Newly promoted Clacton Ramblers got their Piri Piri Division 2 campaign off to a disappointing start on Sunday, losing by 7 wickets away to Boxted. Both sides had bounced back to Division 2 at the first time of asking after relegation in 2011, the Ramblers as champions and Boxted clinching the 4th and final promotion place.
However it was the home side that took early control of this encounter. Captain Owen Nash lost the toss and his side were put into bat. After a vapid start from Ben Cooper his middle stump was sent cartwheeling out of the ground after scoring just 5. Ryan Chamberlain (3) followed shortly after. This brought Imran Sheikh (17) to the crease and after a promising start his innings was cut short by an excellent catch from J.Wilson. The wickets of Michael Cross (4) and the warhorse Alan Thurgood (12) followed bringing impressive debutant Nicky Comber (50*) and all-rounder Adam Daniels (42) to the crease. The pair came together when the Ramblers were in a desperate situation but helped guide them towards a respectable 164 for 7. Simon Stewart (2) and the skipper (5*) added crucial runs at the end of the innings.
With Boxted chasing 165 for victory, Ramblers took to the field needing an early break through and it came in the form of a run out after good work in the field by Ryan Chamberlain. Boxted progressed to 72 before the next wicket fell, a deserved wicket for Adam Daniels who ended with figures of 1 for 28 off 10 overs. Unfortunately it wasn’t until Boxted had moved on to 120 that they lost another wicket as Simon Stewart grasped an unlikely catch off the bowling of Ryan Chamberlain. This gave the Ramblers a glimmer of hope, however it wasn’t to be as no more wickets fell and Boxted reached their target with 3.2 overs to go. The Ramblers did well in the field with Michael Cross putting in a confident performance behind the stumps in place of the missing Marc Taylor.
The Ramblers’ “special award” was claimed by Charles Wray for his acrobatic fielding display.
Next week the Ramblers get their cup campaign underway with a visit to Great Horkesley.