8th August 2009 - Match Reports.

Old Elizabethans vs Barnards Green 4th XI Stourbridge 2nds vs Barnards Green 2nds

With holidays and injuries hampering all of the Green's sides, the fourths were again called upon to surrender players to other teams as they travelled to Worcester.  Losing the toss meant that the visitors would have to bat first on a low, slow pitch which was to offer assistance to bowlers if they put the ball in the right areas. The experienced opening attack of Reese and Rous bowled an excellent line and length, frustrating the Green's batsmen who proceeded to get themselves out at regular intervals trying to force the pace. Hall (19), Freeman (3), Hennessey (1) and Scullion (1)  all quickly succumbed to the ageing seamers with only skipper Dick Brown offering any kind of resistance. Robin Longmore, called up at the last minute despite injury, was for once unable to hold the innings together as he and Rich Wall both perished for 2. Jack Cullity played some superb shots before being outsmarted by McLeod and bowled for 18 leaving Dick Brown exposed and uncertain as to whether to go for quick runs or try to see out the overs but the Green had at least crawled their way past the 100 mark. Dave Price joined Captain Brown who decided to leave the last few overs to his tail-enders and fell for a battling 35. Price (9) and Thomson (6*), playing his first game of the season following injury ran well and put on another 13 runs before Price was bowled leaving Georgia Hennessey to see out the last few balls. The visitors were dismissed for 128 and looked forward to tea and a chance to regroup.
Tea however was absent and the players were reluctantly forced to resume the second innings without a proper break. This had an immediate and obvious toll on The Green's very young  bowling attack who were clearly suffering in the heat. In need of a break they struggled to find their usual control as they bowled a series of bad balls and let OE's race away. The experienced Dave Price was introduced to the attack, bowled 2 maidens only to have the home side announce that tea was now ready and it was time to leave the pitch.. With the calorific intake of their tea being less that that expended on walking to the tea room, The Green emerged hungry for the fight. Immediately Price and Cullity found some form and picked up the wickets of openers Downward (37) and Wilkins (21). The dangerous looking McLeod struck some sweet shots before being bowled by Price and with these three back in the shed the result was still in question. Cullity accounted for Smith who failed to add to the total and Rees became Price's 4th victim.  Barnards Green eventually realised that their total was more respectable than they had at first thought as Georgia Hennessey showed the main seam bowlers how to bowl with control  but by the time they had woken up OE's were home and dry in the 36th over.
Dave Price finished with respectable figures of 4 for 26 off his 12 overs but for once missed the support of his younger colleagues.
The Green will learn a lot from this encounter, not least of all the need to have a snack before their next match,  just in case.  <G>

The sun shone on Stourbridge CC’s ground when Barnards Green second eleven visited last Saturday (8th Aug). After what seemed like weeks of rain the hot weather was a shock for the system and playing on a rock hard wicket was a pleasure to experience.

The visiting skipper Judd Doughty won yet another toss and asked his opposite number to bat on the used but flat looking track. The Stourbridge openers got off to a steady start against the pace attack of Sam Spencer (9-2-32-0) and Tom Banks (6-0-22-0) the former bowling good lines and the latter producing some excellent swinging deliveries – both without luck. At the first drinks break, Lewis Hooper took off the keeping gauntlets and traded places with Paul Yorke as the team was without a regular keeper due to the promotion of Ash Brewer and the kind nature of Graham Glendenning who dropped down to help out the third team. Hooper (15.2-4-44-6) came on to bowl off spin at Spencer’s end whist Banks gave way to the left arm swing of Matt Brookes (9-2-24-1). Hooper, immediately found turn and bounce from the dry crease area and by taking the pace off the ball realised quickly that he was nearly unplayable unless the batsmen used their feet. The dangerous skipper Jones missed Hooper’s underused arm ball and was stumped confidently by Yorke and the precession began. Hooper took 6 wickets and only Patel (68) of the home side played him with any conviction using his feet to dance down the wicket taking the turn and bounce out of the equation. Brookes bowled a tidy spell and then Rich Brown, playing for the seconds for the first time this season came on to bowl and immediately took a wicket through an excellent catch by Banks. Brown followed up his first wicket with a second shortly after to finish with figures of (6-0-22-2). Patel continued to score freely whilst the wickets tumbled around him and the Stourbridge innings finally closed on 163 all out in 48.2 overs.

After one of the best teas of the season the Green’s opening pair of Doughty and York strode confidently to the wicket looking to maintain the sides unbeaten streak which stretches from the start of the season. Both batsmen played steadily and with caution in the opening overs before Yorke finally got his eye in smacking 61 runs in just 52 balls which included 3 huge sixes and 4 fours before finally perishing to a run out with the score on 131. Doughty, played at a typically slower rate hitting 68 runs from 95 balls with 9 fours. Tom Clack (11) looked stylish in a bright and breezy innings but fell playing one shot too many at a good delivery before Dean (2*) and Metcalfe (12*) used their years of experience to finish of the contest without further scares.

The Green, despite averaging 21 points per game, are now 13 points behind Astwood Bank who average less points per game but have the advantage of having played more games due to the weather. With only a handful of matches left all still is to play for in the league and the Green will look to maintain their unbeaten run when they entertain Lye at home this Saturday.

Stourbridge CC 163 All Out 2pts

BGCC 164-3 (30 overs) 20pts