A brilliant all-round performance from Adam Jacobs was not enough to save Belmont & Edgware from defeat against Ruislip.
Given Belmont's form with the bat over the previous two weeks and the green JFS surface, Jacobs decided to insert Ruislip Orientals. That decision initially looked to have paid dividends, as opening bowlers Jacobs and Tilley dismantled Ruislip's top-order within two overs, taking three early wickets between them.
However, despite this early success, Belmont soon discovered that their opponents had considerable strength in depth, as a quality fourth-wicket partnership took the game away from them. Although the batsmen initially struggled with the slow pace of the JFS pitch, they became increasingly dangerous as they adjusted. Both raced to high-quality fifties until their stand was brilliantly broken by the sharp reflexes of Noam Attar, who caught a drive powerfully driven back towards him off his own bowling.
That, however, did not slow Ruislip as their batsmen looked to hit out towards the end of the innings. Jacobs and Tilley returned at the death and although both inevitably received some tap, Jacobs, mixing up his pace, managed to snaffle a further three wickets to take his first five wicket haul for BECC. Ruislip ended on 240-7, a daunting target not fully reflective of Belmont's efforts in the field.
In reply Belmont, in the face of consistently good bowling, certainly did not disgrace themselves. Openers Elliott Mayer and Phil Mayer started solidly until the latter was caught in the covers whilst attempting to hit a full toss over the top.
That brought another Mayer, Mitchell, to the crease. He looked in good touch as he nonchalantly dispatched one delivery for a massive 6, but came undone after he was bowled by a short ball that stuck in the pitch and didn't rise as much as anticipated. That left the score at 41-2, with Belmont teetering.
Jacobs, however, managed to stick around for a little longer. Although both batsmen, at times, struggled to work Ruislip's accurate deliveries away, they grafted hard, punishing the occasional bad delivery when they could. Elliott, in particular, hit some lovely back foot shots, and advanced to a well deserved 57, before finally perishing in the covers in the 30th over.
Jacobs continued to battle on but was out soon after for 37, after Ruislip's spinner Yash induced a leading edge. Belmont finished on 145-5, a respectable total considering the quality of the opposition.
Overall, this was an encouraging display which bodes well for future opposition.