Catches win matches - by Andy McIntosh
On the morning of Sunday 4th of May, a sense of anticipation spread throughout Hunslet Nelson's members. Questions were eagerly waiting to be answered. How would Joe Schofield fair in his first game as captain? Would Ollie Maitland actually make it to the game on time? Would myself and Steve Burton eat all the food available at Hunslet BBQ and would Jean decimate the opposition and earn his wage for the weekend??
At quarter to 2, the BBQ was in full swing, the beers were flowing for the supporters and Joe Schofield walked out to conduct his first toss as a senior team captain. Unfortunately luck was not in his favour as he lost the toss and Gildersome opted to bat first. At this point the first miracle of the day happened as Ollie Maitland turned up to the game on time, although he was attempting to figure out what happened the night before.
The game started in fantastic fashion for Hunslet as Joe Schofield took the ball himself and immediately removed Gildersome's opener L Pearson for a duck. Tom Brooke-Mawson quickly followed suit by removing J Laurence for 5. Unfortunately for Hunslet that brought Gildersome's star man to the crease. But in typical Schoey fashion with a grunt that shook Beeston, he managed to find the edge, but unfortunately Craig Townend couldn’t hold on to the catch, which proved costly for Nelson and Joe was smashed for 20 in his final over and Gildersome's star man M Simpson bludgeoned Nelson's bowlers to all parts and swiftly retired for 104.
Nelson were glad to see the back of him and continued to chip away at the Gildersome batsmen, with Dave Hobson rolling back the years with 3-36 from his 8 overs and Keiron Holliday taking 2-32. There was a scare for Nelson as our overseas Jean Strydom was forced off the field midway through the innings with a groin injury, but in typical Nelson fashion, he got a burger from the BBQ and was fit to carry on.
Gildersome finished their innings on 225-9 from 39.5 overs, Nelson won’t have been too downhearted as they pulled Gildersome back when they looked like they were going to run away with the score, but I’m sure that the only thing going through the Nelson lads minds was ‘catches win matches’!
After a delicious tea and a team wide ban on raiding the BBQ (much to Ollie Maitland’s disgust) the lads padded up, listened to a heartfelt cry to battle from the skipper and cheered as Nelsons openers walked out to bat. A new look opening pair in Ollie Maitland and Joe Plater looked confident in the middle, sending a sense of optimism through the rest of the teams heads. Both looked in fine form with some crunching drives and quick singles, unfortunately Ollie’s confidence got the better and he tried to hit Gildersome's opening bowler A Barot onto Dewsbury road, but only managing to nick it behind to the keeper.
Dave Evans walked out at number 3, both him and Joe Plater continued to play their shots with varying success, but with the required run rate rising and the pressure mounting, Nelson began losing wickets at regular intervals. One man stood firm though, as Joe Plater, on his senior debut for the club, continued to play fluently throughout bringing up his 50 and continuing on until he tried one shot too many and was stumped for 72. He walked off to a massive round of applause from the Nelson faithfuls and a fully deserved burger from the BBQ.
Joe Schofield and Tom Brooke-Mawson continued to chip away at the target but unfortunately they ran out of time and Nelson finished on 154-6 from their 40 overs. With B Clay the pick of the bowlers for Gildersome with 3-25 from his 6 overs.
Overall a lot of positives for a new look Sunday team to take from the game, with some strong performances and a good team spirit to take into the rest of the season. Joe Schofield and the lads will be looking to get some points on the board as they travel to Mirfield Harry Lime this Sunday.