One thing you can always say about Rammy, it is never, and never will be, dull watching them.
Church turned up at Acre Bottom on Saturday and left with their first win there since 2003 after bowling out Rammy for 72 and then mopping up the runs for the loss of only one wicket. As they left victorious, heads held high, there was a great deal of head scratching and soul searching going on in the home team dressing room.
With the captain and pro not scoring and resistance only shown from Fraser Kay and Simon Read the debate raged throughout the club about whether a new malaise that had crept in, was there a complacency after last year’s title win and most depressingly, was this the beginning of the end for the club?
Nah! This is just the end of the beginning.
We were always going to feel the loss of Daryn who has been our rock for the last three years, but any clouds over Acre Bottom, no matter how they look, have to be blown swiftly away.
We have new captain and a new pro. We all know Tom and we all know what he can do and we also all know that in his time at Acre Bottom he has always delivered for us and if Daryn has been our rock then it is fair to say that he has been one of the building blocks on which the team has flourished over the last few years.
We have a new Pro who has proven quality and, as we are all beginning to learn, character in abundance – he will not let us down as the season progresses.
All this became abundantly clear on Sunday when the first team went up to face Rishton and last year’s stand out pro Shaun Von Berg.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat, Tom was back in the runs and showed his confidence with an audacious 6 which brought back the smiles for the usual large number of Rammy supporters, including Michael Everett who has confounded his Doctors with a Lazarus like recovery from major surgery.
On a wicket that was conducive to spin, Tom would eventually fall to Von Burg for 25. Impressive resistance was also seen with Jon Fielding with 26 (including the small trifle of a six which ended up on Blackburn Road), Brad Fielding who scored 16 and Martin Cropper with 15.
As the support act came and went, it was the Pro, Grant Thomson, who stood firm and earned the plaudits with a stoic 55 which further emphasises his worth and what we can expect to see as he beds in for the rest of the season. However, despite his efforts, Rammy closed on 164 and some faint hearts were praying that we wouldn’t see a weekend of two league defeats.
An impressive start from Rishton, and Von Berg in particular, had these faint hearts all a flutter but they hadn’t counted on Jon Fielding who showed the necessary steel to remove Rishton’s pro when he was on 32 and Rishton on 61 then, with the help of Thomson, Fielding took apart the home team’s top order. Fielding would finish with an impressive 6-20 with Thomson and Burdaky both finishing with 2 wickets apiece as Rishton were bowled out for 114 and Rammy were the ones who left victorious, heads held high, with less head scratching and a little less soul searching than the day before.
We go again!