Fifties for M Deveson and N Gleave helped Eastry to victory over Tilmanstone in a tightly fought contest, witnessed by a great crowd; two rows deep in places. After being asked to bat by an unsure Eastry Captain at the toss, Tilmanstone soon showed the gamble from G Friend could pay off. The opening batsmen found it hard to get the ball away from the wily R Hill, and at the other end they could only laugh off the short balls off M Deveson as they rocked back, only to see the ball shoot and not get any higher than hip height. Just as they thought they were getting into stride with several bludgeoning fours, M Deveson found life in the pitch wrapping D Brown in the gloves for an easy catch behind for A Friend. Before the new partnership could get comfortable, a change of pace was introduced in the form of the M Sumner, but the Tilmanstone batsmen proved up to jostling line and length and were able to push their innings on with little worry. This prompted another change resulting in the Woods brothers bowling in tandem and they were able to provide the vital wickets. Eastry were then able to take a grip on the game and once again the captain knew exactly when to bring himself onto bowl producing figures of 1-0. Just when he felt the batsmen were ready to open up after 4 overs of what was described by the umpire as ‘boring’ bowling, the captain brought on the bowling partnership of N Gleave and E Borlase. Whilst the pair bowled tight lines, A Bettes and D Waring; batting on a familiar ground, were able to push on but Borlase was able eventually to take the scalp of Waring with a nonchalant caught and bowled. Tilmanstone ended the innings with some lusting blows from A Bettes finishing on a competitive 185 putting some doubt the Eastry batsmen. Tea reassured the Eastry captain he had made a wise decision to bat second only for the reason that it allowed him to tuck into a fantastic tea, so much so that some were still munching on some eaten mess in the out field while the bowlers were ready to start the second innings. With A Friend not nursing a hangover and M Deveson slightly worried by the pace of the young Nick Thompson, the Eastry camp were nervous, but they starting positively resting the nerves of many Eastry players but as usual it did not last long and A Friend was soon back in the Pavilion. This meant M Sumner Strode to the wicket looking to be positive but as soon as he took guard he was greeted with an over excited N Thompson bowling a beamer which Sumner was unable to avoid hitting on the forearm. Sumner was a little shaken but was fighting back with some big swings whilst M Deveson ticked along at the other end. The big swing did not last long and Sumner was eventually bowled bringing Joe Woods to the fore, and as usual he knows nothing but to attack attack attack, and attack he did building a partnership with M Deveson. But before the nerves of Eastry could settle, Joe Woods who had already witnessed the “best ball in village cricket” a few weeks ago was now on the end of one of the best catches seen by many at the ground, by none other than D Waring, leaving the crowd to rise to the their feet in disbelief. The wicket brought N Gleave to the crease for the last time this year and he was determined to make it count at a time when M Deveson was looking for steady partner. The pair were able to resist the Tilmanstone attack with some beautiful stroke play coming from the wrists of N Gleave building towards his fifty, capping off nicely an indifferent season with both bat and ball. But Gleave was only a side show as the technical correctness of M Deveson excited the Eastry crowd reaching his first fifty in an Eastry shirt and was able to guide Eastry to victory.
Gareth Friend – 02/09/2013