And so the 2019 season began. The clubhouse was painted, the pitch was immaculate and the Ferrero rocher was laid out for tea. The teams arrived in the sunshine but the calm weather wasn’t to last long.

After some half hearted attempts at catching practice in the by now windy & chilly conditions, the teams were ready to toss up. Captain Herrington continued the Welford tradition of losing the toss but getting what he wanted and Mortimer West End were batting first.

Fogden and Yahia opened up and after an early breakthrough due to some great fielding from Brown (and a slightly unsporting shout from the welford skipper), West End chugged along to 50-1 off 12. Senior Herrington was brought on and after a suspect 1st over, got the breakthrough via an inside edge onto the stumps in the second.

After some further run accumulation and a new nickname solidified, Steve “none-for” Yahia was replaced by Fox. Despite a pulled arse muscle after the first ball, Fox powered through to take the next 2 wickets (in the same over) and return respectable figures of 2-44 from his 8. A tight last 10 overs by both Herringtons and fogden kept the score below 200. Shout out to Griffiths behind the stumps with 2 run outs and a catch in a fine return to the 1st XI behind the stumps.

Goldsworthy and McManus opened up and started slowly. McManus was dropped on 0 but a base was built by the time Tiny was bowled, with the score 47-1. The base was extended further by Keep but captain Herrington was brought to the crease just before drinks with the score 67-2.

The pair saw it through to drinks and with some cultured Herrington hoicks, the run rate began to rapidly increase. Rotations of the strike and bad balls being put away, Park were rapidly getting on top of the game. By over 27, both men reached 50, McManus narrowly avoiding the humiliation of being overtaken to the milestone.

5 penalty runs for a hit of the helmet was the only surprise from then on, Herrington and McManus finishing the chase with 8 overs to spare for a dominant win and an unbroken 132 run partnership.

Man of the match: W. Herrington for a majestic unbeaten 78 to take the game away from Mortimer West End
Blue stripe: W. Herrington for 5 overthrows against Foxy (who was conveniently giving the award)
Moment of the match: C. Fox retrieving the ball from the boundary at mid off, only to inconceivably throw it back over the fence when attempting to return it to the bowler

Onwards and upwards for the season. Up the park!