SDCC returned to the NE Championship after a year out to a local derby at Mannofield CC. Having won the toss and conscious of the previous weeks' weather, SDCC elected to bowl first.
Chris (1-51) took the new ball with Mike (0-22) offering spin at the other end. The teams began cautiously before a chance was offered by G Jamieson when he was on just a few runs. Grant, well known to SDCC, is too good a player to be given such chances and he made SDCC pay when the opportunity was not taken. The opening pair of G Jamieson and N Critchley took the score to 22 before Chris struck with an excellent yorker to remove Critchley for 5.
Next to come in was S Nanthakumaran and following a mix-up, the stumps were broken. This led to some controversy as it was not clear if the bails were broken before the ball hit the stumps. The main umpire believed it was a clean run out and Nanthakumaran (5) had to leave the field with Mannofield 37-2 and the captain, unsighted, had to rely on him having asked the question.
Jon (1-34) struck soon after, inducing K Findlay (6) into a false shot as he bowled him through the gate. Mannofield 56-3.
J Dickinson came out to join Jamieson and the pair began to play cautiously but then started to open up and put on an excellent partnership of 74 before both Jamieson (72) and Dickinson (36) were both caught behind by Kevin off Connor (1-28) and Ryan (2-24), respectively and Ryan had R Chandu (0) LBW. Mannofield 144-6. The match was very much in SDCC's control when Ross (1-12) made his senior debut with the ball and induced A Russell (1) into giving a catch to the diving Jan. Mannofield 152-7 after 27 overs.
With just eight overs to go, momentum was with SDCC but some excellent hitting by both G Halcrow (30*) and W Anderson (34*) as they took Mannofield to 215-7 off the allocated 45 overs.
The innings broke to a fine spread laid on by Mannofield that included sandwiches, soup and pasta salads before SDCC began their innings with Connor and Kevin.
Although the game plan was to ensure we batted overs and retain momentum, W Anderson (4-33) broke the back of the SDCC innings with 3 wickets in one over to leave SDCC at 14-3 off 6 overs. This soon became 28-4 and 42-5 as a series of poor shot selection resulted in a wickets falling regularly. At the other end, Connor appeared to be playing a different match as he continued to score freely without much help. The first meaningful partnership began to blossom between Connor and Jan (8) but that was ended by D Gamblen (2-41) and Ryan went out with the score 67-6. Finally, a SDCC pair began to stem the flow of wickets and started to build a good partnership taking SDCC to 141 before Ryan (18) was caught by Gamblen off the returning Anderson. The remaining two wickets fell quickly as SDCC ended on 156, to lose by 59 runs.
Mannofield were deserved winners, batting through the various situations, helping their bowlers by taking all the catches offered in the outfield. However, there are plenty of positives for SDCC to take away from this performance. The team were competitive in large parts of the game but lapsed during the last eight overs of the Mannofield innings and the first 8 overs of their innings. The performance showed enough to confirm the team belong in this division and future results will very much depend on keeping momentum during the game.
Mannofield MoM: Grant Jamieson - his innings of 72 and stability at the top set the platform for a good total. A special mention should also go to W Anderson for his unbeaten 34 and his 4-33 including a 3 wickets in one over that removed the SDCC top order.
SDCC MoM: Connor. His 84 was a patient and all the more admirable given eight wickets fell around him. He also bowled tidily with a spell of 1-28.
Highlight of the Game: Connor's innings that almost single handedly took SDCC close to an unlikely win.