Having gathered together a Hogs early 90s reunion bringing back Messrs Grant, Gunyon, Hughes, Allom, Butler & Oliver, confidence was high and the weather was glorious. With the pitch looking like a belter and the need to be batting over lunch a welcome toss was won by our skipper and Grant and Gunyon were sent out to put together a similar partnership that put us in great shape last year. Sadly an extremely tidy spell of bowling by Neilson, Lochart and Tavener for the Wine Trade meant that there was very little to shout about from our first 6 batsmen with the exception of Oliver who was looking very good before being caught on the fine leg boundary. Hughes came to the wicket with an hour to go before lunch and the Hogs were 50 for 5. Talk of a ‘wine’ match were being discussed on the boundary whilst our skipper was trying to steady the ship. With the loss of a further three wickets we went into lunch with only 111 on the board. This didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm to sample the oppositions kindly produced wine and the hope of getting something close to a defendable target was more optimistically felt the longer lunch went on. Hughes and Butler resumed after lunch to put on 105 in just over 60 balls when the former was caught on the boundary for 95. Butler soon followed but the Hogs were then 220 all out, which whilst 60 or 70 short it was a score to defend.
Gandhi and Richards opened the batting for the Wine Trade and the runs seemed to come very easily and after a few sharp chances were put down by the Hogs, Jim Browne’s hard toil brought forth fruit in having Gandhi caught behind albeit after a 100 run opening stand. Jim then did Tavener all ends up with a cracking outswinging incutter which would have destroyed the stumps of any quality batsmen. After that the runs flowed very fast and the endeavours of Talbot, Butler, Allom, Oliver and Brereton bore slim success with the Wine Trade crossing the line with 7 wickets intact just before 20 overs were to be taken.
Always played in the best of spirit, it was a great fun game but the Hogs fell a little short in all departments.