30th May 2009 - Match Reports.

Lye vs BGCC 2nd XI Barnards Green 1st XI vs Oldswinford CC 1st XI

Barnards Green Second Eleven made their way up the M5 in bright sunshine ahead of their Division One encounter with Lye C.C. Earlier, the Green’s pre-match preparations had gone horribly wrong as vice-captain Lewis Hooper top-edged a ball into his eye during a net session. L. Hooper was rushed to hospital where stitches were applied and the prolific Dan Hunt was promoted from the Thirds. Upon arrival at Lye the Green players were shocked to see the wicket had been cut into a football field surrounded by ankle length grass. Seeing this made us realise how lucky we are to play our home games at the immaculate North End Lane ground. The Lye skipper won the toss and, to skipper Doughty’s amazement, elected to bat on the track which, upon closer inspection, had tyre marks, divots and scratch marks across its surface. The visitor’s bowlers got off to a great start with Sam Spencer (11-6-2-24) and Tom Banks (6-1-1-18) bowling with pace, accuracy and venom, assisted ably by the wicket. Wickets fell regularly as the ball both flew through at head height and scurried through along the floor as well as deviating laterally. Cyril Dean took one of the catches of the season whilst prowling in his customary gully position to award Banks a wicket before he made way for the ever reliable James Scullion (7-1-24-1) who swung the ball both ways with great skill. Ash Brewer behind the stumps kept fantastically considering the way the ball was behaving and took a catch and a stumping in the hot conditions. The early introduction of Hunt (5-0-1-40) encouraged the batsmen to free their arms, eying-up the very short leg-side boundary – some of miss-hit sixes struck by the home batsmen barely left the 30 yard circle. After the much needed drinks break Hunt took his maiden Second team wicket as Scullion took a good catch at mid-on. Drinkwater (10-2-2-38) was eased into the attack and after a couple of looseners slipped back into his impeccable line and length which enticed a slip catch for Doughty and bowled the dangerous Hussain for 41. Doughty brought himself on and purchased a wicket before tossing the ball to Spencer in an attempt to finish the innings before the 50 over mark. Mark Hooper (1.3-0-1-8, in his second over, was the man to end Lye’s innings with a spinning ball which the batsman missed and Brewer smartly stumped. 

So, with the chance of their first 24pt win of the season Hooper and Doughty waded through the long grass to the scarred wicket knowing that the ball could leap at their heads or wiz through at their feet with each delivery. The first over was a mix bag, Doughty digging out a yorker, hit in the chest by a ball off a length and square cutting a ball for four. Hooper, at the other end had a similar experience, mixing brave defence with fluent attacking strokes, the short boundaries providing excellent value for both openers shots. Hooper looked by far the classier batsmen with Doughty looking scratchy and miss-timing some of his early attacking shots. With every scampered run and four struck by the openers the energy was draining from the Lye fielders and bowlers who, at times took a beating, particularly when Hooper was on strike. To cut what could be a long story, short, Hooper and Doughty knocked off the required runs without loss, in the 37th over, the former finishing on 83 not out and the latter finishing 68 not out, the extras total worth 54 valuable runs, the third highest score of the match. Normally scoring 200 plus runs, without loss would be an excellent achievement but on a wicket offering so much for the bowlers this partnership was worth so much more and a demonstration of the disciplined cricket the ‘Youth Club’ are now capable of playing.

 Barnards Green 24pts Win. Lye 4pts



Kevin Golder was the star as Barnards Green continued their winning streak as he scored an aggressive 79 to back up an excellent fielding performance on the hottest day of the season so far. Tim Williams yet again lost the toss on a fantastic looking straw coloured wicket and in a cloudless sky led his charges to a tough bowling and fielding assignment. Visiting openers Blunt and Haywood failed to capitalise on a lightning fast outfield and hard wicket to the extent that their dressing room would have liked in the early stages  of the innings however did manage to thwart the new ball attack which led to spin being introduced in the 9th over. With the run rate at little over three runs per over Blunt who reached a well deserved half century with a sumptuous cover drive and Haywood recognised that acceleration was necessary and started to take risks against the economical spin twins Smedley and Ford; this unfortunately led to the downfall of Haywood who was the 1st wicket to fall bowled by Chris Smedley for 37 attempting an ambitious drive.With over thirty overs gone Attwood was next to go LBW to Smedley’s doosra. Blunt then misjudged the length of a Ford slider and fell for a well made 64 leaving his side in severe strife at 104-3 having been at a comfortable yet pedestrian 100-0 only 2 overs before. After Holloway (16) and Brewer(not out 39) began to accelerate Williams reintroduced seam to the attack to put the brakes back on the innings with both Williams 1-42 and Aussie Nick Murphy(2-37) picking up late wickets to restrict the visitors to 190 from their fifty overs with local pundits suggesting their total at least 100 runs below par. Golder and Smedley started brightly after the tea break with Golder in destructive form dispatching several loose offerings from Blunt and Soukup across the lightning fast outfield. When Smedley was run out for 31 attempting a quick single the pair had added 90 in quick time as Rhodes joined Golder at the crease.Attempting one drive too many Golder was caught at mid off off the spin of Brewer for 79 from just 42 balls, when Rich Williams was out shortly after for 13 giving Brewer his second wicket it was left to young guns Rhodes and Harris to continue the pursuit.  For once Harris had to be content to play second fiddle as Rhodes continued on from his maiden WCL hundred in the previous week’s Malvern derby as he showed exquisite timing and placement to propel the home side to 192 off just 33 overs and finishing with 42 not out. 

