Newquay Boardmasters was called off due to forecast gales and heavy rain, but in the sheltered confines of the Tamar Valley plucky Gunnislake are made of sterner stuff. And so we hosted league leaders St Minver, on what turned out to be a dry afternoon, after heavy showers around lunch time.
The pitch looked damp and inviting to bowl on, so on winning the toss St Minver asked Gunnislake to bat. Gunnislake obliged, but started as if the team was trying to save a test match. The forward defensive prod was in fine fettle; indeed Liverpool were scoring faster in their football match than Gunnislake! After ten overs the score was a meagre two and the watching spectators were dozing in the occasional glimpse of sun. At the crease Ian Mill was getting restless and, attempting to break the St Minver stranglehold, was caught at mid-on. Adam Emmerson fell quickly as well, and the score was 3 for 2 after 13 overs. Enter captain Stephen Lees: the man for a crisis? No, alas not. Two fours, a couple of singles and the score quadrupled in one over, but then a tame catch to cover point saw him on his way. Nigel Hocking had Gunnislake mesmerised, and by the end of his ten overs his figures were the scarcely believable six wickets for three runs. The pitch was a bit tricky, but Gunnislake’s batting was bad! With Hocking bowled out, Robert Hawken joined in the fun, with a further three wickets falling to him for a mere three runs. Barker was left stranded on nine not out, and Gunnislake had crawled to 32 all out in 31.2 overs.
St Minver, fearing rain in their quest for the League title, opted to bat before tea. A needless run-out in the third over saw them on 3 for 1, and then Ben Alford induced an inside edge on to the stumps to leave St Minver on 13 for 2. It was however a false alarm, Luke Osbourne opened his shoulders to hit three fours to the leg-side boundary and in a blink the match was over. St Minver had cantered to an eight wicket victory and Gunnislake were left with their tails between their legs.
St Minver leave with 19 points and, with Liskeard’s match rained off, are now almost certain to end the season as league champions. Gunnislake must go back to the drawing board.
St Minver (19 points) beat Gunnislake (one) by 8 wickets.
POSTSCRIPT: it did pour with rain at around six o’clock……….