Teddington made the long trip up the Northern Line to play newly promoted Finchley in the second league game of the season. Fresh off the back of a convincing win against Stanmore the previous weekend, the 1st XI turned up confident of progressing their title defence.
Having won the toss, Fear elected to take the field. The Finchley opening pair started well putting on 61 for the first wicket. Cato was the man to make the first breakthrough as the Finchley opening batsman played a rather agricultural hack at a full ball with the ball falling into the grateful hands of Sever at mid-on. JK snicked off the other opener in the next over which led to a swift collapse to 79-6, soon becoming 92-7 and then 116-8.
Cato and JK bowled well through the middle order picking up 4 and 2 wickets respectively. Cato would have picked up a first TCC 5fer if not for a dropped catch at backward point (in reality the long hop did not deserve a wicket).
TCC’s usual opening bowler in Sever was held back until the 30th over as a reprimand for turning up late (again). This turned into a masterstroke as he picked up two wickets alongside Armstrong who also picked up a couple. A useful 9th wicket partnership helped Finchley up to 148-9 and the last pair added a further 14 before they were all out for 162 – a rather low score on a good pitch and fast scoring outfield.
Alas, 162 suddenly looked a rather good score as TCC quickly slipped to 67-8.
Twiney and JK fell early to Finchley’s lively opening bowler before the middle order slipped away to Finchley’s non-turning off-spinners (other than Timmy A who got the only ball that turned all day….apparently). Fear and Elliott stuck around for a while, Williams, on the other hand, did not (at least he got a good time in the Marathon during pre-season though…), as Finchley put the squeeze on the TCC batsman.
When Elliott fell, caught off a long hop, Cato and Pollock were left with a further 95 required for victory. The score board trickled along as the pair got settled and mused how the other batsman had found it so tricky out in the middle. With 10 overs to go, TCC required just over 60. Cato departed stumped for a well-made 31 to leave the score at 131-9 – 32 more required in just over 3 overs.
New man Sever set about dispatching the Finchley attack to all parts including a lusty boundary over the man at long on (whether it went for 6 or not no one will ever be sure). With 21 needed off 2, TCC were still in the game as the Finchley spinner sent down what appeared to be five wides – this was shortly amended to four leg byes. Into the last over with 9 required. A single, followed by a dot and then two 2s left TCC needing 4 off the last 2 balls with Pollock facing on 43. Unfortunately the dream came to an end as Pollock inside edged a full ball onto the base of leg stump to send Finchley supporters into celebrations.
TCC came away with 2 points. It should be remembered that TCC lost their second game last season before running away champions at the end of the season, so confidence should still be high before taking on North Middlesex at home next weekend.