Methodists 54 all out v Whitchurch 3rds 65 all out: The Methodists welcomed Whitchurch 3rds to a chilly Norton Hill which, unusually for recent times, was free of rain for the afternoon. 

Over 500 runs had been scored in the sides' previous meeting at Stanton Drew in hot, sunny June, but this game was a wholly different affair!

Electing to bat first on a soft pitch, Whitchurch had reached fifteen when the first wicket fell. The slow nature of the playing surface meant any ball bowled marginally short sat up to be hit by the batters, but it was equally easy for them to miscue their shots up in the air... And, one by one, the batsmen proceeded to pick out the Methodists' fielders, who securely pouched all the chances offered to them. 

Paul Evans claimed two wickets for 21 runs with Daniel Shearn picking up 5 for 26, as the visitors limped to 46-7. Another five overs were all that was needed to wrap the innings up, as Whitchurch were dismissed for just 65 runs in barely half their allotted batting time.

After a quick turnaround, the Methodists' innings began even more disastrously, as accurate bowling by Dilan Ridma (3-6) and Charlie Farmer saw the hosts lose their first four wickets for just eight runs! Wicketkeeper Dave Sackett found himself the middle in only the ninth over, joining the experienced Stuart Green, and the pair carefully accumulated 25 runs in the following fifteen overs. Excellent bowling from young Tommy Williams (3-11) then caused a further dramatic collapse to 40-8 and, despite a valiant attempt to creep towards their target, the home side were eventually all out for only 54 in the 38th over, giving Whitchurch the win after an unbearably tense final half hour. 

Daniel Shearn