Brockley travelled to Coggeshall with a bright new sponsor : Precon Products and with some equally bright new players.
However they started with the same old tactics of bowling first on a good wicket and an even older approach of opening with Sykes who quickly proved that age hasn’t dimmed his catching ability (or, sadly, improved it) as he threw one down off his own bowling from opener King who only went on to make 80.
At the the other end Joe McGann wasn’t getting the Upper Hand and as the score rattled up the outfield was more like Dangerfield .
After 15 overs and 90 on the board for absolutely no wickets, captain Dan called on the spin twins of Alex Mccaffrey and the ever-so fashionable Ben Jeffery.
Remarkably the run rate dropped , a little, and wickets started to fall as McCaffrey took three, thanks in some part to 2022 fielder of the season Fisher using just one hand to snaffle one in the covers before Jeffery went one step beyond and took one just using his knee. It was Madness.
The overall standard of fielding was remarkably high by the usual Brockley low standards and very much helped by the younger element to the team with Tom Last covering about 35km as boundary runner/ball fetcher
After somewhere vaguely in the region of 30 overs, Coggeshall had about 150 runs for definitely 5 wickets and we had seen captan Dan make light work of a slick stumping opportunity, thanks in no small part to his new gloves which reminded the more mature players of Billy’s Boots.
It was then time for the youngsters to play their part as Tom Last, George Tattershall and debutants Ned and Spike Chapman. All four bowled extremely well at the death and limited Coggeshall to close on 258 off 44 overs and then 264 off 45
In reply Brockley lost Jefferys to an LBW dismissal in the very first over. Many sides would have been unsettled by this but Brockley took this in their stride in a manner that suggested they had expected it in almost a premonition like manner.
McCaffrey (67) and Fisher (61) progressed at a steady 5 an over and after reaching 126 from circa 25 overs there was a faint hope of a remarkable upset .However, Bess 4 for 37) proved that it was possible to be called ”Dean” and take wickets and the Brockley charge faltered somewhat.
Though victory was never an overly likely possibility, Brockley will be pleased by the way they stuck at the task in the field and the added bonus of Ned shepherding the failing Sykes through the last three overs to ensure a fourth batting point bodes well for the season ahead.
Coggeshall, for their part, showed again that the are a very accomplished side and Brockley returned to the safety of Suffolk wondering how on earth the teams are still in the same division .