14th June 2014 - Match Reports.

Shifnal vs BGCC 1sts  


Hepburn hundred helps Green to second place after winning draw.


Barnards Green 1st XI made the long trip to Shifnal in Shropshire for this Birmingham League fixture.


Captain Andy Ford won the toss and chose to bat first on a bright sunny day but with showers forecast. Openers Adam Dovey and George Rhodes set a good foundation for the innings with a partnership of 38 – both not really troubled by ex-Green player Graeme Cessford. Dovey fell first when he edged one to keeper Gregory off Mountford for 11. Rhodes was joined by Alex Hepburn who edged his first ball through the slips but then went on to bat confidently. A fine pull shot from Hepburn brought up 50 in the 15th over. He and Rhodes had put on 38 when Rhodes was bowled round his legs by overseas spinner Ayub for 43.


This brought debutant Andrew Curtis to the crease and he showed class from the start as four of his first five scoring shorts were boundaries – the last of which took the score past 100 in the 29th over. He and Hepburn had put on 56 when Ayub struck again – Curtis (27) chased a wide one and edged it to give Gregory a second catch. Tapper joined Hepburn and both players stepped up the run rate. Pick of the Shifnal bowlers Ayub grabbed his third wicket as he clean bowled Tapper for 22.


The Green were 182 for 4 as Andy Ford came to the crease. He and Hepburn continued aggressively as the Green looked to post a decent total. Cessford returned and took a wicket straight away as Ford was caught at point by Ayub for a run-a-ball 13. Hennessy came in with the score on 210 and 6 overs remaining. He and Hepburn rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking over. In the last over Hepburn took a big swing and was clean bowled by Cessford for a fine 102 off only 123 balls, including 9 fours and 2 sixes. Barnards Green ended their 55 overs on 234 for 6.


The Green started well in the field as Rishe Umasuthan took a wicket in the first over as Shaw chipped one up to Curtis at short mid-wicket. Gregory and G Collins found it difficult to play both Umasuthan and Hepburn as the ball was swinging in the overcast conditions. Eventually the clouds brought rain and the players left the field for just under an hour. A recalculation meant a reduced innings of 38 overs – with Shifnal needed 235 for the win, 162 for the winning draw and 130 to prevent the Green getting the winning draw bonus 2 points.


The wet outfield made it harder for the bowlers and the Shifnal batsmen started more confidently after the break, hitting boundaries off both opening bowlers. Jon Dovey came into the attack and bowled two maidens to start. In his third over Gregory (18) was run out by a fine piece of fielding by Jamie Tapper. Gregory hit the ball to point and started to run, he stopped and hesitated then tried to get back but Tapper swooped in, picked up and threw down the stumps with a direct hit before Gregory could make his ground.


Ayub joined G Collins with Shifnal on 46 for 1 – this soon became 48 for 3 as Ford had Collins caught by Adam Dovey at mid-on for 27. This brought Graeme Cessford to the crease to face his old team mates. Ayub hit a fine cover drive for four to bring up Shifnal’s 50 in the 18th over. Ford dropped Cessford in a difficult caught and bowled chance but made up for it in the next over taking a good catch at slip to dismiss him for 5 off Dovey. Dovey grabbed his second wicket as he trapped Ayub lbw for 16 leaving Shifnal 75 for 5 with 12 overs remaining.


Unfortunately the Shifnal batsmen appeared to have no real intention of aiming to get the runs needed for the win or winning draw. George Rhodes joined the attack and made immediate impact as T Collins (5) was well caught down the leg-side by keeper Ash Brewer. Quami joined Home and these two batsmen played out the remaining overs as Shifnal finished 125 for 6. As this was short of the losing draw total Barnards Green took 10 points for the winning draw plus their bonus points. This 15 point haul helps the Green to move past Bromsgrove into second position just 11 points behind Ombersley in first place. BGCC’s next two games are against clubs in the bottom four – next week they visit Wellington before hosting Wombourne on June 28th.