AWE Tadley (A) - 25 August 2007
Lost by 20 runs
IDLERS SLIP UP IN FINAL GAME OF THE SEASON

AWE Tadley 189-6 beat Idlers 169 by 20 runs

In a tense run chase the Idlers failed to secure 2nd place in the league and tumbled down to 6th after their loss at league leaders AWE Tadley. A number of dropped catches and an inability to capitalise on good positions cost them dearly.

Put in the field on a hot Bank Holiday weekend the Idlers dropped a catch in the first over and failed to grasp any of the first five chances proffered by Tadley. Despite their sloppy catching the Idlers remained on top and at the halfway stage of Tadleyís innings they had their opponents on 69-4.

A crucial partnership of 106 between the Burt brothers including 74 runs off the last ten overs helped Tadley to post a reasonable target. M.Burt (79*) was the more dangerous of the siblings and easily outscored his brother A.Burt (16) but the away sideís failure to remove them and stem the flow of runs swung the game in Tadleyís favour.

Jack Betenson and Andy Harms both picked up two wickets in a slightly lacklustre bowling performance by the Idlers. Nick Lawrence was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 12-3-34-1 but a combined total of 24 extras further dented the teamís figures.

The Idlerís reply got off to a terrible start as the top three batsmen were removed for a mere 9 runs. Alex Richards played some flamboyant strokes in a rapid 17 but the Idlers were teetering once again following his dismissal on 34-4.

The fifth wicket partnership between George Shepherd and Max Biles proved to be crucial in steadying the Idlers innings. Whilst initially the pressure was on them they batted sensibly (though not without some loose shots) and begun to bat themselves out of the mire they found themselves in.

The fall of Bilesí wicket for 39 runs ending a partnership of 92 prompted another miniature collapse and with pressure mounting Shepherd, too, was caught out on 54. In a nervy finish the Idlerís resistance was ended after a mix up between the last wicket pairing and they fell 20 runs short ruing missed opportunities.

Due to the restructuring of the Hampshire leagues next season the Idlers will be promoted anyway but were nonetheless disappointed not to claim one of the top spots in this topsy-turvy rain-addled season.
TEAM : Jack Bettensen, William Kay, Andy Harms, George Shepherd, Alex Richards, Max Biles, Alex Ince, Nathan Dod, Grant Whitcombe, Rawle Beckles, Nick Lawrence

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