Match report(s) Winsley tour 11th/12th September 2021
After we lost quite a few recent fixtures to the weather, Graces were concerned about what it’d do on our late summer domestic tour to the west country.
We needn’t have worried as any packed umbrellas stayed that way as we were blessed with glorious sunshine for the entire weekend
We’ve not been to Winsley since the early 2000s and in the intervening period their clubhouse unfortunately burnt down to be replaced with a magnificent stone one – the pitch and outfield have also been improved – we had noticed some rabbit holes on our last trip! The ground is in the countryside in a lovely setting.
Our playing squad was supplemented by a number of guests – Chris from Barton Seagrave and Lachlan and Glenn from the Unicorns – they’d kindly driven down for the day.
Ivy was excused scoring duties and donned her whites to play.
The team met at the ground with our usual group of loyal supporters including Pat and Ralph – Robert was included in the team. Dave ‘foxy” Howden came along to watch – he was one of the original team. Our opposition were very youthful including a lot of colts (2 girls) – the youngest being Hugo (13) and his sister Daisy (15) plus a couple of more mature players to raise the average age to just above 16!
The hosts had provided a bag of small plastic ducks for distribution to those who failed to trouble the scorers!
Skipper Stuart won the toss and chose to bat on a fab looking strip in the lovely sunshine – Mahender and Lachlan opened the innings and after a couple of quick boundaries Mahender mistimed and was caught for 8.
Mendis in at 3 continued his fine run of form with a fruitful partnership with Lachlan rattling the score along to 118 before our guest from the Unicorns was caught for a fine 46 – surely jug avoidance! This was in the 18th over (he had to borrow some kit as he was originally only going to watch but a change of circumstances resulted in him being needed!)
The outfield was super fast with the ball racing away to the boundary.
Glenn in at 4 hit a single before being bowled bringing Ari in to partner Mendis (141 for 3 after 21 overs) Winsley used 9 bowlers but none troubled Mendis as he showed a fine range of strokes taking him to 90 – a century looked certain until he inexplicably missed a straight ball and was bowled.
Ari played his usual aggressive innings before being caught for 34 – Jonners chipped in with 14 and guest Chris “skippy” hit a rapid 34 taking our total to an imposing 271 for 8.
After the break Graces took to the field in the unrelenting sunshine as our supporters baked! With a good total to defend Stuart was able to mix the bowling up and in fact it turned out that all 11 players bowled! This is surely a first for Graces.
Ari picked up 2 wickets (2 for 20) before youngsters Freddie and Hugo showed good ability as they put together a partnership of 41 before Robert ran out Hugo with a direct hit.
Winsley were never going to get close to our score and young Daisy and colt Philip enjoyed batting together seeing off the wide variety of bowling taking their final total to 179 for 4 wickets after 40 overs – so technically a win but it was a very enjoyable match against welcoming hosts.
Everyone then retired to the clubhouse for a curry and drinks – a lot of the night was spent trying to persuade Barnaby from Winsley to come and play for us on Sunday – sadly our charms didn’t work.
That evening some of the tour party visited Bath’s gay club (Mandalays) where some sex doll action took place – photos available!
The following morning we returned to the ground to play a 10.30am T20 against the Winsley (young) ladies team plus some other colts and 2 gents. Again we batted first scoring around 170 – Matt kindly drove down from Northants to play and it was great to see Nigel back in his whites – again Stuart was able to give lots of players a bowl – One notable event was Winsley Chairman (and old Gracian) Nick getting only his second golden duck! Our total was enough and the early finish allowed us to go to the village pub for a pub lunch before we all headed home.
So a great weekend at a lovely ground with fab hosts – hopefully we’ll be back next season – well done to everyone involved in the organisation.