After five weeks "on the road" it was finally time to come home, to the gloriously expansive Emmanuel College Ground in west Cambridge. The Sun was shining; the beer was flowing; there were those damn sweetcorn and tuna sandwiches for tea -- could life get any better? Well yes and no. Cricket was the obvious winner today, in what was the match of the season, but sadly for us Longstowe was the winner as well.
We batted first, and compiled a beautifully structured innings, with openers Rog Shelley and Tony Desimone (another 70+ score) both amongst the runs, and Phil Bradford also getting close to a half-century. There was a bit of a mid-innings wobble, but Andy Owen played another captain's knock (sorry about the cliche), clubbing 60-odd not out in the last ten overs. He and Daniel Mortlock (21*) combined for a 70-run unbeaten partnership for the eighth wicket, taking us to the rarely scaled heights of 242/7.
After the above-mentioned sandwiches, we walked out onto the field feeling pretty good about things, and most of us seemed confident that victory was just a few hours away.
But it's a funny game (last cliche, promise). After we got a couple of wickets early on, the Longstowe middle order played some fantastic shots and the bowling started to come apart at the seams. Most of the damage was done by Rod Dennis, who made a brutal 70-odd at a sufficient rate to keep his team in the chase. We dropped him a couple of times in the last few overs, and in the end Longstowe crept over the line with 2 balls and 3 wickets remaining.
It was a great chase and a fabulous game of cricket, but a frustrating loss for us from what seemed like an unasailable position.