Firstly, last week's report to catch up on: The mighty House hosted league leaders Puddletown in the first of the return fixtures. After a hard fought win over Portland in the previous game there was a buzz about the team. Starting early due to the football we bowled first after winning the toss.
The two pacers, Pat and Chris kept things tight for the opening spell, however the Puddletown openers were resolute. Harps and I were the first change bowlers. Harps was bowling well as ever but I could not maintain enough consistency and perhaps bowled myself for too long a spell. Eventually I replaced myself with Giles and he stuck immediately, but so too did disaster: Giles picking up an injury to his calf, preventing him from bowling more than one over and meaning that Tom Copp had to stand in as fielding cover. Tom was excellent in the field but the rules as they are meant that he could not bat in Giles' place. Joe bowled a fine spell at the death but the return of the opening bowlers to finish off the innings did not go to plan. Puddletown finished on 236 for 7. A few late wickets meant that we picked up some bowling points but the target was more than I had hoped to be chasing.
It was now down to the batsmen. Despite a solid batting line up, Puddletown kept our scoring in check with regular wickets and a very good fielding performance. Notably the slip catch to dismiss Harps. However, we were always in the hunt (even with Giles having to bat down the order with a runner). Three quarters into our batting innings it wasn't looking great for the mighty House, however, Alfie and Joe put on a superb partnership that so nearly brought us across the line, however, the overs ran out all too soon meaning that we lost by just 26 runs.
There were some massive positives to take from the game. We gave away far fewer extras than usual, our fielding was excellent, and a number of players put in fantastic performances. Moreover, to lose to the league leaders by such a narrow margin meant that we could take pride in knowing that we are playing at a decent standard.
Man of the match was awarded to Alfie and Joe for an almost match winning partnership.