The Green did not field their original
selection, and there were uninformed bleats about 2nd XI
promotion, social invitations, and “injuries”. Martley played with 10 men
throughout. Liam Paddock replaced the genuinely hurt Dick Brown: younger and
fitter, perhaps with more recent experience of top-class sport, he still
shared Brown's dismal 2011 luck and lost a decisive toss. Basford, tall and
experienced, and the faster skiddier Bridges, bowled tight first spells. But
they were encouraged by the Green batters, and perhaps by the Green batting
order, which (with Paddock fresh from his USA studies) owed something to
outside advice.Tom Banks looked the part and tried hard facing Bridges, but
seldom made contact with the swinging ball. Chris Horne survived manfully
against Basford, but could scarcely advance the score. After several flails
and much catching practice in the slips, the Green folded to 61-5 in the 22nd
over. The change bowlers Johnson and Williams had appeared, each taking a
wicket, though Buxton delivered only 2 balls, slipping and hurting his back.
Numbers 6 and 7, Chris Hill and his skipper, conferred. Paddock, out of
practice but positive, struck 10 good runs. Hill crashed the last ball
before drinks for 4, and revival was in the air. But Basford was now also
refreshed and his vicious lifter claimed Paddock as soon as play restarted.
Mark Perkins gave further catching practice, and Zak Hunt was surprised by a
zippy straight ball. So Hill and Dan Hunt agreed a cautious mode to avert
calamity and use the remaining 15 overs. Both were to blame as Hunt was
immediately run out (109-9). Last man Brad Adams batted with good sense. He
and the umpire exchanged views at length with Martley about whether he had
edged a ball behind; he stayed to play a full part in the largest stand of
the match. Bowling and pitch were less venomous now. But in the 49th
over, believing it the 50th and last, Adams called for a sharp
leg bye, and after an overthrow called for a sharper second; Hill sprinted
for both and strained a hamstring. In the next over he struck a straight 6,
and a 4 that bruised the Horne family's placid labrador on the boundary; he
finished on 67 n.o., Adams on 17 n.o. and the Green on a barely respectable
172-9. There were more than 50 extras.
Ryan Scullion - also nursing a sore back - opened with pace and lift,
sprawled on the turf after his first ball, and soon had Bridges well caught
by Paddock. Jack Cullity showed improved accuracy but had little luck, and
for a long crucial spell Martley stuck to their task. Neither Hill nor Banks
was fit to bowl. Birchley should have been run out early, but battled to a
deserved 50. Paddock threw down the stumps to run out Mayfield, but Bibby
brought the finish much nearer with a rapid 32 before Scullion returned to
bowl him. More than 30 extras were no help, though keeper Perkins was seldom
at fault and used all possible body parts to limit the damage. Both Hunts
tried hard without luck. Roger Thompson had Collins caught swiping, and
Basford reappeared to nudge through the last few overs with Birchley.
Martley toddled over the winning line for 4 wickets down, with 11 overs but
not much batting to spare.
Barnards Green 172-9 in 50 overs (Hill 67 n.o.;
Basford 5 for 25).
Martley 173-4 in 38.3 overs (Birchley 58 n.o.)
Martley 2nds vs Barnards Green 4ths
Barnards Green travelled to Martley
without a wicket keeper but with their regular captain Steve Hunt returning
after a brief foray into the dizzy heights of the third team last week.
Hunt, keen to impress and anxious to be involved in the game, announced that
he would don the gloves for the first time in his career. A confident
Martley skipper won the toss and for some reason decided to bat. Hunt,
fearing for his aching back, was not unhappy at this decision and could only
stand and watch as a succession of Martley batsmen came and went, removed
efficiently by his bowling attack which was altogether too effective for the
opposition. Shane Thompson bowled aggressively and picked up the wicket of
MacDonald. Clive Churchill found the edge of Jones’ bat and he fell to a
full-length diving leg-side catch by Steve “Juggles” Hunt. Georgia Hennessy
bowled as tidily as ever claiming three victims, two with successive balls. Dave
Price accounted for another three conceding just four runs and the extreme
leg-spin of Andy Banks mopped up the tail to leave Martley all-out for a
terribly disappointing total of 61 off just 29 overs. The Green were
faultless in the field, thanks in no small part to Sam Daffin and Dave Smith
who cut out numerous scoring chances.
With no sign of tea The Green set about
their reply in confident mood. Robin Longmore took the lead role smiting
three boundaries and racing quickly to 18 before being yorked by Uppal. His
more circumspect opening partner, Ewan Wilson (16*), was joined by Cyril Dean
with both men able to despatch any loose deliveries at will they quickly
surpassed the host’s meagre total beating Martley by nine wickets but
narrowly losing to the tea lady by two runs as her selection of baps and
nibbles arrived from St Johns in the nick of time.
On this occasion Barnards Green were
just too strong in all departments but Martley have many good young players
in their side and will certainly have better days.
Saturday saw two clashes of
heavyweight titans. Haye v Klitschko and Barnards Green v Barnt Green.
By the end of the day both contests would end well fought but,
ultimately one sided.
