A difficult opening to the season for Grayshott 3s away at Alton.

Skipper John Wheeler won the toss and elected to bat under blue skies, primarily to allow the last remaining members of the team to gather. He then set the tone, tamely nicking off to their ‘keeper from the second ball of the match. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, punctuated by lusty blows from Zach Burrage and Mark Weekes, with Peter Messina holding down one end and occasionally finding the ropes himself.

The fall of Graham Sampson brought a brief rally from Ross Owen but, with his departure, quickly followed by Messina, we were relying on the younger lads to get stuck in and bat through our 40 overs. Jamie House showed the way, with studied defence and the occasional attacking flourish. At the other end, some aggressive shotmaking from Aaron Avery and Ben Barclay kept the scoreboard ticking quickly in both the runs and wickets columns.

Don Brayshaw (always an honorary member of the ‘younger lads’ section) strode out and remained defiant to the close while House was bowled and, somewhat appropriately, the innings finished with the run out of Ollie Weekes.

Grayshott 3s all out for 116 with 9 of our 40 overs still available to bat.

After a quick tea break, we took to the field with a small total to defend. There was little chance of restricting the runs so the hope was that early wickets might cause some nerves in the opposition ranks. None arrived.

Avery and Brayshaw bowled well but with no reward, both passing the bat often and rarely leaking runs. Despite a fielding injury to Ollie Weekes robbing us of a bowling threat, the skipper was able to rotate through plenty of bowlers, searching for the golden arm to turn the match. Ben Barclay bowled quickly and with variety and Ross Owen settled into a steady groove but no breakthrough could be found as the opposition marched past 50 runs.

The introduction of Peter Messina eventually brought the wicket, the opposition opener trapped in front. The opposition number 3 also departed quickly, sadly with a nasty looking achilles injury. We wish him well. Opposition numbers 1 and 4 picked off the remaining runs and brought the match to a close before the rain showers that had threatened all afternoon finally arrived.

Grayshott toiled well in the field and gave away little, but the chances created didn’t go to hand and there were simply too few runs on the board to create pressure.

Alton 4s 119-1 in 28.1 overs won by 9 wickets.

We look forward to welcoming Headley 3s to Broxhead this weekend and getting the season going in the right direction.