10 May 2008 - Match Reports.

Alvechurch and Hopwood vs BGCC 2nd XI

BGCC 1st XI vs Bromyard

The Green seconds travelled to Alvechurch with a much changed side due to unavailability and promotions to the first team, captain Phil Spencer lost the toss as was the case on all but one occasion last season. The visitors were invited to bat first on slow green wicket in very humid conditions,Jez Clarke and James Scullion added 58 for the first wicket having seen off the new ball which was swinging and seaming extragvontley,Lewis Hooper made a couple of fine cover drives until he played around a straight ball, Cyril Dean joined Clarke and helped him add a further 25 runs, when Dean was bowled for 8 the innings looked evenly balanced. Tom Clack strode to the wicket in a positive mood and helped Clarke up the scoring rate. Eventually Jez Clarke was adjudged LBW for a fine 88, a fine effort which was well worth a century if the outfield had not been as damp or the grass as long, his innings contained 13 fours and 2 sixes and was the cornerstone of the greens innings. Ian Scullion joined Clack and together they increased the scoring rate with some lusty blows and quick running between the wickets they had added 40 when Scullion was bowled leaving the green 181 5 after 45 overs,Louis Loader joined Clack and in the remaining five overs they added 28 very important runs taking the greens final total 209 for 5, Tom Clack was undefeated on 44 a fine innings for the team.

In reply Alvechurch found the drying wicket to their liking and despatched anything short of a length, Scullion snr took the first wicket with a fine athletic return catch with the score on 58, Scullion only conceded 17 runs in his opening burst.The introduction of the slower bowlers was the turning point in the game Phil Spencer bowled 15 overs taking 3 for 34 and Lewis Hooper took 3 for 28 off ten overs, this put the home side well behind the run rate and left the green 8 overs to try and take the last 3 wickets, Jez Clarke claimed an LBW, Tom Clack had Jeremias smartly stumped by the youthful Glendenning for 34, leaving the experienced stubborn last pair of Clifford and Batterly to be removed, Sam Spencer was brought back and on only his fourth ball bowled the bemused Clifford, this left the green winners by 52 runs.This was an important win gaining 24 points on a ground which has not been the greens luckiest in the past.



On Saturday Bromyard were the visitors to North End Lane to take on Barnards Green 1st XI in the Division 1 clash.

On winning the toss Zahid Saeed had no hesitation in asking the Green to bat first on a green looking track.  Openers Rich Williams and Kev Golder struggled early on with the Bromyard bowlers finding exaggerated seam movement and swing though the air.  However with the aid of a fluty of boundaries the Green advanced to 27 without loss after 6 overs.  Saeed then struck removing Williams caught behind and Liam Paddock fell first ball, unluckily adjudged leg before to Hine.  In a short space of time Golder and Tim Clarke both drove simple chances straight to extra cover and Whittenbury bowled skipper Smedley to leave the Green’s innings in tatters.  Mark Hooper and Phil Harris showed a brief glimpse of hope before Harris was caught behind by the stand in keeper Bailey off Whittenbury.  Andy Ford followed soon after, also perishing to an uppish drive into the covers.  Hooper continued to play in a positive way with his solid technique proving vital on a pitch where runs would prove extremely difficult to come by.  Tim Williams too was in stubborn mood; mixing aggressive strokes with stout defence.  When Hooper was also unluckily adjudged leg before and Shimell followed soon after Saeed again completed a five wicket haul and the Greens resistance was short lived when Rhodes bowled Brookes with the Green on 139 all out in 42 overs.  Tim Williams was left on 32*.

In reply Matt Shimell opened with a superb 7 over spell, accounting for Oli Bailey with a superb away swinger which clipped the off stump.  South African Barry Rhodes then fell to Chris Smedley and the Green sniffed an opportunity.  Spinners Smedley and Andy Ford then totally tied down new batsman Edd Oliver and the in form Bullock appeared to lose all momentum.  Maiden after maiden passed and the Greens superb all round fielding display saw the previously irrelevant run rate rise sharply.  Feeling the pressure both Bullock and Oliver were enticed down the wicket by Ford only to see the ball turn sharply past the outside edge and both fell to wonderful stumpings by Rich Williams.  Suddenly Bromyard needed over 4 an over on a wicket where at no point had anyone scored at that rate all day.  When the returning Shimell yorked Matt Bullock Bromyard were 5 down with still 29 to win.  However Whittenbury survived a huge leg before shout first ball and then hit 2 fours and along with skipper Saeed saw Bromyard through to a tense victory in front of a large North End Lane crowd in the 56th over of their reply. 

The Green will reflect on what might have been with several poor shots leaving them with a below par score and handing Bromyard an extra 8 overs.  However they can be very happy with a superb bowling and fielding display.  Tomorrow the Green travel to experienced division 1 campaigners Droitwich looking for their first victory of the season.