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Mixed fortunes for Falkland in cricket season-opener

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It was a difficult season-opener for Falkland's 1st XI who fell to a crushing 238-run defeat at the hands of Eversley.

Falkland won the toss and put Eversley into bat. They were denied an early breakthrough, however, and the opening pairing put on 79 before Brandon Gilmour bowled Jack Ford.

Gilmour was the pick of the bowlers, taking four wickets from his ten overs, conceding 75 runs.

Falkland skipper James Bird
Falkland skipper James Bird

He was well supported by spinners Graham Beal, whose ten overs yielded one wicket for 57 runs and James Bird, who picked up two wickets for 43 runs from his allocation of ten. Bird claimed the prize scalp of opening batsman Oli Parsons.

However, some big hitting from the middle order helped Eversley to an impressive 326-9 from their 50 overs.

James Ettridge and James Bird's opening stand of 35 proved to be Falkland's biggest partnership of the afternoon. Following Ettridge's dismissal, wickets fell at all too regular intervals.

Falkland's Jim Ettridge plays and misses
Falkland's Jim Ettridge plays and misses

Despite a spirited 27 from Liam Cooper, Falkland were all-out for 88 from 18 overs.

There was better news for Falkland's 2nd XI who defeated local rivals Thatcham 2nd XI in a tense game by two wickets.

Falkland's new captain Duncan Johnson won the toss and elected to bowl. Thatcham started well and the opening pair reached an undefeated 93 before Mark Baker took the wicket of Bobby Brown for 22.

Johnson then removed Josh O'Flynn who looked in good touch for his 57.

Baker and Johnson both ended the innings with three wickets and were ably supported by Razon Dash who mopped up the tail in lighting fashion, taking three wickets for seven runs from 2.1 overs.

Thatcham ended their innings on 189 all out from 43.1 overs.

Thatcham responded well in the field, restricting Falkland to 35-2.

Danny Williams batted resolutely and his 80 brought Falkland within touching distance.

With the scores level, Alex Kerr and then Williams were dismissed leaving Falkland eight wickets down with Razon Dash and Mark Baker at the crease with four balls remaining.

With the tension at fever pitch, a leg side wide sealed the deal and Falkland emerged victorious by the narrowest of margins.

Falkland 3rd XI fell to a 71 run defeat at the hands of White Waltham 2nd XI.

Meanwhile, Falkland's development side secured an 18 run victory over Shinfield's 4th XI thanks to contributions from Kev Smith (34), Alec McCormack (28) and Holly Rider (3-27).

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