Sunday 9th July was a fine, sunny day with an opportunity for the Pilgrims to get off to winning ways for The Week 2017. Nine Pilgrims, one Honorary Pilgrim and one very late Pilgrim were pleased to find out they would be playing Bryanston first which meant a chance to play on what appeared to be the better of the two pitches, leaving Canford to play Claysemore on a pitch no bigger than a 50 pence piece. Unfortunately we lost the toss but to our surprise, were inserted by Bryanston which suited us nicely while waiting on one of our strike bowlers. However, the batting didn’t start as well as one might hope and we found ourselves 12-3 after 5 overs. At this point debutant, J. Franke, and veteran, T. Gibbs, settled in and began accumulating runs at a steady rate, scoring 36 and 31 respectively before falling. In the end, we crawled to 120-8-20. On what was now a drying, speedy outfield this seemed like a very steep task and made only more difficult when Bryanston started quickly and found themselves at 77-2 off 10. At this point H. Gibbs finally arrived having decided to bike there and was straight on to bowl with a wicket in his first over. The momentum began to turn with C, F and E Taylor all taking catches and found ourselves entering the final over with Bryanston needing 6 to win. With Bryanston now needing 2 off the final 2 deliveries the game was certainly on a knife edge but unfortunately 5 wides through 2nd slip was a demoralising way to finish what was a hard fought game of cricket. With Bryanston’s joint top scorer being extras, on 24, we trudged up to the small postage stamp of a pitch rueing a missed opportunity.

With Canford beating Clayesmore in the other semi-final it left us to fight it out with Clayesmore for the wooden spoon. This time we would field first and the standards were high from the start where we left off in the last match. Although it’s difficult to say what good bowling figures would be on this pitch, with top edges flying for 6 every few balls and their opening batsman scoring 138 not out, credit must go to all the bowlers for sticking at it and keeping Clayesmore down to 184 off their 20 overs. Wickets were shared around with F. Taylor, H. Gibbs and J. Franke picking up 2 each. With an extensive total for us to chase, F. Taylor, in his conventionally ox-like fashion, set about slapping the bowling to all parts of the ground making a rapid 96 not out. He was accompanied by J. Franke who scored 47 and between them propelled us to 186-2 off of 15.4 leaving Clayesmore looking very defeated having played on the small pitch twice and conceded nearly 400 runs in 35overs. On the whole, we played well with one bad innings in 4 but unfortunately this proved crucial and was the difference between 1st and 3rd.