Cricket: Farmers have a field day as race for European League qualification begins

FARMERS-CAESAREANS got themselves off to the perfect start in their defence of the T20 Weekend Premier League on Saturday.

Farmers Caesareans swatted aside St Ouen Springfield and OVs on home turf Picture: DAVID FERGUSON
Farmers Caesareans swatted aside St Ouen Springfield and OVs on home turf Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

With all clubs opening the season with a double-header of matches, Farmers hosted ATP St Ouen-Springfield and Rathbones OVs on their well-manicured St Martin lawn but showed little hospitality to their guests, both of whom left empty handed.

To their credit, St Ouen ran Farmers close in the first game that ‘kicked-off’ late-morning. Joel Dudley was in good form with the bat and his knock of 24 runs, combined with Asa Tribe’s much greater effort of 57 unbeaten, contributed to an opening innings of 124 all-out with just two balls spare.

In reply, SOS got off to a flying start with openers Ollie Nightingale and Harrison Carlyon, a recent transfer from Farmers, putting up reasonable scores of 32 and 26 respectively. However, the Farmers spin attack soon slowed their opponents’ progress down and SOS ultimately fell short by eight runs.

Meanwhile, at Grainville, last year’s T20 runners-up Rathbones Old Victorians were busy putting RGA Walkovers-SCF to the sword. Walkovers had opened with a meagre 81 across all 20 overs and OVs quickly caught that total in less than nine, having only lost one wicket in the process. That was Corey Bisson but by that time he had already served up a score of 39 ably assisted by his opening partner Andy Dewhurst, who racked up 32 runs of his own.

It set up a potentially mouth-watering tie between last year’s two play-off finalists in the spring sunshine but, in the end, Farmers won the match with relative ease. OVs batted first and gave Farmers a reasonable target of 130 after Bisson led the way with 55 runs. Farmers, however, wasted no time in chasing it down. With the opening partnership of Joel Dudley (31) and Nick Ferraby (29) setting things up nicely in the powerplay, they were already halfway there after just six overs. Fifteen-year-old fast bowler Charlie Brennan tried to slow them down after taking a couple of wickets but it didn’t take long for the rest of the Farmers order to get the job done.

Meanwhile, Walkovers were living up to their name as they lost their second match at Grainville with little less ease than the first.

Carlyon proved what a coup his signing is for St Ouen when he put up an unbeaten knock of 76 as his side won by nine wickets. Nightingale helped himself to 37 runs for St Ouen Springfield while Dylan Kotedia did his best to turn the tide in Walkovers’ favour with an unbeaten first-innings score of 49.

Full report and scorecards in Monday's JEP.

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