As the second week of the 2019 season approached, availability was at it’s freaky worst with over 25 players unavailable, however the 1st team fielded a strong enough side to be able to take the win from a strong Uxbridge side.
The boys rolled up at Uxbridge and as we tailed off our warm up we noticed that there was some sort of external event going on, what transpired was about 400 Man City fans using Uxbridge CC as their pre FA Cup piss up location. Quite an experience and atmosphere unfolded..
Skipper Edrich lost the toss and we were asked to take the field on a used pitch, after the 1st over, it looked like it being a long afternoon in the field for the Southgate boys with the wicket looking flat and the outfield short and lightning on one side. As coach after coach of Man City fans rolled in, Daragh Edwards and Pranay Rathod strangled the Uxbridge openers with the former inducing an edge of the right hander through to keeper Dunnett. What followed then was a steady partnership from the UCC’s captain and overseas who looked fairly trouble free but all the same, strangled by our smart fields and tight pressure building bowling.
The Man City fans at this point had started to get a little more vocal (a result of the booze, no doubt) and also displayed some large MCFC banners on the Uxbridge balcony, bit weird.
The breakthrough then came when Ravi Desai invited the Uxbridge skipper into a swipe which ballooned up to Jouners at first slip. The breakthrough we needed, which then saw us get back on top thanks to spells from Ravi, Mikey Stevens, Michael Cox and Ricky Uppal. The Uxbridge innings finishing on 198-10 with a run out coming from the last ball.
At this point the Man City fans had slipped off to Wembley, not before getting very vocal with Allez Allez Allez songs and also letting off a beautifully blue flare, I personally would have let that off at Wembley and not Uxbridge CC, but each to their own.
Our reply started well with Stratten and Edrich accumulating comfortably against the new ball playing freely and punishing the bad ball but as the rate began to rise Stratten (33) tried to pick up the pace and was unfortunately caught at short mid-wicket. Edrich continued on was joined by helpful contributions from Shiv Sharma and Mikey Stevens. Tommy (34) unfortunately snicked off to Micky Stafford (yep, the Micky Stafford who used to play for SCC, he’s 65) after just starting to up the rate, unfortunate timing. Shiv (25) then ran himself out and as the new batsmen came in the rate had snuck up to 7 an over, Uxbridge bowled tight lines and had tight fields and as the time went on the task became more and more difficult and with 2 overs remaining the task was too far a stretch despite Daragh Edwards’ lusty blows down the order.
We aren’t far off being a decent team and everyone in the 1st XI knows it, a tough couple of years but optimism for the season is high, roll on next week….