The sun shines on the righteous and also shone on the Gunnislake and Launceston cricket teams this week. For after a week of showers Saturday dawned bright and clear, and sandwiches were made throughout the county as teams everywhere looked forward to the gentle sounds of willow on leather. After last season’s travails, Gunnislake were proud to lend two players to Launceston and two to St Neot, leaving a strong eleven to face their visitors. In another departure from last season three juniors made the team, Kai Murray-Dustan being joined by JJ Brenton and Ben Alford from the Callington academy. Mind you, Ben was nearly late as his chauffeur (AKA mum Laura) struggled to find the ground!
Some things don’t change though and the toss was lost, and Gunnislake were asked to bat. Andrew Morris and Adam Emmerson opened for Gunnislake, with Launceston starting with a spin combination of Paddy Webber and Brett Grosvenor. Launceston were initially on top, with Grosvenor bamboozling the batsmen, with turn and the occasional low bounce. Three wickets fell quickly leaving last week’s hero Adrian Cameron to join Morris. Things cheered up at this point, with runs rattling up quite fast, before Grosvenor struck again to bowl Cameron for 24. Ben Alford on debut followed, then Stephen Lees and then, well, everyone else. It would be kinder not mention names, but click on the scorecard if you really want to know! A mere 35 overs and the innings was at an end, with Morris carrying his bat for 88 (what no century?) and the total just shy of a fourth batting point at 157 all out. Grosvenor’s four wickets cost 34 runs and Emma Barnes also chipped in with a couple.
An early tea followed before the reply began, with the match evenly poised. Kai Murray Dustan again opened the bowling to great effect (no longer listed on Play Cricket as unsure Kai), taking two early wickets. Lois Thornton then added a touch of class with some well-judged batting, but Launceston were also steadily falling behind the run rate. Murray-Dustan gave way to JJ Brenton (Dad, Andy a former Gunnislake legend, as apparently was JJ’s grandfather, who was watching from the pavilion benches) who then passed the baton to Ben Alford. Alford chipped in with two wickets, while Paul Lees finished at the other end with a parsimonious 0-11 from his ten overs. The combination of youth one end and experience the other seemed to be working well, but Paddy Webber and Launceston captain Paul Bunn had one last onslaught up their sleeve. Fifty three runs were added in seven overs, Gunnislake got twitchy, and the umpire got some unfair stick over the odd wide or three. But George Jefferis held one end tight and the overs ran out; Gunnislake had claimed their second victory of the season, running out winners by 29 runs. Bunn was left 30 not out wondering what might have been had he gone in higher up the order.
Two games in, this equals our total wins for last season. Thanks everyone, but do remember it’s a team game and don’t leave everything to Andrew!