9th June 2012 - Match Reports.

Old Elizabethans 1sts vs BGCC 1sts

        BGCC 2nds vs Old Elizabethan 2nds

BGCC 1sts made the short journey to visit Old Elizabethans for this B&DPCL Division 2 fixture. Weather was dry but unfortunately the pitch wasn’t so the start was delayed by 30minutes with the game reduced to 50 overs each side. With the drying pitch and overcast skies it was no surprise that when OE’s skipper Jamie Boyle won the toss he chose to field.


Familiar opening partners Adam Dovey and Mark Hopper took to the field and faced opening bowlers Liam Booth and Hemaka Pathinarage. Booth dropped one short to in-form Hooper which on the slow pitch sat up to be hit, Hooper pulled it cleanly only to find himself caught at point by a spectacular one handed diving catch by Jamie Alford. With Phil Harris away playing for MCCU Elliott Hennessy was promoted up the order. Dovey was adjudged lbw by Pathinarage for 1 to leave BGCC struggling on 9 for 2. Hennessy was joined by Josh Rurawhe and this pair made steady progress putting on 59. Alford replaced Booth and started bowling tightly. Barnards Green reached 50 in the 20th with an impressive cover drive for 4 from Hennessy.


Overseas leg spinner Daniel Rootes took over from Pathinarage and made two breakthroughs in his first 4 overs - clean bowling both Hennessy (27) and Rurawhe (30). Alford and Rootes continued to put pressure on the batsmen with some accurate bowling making the most of a generous bowling wicket and favourable conditions. Alford took care of  the Green’s 4 middle order batsmen; Liam Smith caught by Bull at midwicket for 1, Jon Dovey bowled for 5, Dannie Rees edging first ball to first slip Jamie Boyle before captain Tim Williams skyed one to slip for a simple second catch for Boyle – also for 0.


Now the Green were struggling on 80 for 8. Kev Golder had remained solid keeping out good bowling from both Alford and Rootes and he was joined by Ashlea Brewer. Brewer started where he left off last week with some naturally attacking shots. Unfortunately neither Golder nor number 11 James Marsh could stay with him. Golder was bowled by Rootes for 1 before Brewer called a quick single and Marsh was run out for 1. This left Brewer not out 25 having hit 4 fours and a six in his short innings. Pick of the bowlers Rootes finished with 3 for 9 and Alford 4 for 31. Barnards Green had slumped to 108 all out in 45.5 overs – meaning OE’s had 54 overs to reach that target.


Joe Taylor and Tareq Jamil opened for OE’s. Josh Rurawhe claimed two quick victims in his first over – bowling Jamil for 2 before trapping Captain Jamie Boyle lbw for a duck. Liam Ridings came in at four and had made only 5 when he was caught at mid-on by Marsh who judged a difficult high catch well. With OE’s on 13 for 3 after 7 overs BGCC hopes were raised. James Bull joined Taylor and this pair steadied the ship and took the score onto 50 before Bull was caught by Marsh off his own bowling for 10. This brought Nick Brown to the crease and despite struggling initially he was an able partner for Taylor.


Captain Williams brought himself on and despite some tight bowling couldn’t produce the breakthrough. Pace bowler Liam Smith and spinner Dannie Rees joined the attack with BGCC in desperate need of wickets. Brown hit Smith for a six over deep mid-wicket before Smith got his revenge the next over. Brown miss hit and was caught at point by Hennessy to give Smith his first BGCC wicket. Jamie Alford came in at 7 and was in no mood to mess around - he hit a rapid 14 off 10 balls including a 6 and 4 off Rees’ last over to win the game. Taylor carried his bat for a creditable 40 not out. OE’s claim 20 points and the green pick up just 2 bowling points. Leaving the firsts rueing a loss toss which seemed to have an undue influence on the outcome of the game.   


After yet another week of wind and rain Barnards Green second eleven were relieved and excited to step out onto a slightly damp but very much playable North End Lane to face second in the league, Old Elizabethans.

After winning the toss home skipper Judd Doughty was happy to insert the opposition and allow them to counter the swinging ball and drying wicket. Shane Thompson (6-2-14-0) bowled with pace and control whilst Matthew Brookes (13.5-2-42-2) swung the ball back into the right hander with aplomb. Brookes picked up a couple of wickets before disaster struck. Whilst stopping a return off his own bowling he contrived to stand on the ball badly twisting and perhaps breaking his ankle. A visit to the local hospital proved inconclusive but he later return fully bandaged and on crutches which doesn’t bode well for the near future.

Lewis Hooper (11-0-40-5), Tom Clack (12-3-26-1) and Jack Macintosh (7-1-14-1) all bowled well, denying the batsmen run scoring opportunities and putting pressure on them through tight, well-disciplined bowling. Hooper was the pick of the side, looping the ball and turning it square from the tacky wicket-ends. The innings closed on 148-9 in the allotted 50 overs – the Green picking up maximum bowling points and, for no prize but just for fun, completed their stint in 2hrs 33 mins – not a record but pretty quick nevertheless.

The response started steadily with Doughty (24) and Duncan Cooper (67) putting on 65 for the first wicket. Cooper, returning after missing last week found his timing and balance at the crease and was a joy to watch – his particular strength was playing the ball under his eyes and cutting the ball hard through backward square. Jon Lewis (1), Adam Greaves (0), Steve Metcalfe (2) all came and went in quick fashion and the good start was reversed. Tom Clack (40) batted with power and conviction and a little anger to edge the innings towards a successful conclusion when the second disaster struck – timing the ball too well he thumped a straight drive directly into Cooper’s foot which left him prone in the middle of the track and writhing in agony. Good sportsmanship from the visitors allowed Cooper to eventually return to his crease and then feet without being run-out but the damage was done. Cooper couldn’t run and Clack lost his off stump to a ball that moved off the wicket and the game was wide open again. Lewis Hooper (0) joined Cooper before the latter lost his wicket to one which shot along the floor and the game edged towards Old Elizabethan’s for the first time in the afternoon. Macintosh inexplicably shouldered arms to one which hit him flush on the pads and debutant Sam Daffin, who had earlier led the fielding performance lost his off peg for (0) to bring last man Thompson to the crease. The Green needed 5 runs to win and the field tightened around Hooper who tried to found the boundary but was well caught at mid-on to hand a 24 point win to the visitors who understandably celebrated an unexpected victory.

The Green bowled and fielded fantastically well and batted almost well enough to claim victory but, in the end fell just a handful of runs short. There were a total of 5 ducks and 7 scores under 2 from a team which prides itself in batting deeply. Of course, with an extra man in Brookes batting, victory may well have been achieved but in simple terms not enough people took responsibility and contributed with the bat – sometimes occupation of the crease is as useful as finding the boundary. Over the last few seasons we have won far more games than we have lost, some victories coming out of nowhere and unexpectedly, so let this loss be a reminder that this is a competitive league and that victories are a born out of hard work at practice on Tuesday evenings and endeavour during the game. Next week we face a resurgent Evesham side who will be keen to seek revenge from last year’s fixtures