40s Lose again
By David Blackburn
The number 136 will now go down as a distinct bogey score for Toft Over 40s, having lost twice in a row after making said score.
A blue-skied evening at Warrington started well, with Toby Drummond smashing a quickfire 32, supported in rather more leisurely fashion by Mark “what-foot-movement” Jones (30ret). However, despite some lofty blows from the middle order (including Jonny Thompson , Mark Hope , and Paul Ashley ), some decent death bowling by the hosts meant that at 136-6 Toft finished perhaps 10-15 runs below what they might have hoped, given the excellent batting conditions.
Although Toft’s opening bowlers of John Sheldon and Mark Nightingale bowled well, the Warrington openers were up to the task, with a nice combination of nurdling and bludgeoning. With the first three batsmen retiring (after passing 30) Toft were up against it, but after three quick wickets (one each for Mark Jones, Jim Bishop, and Paul Ashley) the momentum swung back in Toft’s favour. Indeed with new batsmen at the crease, and 24 needed off the last three overs, Toft were marginal favourites, but Warrington kept picking up vital runs to give themselves a fair chance going into the last over, with ten required. Alas, Toft’s recent Achilles heel of excessive “extras” resurfaced at just the wrong moment, taking the pressure off the home batsmen, who made it home with a few balls to spare. A good game of cricket, against a vastly improved Warrington, but another one Toft will feel they let slip by.