9th May 2009 - Match Reports.

Belbroughton vs BGCC 2nd XI

BGCC 1st XI vs Bromyard.

‘They’ say that success breeds success but what ‘they’ don’t say is that success comes at such a price to the emotional and physical health of a captain. The price I’m paying for three wins in three games is the arrival my first ever grey hair and an ever increasing reliance on prescription sedatives. After last week’s last ball thriller the last thing the team or my nerves needed was a last over winner takes all contest, none of us read the script it seems.

A third consecutive win at the toss saw BGCC take the field on a cold and blustery afternoon at the beautifully presented Belbroughton Ground. Yet again Sam Spencer (13-0-27) bowled with pace and accuracy and was ably supported by James Scullian (6-0-14) taking the new ball for the first time this term. By drinks the home side had barely reached 60 and the Green were in the box seat on a small ground with very short straight boundaries and a rock hard wicket. The second half of the innings saw an increase in tempo but the spinners, Paul Drinkwater (14-3-74) and Lewis Hooper (12-3-73) did an excellent job of varying their flight and pace to claim wickets at regular intervals to enable the visitors to keep the home side in check at the end of their 50 overs (225-7).    

The Green’s innings got off to a steady but assured start with Judd Doughty (16) and Mark Hooper (67) playing cautiously against a steady but accurate opening slavo. The loss of the Doughty to a wide delivery brought the irrepressible Drinkwater (74) to the crease where he began where he left off last week dispatching the bowling to all parts whilst playing stoutly in defence. Hooper and Drinkwater combined excellently during the mid-part of the innings to take the advantage to the Green before Hooper fell to a well bowled delivery. Enter stage right – Steve Metcalfe – a man who had money on himself to score runs – and score runs he did. His 35 came from 25 balls and not only put square edges on the ball, took the impetus away from the home side and placed it firmly with the Green. When Metcalfe and Drinkwater fell in quick succession the visitors succumbed to their now weekly wobble before Dean (4*) and Scullian (5*) saw the visitors home with three balls to spare.

Belbroughton played well in this match and must be commended by all who witnessed the game. Whilst we played with ten men for 15 overs and fielded like the Eastbourne Arthritics Line Dancing Squad and again gave our wickets away when the hard work had been done, nothing should disguise the fact that we now have the envious record of played three and won three and the league table does not show how close, or how stressful these wins have been. Next week sees the visit of Droitwich CC to North End Lane and all I can ask as captain is that we don’t leave the result until the last over AGAIN... 

 

With good weather gracing the region in the lead up to the visit of intense rivals Bromyard it was with a tinge of disappointment that skipper Williams lost his first toss of the league season and found himself wandering to the practice area to inform older brother Richard to strap on the pads and face the new ball attack. 

Luckily for the Green this was the only major disappointment of the day as Williams Senior and Golder started brightly against an opening attack of Saeed and Hine. When Williams fell to the tall Pakistani quick Saeed after dispatching 2 crisply struck boundaries Green youngster George Rhodes provided the perfect foil to the attacking Golder who struck 5 sweet boundaries in a typically breezy 31 before being dismissed by veteran Whittenbury.Rhodes became Whittenbury’s second victim for a patient and well compiled 42 when he got a leading edge to a good length ball and was caught in the covers. This brought talented local lad Phil Harris to the crease for his first innings of the season; he quickly joined Paddock in dispatching loose balls to the boundary and showed no signs of rustiness as he hoisted Saeed deep over long on for the first maximum of the Green onslaught.Excellent running between the wickets from the young pair posed problems particularly placement of fielders and this allowed the stand to develop well before Harris became Saeed’s second scalp for a better than run a ball 42 containing 7 boundaries.Paddock until this point had played the role of anchor but as the innings reached its conclusion he proceeded through the gears with great aplomb caressing balls to the fence with exquisite timing and bludgeoning boundary blows with balanced brilliance.With Binks rotating the strike well Paddock reached a well deserved century with a straight drive and finished with a perfectly paced 113 not out to set an imposing target of 275. Whittenbury the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 82.

Bromyard’s Bullock and Bailey faced the new ball attack of Williams and Murphy after the break and initially started well with early boundaries taking the score quickly to 37. At this point Bailey played one drive too many and was well caught by Ford at slip off the bowling of Murphy. Ford turned wicket taker with Clarke this time the slip fielder as Bullock prodded a flighted off-break to be dismissed for 20, this had been preceded by Williams destroying the stumps of Oliver for 6 and left the visitors in trouble at 51-3.Unfortunately for the loyal home supporters expecting a tough contest Bromyard at this point pulled the shutters down and seemed to be content to escape with a losing draw at best with no attempt made to reach the total set by the home side. Williams rotated his bowlers well to try and engineer the necessary breakthroughs however Boycott like endurance from Leighton who scored 36 from 112 balls and the lusty blows of Whittenbury (39 off 38) the only batsman to show any gumption for the visitors thwarted this plan.The return of Murphy to the attack brought with it the wickets of Greg Leighton and Whittenbury and a late wicket from Smedley boosted the home sides bonus points tally.Bromyard scored a painstaking 170 with Murphy 3-60 and Smedley 2-18 the pick of the bowlers.The Green picked up 17 well earned points to leave them 5th in the table with 3 games played.This week sees them travel to Colwall to battle their Herefordshire rivals.