There was a celebratory atmosphere as BGCC made the short trip to Norton’s Gordon Jones Memorial Ground for their final WCL Div 1 game of the season. With the championship confirmed by a win against Stourbridge and second placed Nomads unable to polish off the Droitwich tail in the league’s penultimate week the Green traveled hoping to round off the season with a strong performance.
Continuing his good run of form with the coin visiting skipper Tim Williams elected to bat first and his decision looked to be shaky as the Green crashed to 14-2 losing Golder and Hooper cheaply with makeshift opener Binks struggling to force the pace with his 9 runs taking 47 balls. After a circumspect start however Andre Russell yet again dominated his opponents attack with Phil Harris once more providing valuable and mature support beyond his years.
Russell showed his undoubted class with a brutal display of clean hitting dispensing harsh justice to all bowlers with Horton and the usually economical Wagstaff both disappearing for 8 an over. Pick of the bowlers Weston returned to try and thwart late innings damage but was given no such opportunity as his final overs were harshly dealt with, increasing his economy to nearly 6 per over. With Harris falling for a run a ball 70 and Russell scoring 110 from 60 balls before being caught in the deep by Walters it was left to Rhodes and Jazzy Clarke to accelerate the score contributing 48 and 36 respectively. Weston finished with figures of 4-103 and the visitors total closed on 310-9.
Jack Horton got the home side off to a strong start with some excellent shots off Russell and Harris however the innings suffered an early setback with Peppiatt dismissed for 7 by Russell. McKay and Horton were then both rifled out in quick succession to a sharp slip catch by Clarke off Williams and a Smedley/Banks combination respectively.
Keyte used up 17 deliveries until he was captured LBW by Banks who also picked up the wicket of Worcester ‘keeper Barratt for 9. Padden and Brown then combined in a stodgy partnership of 18 which took the home side to 102-5 which ended with a massive deluge from the heavens.
Despite a brief respite from the elements rain soon returned to leave the visitors with no chance of using the remaining 21 overs to capture the final 5 wickets for a season ending victory.
Barnards Green finishing with a strong winning draw and topping the Division by 40 points.
2011 promises to be a massive challenge with the Malvern club under no illusions of the task in hand to remain in the Birmingham League. They can however take heart from their performances in the middle of the season where without the highly influential and class act that is Andre Russell for 9 games they managed to climb from 3rd place to 1st during his absence.
BGCC 310-9 Russell 110, Harris 70, Rhodes 48, Weston 4-103
WCC 102-5 Banks 3-25