10th September 2011 - Match Reports.

BARNARDS GREEN 1st XI  v  SUTTON COLDFIELD 1st XI

GREEN TAKE MAXIMUM POINTS AND SECURE PROMOTION

Barnards Green faced Sutton Coldfield at North End Lane on Saturday intent on securing maximum points in order to sustain their push for promotion from Div 3 of the Birmingham League.

The visitors, themselves desperate for points to avoid relegation, won the toss and sent the Green in on a flat pacey wicket  Opening bowler Smith gained some movement and bounce but also provided scoring opportunities whilst the spin of Nasir initially restricted the home openers. However solid defensive batting soon turned into confident stroke play from both Adam Dovey and Mark Hooper before the latter turned a full toss straight to midwicket for a tidy 30. Dovey then turned aggressor and quickly passed 50 before he too holed out. The in-form Phil Harris moved effortlessly to 48 and at the half way stage the Green were set for a big total on 162 for 2 in 27 overs. However Harris plonked a full toss from visiting skipper Guest into square leg’s hands and the introduction of young seamer Aaron Thomason saw the home side lose Golder, Smedley and Clarke in quick succession to three full straight deliveries. Kiwi Matt McEwan rebuilt the innings with solid support from Jon Dovey and the overseas reached a hard hit half century before the Green were dismissed for 292 in the 50th over. Credit must go to Sutton for their persistence in the face of some good early batting from the Green.

In reply the visitors had no answer to the hostility of McEwan and the consistency of Harris. Bowling at a not insignificant speed McEwan took out the opener in the first over and then removed Sutton’s captain with a fine yorker in the fifth over; in between Phil Harris had clean bowled the other opener and picked up an lbw shortly after. Having been 2 for 2 Sutton never really recovered and consistent bowling, supported by tenacious fielding, saw the visitors dismissed for 74 with Matt McEwan finishing with 6- 50 and Phil Harris 3 – 17.

Thus 24 points sees Barnards Green promoted into Division 2 of the Birmingham League at the first time of asking and all at the club on and off the field should be congratulated on their contributions throughout the season.        

Barnt Green vs BGCC 2nds.

When you pick up 6 points against the strongest team in the league, avoid defeat and deny them victory points after losing the toss on a damp, green wicket, normally you’d expect to find a decent performance behind the scenes. Unfortunately on Saturday, bar a few bright spots Barnards Green were pretty poor in comparison to a rampant Barnt Green.
Bowling first on a damp green-tinged wicket Shane Thompson (7-0-55-3) bowled with pace although lacked controlled at times. The occasional bouncer and yorker surprised the batsmen and Thompson picked up two decent wickets with these deliveries. A good ball on the top of off-stump accounted for the dangerous Williams who had already made 1000 plus runs this summer. Brad Adams, buoyed by his pre-match Luzozade, fag and bottle of water found some seam movement and picked up 2 for 66 off his 9 over stint. Adams defied gravity, logic and the concept of time and space to take a brute of a catch in the middle overs although the look on of despair the groundsman’s face when he landed on next week’s track told a different story. The addition of Georgia Hennessy, in the side to replace her brother who had pressing work commitments, employed alongside the mercurial Chris Hill slowed the scoring rate to such an extent that the Green were, at drinks sniffing an unlikely escape. Hennessey beat the bat on numerous occasion but was, ultimately, let down by some sloppy fielding from across the team. Hill bowled such a miserly line that he mainly did his own fielding, often with his size ten’s, whilst the batsmen struggled for runs. Later, after Hennessy completed her spell Lewis Hooper, Tom Clack and Tom Banks all had a go but to no avail. The home side went from a steady 171-6 to lots and lots more for 7 in a very short space of time. In the end, after a dismal fielding performance and some wayward bowling the innings closed on the grand total of 340-7 in 50.
 In reply, the Green had bad start, a bright middle and an indifferent end before the rain curtailed what could have been an exciting finish. Andy Wheeler, after biffing his 3rd ball for four departed LBW next ball to one which straightened. Judd Doughty (30) and Banks (37) made a good fist of a fightback and had made it to 79-1 before Doughty chipped softly to mid-on. Both batsmen received some ripsnorting deliveries in their stand and had just begun to break the shackles when the resistance ended. Cyril Dean, distracted by thoughts of his mammoth lottery win went cheaply, Graham Badderley went next for a bright and breezy 8 before Clack followed quickly. Only Hill steadied the ship. Supported again by Hennessey, Hill kept the home side at bay whilst scoring freely as the skies darkened. Hennessey played some delightful shots in sunshine and in rain before falling playing one shot too many – her departure to the wendyhouse a rare highlight. Adams came and went in the drizzle before a cloudburst finished the game off. The home side needed one more wicket to win whilst Hill and Thompson had to survive a further 8 overs but both captains quickly agreed a result would be impossible to achieve after the downpour.

Next week the seconds face Berkswell at North End Lane in their final game of the season and, despite all of their natural talent, must improve on the basics if they are to gain a positive result.