The Sandsend Swordsmen are regular visitors to the Island their name coming from a local hostelry in Fulham. A lot of them went to school together and are predominantly in their mid thirties. Quite a test for the aging hosts who were once again skippered by leading realtor Simon Cotton.
The visitors won the toss and immediately set about the local attack. Openers Foulkes 60 and Lawson 30 applying pressure before Lawson fell in the 19thover with a solid platform of 91 runs laid. Mallorca invitee Pavan Nerella 3/34 trapped both openers LBW before Hagger 2/32 and Lavin 4/19 ripped through the middle and lower order. The Swordsmen would be disappointed defending a well below par 155 all out in the 34th over.
At tea there was consternation within the cake baking fraternity as Lady Chairman Denise Manners shot straight to the top of the leader board with a fresh cream and jam sponge. It was an attractive centre piece although not too overpowering, there were one or two glances of indignation amongst the other purveyors of pastries. The bar has been raised!!!
Menorca’s reply to the Swordsmen’s total got off to a bright start as Hagger and Sturgeon set about chasing down the 156 required for victory. Hagger’s application to carry his bat was exceptional, particularly against some good sharp bowling from the opposition.
Sturgeon for once did pick up the pace following a spluttering start hitting four boundaries before he was adjudged leg a front for 19. Young Adam Lavin replaced Sturgeon and he continued his impressive integration in to the side. The stylish left hander rode his luck at times but played the hostile bowling well to finish 51* alongside his partner Hagger 70* Menorca reaching the required total in the 26thover to win by 9 wickets. One of the best batting performances seen at Biniparrell taking the quality of the opponents in to consideration.
Sunday saw a much changed Menorca side put in to bat by the Swordsmen with Skipper Roussell and Ali opening the batting and mustering 21 apiece. Pavan Nerella came in at 3 and batted superbly hitting 10 fours and a huge six in his 63. There were useful contributions down the order from the in form Wilson 36 and skipper elect Joe Brayne 20*. Menorca finishing their innings with a competitive 189/8.
The Swordsmen appeared to be in control replying to the locals total but once opener Reade 48 was dismissed they struggled to find any cohesion down the order and lost wickets regularly
Roussell marshalled his troupe superbly in the field to blunt the Swordsmen’s threat. The wickets spread amongst the Menorca attack. Wilson 3/43, Ali 2/18 and the skipper himself picking up another 3/29. The visitors dismissed for 165 in the 33rd over.
Arguably the best performance seen at the home of Balearic cricket on a Sunday capping off yet another excellent weekend.
Jeffrey Barker - Menorca CC.