Farnham Cricket Club’s first team secured a well-earned four-wicket victory at Old Rutlishians on Saturday in the opening match of the season.
Skipper Jim Berry won the toss and elected to field in cloudy conditions with a wicket that looked to favour the ball. Club stalwart Rob Goldsworthy made short work of the Old Rutlishians overseas player Will Martin, bowling him for a duck in the first over with a vicious delivery that nipped back sharply and took the top of middle stump.
It was then Goldsworthy’s turn again and he picked up two more quick wickets.
Mike O’Mahony was introduced into the attack and immediately made a breakthrough, having Old Rutlishians keeper Rob Jones well caught at slip by Guy Hicks.
Goldsworthy and O’Mahony both continued to pick up regular wickets to restrict the Old Rutlishians batting line-up on what was a challenging wicket that the home side showed very little discipline on. Goldsworthy bowled Evan Watson with the last ball of his spell to finish with superb figures of five for 16.
O’Mahony (four for 12) took the final wicket of Carlton Anand as Old Rutlishians were bowled out for just 61.
Farnham very quickly slumped to five for three with the dismissals of opening pair Hicks and Thorpe as well as captain Berry. Russell Golding joined Tom Flack at the crease and the pair dug deep, initially working hard to dampen the bowling attack. Once settled, the pair rotated the strike well and punished the bad ball. Golding was the aggressor and Flack played the anchor role.
Golding was run out after a mix-up with Flack, leaving Farnham on 29 for four.
Tom Grimes and Jamie Strachan were soon dismissed to leave Farnham on 37 for six.
Brady Poole joined Flack at the crease, and the pair saw Farnham home – building a solid partnership with well-taken singles, hard running and a couple of boundaries in quick succession. Flack finished 22 not out from 115 balls and Poole 13 not out off 33 as Farnham picked up 20 points.
Skipper Berry said: “Rob and Mike’s bowling spells were incredibly impressive after such little pre-season practice and they were backed up brilliantly with some good catching in the field.
“It was always going to be a challenging run chase as none of the lads had any match practice coming into the game, but the way Tom and Russell applied themselves to take the wind out of Old Rutlishians’ sails was excellent. Brady’s 13 not out at the end was also incredibly valuable in the context of the game and so it was great to see him get us over the line on his Farnham debut.”
Farnham host newly-promoted Cheam at Farnham Park on Saturday.