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Montgomery CC vs The Chequers CC - Sunday 8th May 2011 - Canewdon

Montgomery CC: M. Couzens, M. Aggus, K. Baker, C. Carter, T. Smith, J. Aggus, C. Smith (cpt), J. Aggus Snr, A. Bailey, D. Champ, P. Sams

The Chequers away has been a mixed hunting ground for Montgomery CC over the years. 2008 saw a Baker and Aggus inspired victory; with a massive 112 run partnership, but 2010 saw the MCC fall agonisingly short of the run chase, despite an Alex Camp five-for and a Dave Clarke half century.

For the 2011 fixture and fresh from beating Westley at The Fortress, the MCC was bolstered by long time foe The Golden Lion, with the dread new ball duo of P. Sams and A. Bailey appearing in MCC colours for the second time and a debut for the Melbourne Milkfloat Craig Carter.

Dean Waller, who had been a rather useful addition in the last match with 77 from 34 balls and 8-0-25-2, was unfortunately back to his day job of playing with a proper team, so it was down to this patched up MCC side to do the business themselves.

After a quick wetting of the whistle in the local boozer the MCC was first to bat with new opening partnership Couzens and M. Aggus hoping to add to their 100+ effort in the previous game.

After a cautious start against the new ball pairing of Wilkinson and Giess which saw the MCC chugging along at 2 an over after five, the Boycott impersonators began to find their range and had put on 60 when Aggus was deceived by the loop of Holmes and fell for 24. That brought Baker to the crease and he was quickly into his stride, looking to go aerial into the on-side with regularity and putting the Chequers bowlers under pressure.

The two added 77 for the second wicket with Couzens bringing up his half century with a six over mid-wicket, before then returning a simple C&B to Holmes to perish for 56.

Baker continued to play well and brought up his own half century shortly thereafter, from forty seven balls but was eventually undone by a straight one from Thompson after an aggressive 60.

And to be honest there wasn't too much else to write home about. With the top three having put on 140 between them, the next seven managed 19, with only John Aggus getting into double figures, finishing unbeaten on 12.

Skipper C. Smith did claim he'd been "slashing around" in at seven but the scorecard suggested that the slashing had been fairly mild mannered - a three ball duck.

The MCC did have one wicket in hand at the end of the forty overs but previous instances hadn't led many to believe that Phil "The Obliterator" Sams would have sent the score much beyond the finished article of 170-8.

Chequers response was fairly clinical. After some early success for J. Aggus and P. Sams had seen them stumble to 24-2, Broad and Wilkinson rather spoilt the game with a fantastic 123 run partnership which dealt with just about everything the MCC could throw at it.

Aggus, Sams, Bailey and Baker all kept it tight, going at less than three and over with Bailey especially bowling an excellent spell of right arm off-spin.

Speaking of spin, the crowd was disappointed not to see a return of current world spin sensation Mr. R Tweak and was instead treated to two overs of seam up dross from Couzens which was dispatched for 27 runs.

J. Aggus did eventually bowl Broad for 55 after Baker had softened him up with a hostile short pitched spell, but by then the damage had been done and The Chequers got home with six overs to spare with Wilkinson finishing unbeaten on 74 - a splendid knock.

Back to the Fortress for the travel sick fighting rats and a game against Island Taverners to prepare for.

Matthew Couzens

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