After going all the way to the final in 2021, OG 1s started their 2022 campaign at home in the Kudos Drinks Bissenden Cup with a potentially tricky tie against old adversaries Hayfield.
As it turned out on the day, OG progressed comfortably into Round 2 by a 119 run winning margin, albeit with another early season rusty batting performance.
OG vs Hayfield is a fixture which goes way back, and with some tough battles in the DCCL over the years - this game was less competitive on the day though with Hayfield fielding a predominantly young team, due to availability issues, and OG broadly at full strength.
Maintaining his early season record of losing the toss, OG skipper Rob Adderley was maybe a little surprised to be invited to bat on a decent looking track, so it was Adam Demidh and Josh Acomb who strapped on the pads and took first knock.
These two openers have contrasting styles, which will hopefully yield some big partnerships this season, but an early LBW decision saw Adam trudging back to the pavilion for just 3.
Josh continued with his usual aggressive approach but when number 3, James Lythgoe, was bowled for 10 and then Josh himself for 27, OG found themselves 59 for 3 but with a healthy run rate.
Rob (15) and Jehrome (26) then built a useful partnership to almost take OG to 100 before Jehrome was trapped LBW and then a mix up saw Rob run out and OG 98 for 5.
Ben, AK and Mark Allen moved the score to 132 for 8 but all fell cheaply and at this point the visitors were sensing a sub 150 run chase.
Lenny Allsopp, Paul Littlewood and Ellis Walsh currently find themselves 9, 10 and 11 in this OG batting order but all three are accomplished with the bat and proved this point by dragging OG from 132 to a total of 220 all out, ultimately deflating Hayfield with some fine shots and partnerships.
Lenny with a controlled and cautious 19, Ellis with a solid 10 not out (and looking Gower esque with his silky left handed strokes) but it was Flicker who led the way with an aggressive 43 off 39 balls and took the batting accolades in the OG innings.....only beaten by the Hayfield extras......Flicker was punishing of anything pitched up and some lusty blows littered his innings.
A final total of 220 all out and a relieved OG top and middle order.
In reply the Hayfield line up had no answer to the new ball in the OG skipper's hand and after his rapid 6 over spell their top order was ripped out by Rob (6 overs 3 for 2), including the wicket of the fantastically named Hayfield number 3, Erich Von Molendorff.
Bowling with pace and venom Rob was supported with two outstanding slip catches by Adam Demidh and some handy glove work by Ben Whitehouse.
Ellis Walsh at the other end was unlucky not to pick up a wicket on the day and with only one Hayfield batsman, Harry Wyatt, scoring double figures with his 43, the writing was on the wall for the visitors and the OG attack shared the remaining wickets.....Mally with 3 for 27 off his 6 overs with Lenny and Jimmy Top Knot picking up 1 a piece.
Hayfield all out for 101 and a comprehensive win for OG.
With 2 wickets and a catch complimenting his earlier innings saving knock of 43, the MOM goes to Paul Littlewood.
OG progress to the next round and are happy to have another home draw, this time against Newton, one of the early season favourites for the Div 1 title.
A tough test but one that the OG boys are looking forward to.