25th July 2009 - Match Reports.

Himbleton 2nd XI vs Barnards Green 4ths Droitwich vs Barnards Green 2nd XI

Following a week of rain, the sun came out on Saturday and this match between second in the table Barnards Green and third placed Himbleton was all about who would adapt best to the damp conditions. Late selection problems resulted in The Green drafting in yet another under 15 player for his first senior match.

Dick Brown won the toss for the visitors and, mindful of the unpredictable pitch, sensibly put Himbleton in to bat. Jack Cullity opened the bowling and continued in his rich vein of form, producing a stream of unplayable deliveries. Bowling in tandem with Elliot Hennessey, the young seamers restricted a normally strong Himbleton batting side to just a trickle of runs. Though Cullity was to be the afternoon’s leading wicket-taker the pressure created by the miserly bowling of The Green’s other youngsters, first Hennessey, then James Merley and debutante Standish-Heyes was a huge contributing factor. Cullity claimed the first four wickets all to catches as Himbleton struggled along at just over 1 run per over. For Himbleton only Jones (22) and Rogers (44) offered any resistance and achieved double figures. Rogers started to put the occasional bad ball away and looked capable of holding the innings together before Dave Price was introduced into the attack to send his stumps flying. At the other end Standish-Heyes struggled at first to find direction for his leg breaks but then took a magnificent reflex catch off his own bowling to account for the experienced Sprague. As confidence grew he secured his second victim to a fine catch in the deep by Dominic Horne. The re-introduction of Price (3-27) and Cullity (5-15) for their closing spells quickly accounted for the Himbleton tail as the innings was closed out for 110 after 43 overs. The Green’s youngsters led the team off the field with the experienced skipper Dick Brown reminding his players that the job was only half-done.

After easily the best tea in the league so far Robin Longmore and Chris Horne were sent out to open the visitor’s innings knowing that all they had to do was wait for the bad ball and the runs would take care of themselves. Bailey and Jenkins had the task of defending their small total and both bowled with accuracy, making full use of the conditions with swing and movement off the pitch. Both of the Green’s openers rode their luck at first with a few edges but neither looked really under threat until Horne (13) holed out at mid-on in the eighth over. He left the field for only a short period however, being called back to act as a runner as Longmore, continuing to produce his best form for several years, picked up another famous injury. With the short boundary within easy reach Longmore soon raced to his half-century. Dominic Horne, ignoring his Father’s advice to “keep your head down”, launched into a series of audacious strokes including three fours and three sixes, being particularly harsh on Chris Pretty who finished with the forgettable figures of 33 runs off 11 balls, as The Green passed Himbleton’s total in the 20th over. At the close Robin Longmore was 54 not out and Dominic Horne 40 not out. This was another solid performance by the visitors with 7 wickets being collected by under 15 players.

Thanks to Himbleton for their excellent facilities, superb hospitality and for a match played in the right spirit. 

Barnards Green 1st XI vs Colwall
A strong team performance from the home side saw the lion’s share of the points stay at North End Lane in yet another derby game in the WCL Division 1 series. League leaders Pershore also gained a winning draw to see their 4 point buffer reduced to a single point. Tim Williams returned to form at the toss losing the 50%/50% and being inserted by Colwall counterpart King. The home sides innings got off to the worst possible start with Mark Hooper conceiving to run himself out for a duck by 15 yards as he attempted a suicidal single in the opening over of the contest.  Rhodes quickly followed caught at slip for 2 to leave the Green struggling with Paddock joining Murphy at the crease. Accurate and miserly seam bowling from Jinks and Berry restricted scoring opportunities as Murphy and Paddock began to rebuild the innings for the home side. Murphy found his flow continuing on from last weeks batting heroics with several sweetly timed boundaries. On a slow pitch however Paddock struggled with timing and became Berry’s only victim of the day as he shouldered arms to a ball that rocketed into his off stump for 22. Tim Clarke joined the Kalgoorlie import and immediately looked fluent on his way to a crisp 33. Unfortunately his demise came with the introduction of spin as he looked to work a straight ball to leg and was bowled bringing Phil Harris to the crease. As Harris looked to accelerate the Colwall fielding looked stretched as they started to drop catches with alarming regularity and their ground fielding and wicketkeeping suffered in combination. When King captured the wicket of Harris however the game swung again with Binks joining Murphy with over 12 overs to go. Binks struggled with timing due to the lack of pace from the 2 spinners and it took a boundary from Murphy to put momentum back into the innings. Binks soon launched a boundary of his own to contribute to the partnership and then found his feet as the pair looked to accelerate to a competitive score. Murphy who had again looked calm and assured at the crease unfortunately perished with 6 overs to go for a superb 85 off the bowling of King.Ford rotated the strike well as Binks began to clear the rope with cleanly struck maximums off both Griffiths and King. The Green innings closed on 217-8 with Ford contributing 11 and Binks remaining 38 not out.
The Colwall reply started well with a fatigued Murphy struggling to get up to full pace however an impressive spell of swing bowling from Harris from the Link end of the ground culminated in the well deserved wicket of King for 29.Hooper then combined with Binks to dismiss Panniers who had struggled to stamp his authority on the game for a patchy 30(off 82) and Ford quickly dismissed Griffiths and Riley to leave the home side in the ascendancy. Ford also captured the wicket of Wheeler for 11 to finish with figures of 3-49 but it was the introduction of Williams which looked to push the Green to victory as he struck twice in an over to dismiss Davey and Price on his way to figures of 3-25.Williams then also captured Matt King for 2 to leave the visitors struggling at 8 down with 12 overs to go. Perhaps drawing inspiration from Panesar and Anderson, Hylands and Jinks managed to bat the 12 overs required to thwart the home side’s quest for victory however poor tactics including turning down several singles meant that despite this they finished just 6 runs shy of the losing draw target and missing out on a valuable extra 2 points. The Green happy to stay in touch with Pershore gaining 17 points and Colwall holding 5th place in the table.

