If there's one thing that great sporting sides have in common, it's a winning mentality. Whilst it may be a little farfetched to compare the diminutive Bredgar CC with tactically astute and world renowned champion sides such as Fergie's United and Guardiola's Barca, the way they ground out results this past weekend was reminiscent of these famous teams. It's all about finding a way, it might not have been pretty, but it's the points that matter.
Back to back three wicket victories on Saturday and Sunday ensured they remained unbeaten in Saturday fixtures this term and in a strong position in the Kent Village Cricket League. However, it was far from a walk in the park and were grateful that weekend captains Tim Aylett and Gareth Tomlinson kept their heads, whilst others around them were losing theirs.
Saturday's fixture saw Streatham and Malborough visit the recreation ground and with the rare appearence of the sun decided to bat first. The visitors were struck an early blow when opening batsman Mark Matzen was forced to retire hurt which ultimately cost them momentum in the long run. Fellow partner Knott hit an impressive 71, but runs elsewhere were hard to come by as part time bowler Gareth Tomlinson took three wickets for 12 runs from just four overs, accompanied by the now conventional personification of solidarity Harry Wood, who picked up 2-18 off of his requisite eight overs. Eventually finishing on 152-6 after a strong seventh wicket stand, the score was both respectable and gettable.
Gettable it proved, but not for the want of trying. Bredgar found themselves in a thick perilous jungle of tumbling wickets at 12-3, only rescued by previous hundered heroes Salter and Aylett as they put on 96 for the fourth wicket before Salter perished for an entertaining 32. But alas, without the devilish duo they were thrust into troubled waters once more, Aylett one of three removed for 65 left Bredgar languishing at 125-7. But cometh the hour, cometh the bowling double act of Tomlinson and Wood. Tomlinson, usually an opening batsmen, demoted to eight in light of his bowling heroics, showed just why he opens said batting with an unbeaten 25 as he guided the Saturday side to yet another tremendous triumph, looking every bit the Patrick Viera of the Bredgar invincibles.
If Saturday was a friendly, Sunday was anything but. Addington's visit completed a month dominated by home games for Bredgar, with the home side opting to bowl first. Youngsters Harry Wood and Lewis White appeared to be the pick of the economic bowlers, going for just 38 between the pairs' 17 overs, with Laurence Kite ahead on the wickets front with three. Rummer's 53 and Chamben's 48 were the main contributors in gaining Addington a batting point and a target of 174 to win off of their 40 overs.
Bredgar's response was steered by Saturday startlets Tomlinson and Aylett and their ship was set sail for victory at 79-0 and even further at 124-2, with skipper Tomlinson grabbing his second fifty of the season. But in a matter of moments, the Titanic had hit its iceberg and was beginning its descent. John Knight was caught for 32 before Max Stanley departed the scene, trapped LBW. To make matters worce, Ian Gregory showed the composure of a quivering Gareth Batty in France 98' as he proceded to duly walk half way down the track and get stumped for a duck. 130-5 and the game was back on.
Partnerships were attempting to be built, but were met with the rapport of Rafa Benitez and the Stamford Bridge faithful. When Matt Lowdon was bowled for ten, the match was in the balance at 154-7. Suddenly everyone possesses the the mathematical nous of Carol Vorderman in knowing the exact calculations of runs to balls. Tempers were well and truly being frayed, nerves were now being shred and even the tension could be cut with a metaphorical knife. Messer's Kite and White however batted without fright as they attempted to make it alright on the night. Going at a run an over, they were more of a limping Derek Redmond than a Usain Bolt as they progressed towards the finishing line. The defensive play of the pair immaculate, seeing off the last overs of the opening bowlers with ease.
Addington serve up Mcdonald as a last throw of the dice but his portions of deliveries are met with a side order of runs including a boundary. A boundary that is met with elation and relief on the home bench as the scores draw level. A single from Laurence Kite signals a crucial four points for Bredgar as they maintain to produce one of their best seasons for many a year.
Bredgar continue to march on and churn out victories, breeding the start of a winning metality embodied by the performances of their captains. Maintaining that Bee like sting with their continual tally of victories, it can only be a matter of time before the way they claim these conquests is with the poise and float of a Butterfly.