And we return for another season of self inflicted pain, that no one of would live without. What a weird bunch we are.

What started as a sunny enough afternoon in ‘lovely’ North Kent soon turned into a near sub zero gale force experience against a decent side called Blue Stars on a lovely ground with a great track. Shame about the weather really.

After a brief scuffle for the captaincy, Wild took a leaf out of the Sennocke captaincy manual and promptly lost the toss, with the oppo skipper choose to bat first. With just ten men on the pitch at this stage, we kicked off as the sun died a painful death behind an Armageddon style cloud invasion. Seb managed to turn up in time for the second over, dressed more for a casual spot of tennis rather than a cricket match but never mind. On a pitch that offered enough pace, bounce and nip to the seamers, it was disappointing to not make any early inroads into the batting lineup, with both quicks struggling to find consistency in their efforts.

A wicket was eventually picked up off the bowling of P Sheridan with poppadom fingers himself, Mr Julian Weekes, taking what seemed to be a surprisingly clean catch. This only resulted on Blue Stars’ overseas players joining forces at the wicket and going about in dispatching our bowling to all parts with a rather outstanding array of shots, not all of them originating from cricket however. One ponders whether these chaps had been watching a few IPL highlight montages before the match, such was the ‘originality’ and ‘creativity’ on display. Alex Bromley also unveiled his credentials as another of the team’s all-rounders by picking up 3 handy wickets, something we were glad to see with limited bowling stock on offer this year, thanks to the departures of Miles and Mikey (seriously guys, this uni thing is becoming a joke now).

In the end, Sennocke lived up to last seasons’ habits of leaking too many runs and supplementing the opposition with a veritable bounty of extras – we were set 214 to win.

At this point, the conditions took a turn for the Arctic, with the winds hitting icy new heights and frostbite had begun to bare its evil menace for the Sennocke team confined to the seats on the boundary. We were however warmed up almost instantly by some delightful batting by skipper Callingham, hitting sixes and fours almost for fun thanks to some rather tepid bowling on a true pitch. Mr Bromley fared somewhat differently at the other end, with some cautious batting providing the foil to the gung ho attack going on at the other end. So differently paced were the two innings that we clapped Dan’s 50 with only 54 on the board! He stuck around to accumulate 85 wonderful runs in the end, whilst almost everyone else struggled around him with early season rust. All but the ever-present Jules, who accumulated a tidy 48 not out in pursuit of the heady total, taking us to 196-7 from our set of 40 overs.

To be honest, in most league matches, we would be fairly chuffed with 196 runs on the board, but it was the inability to stem the flow of runs from the attacking Blue Stars top of order along with the wastefulness of the bowlers from an extras standpoint. All in all though, it was a pretty good way to prepare for the start of the season, and we played a good game of cricket against a decent group of gents that were in truth a fair match for us as a club, and we may find ourselves playing them again soon and coming out on the other side of the result.