Saturday XI vs Swindon NALGO
Bears 222-4 45 overs
NALGO 226-9 43 overs

The Bears suffered a second consecutive defeat on Saturday as they lost in agonising and controversial fashion to Swindon NALGO.

On an overcast afternoon at The Glasshouse, the Bears were asked to bat first after losing the toss and lost an early wicket when college undergraduate Joe De Souza chipped an innocuous ball into the hands of the grateful midwicket fielder. However, despite that reversal, the skipper and Ross Newman were able to establish a substantial second wicket partnership of 120 as the home side built a solid foundation. After the dismissal of Newman for a rambunctious 65, Gunning (69) and the irrepressible Sam Vesey (48*) were the main protagonists as the Bears reached 222-4 from their 45 overs.

The Bears’ score was a competitive one, but with previous experience of how NALGO tend to approach batting, the home side knew they needed to take wickets.

As it transpired, the soothsayers in the Bear Flat side were proven right, with the NALGO batsmen evidently only having the one setting: all-out attack. With brisk contributions all the way down the order, but with the game very much in the balance, the Bears thought they had swung the match in their favour when Chris Bence, attempting to make amends for two spilled slip chances earlier in the innings, scored a direct hit from cover to leave danger man Hassan stranded three yards short of the crease. However, with the appeal surely nothing more than a mere formality, the Bears were left gobsmacked when the batsman was adjudged to have made his ground – one of the worst decisions this correspondent has witnessed in his 25 year career. And he used to play against Fairway…

Despite this injustice, the Bears rallied to reduce the visitors to nine down, though the challenge ultimately proved too much as the experienced Joshi guided his side to their target.

An excellent game and congratulations to NALGO who perhaps showed a bit more dynamism with the bat. Special mention also to Jay Morris for his four wicket haul and Joe De Souza for his spectacular catch at extra cover.

The Bears now need to bounce back to winning ways when they return to action on 1 June.