Both Teddington and Richmond went into Saturday's local derby looking to strengthen a positive start to the season. The two teams started the day with matching pre-game records of won 2, lost 1; an interesting parallel to a match that swayed from one side to the other more violently than a Tiger Woods drive.
Richmond will look back on two pivotal moments in the game where they were considered firm favourites. Having been asked to bowl first they reduced the home side to 82-5 and later on with less than 100 runs to chase at around 5 an over and 8 wickets in hand. Unfortunately for the visitors, they came up against a Teddington side that are beginning to show signs of the league-winning form and belief that was on display for so much of the 2016 season. At both of these points of adversity Teddington were able to draw on some extra reserves to firstly post a solid, if not spectacular, 214-9 and then build enough pressure with the ball that eventually broke through Richmond's valiant chase.
Three individual performances stood out for the Bushy Park men. Ben Williams and Josh Knappett put on 109 for the sixth wicket in a counter-attack that Richmond hadn't seen coming. Williams (65) had the watching committee purring as he dispatched the short ball and Knappett (68) rolled back the years in his first game since September. Knappett was clearly aiming to show any youngsters on the sideline his full repertoire, in one breath dancing down the track to loft the spinners and in the second producing reserve sweeps that brought him runs and his team mates exasperation in equal measure. With the ball, Charlie Hopkins, fast becoming Teddington's go-to bowler at the "death", took the final five Richmond wickets and ended up with 6-46, his best return for the club.
Here's a video of Charlie getting the final wicket and finishing the game:
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Hopkins was ably supported by Messrs Keightley, Pollock and in particular an impressive 1st team debut from Euan Munday, to restrict the flow of runs in the middle of the Richmond innings and eventually bowl the visitors out for 192 in the penultimate over.
Author: Tom Twiney