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Morris minor as Falkland fall to first defeat of new season against Tring Park

Falkland suffered a first defeat of their Thames Valley Cricket League Division 1 season, losing by 45 runs to Tring Park.

Skipper James Bird won the toss and elected to field and the hosts made a decent start with the ball as Brandon Gilmour removed Ben Jacobs before Tring's openers had time to settle.

In fact, Falkland took wickets at regular intervals as all six bowlers Bird called upon claimed at least one scalp, limiting the visitors to 219/8 from their 50 overs.

Brandon Gilmour claimed the wicket of Tring opener Ben Jacobs. Picture by Phil Cannings
Brandon Gilmour claimed the wicket of Tring opener Ben Jacobs. Picture by Phil Cannings

Just one of the Tring batters was out for less than 10 but none passed 50, with Elliot Seddon (2-35) and Daminda Kolugala (1-27) keeping things tight from their full allocation of 10 overs, while Bird was a little more expensive but picked up two important wickets of his own.

Spinner Elliot Seddon picked up two wickets. Picture by Phil Cannings
Spinner Elliot Seddon picked up two wickets. Picture by Phil Cannings

In response, Falkland lost opener Seb Chapman without scoring but Bird and Richard Morris rallied and put on 70 for the second wicket before Morris was bowled for 42.

Bird was then denied a half century the following over when he was trapped lbw for 49 as the hosts slipped from 98/1 to 98/3.

Falkland were still right in the game but the dismissal of Connor Wardlaw for 12 signalled a collapse as the home side limped from 125/3 to 174 all-out with more than 15 overs still remaining in their innings.

Wicket-keeper Ben Piper. Picture by Phil Cannings
Wicket-keeper Ben Piper. Picture by Phil Cannings

Brandon Gilmour offered some resistance in a battling innings of 34 that saw him share the wicket with six different partners before he was the penultimate man out as Falkland's final six batters added a meagre 23 runs, 14 of which came from the unbeaten Daminda Kolugala.

Meanwhile, the second team played out a thrilling tied game with Royal Ascot in Division 3a.

Captain Craig Williams was made to rue his decision to bat at the toss when he was the first man out for a four-ball duck before Falkland had troubled the scorers.

However fellow opener Jim Ettridge and the new man in Anthony Hennis fought back and put on 116 in a superb second-wicket stand before Hennis was out for 37.

Wickets then began to tumble and partnerships proved short lived as the next six batters added just 29 runs while Ettridge was eventually caught behind for an excellent 57.

The final pairing of Matt Bond (15 not-out) and Duncan Johnson (17) added some last ditch runs that would prove crucial as Falkland were all-out for 201 with the best part of four overs remaining in their innings.

No sooner had Bond ditched his helmet and pads he was doing some damage with the ball, trapping Ascot opener Jem Bains lbw for 1.

Bond led the charge with three wickets as Falkland put pressure on their hosts and the efforts of Johnson (2-29) and Will Herrington (2-38) ensured the contest went right down to the wire.

With the scores tied, Ascot needed another run from the final ball to win the game but the accurate arm of Herrington denied them, running out Myles Trainor and rescuing a result for Falkland in the most dramatic of circumstances.

The third team were emphatic 88-run winners at home to Binfield in Division 7a.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, opener Holly Rider combined with James McClellan for a second-wicket stand of 127 before Rider was out for a well-made 53 as Falkland made a strong start, reaching 173/2.

That was in no small part thanks to the exploits of the hard hitting McClellan who reached a better-than run-a-ball 99 before he was agonisingly out before he could celebrate a century in an innings that included 14 fours at a strike rate of 110.

Aside from the top three, there was not much to write home about as Falkland slipped from 181/3 at the time of McClellan's dismissal to 263 all-out, nevertheless an imposing first innings total.

The bowlers then redeemed themselves as George Hawkins ripped through Binfield's batting line up, finishing with stellar figures of 6-23 from eight devastating overs.

Nigel Trumper chimed in with three wickets of his own while skipper James Bloodworth dealt the final blow as the the visitors were all-out for 175 inside 35 overs.

Elsewhere, Prakit Bhagat scored 45 but Falkland's development side were on the wrong end of a 28-run defeat at the hands of Stratfield Turgis/Hartley Wespall 2nd in their Berkshire, Chilterns and Mid Bucks League Division 3 clash.

Theo Smith and Lottie Aird took two wickets each but the home side's total of 215/6 proved out of reach for Falkland, who were all-out for 187 despite Bhagat's best efforts.

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