Napton CC v Stoneleigh CC
Report by Malcolm Thomas
From what appeared mid-week to be an availability crisis, that could have resulted in the embarrassing situation of Napton having to cancel the match, the call went out and the response was good.
Eleven good men and true turned out.
One of the origins of the term ‘good men and true’ is ‘Dependable men of rank and honour’.
Not sure of rank and honour but Napton’s pool of players are certainly dependable when needed.
Although, one spouse may not have agreed as she knocked on the window of the Victory Club to summons a player home !!
The ground looked well and much credit must be given to the pitch-prep team.
Work goes on during the week and not just on the morning of a home game.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat.
Mike and Stuart opened the attack for Napton.
Mike continues to impress with his free-flowing action and Stuart has regained his old spark and appetite for propelling the cherry.
The ever-improving JP joined the attack along with Ollie and his unconventional but effective action.
This combination put the visitors on 23-1 after 10 overs and 62-3 after 20 overs.
Captain Sam had a few and he gave Rory another session following his promising spell last week. With some pre-season nets and help from Napton’s established bowlers he shows all the signs of being up for a regular eight overs over the coming seasons.
It has been said many times in these reports that Napton’s fielding is one of the team’s great strengths. It is very rare to see runs added to the oppositions total due to fielding mistakes. It was no different in this match.
A swift return from JP for Stuart to use his soccer skills resulted in a run-out.
Diving forward Mike took a great catch and Tim showed his skill behind the sticks by taking a catch off a leg glance. The batsman on his return to the pavilion remarked, “I thought that was definitely going for four.”
Stoneleigh got into treble figures in the 30th over and were 139-9 after their allocated 40 overs.
Stuart Alsop 8 overs 1 maiden 3-28
Mike Eadon 8 overs 2 maidens 2-18
Ollie O’Brien 8 overs 1 maiden 2-28
John P Eadon 8 overs 2 maidens 1-27. 1 Run-Out
And so, to tea.
Complimentary comments from a couple of the visitors on the traditional cricket tea supplied by Val and Liz needs to be noted.
The regular practice of sandwiches cut freshly during the first part of the game adds greatly to the quality of Napton’s teas.
Cricket teas, along with volunteers for pitch-prep, are as much a part of a traditional Sunday village cricket team as on-field skills.
With a shortage of regular batsmen Napton could not feel as confident about the target of 140 as they may have done usually.
However, with only 3.5 per over required the total was very gettable.
Mike and Tim got off to a slow start and after 10 overs had just 11 runs on the board.
Mike scored steadily and at 20 overs the run rate was better with 54 runs but Mike had lost 3 partners.
Another wicket in the 21st over brought Stuart to the wicket with Mike. These two edged the score along until Mike was caught behind in the 34th over -122-5.
Stuart was bowled in the next over -122-6.
5 overs left for a handful of runs – but it was not to be.
Napton were all-out in 38.5 overs for 131.
Mike Eadon 58 runs 8 boundaries inc. 2 sixes.
Stuart Alsop 26 runs 5 boundaries
Tim Perkin 13 runs 1 boundary
A disappointing result.
As Billy Fury said in Halfway to Paradise, ‘So near, yet so far away.’