14th May 2011 - Match Reports.

BGCC IVs vs Alveley 2nds
Oswestry CC - 1st XI vs Barnards Green CC - 1st XI

On a cool and blustery day with a green looking wicket, skipper Steve Hunt duly won the toss and invited a youthful Alveley 2nd XI to take first knock.  Opening bowlers Clive Churchill and Rob Lewis struggled to find an early line and length and the Alveley openers took advantage scoring freely despite a good shout for caught behind being turned down off Lewis.  Scoring at over 7 an over, it took a good catch from the sprightly Dave Smith to break the early partnership as Lewis claimed Jones for 8.  Churchill then started to find more rhythm and picked up two wickets including a smart catch from keeper Mark Perkins.  Dan Hunt replaced Lewis and soon made an impact with Jordan lobbing a catch to Adam Greaves at cover and then bowling Lawrence for 4.  Greaves and Perkins combined to run out opener Jon Guy for 39 before Captain Hunt brought himself on to bamboozle the opposition with his leg breaks to clear up the tail and pick up three wickets for just one run to see ten man Alveley all out for just 87.
This game saw a welcome return for Adam Greaves to the Greens ranks after a recent knee op and he opened with young Euan Wilson, unfortunately, Greaves managed to cut a long hop to a juggling gully to depart for 4, but Wilson looked in fine form as he drove the ball well and worked the ball well off his legs.  Robin Longmore was happy to give him the strike before he drove at a wide half volley and edged to the keeper for 4 and Mark Perkins lifted his had to get bowled for two.  As is often the case when chasing a small total, the Green started to look nervous and soon lost Rich Wall and Zak Hunt and after a man of the match performance from Wilson, he uncharacteristically lobbed a pull to midwicket to depart for 26 and give Barny Kelso figures of 5 for 39.  It was therefore left to the experienced Robbie Lewis 11no and the flamboyant Dan Hunt 14no to see the Green home for a comfortable 4 wicket win and 20 points in the bag.  Thanks go to match day sponsor Julian Hall Gardening Services and next week sees a trip to Amblecote & Wollaston in Black Country territory.  All players are reminded to bring their passports!

Alveley 1st XI vs Barnards Green 3rd XI

With no less than seven regular players absent from The Green’s 3rd team skipper Dick Brown found himself re-acquainted with most of the 4th team that he had led so successfully last season as they returned to Alveley Cricket Club for the first time in nine years.

Brown lost the toss and unsurprisingly was asked to bat first. Chris Horne and Kevin Ratcliffe faced the lively bowling of Turford and overseas player Bent as they struggled to make progress against a ball which, at times, moved extravagantly through the air and off the pitch and the first twelve overs produced a meagre 27 runs,  with the large Alveley outfield and long grass resulting in several lusty blows failing to produce the boundaries they deserved. Ratcliffe (11), fell caught behind whilst Horne rode his luck on numerous occasions with his individual tally of “chances” exceeding his individual score for most of the early overs. Gradually acclimatising to the rarefied  Shropshire air and the pace of the wicket runs started to come for Horne  and he would go on to make a hard-earned 70 before surrendering to first-change bowler Taylor. A succession of Green batters came and went, all finding scoring difficult. Chris Hill (24) looked stylish but only in short bursts. Robbie Tyler (16) looked menacing but only briefly and both men were caught off the bowling of Mundie. No one else would reach double figures as The Green limped to 153 all out.

Tea was taken – Tea was excellent!

Rosenhurst and Jones launched Alveley’s reply facing an unlikely opening bowling pairing of the ageing Hill and the youthful Georgia Hennessy. A wicket each saw off the openers cheaply with catches by Thompson and Tyler. Getting rid of them would however prove to be costly and The Green would wish they had kept them in as South African Bent came to the middle, “had a look” for a few balls and then, with one eye on the gathering rain clouds, decided to see just how far it was possible to hit a cricket ball, punishing anything not bowled with perfect line and length. The Green’s bowlers chipped away at the other batsmen, with Price picking up the wickets of Twigg and Pitt and Tyler seeing off Mundie. Hill was his usual miserly self, beating the bat on several occasions but Bent gave just one chance. Had the difficult catch at deep mid-wicket stuck then the match result could easily have been different but Bent would finish on an unbeaten 113 from a total of 134 runs off the bat and Alveley would emerge winners in the 30th over.
This was a case of a weakened Barnards Green side coming up against Alveley’s version of a “Jack Attack” and coming off second best!



Golder Guides Green to top spot.