Welcoming the ‘other’ BGCC to North End Lane visiting skipper Crayton
chose to field first, giving Judd Doughty and Andy Wheeler first use of
a hard, green tinged deck in the middle of the square. The first over
from (the ‘other’) Wheeler was sharp but went for 17 runs, 13 in byes
and wides with four coming off Doughty’s bat through the covers. Wheeler
soon perished for 8 runs caught behind off his namesake. At the other
end Powell also bowled with pace but was more accurate than his partner
and found some extra bounce from the usually placid surface. John Lewis,
returning to the team after a stint in the thirds batted well for his 19
runs, playing with a straight bat and hitting the ball cleanly. Doughty
fell to one that nipped of the seam and took his off stump for 20 runs
bringing Ash Brewer to the crease. Brewer got off the mark with a late
cut four and looked at ease with bowling, leaving the ball well before
perishing, well caught at third slip. Tom Clack (6) came and went all
too quickly as did Louis Loader (3) and Dan Metcalfe (3) and a start of
67-1 in 14 overs had slumped to 112 for 6 by the halfway point. Steve
Metcalfe looked to have found some form easing his way to 11 before he
swept at a ball from the spin of Rogers and was caught comfortably at
first slip. Lewis Hooper brought some respectability to proceedings by
batting 41 balls for his unbeaten 11 runs. Jack Macintosh (2), coming to
the crease after Matthew Brookes failed to trouble the scores, batted
with confidence and a lack of fear frustrating the visitor’s for 32
balls before he was caught on the legside, brining the innings to a
close for a well below par 139.
As tea wasn’t ready there was time for 15 overs of action before the
interval – enough time for either team to stake a claim for victory. The
first swing of the pendulum went in favour of the home-side as Brookes
claimed a wicket, leg before, with the first ball of the second half.
Unfortunately, from here on in, the ‘other’ Green were the dominant
force. Number 3 Lamb wasted no time in going about his business. He
smacked the ball around the ground with ease and soon forced Brookes out
of the attack. At the other end Hooper was given the new ball and bowled
well but Lamb pounced on anything short of length or wide of the crease.
Replacing Hooper, Clack found some extraordinary bounce and fizzed the
ball through despite his three step run up. Macintosh (6-3-9-0) bowled
fantastically well and kept Lamb in check before he was brilliantly
stumped by Brewer down the legside off Clack. Lewis replaced Clack as
the scoreboard ticked towards the victory target and bowled well
reducing the scoring opportunities to just singles. Doughty, taking the
ball for the first time this season bowled the penultimate over and
managed to find the edge of Williams’ bat but the chance went begging
between keeper and slip. The visitors batted well and reached their
target in just 26 overs – a deserved victory for the other Green.
From next week James Scullion takes the reins as captain and he takes
over a team which has slipped from second place to sixth in the last
three weeks – picking up just eight points in the same period. With luck
the trip to Berkswell will see a change in fortunes for the side. The
fielding performance was much improved this week and the bowling, whilst
not exactly rampant, was better than last week. The one area to left
work on is occupation of the crease when batting. Bright and breezy tens
and twenties won’t win games. Players need to be selfish and stick
around long enough to post a big score. This is how you win at this
Sutton Coldfield vs
Barnards Green 1st XI
With Sutton hosting Birmingham League President’s Day Barnards Green
made the journey North to try and spoil the party atmosphere and take
enough points to put pressure on new league leaders Brewood.
Upon winning the toss Tim Williams took the option to bat first on a dry
wicket that looked like it would take spin later in the day.
Despite the early loss of Golder for 4 Phil Harris initially looked to
justify this decision with a sublime display of stroke play. He appeared
to make a mockery of the theory of a slow and placid pitch bringing up a
boundary littered 50 in just 42 balls.
Unfortunately Harris could not add to his half century falling to
Murtuza who eventually finished with 6-56. This sparked a clatter of
wickets as from the relative comfort of 77-2 the Green found themselves
100-6, Hennessy unluckily run our backing up for 10 and McEwan 11 barely
reaching double figures.
Jez Clarke and Adam Binks temporarily stopped the rot before Clarke (13)
dragged a pull shot onto the stumps via bat, pad and boot. Poole fell in
similar fashion to the returning Murtuza and Dovey was a fifth victim
for the Sutton overseas player before skipper Williams(13)joined Binks
to add a vital 25 runs for the final wicket with Binks unbeaten on 28
and the visitors posting a disappointing 164 having elected to exert
pressure by batting first.
Knowing another strong bowling performance was required the visitors
took the field in a positive mood not helped by a strong start from
Heron. McEwan nipped out Smith for 13 but with Harris economical but
lacking zip on a slow wicket skipper Williams quickly introduced the
spin of Ford and was almost immediately rewarded as he combined with
Binks to dismiss both Heron(17) and Brotherton(8).
From here on in the Sutton batsmen appeared like rabbits caught in
Ford’s spin headlights as the former Alfrick spinner returned the
astounding figures of 16 overs, 11 maidens and 8 wickets for just 11
Sutton skipper Guest showed some application in reaching the innings top
score of 19 from 87 balls but summed up Sutton’s day as he was last out
caught behind off Poole to a ball he could have left and leaving the
home innings closed at 79 all out.
This clinical bowling performance by the visitors propelling them back
to the top of the table albeit by only 3 points.
Next week Barnards Green entertain Shropshire outfit St Georges with
wickets pitched at 12pm and the bar open all day. Furthermore Wednesday
evening July 13 sees the North End Lane club entertain Birmingham League
Premier Division club Wolverhampton in the Quarter Final of the Twenty20
Cup with a BBQ on throughout the game.