Southgate 167 all out (54 overs)
Tom Edrich 100*
Hornsey 124 all out (41.1 0vers)
Ravi Desai 4-32, Darragh Edwards 3-35
The unpredictability of the great game of cricket was proven yet again on Saturday when Southgate entertained Hornsey who included their star player, former Middlesex CCC County player, Paul Weekes. His all-round skills, batting, bowling and general experience are worth almost three players and his appearance only increases the strength of Hornsey, who are a good side anyway.
However, in an absorbing game Southgate, very much the underdogs on this occasion, won an exciting game by 43 runs.
It was never easy, although as so often, Shoaib Zulfiqar (27) set off at his usual pace and with Tom Edrich added 51 for the first wicket at a good rate.
Unfortunately, once the first wicket fell there followed a procession of batsmen succumbing to the spinning wiles of the aforementioned Weekes (4-53 in 19 overs) and teenage George Everitt (4-42 in 16 overs) bowling on a wicket tailor-made for their skills.
David Woffinden (13) entertained for a while in his usual way but at 109-8 the picture looked grim for Southgate and at this stage victory looked a long way off.
However, Tom Edrich, in his most obdurate and determined mood, was still there, playing the turning ball with great skill and determination. He was joined by Darragh Edwards (12), proving he has the defensive qualities hitherto unseen, as he defended well against the spinners and supported Tom as the latter ploughed on, gaining confidence ball by ball.
Tom varied his game cleverly, driving and cutting well as usual, but included some clever placements and one enormous six off Weekes.
Once Darragh was out Tom cleverly dominated the strike to protect Ravi Desai, especially from the quick but erratic opening bowler who returned to the fray, and with great confidence turned down numerous long singles in order to ensure he retained control.
Tom finished with 100 not out, a remarkable innings in every way, and aptly confirmed by the fact that each and every one of the opposition shook hands with him in congratulations as they left the field.
A total of 167 was not a vast total but it was obvious that the track was difficult and if Southgate bowled and fielded well and, importantly, made a good start there was a chance of victory.
A good start?
The opposition 0-2 after 4 overs, Weekes lbw to the mighty Woffers for 0 and his opening partner lbw to Darragh definitely constituted a good start.
Ravi subsequently bowled in harness with Woffers (2-43 in 15 overs), the latter also held a fine overhead catch off Ricky Uppal who later offered variation, and at 47-6 Hornsey were in deep trouble.
Enter G.S.Gulsham (61 not out) batting at number 7, and after a difficult start when he teased wicketkeeper Dunnett with numerous play and misses outside the off stump, he changed the emphasis of the game once again but it proved too difficult a target.
However Ravi (4-32) returned in conjunction with Darragh (3-35) and gained the final wicket with the sixth lbw of the innings and Southgate were home and dry.
What a great game of cricket and a splendid all-round performance.