Saturday heralded the visit of Academy to Lairds and a tough battle was expected from one of last year’s promoted teams. Losing the toss saw Methlick opening the batting and the overcast conditions gave some expected help to the bowlers with the ball swinging from the start.
Woodhouse and Anderson kept the scoreboard ticking over until the former played at a late swinging ball from Singh and was caught at deep extra cover. This brought the swashbuckling Kennedy to the crease and despite an early LBW scare, the ball continued to disappear over the bowlers’ heads to the boundary. One swipe too many however saw him caught, again off Singh, with the score on 31 for 2.
Murphy then joined Anderson in the middle and started tucking into some loose bowling with Ashwin going for 14 off his first over. Bowling changes gave little success as a procession of the opposition attack were punished by both batsmen, and by the 30 over stage Methlick were going at almost five an over with no further loss and were beginning to disappear over the horizon.
However, Murphy, looking odds on for a 50, played an ugly shot to a ball keeping low and was controversially adjudged LBW ending a 77 run partnership. Hard-hitting Addison was next in and played an unusually circumspect innings, nudging singles here and there until Matthews had him caught for 12.
New signing, Maxfield, came in next and suffered his first duck for the club, again to Matthews who seemed to be alternating wides with wicket taking balls. He was quickly followed back to the hutch with another duck from Bremanesen, and when Duffy was run-out by his captain for nowt, a big collapse was developing. Anderson had barely reached his 50 when he finally succumbed, again to Matthews. Singh came back to mop up the tail with 182 on the board, when 220 seemed to have been on the cards.
After tea Murphy opened the bowling and the second ball to Derrett took an edge which was snapped up sharply by Addison in the gulley to give Methlick the best possible start. Singh played aggressively but the canny bowling of Duffy soon had his middle stump. Murphy then had Kanishk LBW with the score at 3 for 24 followed by another wicket from Duffy.
Murphy ended his spell of 7 overs with a third wicket and was replaced by Brian Anderson who took the 6th wicket with his final ball of his first over with the score on only 35. From a perilous position for the visitors, a rearguard defence took the score on to 66 but Addison stepped in to deliver the coup de grace, polishing off the Academy rear-guard with a couple of wickets for not many giving MCC a win by an impressive 116 runs.
So a sound beating for the newcomers to Grade 2, and Methlick were starting to show signs of better things to come in what will hopefully be a season of promotion to the top Grade. Sterner stuff from the middle-order will be required against next week’s visitors, newly promoted St. Ronald, and Lairds will look forward to maintaining a winning start to the season.