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Wanderers sad return to North Parade

There are a couple of opening paragraphs to this week's Wanderers report - you choose the one you  consider best.......

Option 1

It was Bring-your-family-to-watch-the-Wanderers Day at North Parade on Sunday. Luffy brought her Mum and Dad, Sophie Le Marchand (unexpectedly) brought her parents whilst Elwyn's folks came all the way from Perth, Western Australia to see the team return to North Parade for the first time in 2013. The Withers were there, Julie Randall also, debutant Emma Godman brought her Mum and brother whilst Lauren (whose parents don't really count because they're always there) brought her grandparents as well. In addition, the wider Wanderers family was also there as a number of former-players enjoyed some legendary Dave Nelson-led hospitality. So whilst the Bath players remembered to bring their families along en masse, they unfortunately largely forgot to bring one other vital ingredient to make the game a real spectacle....their runs!

Option 2

There was a time in Wanderers history when a batting performance normally followed a very familiar pattern. The openers - normally Hannah Lloyd and Steph Davies- would start very well and give us a great platform at about 20 overs. Then one would get out when looking very well set and, all too often, the other would follow soon afterwards. Thereapon, what had previously looked like a walk in the park for the batting team, suddenly disintegrated from - let's say-  90-0 to a very sad-looking (roughly) 130 all out. The Bath bowling and fielding would tend to be tidy but, after a few moments when they imagined that the impossible might indeed be possible, the opposition would canter home for about 5 down. Hannah Lloyd (now Knight) was at the game on Sunday and, for her it must have seemed like deja vu all over again!!

Perhaps excited by their return to the home of cricket, Bath opted to bat first on Sunday in the top-of-the-table clash with Finchley Gunns (formerly Finchley gunns england and even more formerly just plain old Gunnersbury). Le Marchant looked to carry on from her recent good-form whilst Campbell was quickly showing that a recent bout of measles had not affected her batting prowess. As they tiucked into the visitor's bowling and reached 71-0 after 17 overs the world was a beautiful place and nothing was going to stop Bath posting a total of 240+ and then bowling their opponents out for well under 200, picking up maximum points and disappearing into the distance at the top of the table and........

Two overs later 71-0 had become 75-4 and then by 23 overs Bath had limped to 89-6. Put the League-winners champagne back in the fridge! A partnership of 41 between the ever-improving Lauren Shrubsole and the evergreen and ever-ready Beth Howe followed but, just as they were threatening something threatening, they both departed and Bath slumped again - this time to a terminal 135 all out. Finchley Gunns had bowled well but not 135 all out-well in all honesty.

Early wickets were needed and early wickets we got. I am not sure that Jackie Hawker and Kate Randall have ever opened the bolwing together but the both struck early taking a big wicket each and 27-2 gave Bath a glint of hope. Randall bowled her 10 overs straight through in miserly fashion picking up 2-17 but the Bath bowlers could not create enough pressure to really get the large crowd believing that victory was possible or indeed likely. Cat Dalton (previously notable for her youtube appearances) produced an excellent innings when her team most needed it and, in hindsight, a confident LBW appeal against her might have been the moment when the game was lost. The Blagdon Assasin picked up a couple of wickets to raise hopes once more but even she was not able to turn the tide enough for a home win. Finchley reached their meagre target after 37 overs and left bath to hope that the vagaries of the points system would see them stretch their lead at the top of the league, despite losing to their nearest challengers.


Next stop : Wokingham Ridgeway (formerly Reading Ridgeway and even more formerly just plain old Ridgeway)

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