This weekend the Green travel to face top of the table rivals Pershore and will be hoping to pick up a fifth consecutive win.

Oldswinford 190-6(50) Blunt 64

BGCC 192-3(33) Golder 79, Rhodes 43no


Martley 2nd XI vs Barnards Green IVs 

The Green travelled to Martley on the hottest day of the year so far with a new-found confidence following previous excellent performances against Hanley and Himbleton. When Martley’s skipper announced that they were a man short Dick Brown for The Green was delighted to bat first and let the home team run-around in the sun. The umpires emerged, counted the fielders and announced that in fact they were actually two men short. Dick’s eyes lit up!

Julian Hall and John Barr were selected to open, renewing their partnership from the Hanley match. The contrasting styles of Hall who wanted to run everything, ( but couldn’t ) and Barr who preferred to play proper strokes ( and could ), bewildered the bowlers as both Rudd and Kej, getting plenty of help from the pitch, strayed too often from line and length. Barr quickly latched on to anything short whilst, Hall, always renowned for his sensible driving, pushed through the offside. After just 10 overs The Green had raced to 63 when Hall was, not for the first time in his life, trapped, for a well-crafted 33. Skipper Brown, pleased with the early run rate, changed his order and entrusted his trio of youngsters with positions 3,4 and 5. Ryan Scullion, promoted to number 3, was keen to continue his good form with the bat but after a glorious cover drive off the first ball Rudd found a gap between bat and pad and the stumps were shattered. Elliot Hennessy joined Barr. In an innings which included 6 fours, Hennessy batted sensibly, supporting his more experienced partner but playing his own shots and demonstrating power beyond his years. The two took the score to 141 before Barr was caught in the 29th over at mid-wicket for a fine 62. Hennessy eventually perished, bowled by Jordan for 39 as his shot selection for once failed him.  Jack Cullity looked to be untroubled until he was hit on the toe by a full toss on leg stump and was LBW for 17. The youngsters had done their job and The Green were on 169 for 5. The powerhouses of Dave Smith and Richard Brown upped the pace. Smith hit a mighty six through mid-wicket before missing a straight one to lose his middle stump whilst Brown, playing with Dick for the first time in several years, scored a quick 10 and was caught behind. Dick was joined by much improved Dominic Horne who struck 4 consecutive fours before becoming  the third batsman to miss Jordan’s straight ball. Veteran Graeme Glendenning, keen to take advantage of his promotion to the number 10 position, refused several easy singles, obviously saving his energy for tea and he, along with Dave Price who was kept well away from the strike by the eager Glendenning saw the visitors to a creditable 234 all out with Glendenning caught for 7 and Price still pleading for his first run.

Martley, already two men down were never going to achieve the total as they were pinned down by the bowling of Ryan Scullion (8-1-2-23) and Jack Cullity (10-3-3-21) with their first four batsmen amassing 15 runs between them. Only Mayfield showed some spirit as he decided to force the pace, despatching anything loose to the short boundary and with The Green’s young bowlers restricted in overs, skipper Dick asked Dave Price to remove the troublesome Mayfield and he duly obliged, having him confidently caught at point by Ryan Scullion. Maciejewski and Williams resisted for  a few overs before Maciejewski fell LBW to Cullity for 7. Williams was tempted by the variable leg-spin of Elliot Hennesy ( 6-1-1-30) and was caught for a stubborn 17. With only two batsmen left, occasional batsman Rudd and impressive youngster Jordan were asked by their captain to save the draw. Dick brown tried everything he knew to entice, cajole and bully the pair into giving away their wicket, even considering for several seconds, the possibility of bowling himself as the batsmen stubbornly blocked anything straight and left anything wide and saved the match for the home side.

Great credit to both teams for a game played in the right spirit and special mention to the youngsters from The Green and to Rudd and Jordan for both picking up 3 wickets and refusing to give the game up.