Thatcham cricket side ready to find their winning form this season
Thatcham Town captain Jack Young is determined to lead his side back into the Thames Valley League Division 2 at the first time of asking.
A run of five straight defeats at the end of last season saw Thatcham relegated to Division 3A.
Young said: "It was disappointing last year and we did not do ourselves justice – really we should have been a top-half team.
"We are definitely looking to bounce straight back.
"There is a big spirit in the squad. We are virtually all local and it is a real family club.
"The attitude and morale is always pretty good and and the second team went up last year so it was not all gloom.
"This will be my third year as captain. I took over just before Covid struck so it's all been a bit different."
Thatcham have recruited all-rounder George Wheeler from Purley and bowler Tommy Mather has returned to the club, although Ryan Gilmore's appearances could be limited because of work commitments.
Thatcham had their second warm-up game against Hampshire League side East Woodhay, going down by four wickets.
And Wheeler made an instant impact, batting for 27 overs to make 97 in his side's below-par total of 203-7 in 45 overs.
Only Chris Rochfort (23) offered any real support as Elliot Teague (3-36) and Richard Dando (2-37) kept runs at a premium.
Joe Lawrence (12) and Adam Barnes (33) took Woodhay to 55 in reply before they fell to Nick Bishop and Harvey Mackay.
Then Alan Williams (40) and Dando (29) both fell, leaving Wooday needing 55 for victory in 16 overs with six wickets down, but it took Ben Lawrance (22no) and George Walters (40no) just six overs to reach their target.
Ollie Batchelor took 6-37 in his eight overs, but East Woodhay 2nd still slipped to a 17-run defeat against Thatcham 2nd.
The young pairing of Bobby Brown and Harley Sheridan-Hawkins batted very sensibly to help Thatcham to 176-8.
Then the Thatcham opening attack of Olly Thorne and Elliot Denton-Powell reduced Woodhay to 47-4 and the visitors never recovered, despite Alex Braidwood finishing on 37no.