A thrilling Cricket clash: 1st XI vs Old Epsomians
On a sunny yet humid morning, the 1st XI took on an Old Epsomian XI filled with leavers from as far back as 1991.
Having won the toss, the 1st XI decided to take the bold decision to bat first. The OE attack started strongly, bowling consistent areas and extracting considerable bounce and seam movement. The watchful Edward Hughes (C) and Adam Koep (C) dug in and negotiated the boys to 70-0 at drinks.
Hughes (37) in particular was quick to punish any error and unleashed some delightful off side strokes before being trapped LBW by former captain Harry Williams (P).
Adam Koep was next to fall having looked set on 37, getting stuck in the crease and losing his off stump to the pacey Jamie Billings (Fa). The innings continued to show promise without really taking off, with Finlay Savill (P) 30, Tom Lynagh (F) 24, and Tom Allen (Fa) 19 all making contributions before losing their wicket. The team’s regular game-changer Christopher Lansdown (G) struck a dynamic 44 off 33 balls to enable captain Liam Head (F) to declare on 241-7 and risk leaving the OEs more overs to chase in response.
In reply, after a truly exceptional lunch, the OEs recovered from the early loss of wickets to launch an exhilarating counter attack. With left-hander Alex Jones (G) 59 producing some delightful strokes, the capacity crowd was captivated by a most exciting passage of play. With the target seeming to disappear at a rapid rate, U4th debutant Kartik Jain (G) deceived the dominant batsman with a devilish slower ball. The spin twins of Niall McNamara (P) and Liam Head then whirled away on a surface that was suddenly taking turn. Head (5-34) in particular showed his usual class in strangling the run rate whilst always looking a threat.
The game seemed done until recent leavers Pete O’Brien (P) 51 and Harry Roberts (C) 44 decided to test the short boundaries on offer. An 80 run partnership followed and all seemed lost for the young 1st XI. Head then returned and with a look of real determination in his eyes broke the partnership with the OEs agonisingly 23 runs short.
In all this was a wonderful game of cricket played in the typically beautiful surroundings of the Epsom 1st XI pitch. Thoughts have already moved to 2019’s clash.
Won by 23 runs
Epsom 241-7 dec
Lansdown (G) 44no, Hughes (C) 37, Koep (C) 37
OEs 218 all out (Jones 59, O’Brien 51)
Head (F) 5-34