After a 6am departure time and a three and a half hour minibus journey down to Chester-le-Street, the First VI were thrown straight into the action against Sunderland.
An impressive bowling performance from all except captain Tom Pratt (who went for more than half of Sunderland’s total runs in his one over) saw the opposition manage to reach only 27 before the last wicket fell. Tom Williamson was in excellent form, picking up 3 wickets from 7 balls and conceding only 7 runs to put the pressure on Sunderland.
The opening batting partnership of Elliot Foster and Robert Thompson made light work of the 28 run target, knocking them off in only 2.3 overs. This was despite the best efforts of Foster to get himself out, being dropped twice in the first 3 balls of the Edinburgh University innings.
The First VI could not have wished for a better start to the day. However they knew that tougher opposition was ahead and went into game two against Stirling fully focused. The second game of the day for the First VI saw them face the only other Scottish university in the league: the newly promoted University of Stirling.
Once again, Edinburgh University bowled first, with the hopes of dismissing the Stirling side for a low total. The Stirling batsmen fared slightly better against the Edinburgh University bowling attack, however with a few sharp pieces of fielding and Guy Reeve taking two key wickets, Stirling were limited to 75.
In reply, Foster steadied the ship after Thompson was caught out in the second over, however upon his dismissal for only 15, the Stirling heads were up. Fortunately for Edinburgh University, second years Tom Williamson (22*) and Guy Reeve (20*) saw them over the line with no more wickets falling, giving the First VI their second win of the day.
A few hours of rest followed whilst other games took place, allowing the First VI to prepare for the eagerly anticipated match against the Second VI. Coincidentally, the final match of the day was also the most hotly anticipated, with the two titans of EUCC clashing amid rumours of an upset on the cards.
First VI captain Pratt won the toss and once again elected to bowl. The opening partnership of David Braithwaite and Matthew Angelini got the Second VI off to a flyer, carving the First VI bowling attack to all corners. Both Braithwaite and Angelini retired in very quick time, keeping the run rate above 11 an over for the first 5 overs. Robert Taylor was next to the crease and continued this rate, scoring a quick 24 before being dismissed.
At this stage the Second VI were looking set for a huge total, however a tight few overs from Pratt and Reeve contained the lower order batsmen and restricted the runs for a short time. At 4 wickets down, Braithwaite was allowed to return to the crease where he continued his fast-paced run scoring from previously, taking the total to 117 (he also hit both the first and last ball of the innings for 6).
Faced with a daunting target of 118, Reeve and Williamson got the First VI off to a great start, keeping up with the run rate through the early overs, with consecutive 3s and skilful shot selection and control. Williamson unfortunately fell short of retiring by 3 runs after being caught and bowled by Taylor, however Reeve managed to score the 25 runs needed to ensure he could return to the crease if needed.
The partnership of Foster and Blease continued ticking over until only 10 were needed from the last 6 balls with Pratt and Blease facing. Drama from the last 3 balls saw Blease run out leaving 3 runs required to win and Reeve picked out a fielder to tie the scores with one ball remaining. Pratt ensured the victory however by hitting the side wall to finish an enthralling game.
Image courtesy of Edinburgh University Cricket Club