The long awaited Village Cup tie for Long Lee CC travelling to Streethouse CC did not disappoint following weeks of anticipation.
Firstly many thanks go to Streethouse CC for being excellent hosts for the tie, the game was played in great spirit and all the Streehouse players and members gave Long Lee CC a very warm welcome and provided a great atmosphere to play in.
On arriving at Streethouse CC all the LLCC lads were impressed with the facilities that awaited, apart from one of the bigger boundaries that most of us would ever encounter in our cricketing lives!
At the toss Streethouse skipper Richard Vigars spun his silver dollar only for Mark Day to call incorrectly and lose. As expected on what proved to be an excellent track Streethouse elected to have a bat.
Things started badly for LLCC with skipper Mark Day dropping opener Paul Langley in the opening over off Jamie Robinson who was probing outside off stump, however the skippers blushes were spared as the umpire confirmed the batsmen had not knicked it. The next over was a complete opposite with Day taking a diving left hand catch of young opener Matty Stowell finding the outside edge of Steven Bournes bat.
Jamie Robinson continued his probing line and length to stifle the Streethouse scoring early on and in the 6th over his patience payed off when Bruce Percy played on for 3.
Long Lee encouraged by the start continued the good work and after 9 overs Streethouse had been kept quiet amassing 23 for 2. The tight bowling paid off again in the 10th over of the innnings when Matty Stowell bowling a lovely delivery to Mark Robinson which saw a good lenght ball nip back through the gate and hit the top of off stump.
From 23 for 3 Streethouse momentarily fought back and a partnership between Paul Langley and Liam Geddis saw the pair bring up 50 for Streethouse but immediately after reaching 50 Liam Geddis flirted outside off stump looking for another cover driven four and was pouched smartly at 1st slip by Matt Taylor off Jamie Robinson.
Alwyn Dyke strode to the crease for Streethouse and it was from there that Paul and Alwyn started to rebuild the innings. Still watchful the Streethouse batsmen began to move the field around and with the bowling changes coming in the shape of Steve Butterfield and Matt Taylor were shaping the platform for a late accelaration.
It wasn't Steve's day with the ball but on a batsmens wicket bowled 5 overs for 30 runs. Matt Taylor from the top end was bowling well and would eventually pick up the wicket of Alwyn Dyke but only after a 112 run partnership and 51 to the big mans name. Streehouse were 162 for 5 now.
Paul Langley was next to go, having laid the foundations for what looked like being a large total he was eventually bowled by Neil Kennedy who came on to finish with a spell from the bottom end of the ground, 165 for 6 and Long Lee may have thought a fight back was on the cards especially when skipper Richard Vigars snicked one off Matty Stowell to LLCC skipper Mark Day behind the stumps.
175 for 7 was to be the end of the wicket taking for LLCC with Richard Wild and Scott Bland coming together for an 8th wicket partnership of 38 with some late long handled action.
LLCC had bowled well and chased hard on a big field, some lads had covered a lot of ground chasing lost causes which showed how well they tried to support the bowlers.
In reply LLCC opened with the usual pair of Matt Taylor and Paul Stowell. The first over to Matt Taylor from Scott Bland was a beauty immediately putting the pressure on the LLCC reply. From the bottom end Richard Wild proved to be a real old swinger, literally the ball was doing plenty and his 6 overs only went for 14 runs and he picked up the wicket of usual run scorer Paul Stowell in the process. For LLCC the main highlight of the reply was Steve Butterfield's 31 not out, there were a few entertaining cameos here and there but ultimately the Streethouse bowling had the measure of the LLCC batsmen. Alwyn Dyke probably man of the match took 3 for 31, and Jordan Paige who took 3 for 37.
The LLCC innings closed on 136 with Neil Kennedy smartly caught at first slip by Bruce Percy.
Overall LLCC were satisfied and realise it could have been so much better. Streethouse deserved the win without question and proved to be a great set of lads. Good luck to them on their quest to return to Lords and thanks for a good game.