After the woes of 2018/19, the West Coast Rollers were looking to get the new season off to a winning start against Elgin. It didn't happen.
A lack of runs really tripped us up in the previous campaign, and again it proved the difference between winning and losing.
The hosts took first strike on a perfect day at the picturesque Elgin Country Club, and they got off to a decent start courtesy of Rikus and Jack, who put on 30 for the first wicket before James Lamprecht (7-0-25-2) produced an absolute peach to clean up the latter.
The second wicket produced a 69-run partnership, of which Mike managed just eight as Rikus took a liking to all the bowlers, with Ryan Cooper (4-0-23-0) and Andrew Young's (5-0-30-0) nine overs of shit proving particularly appetising.
In the end it took a moment of brilliance from Johann Roux at short-midwicket to end the carnage, with Rikus departing for an excellent 97.
The wicket invigorated the Rollers, who were staring 240 in the face at one stage. Instead, we limited Elgin to very manageable 186, with Mark Haselau (5-0-26-2), Nick Gailey (4-0-22-1) and Ruan de Jongh (5-0-34-1) among the wickets.
The visitors were up against it on a pitch which was playing increasingly uneven and a fired up opening bowler in Slang (5-1-11-1), who exploited the conditions beautifully and picked up the opening wicket when Ryan edged behind for 2.
Tom Stapylton-Smith played some lusty blows, but his departure for 20 brought about a mini roll as Neville Cooper (16), James (5) and Andrew (4) fell in quick succession to leave the Rollers reeling at 52/5.
Hannes Moore and Nick set about trying to restore some respectability, putting on a 47-run partnership before the latter was caught behind for 19. But Hannes was far from done, making the apparent minefield look like the N1 before being caught on the deep square-leg boundary, five runs short of what would have been a deserved half-century.
So the Rollers all out for 128, losing by 58 runs, but a hugely enjoyable day out against a brilliant bunch of guys. Thanks again to Kevin and his team - great ambassadors to the FCA.
Tom Stapylton-Smith 20 (3x4)
Ryan Cooper 2 Neville Cooper 16 (1x4) James Lamprecht 5 (1x4)
Andrew Young 4 (1x4)
Nick Gailey 19 (1x4)
Hannes Moore 45 (6x4)
Ruan de Jongh 0
Mark Haselau 1
Leon Theron 2
Johann Roux 3*
TOTAL: 128/10 (31.2 overs)
James Lamprecht 7-0-25-2
Tom Stapylton-Smith 5-0-20-0
Ryan Cooper 4-0-23-0
Andrew Young 5-0-30-0
Mark Haselau 5-0-26-2
Ruan de Jongh 5-0-34-1
Nick Gailey 4-0-22-1