Barnards Green 1st XI vs Rushwick
With the Saturday mornings weather showing as much promise as the England
Football team earlier this week, players gathered at Northend lane and few
bothered to get the kit from their cars. With the help of two experienced
umpires, an excellently prepared and covered pitch and a Barnards Green team
chomping at the bit for any slight
opportunity to open the gap at the top of the table, a toss was made in what
was to be a reduced 41 over game between these two local rivals.
In usual fashion this season skipper Chris Smedley won the toss and
asked Rushwick to bat in somewhat Wintery conditions. With the rain visibly
racing along the line of the Malvern Hills it was only a matter of time
before the first downpour was with us, however, not before Chris Harrison had
struck twice leaving Rushwick in trouble at 9-2, this down pour kept the
players in the pavilion for well over an hour and any resumption looked
unlikely, however the green players stayed keen to get back on the pitch and
an inspection by the umpires saw the game resume now
reduced to 30 overs per side.
Throughout the remaining overs the green bowlers and fielders stuck about
their job Tim Williams was replaced by Tim Clarke and the greasy conditions
looked to suit him as he struck twice in his first over ( 3 - 46 ) Harrison
was replaced by Churchill who bowled in various areas with affect taking 2
wickets in his spell. The Rushwick batsmen came and went with the showers and
managed to post a respectable 146 in there 30 overs. In Reply the reliable opening
partnership of Kev Golder and Jez Clarke took the attack to the
Rushwick Openers, As Clarke continued (22) in confident fashion hitting the
boundary repetitively Golder looked to be waiting patiently before he started
to find the middle of the bat, this changed when Clarke departed falling to
over confidence with the score on 44. Golder then took over and had complete
control of the game apart from one last interruption to rain, which saw the
green now having only 28 overs to get the required total.
The game was in the balance as kiwi Boult, T Clarke Paul Drinkwater and
Veteran Richards all fell for under par scores this also saw a change in the
visitors body language who now saw a chance of 24 points in their mist,
However Golder had other ideas as he rotated the strike and hit the bad ball
to the boundary everytime, supported throughout by Skipper Smedley and All
rounder Williams the green crept ever so closer to the 146 needed and a 20
point win, However the Rushwick Bowlers were now ' Up for' this game and
continued to take wickets and eventually got Williams and then to the horror
of the green players and supporters, Golder for an excellent 60.
This now meant there was nail biting finish instore for all, who at 2 Oclock
thought any chance of a game impossible.
The Green were poised needing 10 runs off 12 balls 8 wickets down, with
wicket keeper Doughty the senior batsman at the crease accompanied by
Churchill who has not been required to bat yet this year the game was
anybody's. Churchill did exactly what
was asked of him as the Rushwick bowlers bowled at the stumps looking for the
victory, Churchill's hard work in the winter paid dividends as he flicked the
first two balls of his legs for 2 each time and then called Doughty
through for a quick single with confidence putting him on strike in the final
over. Another single was taken and the green needed 4 runs from five balls to
clinch the game this was done as Doughty guided the following delivery
through the slips for Four ending what goes down as a remarkable days
cricket and a superb result which was obtained through determination great
team spirit and excellent facilities.
With only a handful of matches in the whole of the Worcestershire Leagues
seeing players get on the pitch let alone get any sort of result huge thanks
must go to Roy Mayo for his endless work on the pitch who make results like
Green now 30 points clear at the
top of division 3 look forward to entertaining Avoncroft.a successful beginning to the 2004 campaign seeing
Barnards Green 1stX1 top of the Worcestershire 3rd division and in the semi
finals of the 1st team knockout cup after beating 1st division Droitwich last
week, Barnards Green evening league side travelled confidently to the final
of the Worcestershire Carnival Cup to be played against Colwall at Ombersley
CC on a superb Monday evening this week.
Skipper Tim Clarke won the toss and asked Colwall to first make use of the
ideal track in this different 15, 6 ball over format. The green started
steadily and kept the runs down to a minimum
Dave Powell played the ball on
it's merit throughout the 15 overs (54)All green bowlers bowled well for
little reward but the fielding really stood out to be the difference between
the two teams, with support from the other colwall batsmen they managed to
amass only 109.
Confident of knocking these off and with the first bit of silverware for a
few years at arms reach the in form Kev Golder and Gary Lewis set about the
Colwall Bowling attack in their usual fashion both hit the boundary
regularly in the first few overs before golder departed for 16 this brought
Kiwi Boult in who scored an impressive 34 green then lost Lewis after a man
of the match worthy 38, at this stage Clarke was just left to come in and
knock the winning runs off with boult with 8 balls to spare.
Barnards Green Singles vs Stone
goodwill of both sides, a break in the clouds and a very understanding
groundsman saw one of very few games in the county played at Newland.
Barnards Green ‘singles’ took full advantage to record an eight wicket
victory and stop the rot of three defeats in a row.
delayed start saw the match reduced to 41 overs and Freeman won a crucial
toss and asked Stone to have first use of the wicket. Bell bowled an
immaculate line and length with no reward, opener Harler tucked into Brookes
with successive boundaries. Brookes then induced an edge from Blackledge that
Freeman snapped up in the gully. In his next over he dismissed Williams for
nought and Stone were reeling at 20 for 2.
Harler and Brazier had steered their side to 53 for 2 when the rains
returned. Both sides took shelter in the dressing room and the tea lady did
them proud with an early tea, only because Wimbledon had the covers on. The
rain ceased and after two inspections both Captains were prepared to give it
another go, both knowing that another shower would see the end of the match.
With the match now reduced to 35 overs a side Brazier and Harler hit the
accelerator but Bell trapped Harler in front for 25. Brazier struck some
mighty blows against Simon Clarke, taking the spinner for 29 in two overs and
reaching his 50 in the process. Freeman gave Clarke the ball for a third over
and his reward was instant when Brazier missed and Clarke hit to see him out
for 63. The singles now took a stranglehold on the game as Clarke and Spiers
bowled maiden after maiden as Stone failed to penetrate the field. Spiers who
was getting exaggerated movement off the wicket bowled superbly taking three
wickets. Clarke was now inspired he claimed two more wickets with a neat
stumping and a superb running catch from Brookes to claim 3 for 42 off ten
overs. It took same late hitting from Edwards (19 no) ruining Spiers figures
in the process 3 for 28 off ten, and Stone finished on 144 for 9.
hopes Stone had of defending the total quickly evaporated as the ‘leech like’
Lee Hooper played a superb innings with shots all around the wicket. James Curtis joined in with some excellent
shot making of his own. The pair steadily upped the run rate as the Malvern
Hill were starting to disappear under low cloud. Hooper now savaged the
change bowlers to race past fifty. Curtis took the challenge but Stone played
their last ace with the introduction of Millington. His first over saw the
dismissal of both openers, firstly Curtis for 43 followed two balls later by
Hooper for 63, but the opening stand of 122 had done damage. Freeman joined
Wheeler and with the rain drops getting bigger Wheeler smashed the required
runs to finish 18 no with Freeman 4 no. Millington’s 2 for 2 was too little
too late for Stone whilst Barnards Green enjoyed 20 points. The late
appearance of a weeping groundsman failed to dampen the Green’s joy who will
be hoping to climb the table during the second half of the season.