Playing away at Marldon on an overcast day, Marldon skipper Glanfield
won the toss and put Brent into bat on a damp pitch.
Brents opening pair of Cranch and Lannin seemed to be off to a steady start as they got their bearings on a sloping pitch that had a tennis ball bounce.
The excellent Marldon opening bower Washbrook, soon had Cranch clean bowled for 5 as Cranch tried to up the scoring with a signature hefty drive, to an inswinging delivery.
This bought last seasons top scorer Lewis to the crease.
Lannin went soon after to Flintham for a watchful 2, caught off a top edge from a pull shot .
A disastrous collapse followed as Marldons openers tore through Brents top and middle order, as the next 5 wickets all fell for ducks!
Joyce went for a goldie to another great inswinger down the slope from Washbrook, followed by the promising debutant Daniels, trying to loft one that got caught in the pitch, also off Washbrook.
An overcast afternoon at the lovely ground at Marldon.
Marldons Flintham, took the next 3 Quackers, Saunters clean bowled, Prosser adjudged LBW, and Haines clean bowled.
At the other end, Lewis watched with dismay but continued where he left off last season with some watchful batting and mercilessly picking off anything slightly loose.
In the 10th over the score was a woeful 32 for 7 with Brents players hoping that they could avoid Brents lowest score of 44 as a consolation from what looked like humiliation!
However, the tail was to wag, as the left handed Cooper joined Lewis and the pair put on a determined stand of 52 for the 8th wicket, before Lewis played a tired looking shot off Washbrook to be caught for a very accomplished 56.
Two overs later,Coopers disciplined innings of 9 came to an end clean bowled by Clark. He’d done a grand job supporting Lewis though 11 overs and humiliation had been avoided!
With the score on only 88 for 9 with only 22 of the 40 overs gone, more was needed to make a competitive game.
Brent skipper Glen and number 11 (only in name), Cook put on a determined stand of 35 for the last wicket before Glen(22) skillfully using his feet was bowled by a brilliant delivery by Rowsall! Cook remained unbeaten for a gritty 10, as Brent had somehow posted a modest but competitive total of 123 after 32 overs.
After thoroughly enjoying their first tea of the season Brent got off to a flying start as the opening bowlers Glen and Cook, bowled well in tandem creating pressure with tight lines.
Marldon opener Rowsall (13)skied one from Glen where Daniels took a fine high catch on the square leg boundary.
The dangerous looking Flintham (3) then went to a low caught and bowled off Glen.
Cook (1 - 20)then got the reward his disciplined swing bowling deserved as Lewis took a stunning low one handed catch at short extra cover to dismiss Washbrook(13). An early contender for catch of the season!
The Marldon skipper Glanfield(9) resistance was next broken falling to Glen(3 for 30) again caught by Lewis .
Marldon at 48 for 4 after 14 overs were reeling with their top order swept away. Brent dared to dream of an improbable victory!
The Marldon middle order were made of sterner stuff though, as left hander Evans(33) and Gore put on a stand of 59, as Brents first change bowlers Prosser(0-23) and Cooper (0-20) struggled adapting to the sloping pitch.
At 107 for 4 Marldon were nearly there and Brents hopes were looked dashed.
But Brent debutant Daniels (2- 10), didn’t have that idea, as he bowled a superb spell of tight seam bowling in what was his first game for 10 years! Brent briefly dared to dream again as he picked up the wickets of the stubborn Gore (34) before bowling Pragnell(8).
But in the end Brent did not have enough runs to play with as the determined Evans (33 not out) saw Marldon home accompanied with S.Glanfield (0) resisting Lewis’(0-17) tweakers.
A good fielding and bowling display by Brent was let down by brittle batting, but there was a good team spirit and encouraging signs for the season ahead.