Pipped at the Post in Opening Thriller
The 1st XI narrowly lost out to Woodpeckers in the first round of the 2017 season. Read more...
The 2017 League season opened last Saturday with a home game against a newly-promoted Woodpeckers side, with both teams anxious to get off to a positive start.
Newent captain, Alex Gray, won the toss and put the visitors into bat. The Woodpeckers openers, Earl Davies and Tom Radcliffe got off to a steady start accumulating runs at a sensible rate and, despite early chances, it was nearly 80 minutes into the game and with 85 runs on the board before the Newent bowlers got the breakthrough, with Jack Devries taking a catch off Karl Mortimer’s spin bowling to dismiss Davies for 42.
Tom Radcliffe proved to be a stubborn opponent as he edged past 50 and towards his century, but with just four runs short he was bowled by Tom Morley. Alex rotated his bowlers in an attempt to find the batsmen’s weaknesses, but Woodpeckers continued to score at a competitive rate with Karl (3-32), Tom (1-36) and Henry Lock (1-75) being the only bowlers to take wickets. The visitors completed their 45-over innings on 274 and feeling more than quietly confident they could defend the score.
After tea, and under some pressure faced with a 7 an over run rate, Newent openers Alex and Ben Sillince took no chances and let the runs build up by punishing the odd bad balls from opening bowler, Simon Bennett and Woodpeckers’ captain, Rob Cockburn. Both were looking relatively untroubled before Alex (33) played the ball onto his stumps with the score on 65. Ben and Tom Morley added another 30 before Ben was bowled by Tom Radcliffe for 37. Morgan Evans then set about increasing the run rate and in the next hour he, Tom and then Henry Lock gave the visitors something to think about as the runs accumulated, before he was out one short of his 50 when he was bowled by Tom Benfield.
At 38 overs we were ahead of where Woodpeckers were in their innings and despite cameo performances from Karl, Andy Brookes and Liam Malone, they took the remaining wickets with 5 balls to spare and left us 24 runs short of what would have been a thrilling victory.