Only 1 point gained from 5 games as under-cooked Richmond fail on all fronts.
A hugely disappointing opening day to Richmond's League campaigns as all 5 sides were defeated. Only the 3rd XI managed a losing point as Richmond's cricketers under-performed at all levels.
At Old Deer Park Ealing won the toss and chose to bat. An early wicket brought their Australian to the crease with the score on 2 for 1. He departed more than 3 hours later after an exemplary century that enabled his teammates to bat around him and post a score of 248 for 8 off their 50 overs. Well as Richmond bowled for the first half of the innings - Ealing were 85 for 3 at the halfway stage - they were unable to press home the advantage when it mattered and Ealing were able to post a demanding total.
Richmond's response started brightly despite the early loss of Bhavesh Pankhania, as Greg King tucked into the young opening bowlers and Richmond moved to 77 for 2 off 15 overs. Then the wheels came off. Adam London was well caught at slip, Joe Smith was trapped LBW and skipper Alex Griffiths played a loose shot to be bowled. Within 11 overs, Richmond had subsided to 107 for 9 and the match was lost. Steve Stacey and Usman Arif then showed their team mates what had been required by playing straight and calmly. As time went on, runs flowed and the remote possibility of a losing bonus point became more likely. It was not to be, sadly, as Stace's exceptional innings of 38 came to an end. Between them the last pair faced 105 balls. Greg King's 51 came off 69. The other 8 batsmen faced 88 between them. By contrast Plant, Ealing's Australian, faced 149 balls and showed everyone that simple application of technique and mind combine to produce results at the crease. Lessons to be learnt for the season ahead.
At Ealing, the 2's also suffered a heavy defeat. Batting first, Richmond progress nicely to 99 for 2 before subsiding to 117 for 6. Neil Hemstalk and Steven Deakin rallied Richmond's cause with a partnership of 84 but our total of 209 never looked like being enough. So it proved. Ealing's experienced top three of Stoughton, Lane and Wilkin saw the home side to the target with 6 overs to spare.
The 3's at least managed a bonus point and perhaps should have chased down Ealing's score of 231 for 8 off 45. However they fell 28 runs shot.
The 4's were well beaten by North London 3's at the Newman Cricket Ground, dismissed for 164, a total which the visitors cruised past.
A 5th XI - magnificently assembled by Saurabh Wahi as the week progressed tried hard against Middlesex Tamils 4's but were not good enough to prevent the defeat.
So, not the start Richmond was looking for and hopefully a reminder to everyone that practice, commitment and determination are as important as perceived ability or misplaced self-belief. There is a lot of talent at Richmond but Saturday's results would suggest that we all need to work harder over the course of the season ahead.
Updated 13:46 - 7 May 2017 by Chris Goldie