The first game back at the Valley following the Cashmere Hills fire that seriously threatened the ground was played in perfect conditions, and in keeping with the past few years it was another cliff-hanger.

Peninsula won the toss and sent the Valley in to bat on a slightly damp wicket that was very testing early on. The visitor’s bowlers soon had the Valley batsmen in trouble and at the 25 over mark the hosts had crumbled to 52/4. Best of the bowlers were the evergreen Bob Masefield (2/12 off 8) and Danny Bulman (2/15 off 8). However Tom Music batted patiently, and with good support from the lower order he was able to hit out in the last few overs to get the Valley through to a competitive total of 159/7, with Tom unbeaten on 88.

After a magnificent spread of ham, various salads and Barry’s curried eggs, Peninsula set about chasing down the score. Although the required run rate was never a problem, wickets feel at regular intervals and when the final pair was at the crease 7 runs were still required. The winning runs came in the way of 2 byes, an anti-climactic end to a great day’s cricket.

The hero for the Goat Herders was Danny Bulman with a well compiled 56. And while all the Valley bowlers bowled well, the pick of them were Greg Jones (8/2/22/4) and Russell Drake (8/1/23/3). The home team was left to rue several dropped catches which may have made a difference in such a close game.

Greg Hills
Valley Captain