Tilford won their first match of the season as they beat Headley by 28 runs in a game that turned its head in dramatic fashion. Headley won the toss and not surprisingly put the visitors into bat on a damp wicket. Tilford struggled as half the side were out with only 36 on the board with Kash Rashid and Mike Constantaras, in his first game for seven years, making the most of the conditions. But Jake Austin, after a steady start, accelerated as the pitch dried and brought up his fine hundred in 80 balls supported by the lower order. By the time he was out for 106 the score had advanced to 159 and he had struck 15 fours and 3 sixes. Tilford declared after 46 overs with the score on 169-9, with Rashid and Constantaras taking three wickets each. After Austin the next highest score was the extras column with only two other batsmen making double figures.
When Headley replied Tilford made two early strikes and then two more leaving the score at 45, including a fine catch by Matt Cook to remove the dangerous Gavin Arend for 25. Opener and anchorman Zach Benstead shared a stand of 52 with Constantaras who was given lbw and Benstead followed soon after for 35 stumped off occasional bowler Andy Hall Hall. Wickets continued to fall and the innings ended in the 42nd over when Raschid was bowled by Jason Stones for a defiant 31 and the total on 141. Huw Town-Jones bowled 14 overs in two excellent spells and the left armer was rewarded with a fine 6-37 in a very entertaining match
The 2nd XI struggled against tight bowling from Grayshott and their cause was not helped by 3 run outs which left them short of a competitive total on 135-9 from the full 48 overs.
The bowlers were unable to make sufficient inroads to change the game and Grayshott knocked of the runs in the 30th over for the loss of 5 wickets.
Tilford skipper, Bussell, called correctly and chose to bat. The top 4 batters all got in, but Grayswood’s 10 bowlers managed to reduce the volume of stray deliveries from their first encounter a month previous. Straight bowling provided 5 dismissals, with smart catches being taken around the wicket and a sharp throw from Kent in the deep brought a run-out – Grayswood with their first 10 wicket haul of the season. MacDonald’s late sixes boosted the Tilford score to 154. In reply, the batting order was all about father and son combinations; the Royds duo batted sensibly to get Grayswood off to the classic score of 22-2 (Richie Benaud fans will know); from then the Hodges duo demonstrated the adage of play every ball on merit and seek runs off anything stray in line or length; loose deliveries made their way to the boundary on the drying outfield. A mini-wobble of wickets as the winning score loomed. Jack Hodges playing in his 2nd game for the club with his Dad on his Grayswood debut were the stars of the show for Grayswood. The Tilford bowling was below par, with the exception of the hard working Fosten and Des Strowger who deservedly picked up his first ever Tilford wickets.