Under leaden skies
the Green headed North to face Black Country side Netherton. On a pitch with
the consistency of plasticine due to a heavy week of rain visiting captain
Chris Smedley called correctly and inserted the home side.
Before the game could get underway rain interrupted the warm ups and the
scheduled start meaning that 5 overs per side were lost. When the teams did
get onto the field the Green took the early advantage with Tim Williams
taking the 1st wicket. Unfortunately for Smedley overseas import Andrew
Hoogstraaten could only manage a single over before limping off with a
recurrence of his ankle injury and wayward bowling from Downes and Harris
led to the skipper being forced to introduce himself at the Town end on a
day that seemed to suggest that seam bowling should have been the norm.
Early suspicions that the pitch would be difficult to score on proved
correct as the Green limited the home side to an early scoring rate under 3
an over although captain Smedley was cautious in his approach posting
boundary fielders to former Stourbridge player Nigel Davenport who managed
to find the boundary several times early in his innings.
Despite Davenport looking at relative ease the same could not be said of his
teammates as wickets regularly tumbled at both ends. Pick of the wickets was
a cool catch by Harris at point off a well disguised Williams slower ball to
dismiss the dangerous Jeavons for 18. Davenport continued to prove a thorn
in the side and was inextricably dropped by Smedley off another slower ball
Fortunately for the visitors this let off was not costly as in his following
over Williams was helped by a fantastic catch by Hoogstraaten at long on to
dismiss Davenport for a well compiled 44.Wickets continued to tumble
including a superb one handed diving caught and bowled by Smedley to dismiss
Clouston and leave the home side 110-9. As Williams began his next over rain
again threatened to take the teams off the field until a severe mix up off
the last ball of the over left both batsman stranded mid pitch and keeper
Adam Binks showed a cool head to propel the ball to bowler Williams who
broke the stumps and ended the Netherton innings at 111 all out.
The Green reply got off to a slow but steady start as Clouston failed to
make the early inroads the Green had managed. The introduction of the left
arm spin of Davenport however was more successful as he had Williams Senior
smartly caught at slip. Captain Smedley entered the fray determined to blunt
the attack and make up for his earlier errors in the field, he succeeded
first in partnership with Drinkwater who looked good until attempting an
ambitious drive to be bowled for 14 and then with keeper Binks who survived
an early chance being dropped by Clouston off his own bowling.
With the weather now set fair the only worry for the visitors were that a
cluster of wickets could start a collapse and this nightmare became a
reality as Smedley was dismissed playing a poor shot for 38 having all but
guided his team to victory. Andrew Ford strode to the crease to join Binks
and quickly relieved the pressure with 2 pulled boundaries before a well
timed clip for 1 sealed the victory for the away side.
This victory maintains 3rd place in the table for Barnards Green who face
bottom club Belbroughton this week at North End Lane with admission free to
Netherton(2 points) 111 all out, Williams Jnr 5-58, Smedley 4-27, Davenport
Barnards Green(20 points) 112-5, Smedley 38, Clouston 3-53.