Final weekend of the season….
Match reports for 13th/14th September 2014
Preston’s 2014 season wound down with victories in two delightful friendly matches.
On Saturday a combined XI of 2nd, 3rd and 4th team players took on a similar strength Old Elizabethans side at the Recreation Ground. Batting first, Preston made 228 for 4 in 40 overs on a dry, hard pitch, with Matt Burleigh scoring a patient 52, Dave Saunders a typically big-hitting 50 and Ashley Catlin 49. Hitchin’s Dan Watson, guesting for the day, also made a rapid 20. The innings ended with Preston’s all time leading run scorer, 72 year old Chris Newell, batting with 10 year old Ollie Catlin, possibly setting a record for the greatest age difference in a Preston batting partnership. Chris almost certainly also holds the club record for running out the most members of PCC, and once or twice looked suspiciously like trying to add Ollie to his total….
Newell then opened the bowling in OE’s innings with his 4th XI partner Terry Neale, who was playing his first game at the Field of Dreams for several decades, Terry’s father Frank having played and captained the club in the 60s and 70s. Both got among the wickets, and indeed OEs were never really in danger of reaching the target despite some good innings from a couple of their young players. There was a great moment for leg spinning Ollie Catlin as Dad held his nerve to take a skier at deep midwicket, with Gran, Grandad and brother Harry all watching! OEs finished at 176 for 8 giving Preston a 52 run victory.
On Sunday several of the 1st XI made their final (hungover) appearances of the season in a friendly with Outlaws. Preston’s innings got off to a stuttering start as 3 quick wickets fell to rather ordinary deliveries. Matt Burleigh (56) and Callum Blair (46) recovered the innings with a 70 run partnership, before Max Anderson (25) and Will Gallimore (37) also got among the runs. Wiggy decided to bat left-handed as an experiment, and was so competent that the opposition were none the wiser. Indeed, a slog sweep for 6 into the top of the Horse Chestnut tree at the Chequer’s Lane end must have carried 80-90 metres, and hints at a future of KP-like switch-hitting….. Preston finished on 193 for 9 after 40 overs, with a very hungover Pete Murrell failing to connect to a series of attempted reverse sweeps….
In reply Outlaws’ batsmen struggled in their chase after Rupert Bruce trapped Potters Bar’s Chris Scott LBW for 22. Pete Murrell picked up 3 wickets and Will Mercer 2, before the innings was ended at 142 all out by father and son John and James Skirrow taking the last 4 wickets between them. John’s two were his first for the club!