20th June 2009 - Match Reports.
|Barnards Green 2nd XI vs Stourbridge||BGCC fourth XI vs Ross on Wye 2nd XI|
Which one of the A-Team used to say ‘I love it when a plan comes together’? Was it ‘Face’ or ‘Hannibal’? It certainly wasn’t BA or Murdock of that, I’m sure. Anyway, it’s largely irrelevant apart from the key fact that our plans on Saturday, did, in fact, come together, yet again!
On an overcast and breezy afternoon skipper Judd Doughty won the toss and invited Stourbridge to bat on a dampish track which looked very flat and straw coloured. Sam Spencer (12-5-28-3) and Tom Clack (7-0-31-0) took the new ball and after a couple overs of mayhem where the openers seized on anything loose, settled down and bowled some excellent deliveries with Spencer picking up wickets regularly. Yet again the fielding display by the youthful Green side was athletic, consistent and very impressive backing up the hard work of the bowlers. James Scullion (7-2-15-0) replaced Clack and quickly settled down to bowl an impressive spell, working in tandem with Brewer behind the stumps who was, again, first class. The runs at this stage dried up for the visitors who neither scored boundaries nor took quick singles - the Green squeeze was on. The introduction of spinner Paul Drinkwater (9-37-1), then Lewis Hooper (6.4-0-5-23) put further pressure on the visitors who realised as the overs ticked by that they had to ‘hit out or get out’. Unfortunately for Stourbridge they opted only for the latter with the innings ending with Hooper taking 3 wickets in 4 balls to wrap up the middle order and tail.
Set 144 to win Doughty (74*) and Jon Lewis (10) opened the innings in smart fashion dispatching the visitor’s bowler’s to all parts before Lewis was very well run-out from short mid-wicket after over-balancing. This loss brought Drinkwater to the wicket who cut and pulled his way to (18) before mis-cueing a leg-spinning long-hop to square-leg. James Curtis (29*), for the second game in a row came out to bat with the innings in the balance. Another wicket would have swayed the advantage to Stourbridge however Curtis and Doughty batted sensibly, mixing punishing drives and clever nurdles with intelligent running between the wickets to count down the runs required until, in the 34th over, Doughty swept a four to end the innings with over twenty overs to spare.
This was, yet again, a convincing victory for the Green, with all players contributing to the team effort and we look forward to the visit of Worcester next week.
Stourbridge vs BGCC 1st XI
Barnards Green 1st XI suffered their first defeat of the season in a terrible all-round performance at Stourbridge.
With home knowledge and the benefit of winning the toss Stourbridge skipper Bradley had no hesitation in having first bat on a sporting looking wicket at Ambelcote Road.
Murphy and Williams opened the attack with Murphy initially finding some swing and Williams exploiting the extra bounce. Williams picked up the early wicket of Bradley bowled but unfortunately this was the only wicket for the seamers as the Stourbridge top order saw off the new ball threat.
After a brief spell from Tom Banks who bowled 3 overs of tidy but none threatening medium pace Williams turned to his spin options with Smedley immediately in on the act having Hill adjudged LBW. Some excellent catching including 2 brilliant one handed efforts from Ford and Williams slowed the Stourbridge scoring rate however a valuable 7th wicket partnership edged the Stourbridge score towards a challenging total.
Unfortunately for the visitors a further stubborn 9th wicket stand frustrated the league leaders further and it took until the 48th over of the innings to bowl out the home side who had been struggling at 48 for 4 and later 100-8. Their final total of 149 challenging but certainly gettable.
The Green started steadily in their reply with Golder looking confident and Smedley obdurate. Golder fell to a lapse in concentration with the score 25 and Smedley soon followed bowled neck and crop by Hill. With Rhodes and Paddock being dismissed in quick succession it was left to Binks and Jez Clarke to rebuild however after a short period of recovery Binks was trapped on the crease LBW and Jez Clarke soon followed edging to slip.
Tim Clarke (25) in his first appearance of the season steadied the ship with Andy Ford as the pair played sensibly to take the Green to within 50 runs of victory. Their dismissals in quick succession however left the Green reeling at 100-7. Spirited stroke play and stoic defense from Williams and Murphy respectively gave a glimmer of hope to the away side however the demise of Williams left Murphy with number eleven Banks with over 40 runs required. Banks played several assured strokes however the introduction of spin bamboozled him as he was bowled to leave Stourbridge the victors by 35 runs.
There were no doubt harsh words in the dressing room from skipper Williams who now has a week to rally his troops for their second consecutive road trip to the Gordon Jones Memorial ground where they face Worcester this weekend. The Green remain league leaders despite Pershore winning to maintain the only unbeaten record in the Division.
Stourbridge 1st XI 149, Ford 4-58, Smedley 4-38BGCC 1st XI 132, Hill 5-46
Archers perfected their aim. Eagles soared overhead. Ale was quaffed in copious quantities and a merrie band of medieval minstrels made music in the meadow.
Against this backdrop of merrymaking the Barnards Green fourths cricketers collected stray arrows from the outfield and prepared to defend their county against the marauders raiding across the border from Ross on Wye and descending on the New Land.
Green batted first, Longmore and Barr meeting the onslaught from Tucker and Tregaskes head-on as they sought to gain the upper hand. Barr wielded the willow with a mixture of grace and venom as he struggled to prove his superiority on anything sent “leg-side”. Longmore, so often the aggressor, took his time, pondered, manoeuvring for position and having failed to exert his authority on the Celtic infiltrators perished at extra cover for 23, caught off the bowling of Tucker.
Enter Elliot Hennesy. Flame haired, flashing blade. Balls dispatched to all parts before being cut down for 20 by a master blow from Porter in his third over.
The Green re-grouped. Wheeler stood proud and announced his presence with a series of lusty blows to all parts. A missile was sent flying into the arena of the birds of prey as the onlookers cheered whilst Barr, at the other end, continued his cut and thrust, guided by an unseen hand. Wheeler slashed again. A slash too far. The green had lost another brave soul.
Barr, unable to withstand the onslaught, saw stumps flying and made way for Dickus Brownus, the leader of this motley band who edged and fumbled his way to 25 as he showed resolve and courage in the face of the Ross onslaught. Inevitably Brown perished, distracted by another straight ball from Porter and unable to keep his end up any longer.
Scullion came …and went without troubling the foe. The imposing figure of Hunt threatened briefly before floundering and sinking under the barrage from Tregaskes. The young upstart Cullity bludgeoned four boundaries in his 20 before giving way to Horne and Price who took the fight to the opposition with thunderous blows before Horne sank beneath the tide. Price was joined by Alley – not known for his batting prowess. Alley lived up to his reputation.
The Green had weathered the storm and posted a total of 237.
The Bordermen faced a stern test as they regrouped after tea. Leslie was cut down by the lethal combination of Cullity and Scullion without troubling anyone and Scullion next conspired with Hunt to rid the field of Daniels for 17. Tucker, the aggressor in the field, showed control and dexterity as he took the fight to The Green. Skipper Dick again called upon veteran Price to take care of the threat. He obliged and the threat was gone for 61. Porter and Barnard were accounted for by Wheeler and Hunt for 35 apiece but no others threatened.
The Green’s attack of Wheeler ( 3-32 ) , Shunt ( 3-26 ), Price ( 3-23 ) and Scullion
(1-11 ) triumphed and the visitors were finished on 187.
Both clubs should be commended for a game played in the best possible spirit
and for continuing to introduce their youngsters to senior competitive cricket.
BGCC won the match taking 24 points.
Many thanks to matchday sponsors Clarke Roxburgh Insurance Brokers for their continuing support of local cricket.