Eastcliff played host to a top versus bottom clash between Clacton Ramblers and Little Bardfield. The Ramblers headed into the match full of confidence off the back of a morale-boosting victory in their previous home game.
Skipper Owen Nash was forced into 4 changes for the game, Nicky Comber and Chairman Colin Garrod came back into the side, with James Smith making his first start of the season and Matt O’Brien making his debut. The Ramblers were forced to field first, after losing the toss, in soaring temperatures. Adam Daniels and Kieron Smith, fresh from his 5 wicket haul against Eight Ash Green, opened the bowling. It was a frugal start from both bowlers, Daniels being the pick of the two, conceding just 8 runs off his first 6 overs.
Ramblers were rewarded after a change of attack, when bowler Nicky Comber managed to deflect a powerful drive back onto the stumps running out the non-striker. Ramblers were celebrating again 3 overs later when Simon Stewart removed the dangerous E.Hitchcock for 43 with Owen Nash pocketing a somewhat comfortable catch.
This seemed to inspire the visitors into action though as they hit 31 of the next 3 overs and the signs were ominous for the home side. A reshuffle by Nash saw Alex Ball move to wicket keeper replacing Marc Taylor. The change certainly had an impact as the very next ball a swinging delivery from Simon Stewart caught the edge and Alex Ball was on hand to collect a regulation catch.
The wicket stemmed the flow of runs but only for a short period. At the 30 over mark the away side were 146-3, but piled on a further 98 runs in the next 10 overs without the loss of a wicket as the heat was visibly starting to take its toll on the Ramblers’ fielding performance.
Matt O’Brien bowled well on debut without the reward, but is certainly a promising prospect for the Ramblers going forward.
One more wicket fell with Kieron Smith clean bowling J.Owen after he made his half century.
That was the final wicket to fall and Little Bardfield closed on an impressive 275-4.
The Ramblers got off to the worst possible start in reply, losing the wicket of Nicky Comber without a run on the board. Marc Taylor didn’t last much longer as he was dismissed with Ramblers on just 18. Adam Daniels made 45 whilst wickets were tumbling around him. He was one of only two players to make double figures as the Ramblers capitulated. Finishing on 86 all out.
Ramblers now have a month off to heal their wounds with their next match on the 4th of August at home to Colchester’s Cavaliers.
The Ramblers “Special Award” went to the Ramblers’ Technical Director of Player Development and Recruitment Drew Nash for his absorbing fielding and batting performances.