First of all apologies for the lateness of this blog but yesterday was a long one work-wise and I didn't get in until midnight...
The first good news of the day was that John Morris has secured the services of Paul Borrington on a two-year professional contract and he will be "ours" full time after his University studies end next year. I'm pleased for the lad, who makes the most of his talent and has strong adhesive qualities. While not as obviously a "star" in the making as Dan Redfern, he should do well and time will be the judge of just how well.
The second good news was that we fought back well after at one stage being 88-6 and totalled 188, with both Graham Wagg and Charl Langeveldt supporting the returning Steve Stubbings, who anchored the innings with an excellent unbeaten 61. The thinking money may be on Stubbo leaving at season-end after a poor year, but he has made the decision a tough one with this knock, which appears to have been typical of the man. Throughout his career he has made runs when they have been most needed and has been a fine player. Contractual situations apart, could anyone see Sadler, Telo or indeed Hinds battling through to a score like that yesterday? No, me neither.
The third good news was that the pitch inspectors are happy with the pitch and reckon it was just poor batting and swing that caused the problems. I was sure mid-morning that we'd be docked points for this one, but that appears not to be the case.
Ou current healthy position is due to "golden arm" Wagg running through the Gloucester batting after a steady start and although Charl was not quite himself (he's not bowled for a while), I hope that we can finish them off early today for a good lead.
The bad news is that irrespective of what we do it is unlikely to bring promotion. Having dropped the batting points we'd need maximum from here and attaining them would give us a season total of 183. With Warwickshire starting this on 171, they would only need bonus points and one draw to be above us. Given their reputation this season, they should manage that easily enough as it is the starting point in their game and they will stick with it.
One more point - two wickets for tricky Rikki on debut for the Bears. Pettini and Bopara, so no bad victims. However, he also went for 5 an over, so some things never change...