The 4s made the long trip to Tillingham with only pride to play for as promotion seems a distant dream after a narrow defeat to Springfield last time out. The conditions were tricky as a gale force wind blew across the open spaces of the rural fields and a very green wicket due to the amount of recent rain made winning the toss and batting the ideal way to go. Fortunately for us, Shaz came up trumps and called correctly and advised us we would be in the field first. Young Parr playing his first game since the opening day of the season took an over to adjust but then started to cause problems with a bit of pace where one would keep low and shoot through and the next would rear up at your head. At the other end P Jones opened the bowling and bowled 8 overs unchanged as the opposition were unable to get his nagging line and length away. He was rewarded with two wickets, both being well held by Bradshaw who was looking assured behind the stumps. Hunt also began to toil away at the other end and also settled into an economical spell which rewarded him with two wickets which added to his highly impressive haul of club career wickets. He first removed the dangerous Mason who was well held in the deep by Hash and next ball he bowled the youngster Shipton to leave him on a hat trick which unfortunately did not materialise. Athletic struggled to breakthrough after and Max, Duke, Pontin and Omar were all tried and although the run rate was held in check there were no further breakthroughs until Jones came back at the death and had the impressive Mears caught by yet another catch by Bradshaw, this time a fine diving acrobatic effort. The end result was that we would be chasing 175 to win.
A disastrous start ensued when Shaz was out to the first ball he faced, beautifully pulling a lifting ball only to pick out square leg who seemed to appear from behind the umpire to take the catch. Pontin came to the wicket without a hint of worry and soon found his timing, playing his trademark cuts and pulls to ensure there were no further losses and restore some order. A partnership of 108 ensued progressing the score to 111 when the dreaded Nelson struck and Duke was dispatched LBW, things got worse as the very next ball young Omar followed his dad's example and was out for a golden duck, but his one was credit to the bowler. Things could have gone downhill rapidly when just a few runs later Pontin was out agonisingly short of a well deserved maiden 50 with a splendidly made 47. Fortunately Redwin, who no matter how few games he plays in a season always finds his touch from ball one as if he'd been batting all week and Bradshaw who was having a vey impressive all round day got things back on track as they moved the score to 160 and just 14 runs short of victory, but then we had another go at losing the game as within the space of 4 runs both were back in the pavilion, or the tent to be more precise. Fortunately with the quality of batting to come we were never really in danger as Hash and Parr saw us home with no further alarms with relative ease. A good win for the 4s and if a miracle could happen still a very slight chance of promotion if we could pull off a big win next week against second place Great Waltham who dispatched us with relative ease when we travelled there earlier in the season, but while there's hope we'll keep going.