The most exhausted man in Lymington on Saturday night might well have been Barry Marriott. The Second XI umpire's shoulders were in urgent need of a rub-down after he and his fellow official had signalled an incredible 57 wides during the Two's 5 wicket win over Redlynch & Hale at the Sports Ground. Lymington were the worst offenders, throwing down 34 wides, although the visitors did their best to even up the score with 23. Indeed, there were so many extras that in effect the match went from being a 96 over match at the start to a 104 over match by the finish! Opening bowlers Martin Gregory and Dominic Norton started the ball rolling with numerous wayward deliveries. Captain Trevor Phillips was hardly in a position to criticise his bowlers since he himself conceded seven wides in just six overs. Only Mark Newton seemed capable of bowling straight, conceding just one wide in his eight over spell.
The wide disease also reached Alton where the 22 that Lymington First XI conceded proved crucial in the final outcome of the match. And even the Third XI hero Paul Sturmey bowled three wides in his match-winning figures of 7 for 17.
So just why did Lymington bowl so many wides on Saturday? Was it poor technique? or the weather conditions? or maybe a lack of practice? Actually, the answer lies a couple of miles down the road from the Sports Ground at Woodside. For it was during the Fourth XI match against Pylewell Park that Bob Iles scored a remarkable 37 to help Meg Gannaway's side to victory. Unfortunately the vibration caused by the stoutly Bob running up and down the wicket 37 times caused the Earth to shift off its regular axis, thus severely affecting the planet's gravitational pull and causing the ball to wobble uncontrollably at the Sports Ground! Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!