BGCC 217-8 Murphy 85, Binks 38no, King 3-68
Colwall 155-8 Williams 3-25, Ford 3-49


On a humid yet overcast Saturday afternoon Barnards Green skipper Judd Doughty was delighted to win yet another toss whilst visiting lowly placed Droitwich Town CC.

With a much changed team Doughty elected to bowl on a damp, green wicket, situated on the far edge of the large St. Peter’s Playing Fields ground.  Sam Spencer (16-3-32-2) took the new ball and quickly had the home batsmen in trouble with both pace and bounce on this most useful of seamer’s wickets. Tom Banks (7-2-23-1), back from first team duties, bowled with pace and found lateral movement which troubled the home batsmen also. It is worth noting at this point that Banks is proving the most unlucky bowler this term with many deliveries beating both the bat and the wickets. The field placings became even more attacking as the wickets began to fall with regularity and the runs dried up for the Droitwich side. Home skipper John, in an attempt to steady his ship dropped anchor and prodded and poked his way to a stoic 4 off 64 balls struggling to hit the ball off the wicket let alone the square. Matt Brookes (15-3-49-2) replaced Banks and swung the ball with deft changes in pace and precision, memorably yorking Thomas for a first ball duck. Brookes and then James Scullion (6-1-19-3) kept the runs in check whilst Banks and then off-spinner Doughty (6-2-17-1) rotated at the other end keeping the game firmly under control.  Scullion swung the ball as much as Brookes albeit from his right hand and regularly beat the bat with the home batsmen playing and missing frequently. Scullion’s three wickets were classic swing bowler’s wickets with two players out bowled, the ball hitting the top of off stump and one caught by Doughty at first slip, the batsmen following an away swinger. The tail wagged slightly for Droitwich and they ended their innings with a competitive but under par 150 for nine in their 50 over allocation.

The Green openers of Doughty and Paul Yorke, fresh from last weeks devastation, strode to the wicket confident of knocking off the 150 runs required without too much fuss. This confidence looked miss-placed when Yorke (0), Clack (9), Thompson (0) and Lewis (9) all fell with less than 20 runs on the board inside the first 10 overs. The home side, buoyed by the match situation and what appeared to be a ‘get out of jail’ card attacked the batsmen with close fields, excellent bowling and tight fielding. With the number 6 batsmen Brookes (20) arriving at the wicket Doughty still had yet to score and the home fielders were keen to remind him of this fact. Together Brookes and Doughty began to slowly re-build the innings mixing sensible running with straight batted defence, the chirp and ‘noise’ lessening with each run scored. Brookes proved yet again what a dogged, intelligent, player he can be and the two forged a 50 run partnership before an excellent delivery from Stephens re-arranged Brookes’ stumps. Scullion (22*) came to the wicket and in similar fashion to Brookes mixed straight batted defence with clever attacking shots, sweeps and pulls a speciality, to push the score closer and closer to the target. Doughty (66* off 130 balls) left, defended and attacked the bowling during a deliberate, workman like, rear-guard innings. The 50 run partnership between Scullion and his skipper came and went with a punch of gloves, and to win the game the young all-rounder swept a four to secure another 20 points for the Green.

The Droitwich bowlers bowled very well, perhaps with hindsight they may feel without enough variety particularly in pace, on a perfect wicket for seamers but, in the end, the cricketing experience of Brookes and Doughty and the youthful talent of Scullion coupled with a tight bowling and fielding performance won the game for the Green. Another 50 runs for the home side would have made this contest even tighter but again I find myself saying ‘well done’ to the youngest ‘Youth Club’ the Green have put out this year.