Dons go crazy in the sunshine

The Dons went run-crazy in the first round of the National Village Knockout at Godshill.

Prior to the trip to the New Forest, the Ridge was a hive of junior activity - but there was little sign of the club's senior side.

Slowly but surely the aroma of BBQ Dave’s full English breakfast wafted across the surrounding hills, drawing in the players.

Stomachs filled and cars bulging with kit, the journey started, captain Dan Hewitt leading his convoy of players into the depths of the New Forest.

A lack of sat nav caused minor panic but James Atkinson soon ended that by producing his 2008 birthday atlas. Godshill was not marked, though.

Eventually the ground was found - picturesque to say the very least.

A square any groundsman would be proud of nestled in the centre of a lightening fast minefield of an outfield.

A fielding warm up was best forgotten, thankfully unseen by the home team who had yet to arrive.

The toss was won and Hewitt decided that batting was a fine idea but few would have dared to dream about what followed.

A partnership of 180 was put on by the opening pair of Joe Collings-Wells and James Scutt – the former first out for 102.

Scutt was joined by his captain, who was already in excellent form from the previous day's league game.

A partnership of 93 for the next wicket rattled the score to 273 with Hewitt registering 43 and Scutt a powerful 120.

A couple of quick wickets brought Atkinson and Cam Prentice together and a power-hitting contest ensued.

Prentice - a product of gym work and bread consumption - delivered raw power and Atkinson timing and effortless clean striking.

Balls rained down into the gorse, scattering picnics and shortly batsmen seven and eight were at the crease for a final flourish.

Vickers, aware that a chance of a bowl was seriously in doubt - even with the score approaching 350, decided he best earn the tea and cakes he so desperately craves of a weekend and dispatched the final over for 28.

A final tally of 376 for six put the Dons in a healthy position and an excellent tea was had by players and spectators alike - the Victoria sponge of particular note.

The visitors took to the field, aware that the job was half done and that nothing but a continuation of the excellent standards would be accepted by the skipper.

Rupert Hetherington opened up, bowling a spell of seven overs, two for 12 that suitably impressed his young lady on the sidelines.

Rory Prentice, gracing the club with his presence after a long winter during which he has become the premium fast bowler in his family, charged in from the other end and bowled a lively spell claiming four for 17.

Will Mann and Rhidian Chapman were called upon to put the game to bed.

And king of the swingers Chapman, formerly known as the static traveller, produced a spell of swing bowling few would have laid a bat on and finished with four for three runs.

Nick Scutt coped admirably behind the stumps, considering the ridiculous movement Chapman was achieving.

And in the end, the Dons recorded a comfortable win and progressed to the next round.

Skipper Hewitt added: 'A huge thank you to all those who travelled down to supportus.

'And lastly a thank you to Godshill for an enjoyable game played in the best of spirits.'