Mid North Coast Mudskippers played their second round match in the new Veterans' Cricket Regional Competition over the weekend when they took on Newcastle Taverners at Gloucester.
After a thrilling win in their first round match against Newcastle Merewether, the Muddies were keen to again perform well and so they did.
After winning the toss, the Taverners chose to bat and were rueing that decision after the first hour.
By the drinks break at the end of 20 overs, the Muddies had the visitors reeling at eight for 48, with four batsmen looking to donate to their associated primary club and the 'duck donations'.
The first ball after drinks saw it seem inevitable to be a shortened game with the ninth wicket falling.
From then on followed a steady rear guard action as M Taylor and Arun Mukherjee played sensibly and hung on to try and give their side something to bowl at.
A fine 40-run partnership, with Taylor remaining 30no, saw the Tavs out in the 38th over for 88.
The Mudskippers' chase followed suit with a first ball wicket starting a similar trend to their opponents before more wickets fell to have the home side on the canvas at 6 for 47.
Opener Morley (32) stood tall among the firestorm and retired at the mandatory 30 mark before Doug Turnbull (24no) and John Kessey (19no) adapted to the situation as their namesake Mudskipper creatures are wont to do in their world.
They saw the side home at six for 91 in the 29th over.
Muddies' skipper Paul Rosenbaum was complimentary of the tail end revival of the Novacastrians.
"They were obviously in dire straits but showed patience and got themselves in," he said.
He was thrilled with his bowlers and the fact they were backed up by excellent fielding.
"Mick Simpson took two great catches and Graham Morley was superb behind the stumps," he said.
Rosenbaum himself led the way with the ball in a man of the match earning spell of three for 15 off seven overs.
All of the hosts' bowlers contributed well with Dom Ashe (1/17), Mark Coombes (2/4), Tim Bramble (2/14), Graham Westley (1/10) and Kessey (1/6) all snaring a piece of the wicket feast.
Rosenbaum was full of praise for the local Gloucester community with the Rotary Club serving lunch while legendary local curator, Ken 'Swampy' Garland, had worked to produce a good wicket in difficult conditions.
Thanks was also given to local Coast umpire Bryan Lambert for his game management of a match played in the usual good-natured spirit that personifies the 'gentleman's game' in the most positive way.
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