The season came to a damp end for Bramhall 2nd XI, as their match with Bowdon was curtailed after rain made the ground unsafe to continue.
The match itself had provided an opportunity for Bramhall to leapfrog their opponents into 4th place in the league, but required them to restrict Bowdon’s ability to score points. Winning the toss in conditions more reminiscent of April, Bramhall opted to field first, banking on bowling out the opposition fairly cheaply. The pitch promised to be easier to bowl on than bat on, and the fact that Bowdon were unable to field a full side made this look eminently achievable.
Bowdon were quickly under pressure as they batted, with Rupes Kitzinger bowling another miserly spell of 11 overs for 12 runs. He took the second wicket as Blake was bowled trying to release the shackles, after Gavin Tomlinson had taken the first, courtesy of a fantastic leg-side catch by Reece Linney, standing up to the stumps. Jack Harris, replacing Tomlinson, kept things tight, whilst Tom Drury, taking the place of Kitzinger, started wheedling his way through the batting order. For Bowdon, Richard Whipp restrained himself after early attempts at aggression had been unsuccessful, going on to score 42. The only other score of note was 32 from Hal Dwobeng, whose 32 was based on a sustained assault on the bowling of Angus Patel, before being caught on the boundary off Angus’ bowling. With Drury ending up taking 5 wickets, Bowdon ran out of batsmen with a total of 141.
To reach 4th place, Bramhall needed to overtake Bowdon for the loss of less than 5 wickets, but after 7 overs, with the score at 20-3, that looked unlikely, The rain then arrived, and the unlikely became impossible as the game was called off with the bowlers run-up areas having even more muddy and slippery and thereby unsafe.
So ended the 2017 season. A substantial improvement over 2016, with improved player availability leading to improved results. However, much like Saturday’s game, failure to sustain availability and performances across the season meant that initial hopes of promotion ended up being un-achievable. Equally, however, Bramhall can look forward to next season knowing that with a little more effort, promotion is a realistic goal for 2018.