it’s usual standards - well done.
Not only that but they took wickets and put pressure on the scoring which meant that run outs were happening all over the place. It's what happens when batsmen feel like they are not scoring.
Specail mention to Chris Peacock, fielding at mid on, saw the striking batsman had called a run but the non striker was slow off the mark, switched from the shouts of bowlers end and aimed true to run out the non striker.
Same to Dan Jones’ as it's not always necessary to throw down the stumps if you can beat the batsman's retreat with ball in hand.
The general fielding was superb with Megan Surtees putting in the usual display of selflessness in getting in the way of the ball to stop runs. And well appreciated it was by the bowler.
Liam Aldred-Abrams and Chris Peacock showed what can be done with pace off the ball but it landing in the rights spots, backed up by a lovely spell of bowling from our newcomer Conor Pearson. Keep that going.
James Pritchett trusted his slower pace after seeing earlier bowling and obtained good result and Joe Orgill showed again that when concentrating on technique he has that lovely nagging line and length
So with Jono Meal to finish off as the ‘tail’ (not really as a result of Bottesford sporting use of their batting in their last game), the runs needed were a comfortable 72.
Or so was thought until the quality of Bottesford’s bowling came to the fore.
Tied up nicely, the openers in Meal and Pritchett were being strangled a little and so Pritchett (like Prior the day before) went for a ball high wide and handsome outside off stump and was caught.
Chris Peacock ably supported Meal until both lost their wickets to the Bottesford bowling, which left Alex Jan and Stanley at the wickets, Jan having come in with Meal before he was bowled.
They clearly then had a meeting, looked at the board, and the overs available and decided that they would dig in and see things off, which is just what they did.
Jan set too with his straight bat whilst Stanley punished some wider bowling well, but more importantly they were alive to over throws and quick runs which meant they never felt under pressure and allowed the run rate to tick up and let them enjoy themselves.
Well done both sides, and thank you Bottesford, many of who’s players deserve a mention in their report.
If I have missed anyone out then I apologise but its been a long 2 days.