As today's match between Romsey and Over began, it could have been 2003 or 2004: Andy Owen was marking his run-up and was about to take the new ball for the first time in several seasons; and Ev Fox had the gloves on, and was standing up to the stumps in his first cricket game since heading off to Doha in early 2006. The old firm did the trick early doors, with Andy (1/25) starting with three consecutive maidens, and Ev silky smooth behind the stumps. With Marcelino Gopal (1/28) only marginally less economical, Over were getting nowhere, and were just 9/1 after 10 overs.
Of course there was no real chance that we'd restrict them to 36/4 after 40 overs (but wouldn't it be cool if we had?), and they made a steady comeback for the rest of their innings. Tom Jordan (1/48) bowled pretty well, and Russell Woolf (3/51) got three-for for the fourth match in a row, but in the end the points went to the father-and-son combination who, between them, scored almost half of Over's eventual total of 170/8.
Our innings started pretty eventfully, with five wides in the first over and then a wicket in the second, and this trend continued, as it was basically a race to see if Over would give us enough extras to compensate for the fact they kept taking wickets. In the end extras top scored with 30, but the 10 wickets were more important, and our innings came to a close some 38 runs short of our target and with almost 6 overs still to be bowled. The really frustrating thing was that almost everybody made starts, with Ev Fox (26, despite not having picked up a bat since 2005) John Gull (21), Andy Owen (18), Oliver Rex (18 on his Romsey debut), Rod Dennis (13) and Tom Jordan (12) all getting into double figures. If any of them had pushed onto to a half-century the game would have been ours; as it was our season's ledger of unsuccessful chases had one more entry.
Miraculously, our league average of 10.57 is still comfortably better than those of the relegation candidates (Comberton, 9.29, and Cambridge Jesters, 7.88), so we're safe for the moment.