View From Silly Point by Jamie (Mitch) Mitchell
The red carpet was dusted off and rolled out at St Helens, for the premiere of Pompey 2s Hampshire League Division 2 season - local and global media opted to give the event the widest of berths.
League newbies, Steep, were 2019's opening visitors to the seaside, who's skipper guessed correctly at the toss, and invited the south coast's star cast to bat first.
From ball one, captain Nicky Wyatt - stung by perceived mistreatment with the 1s last week - played Pompey's leading man, with a belligerent, Prozezky-esque 131, with supporting turns from Jamie Mitchell (32), and Will Smitherman (38). Jed Whitecross (18 not out) and Lee Hungerford (13 not out) provided a late-innings cameo (word up) to help the hosts' total to 276 for 6.
With all movie-themed metaphors exhausted, Pompey wanted to make scoring difficult in the early overs, and the returning Jed Whitecross - who needed a couple of sight-adjusting overs, in tandem with Andy van der Chapman (tenuous reference to his windmill bowling action) duly delivered, reducing the visitors to 36 for 2 after the first 10 overs - both returning figures of 1 for 27.
Comfortably ahead of the game, Wyatt introduced spin to proceedings (then scarpered for his son's birthday party), and what followed was a Hungerford Passive-Aggressive-Note rather than Massacre, as brothers Lee (3 for 38 from 9) and Paul (4 for 35 from 6, including his 5th league hat trick - allegedly) to scythe through the visitors' lineup.
Debutant Oscar Davis bowled tidily, and was rewarded by pegging back Steep's top scorer's off pole with a stunning delivery, to continue the 1 for 27 trend among Pompey's seamers - a fitting denouement to an opening day triumph as rare as a Farage truth bomb, by a margin of 103 runs.
Next up is the trepidation-filled journey to Ferndown, where a team score of over 70 is likely to be viewed positively.