East is Eastwood.
By Owen Elsom
Plucky display by 9 man 4's
Last minute drop outs left Goresbrook 4's down to 9 men (and 2 cars) for their TRippon division 9 game against Eastwood 3rds at the Belfairs Sports ground on Saturday.
Brook were asked to bat first on a pitch that was dry but had clearly been receiving regular dousing's of water to be so well grassed and green.
Owen Elsom volunteered to open the innings and got things off to a good start with a flurry of boundaries. Jo Wilkinson, nursing a hangover, did well to hit 4 of the 12 balls he faced in his first over but was first to fall ,for 11 in the 10th over, yorked by an in-swinger.
Elsom continued on his merry way and after losing Dave Lambert to illness began forging a good partnership with Sam Wood until , just having hit his 8th and 9th boundaries of his innings, contrived to bottom edge a leg side full toss onto his stumps to fall for 43 with the score on 74.
Sam Wood fell for 24 and Lee Granger played another entertaining cameo of 10 runs but after he fell the remaining batsmen stumbled to 100 all out from 33.4 overs
With tea not ready, (the homemade bread pudding still in the oven and the hot dogs cooling after walkies) Eastwood began their reply against the 8 men (and a sportingly provided sub by the the hosts) and made painstakingly slow progress against Dapper Dan and Owen Elsom but reached the interval at 10-1 off 10 overs, the wicket to fall thanks to a smart run out by a now sober Jo Wilkinson from cover.
Despite the gaps in the field, Eastwood continued with their circumspect approach, but after Paul Atkins entered the attack, having passed the gloves to Elsom (volunteering again!) the game livened up. Beva took a couple of overs to find his length but once he did, he bowled with menace and was rewarded with two wickets. Lee Granger then replaced his son Bobby and nabbed two further wickets including a catch by a rather embarrassed sub and was a finger tip away from a third when Eastwood passed the winning post in the 36th over.
Brook's 8 men gave a truly spirited display and battled all the way. 30 or 40 runs more whilst batting and who knows?