Barnards Green cricket Club Match Reports.




2004 Bolton Tour





A tour party of 28 good men and true took to the M6 and travelled cautiously North to Bolton for the Barnards Green annual tour. With brolleys packed as they had been warned that it always rained up north, these were soon disgarded as the sun shone throughout the week.  The first game was against Hindley St Peters and the early start from Malvern after a pre tour party soon took its toll.  Steve Freeman and Kevin Golder started confidently and took the score past 50 before Freeman fell LBW for 18, Mark Hooper then recorded the first duck of the tour and Kevin Golder the first 50 before he fell for 53.  Keith Middleton (26) Dave White (26) and Jez Clarke (19) all made contributions, but a total of 184 always looked a little light weight.  Runs proved hard to come by early on as the home team batted cautiously, but once the batsmen had played themselves in, they then despatched the bad balls to the boundary at regular intervals to win by 5 wickets with 6 overs remaining.  Nine sixes was an indication of some wayward bowling.  The bank holiday monday saw a day of rest when their hosts cried off due to a lack of players and therefore an early night was enjoyed by all!
Middleton were the next opponents and having elected to bat first, the Green opened with brothers Rob and Andy Middleton who entertained nobley particularly with their running between the wickets.  These two put on 49 before Rob was not suprisingly run out for 16.  Numerous batsmen came and went without overexerting the scorers whilst Andy Middleton (46) built an excellent innings before being bowled.  Sri Lankan A spinner Sadge Fernando wreaked havoc as he turned the ball square and only Rich Birch with 28 was able to master the bowling.  A useful contribution from Dave White and rich Brown at the end saw the total to 165 off the allotted 35 overs.  Guseting for the opposition, 1st eleven skipper Chris Smedley then took a liking to opener Rich Brown taking 39 off three of his overs.  Only the introduction of Phil Spencer thwarted the run rate as he fisrt deceived Smedley with a 'slower one' and then saw jamie Longmore take the catch of the tour diving to his right to dismiss Jones.  Thereafter, Middleton took charge and moved comfortably to victory by 7 wickets.
On the wednesday, a visit to the impressive Heywood, one of the largest grounds in Lancashire, saw an improved performance after another early night. Whilst chief supporters Max lloyd and tony Creese took a train trip to Southport, Green skipper Andy Lamb, who used to play for Heywood, elected to bat and the Green amassed 228 off 45 overs thanks in main to Tim Williams (64) Dteve Metcalfe (44) Dave white (29) and Mark Hooper (28).  Graham Spiers made the most of his previous days rest to come steaming in to find a good length to pick up three wickets for just 26 off his nine overs. Phil Spencer also bowled well to pick up 4 for 19 and Chris Hill took 2 for 6 to give the Green a resounding victory by 118 runs.
Thursday was the final game of the tour at Grimsargh on another hot and sunny day, you just can't guarantee the weather up North.  Batting first, the Green were soon in trouble losing Roy Mayo bowled by a grubber and Steve Metcalfe following a similar fate both in the first over.  Robin Longmore and Jez Clarke (43) took up the challenge and Longmore (40) blasted the ball to all parts of the ground having decided that running with Jez was not a good option having been nearly run out three times off the same ball.  When Longmore departed there were brief cameos by Jamie Longmore, two fours and out and Mark Hooper before Chris Hill (45) and Tim Williams (28) saw the Green through to 202 off their 40 overs.  For Grimsargh, only opener Bell who struck an excellent 76 and byes (stick to the day job Smeds) really threatened the Greens total as Mark Hooper and Chris Hill picked up 4 wickets a piece and Richard Birch two as the Green strolled to a 33 run victory.
The following day it was back to sunny Malvern to leave the Bolton licensees to clear away the empty Chardonnay bottles.  A big thank you goes to Jez Clarke for his excellent organisation of the tour which once again ran like clockwork.