Loddon A battle but lose out

LODDON A met Hardingham A at home, in the big season opener of Division Six.Loddon A were able to field a strong side against the winners of the division last year, and things got even better when R Edmonds won the toss and elected to bat on a hard wicket.

LODDON A entertained Hardingham A in the big season opener of Division Six, fielding a strong side against the winners of the division last year, and R Edmonds elected to bat on a hard wicket.

N Reeve and A Edmonds got off to a solid start, Reeve smashing a big six in the seventh over.

But shortly after Edmonds chipped to square leg for four. N Reeve fetched R Eldridge for two fours off one over. However, Eldridge got his revenge in the following over whenReeve spooned to cover for 19. G Hall, with skipper R Edmonds, got off to a flyer with a pair of fours.

The batsmen then struggled as S Townshend entered the bowling attack. R Edmonds started to time the ball and took advantage of a tiring Edge, but Edge had the last laugh, bouncing Edmonds outwith a top edge to fine leg for 14.

A Aldred set about making light work of some loose bowling from Townshend. J Fowle brought himself on with instant effect, getting G Hall (13) caught at cover in his first over and bowling M Shipley (0) in his second. J Perry and A Aldred then consolidated at 63 for five.

Both batted extremely well against some tight bowling. The partnership brought up the hundred in the 36th over and they reached their 50-run partnership soon after.

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Perry finally fell for 23 lbw to Fowle in his final over. Aldred (52) brought up his 50 with a trademark dab to third man R Goulder (3 not out) played his part in the final partnership, by getting Aldred on strike where possible.

Loddon A's innings finished on 140 for seven off their 45 overs, with A Aldred ran out off the last ball, which was unfortunate as this was an excellent innings including seven fours.

Loddon A then went out to defend their 140, which looked to be a par score. Things started well, with good tight bowling from G Shipley and an exhausted Aldred.

Aldred had both batsmen in trouble, both edging between the two slips.

Aldred was eventually rewarded for his fine bowling when C Cowles nicked to second slip M Shipley for 22.

R Edmonds brought himself and N Reeve into the attack. Reeve struggled to find his length, while Edmonds could not find the right line, and both were punished by Fowle.

Reeve was replaced by M Edmonds who had Fowle (53) caught at cover, leaving Hardingham 105 for two.

R Edmonds bowled T Ecclestone for one, but, with the finishing line in sight S Lind started smashing across the line to M and R Edmonds, and scored the winning runs in the 32nd over, the total 141 for three.

Man of the match was A Aldred.