Phil Harris backed up his maiden Birmingham League century against Studley in the opening fixture with an impressive six wicket haul in game two as Barnards Green secured a comprehensive away win against the much fancied Oswestry CC. Winning the toss visiting skipper Williams took the option to bowl first and had to endure a nervy start as Carrasco and Huxley looked at relative ease as they raced to 39 at a rate above six per over. McEwan then made the first breakthrough trapping Huxley plumb in front as the Green wrestled the initiative in a mini spell of 4-10 which saw the impressive Carrasco(36) and overseas signing Fynn(4) both dismissed by Harris.  Oswestry struggled to rebuild despite the green tinged pitch offering little sideways movement and slow but true bounce as pressure from both Harris and the improving McEwan led to rash shots including Robinson who mistimed a pull shot straight up in the air to Dovey off Harris and Miles who wafted an airy drive straight to cover fielder Golder for 14.  Some lower order resilience moved the home sides score towards three figures however the reintroduction of McEwan who replaced the wicketless Poole struck the final nails into the Oswestry batting coffin to finish with 4-37. Harris who bowled unchanged finished with 6-62. The home side all out for 111 from just 35 overs.

With such an early finish to the first innings the sides remerged after just a ten minute interval for the visitors to face a 15 over session before the tea interval. Smedley and Golder combined watchful defense with good running to provide a solid start, with the tea break just an over away however Smedley perished as he failed to dispatch a short offering from Fynn and was caught at point for 16. Resuming on 41-1 Harris became Fynn’s second victim LBW for 9 as Ford joined Golder for a testing period facing the impressive spin of Fynn and Robinson who both found extravagant turn from the drying wicket. Ford struck 2 imposing boundaries as rain took the players from the field with the visitors close to victory. Upon resumption Ford(13) became Fynn’s third scalp(3-33) and it was left to Golder who finished with a solid and important 43 not out and McEwan who bludgeoned 18 from 12 balls to guide his side to victory by a 7 wicket margin with 42 overs to spare. 

Next weekend sees an away double header for the 1st XI as they travel to Handsworth(12pm) on Saturday and face Kidderminster at Chester Road on Sunday(11am) in the first round of the ECB National 20/20 competition. 

Thanks go to match day minibus sponsors Brookhire and Inline Engineering.

BGCC 2nd XI vs Kennilworth Wardens

Having had a winning, but close start to their Birmingham League campaign, Barnards Green CC 2nd XI were buoyant but realistic in their review of the first game and wanted to continue the winning start in their first home game of the season against Kenilworth Wardens CC. With the sun shinning and ground looking in tip top shape, stand in skipper Andy Wheeler had no hesitation in batting first. With the first ball being driven to the boundary, he was fairly confident it was the right decision.

Wheeler and Lewis (27) added 49 for the first wicket, avoiding the odd unplayable delivery and punishing the bad ball, the prospects of 250 score looked promising. With Wheeler chopping on to his stumps for a score of 34, Kenilworth were lifted and it brought Elliot Hennessy to the crease. Elliot batted with great maturity beyond his years, with stout defence and patience he slowly moved the scoring up and well deserved his 50. With the loss of Lewis and then Metcalfe for 12, Barnards Green then struggled in the middle overs to moved the scoring rate up and no other batter reached double figures. With some late lusty blows from the lower order, the Green finished on 192 for 8 from 50 overs. Special mention to Elliot Hennessy for a patient and well crafted 63. For Kenilworth, A Fox was the pick of the bowlers taking 4 for 38, removing most of the middle order with a full length and good pace. 

Following an excellent tea, BGCC took to the field knowing that fielding and bowling performance from the previous week would be needed to get a result following the first innings score which all watching agreed was between 30 and 50 runs short of a good total! Brookes again bowled with control and accuracy, finishing with figures of 3 for 44 from 13 overs. With a mix of unplayable deliveries and wayward bowling, Kenilworth were 96 for 5 at drinks, a game finely balanced and the Green knowing that a couple of quick wickets would definitely swing the game in their favour! Unfortunately, the bowlers were unable to keep a sustained period of pressure on the Kenilworth middle order and with some loose bowling and a few bits of poor fielding, the scored moved quickly onto 150 before Clack returned to pick up his second wicket. However the damage was already done and with de Regt still at the crease and proving to be the glue the Kenilworth line up needed, the 193 for victory was passed in the 43rd over. De Regt batted extremely well, punishing the bad ball and picking up singles and twos where available.  

The loss means the Green are still in fourth place, but are becoming more and more aware of the huge step up they have gone through from last season