By Stephen Lees


Gunnislake v Gorran

AFTER three re-arrangements and two cancellations, the Gunnislake cricketers finally emerged blinking into the spring sunshine. 

The Hawkmoor sheep had moved to their summer pastures and the cricket ground, nestling by the Tamar, had finally dried out enough to host another season of endeavour.  

With more winter juggling of teams and leagues, Gunnislake were hosts to Gorran, who were promoted last season from Division Six Central.  

But there was also change at Gunnislake with the return of four former players: Russ Holloway, James Boundy, Graham Murray and Sam Graber.  Hopes for the new season were high at both clubs.

Gorran won the toss, and on a soft pitch asked Gunnislake to bat.  It seemed a wise decision as the wicket proved tricky, with some balls keeping low and the odd one popping up.  

Opening bowlers Ben Prynn and Oliver Matthews proved a handful and wickets fell at regular intervals.  At 58 for 6 and 87 for 8 Gunnislake were up against it.  

Only Joe Organ stood firm for Gunnislake as wickets fell around him.  Four of the first eight wickets were leg before wicket – the friendly Gunnislake umpires showing their team no favours.  Towards the end Organ received valuable support from tailenders Jake Beare and Lee Roberts as the score crept up past 150.  With Ian Dawe the last man out, Joe Organ was stranded on 68 not out, a magnificent effort in the circumstances.  

Oliver Matthews and Matthew Liddicott, bowling leg breaks, finished with four wickets apiece, as Gunnislake closed one over short of the allotted 40 on 152 all out.  It was a below par score, but on a slightly unpredictable wicket, there was still much to play for.  

Gorran were confident, having won their opening three games, but Gunnislake had the pace of Graham Murray and off-spin of James Boundy added to their armoury.  At 27 for 2 there was hope for both sides.  In a mirror image of the first innings, Hugh Noott stood firm at one end while wickets tumbled at the other.  

Gorran captain, Andrew Constantine, helped restore some order as he hit a brisk 30.  Noott then departed for 54, stepping across the line as he tried to work the ball to leg, becoming the sixth player of the day out leg before wicket.  No reviews or ball tracking to save the batsmen!  

By then the match was almost won.  Despite two late wickets, Ben Prynn followed up his bowling success with three quick boundaries and suddenly it was all over.  Gorran had won with two wickets and eight balls to spare.

A close match saw Gorran take 19 points and Gunnislake seven.  A disappointing result for the home team, but the match was played in good spirit and at least the season is now underway.  The match ball sponsor, Iconic Opticians, nominated Joe Organ as Gunnislake player of the match, by a wide margin. 

Saturday sees a trip to South Petherwin Seconds, by which time we hope the cobwebs and rust have been brushed off.

Gunnislake 152 all out (J Organ 68no; M Liddicoat 4-24, B Prynn 4-43), Gorran 154 for 8 (H Noott 53, A Constantine 30; D Thirupuvanarajah 2-26, J Organ 2-26, L Roberts 2-35).  Gorran (19 points) beat Gunnislake (7 points) by two wickets.

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