The Sunday section finally got their first win of the season with a hard fought victory over a stubborn Sowerby St Peters side who played the match with ten men.
A glorious day for a change at the Astleys drew a larger than usual crowd with returning captain Harry West winning the toss and electing to bat. There were three changes from the previous weeks outing with Harry, Simon Hampshire and John Greenwood coming into the side to add some backbone to the batting line up, replacing Danny Keast, Brad Holt and Paul 'Pedro' Collins who was at the White Rose shopping for lamp shades.
We got off to a rapid start with the ball travelling to all parts of the boundary in the first five overs, with John Greenwood making the most of the new ball and the fast outfield. Together with Jon Hampshire, 48 runs were added for the first wicket before Greeny was given out L.B.W. This brought the skipper to the wicket and after being watchful for the first few overs got into his rhythm, putting on 39 for the second wicket with Jon and then 81 with the other Hampshire in the side, Simon, who made a good looking 35 in only his second appearance of the season. Only one other player (Brian Haigh with 11) reached double figures as the 'Stute suffered with their traditional middle order collapse. As a result, a score of 222 all out off just shy of our allocation of overs, was a little disappointing but would prove to be a testing total for the youngish opposition to achieve.
This proved to be the case as the opening bowling pair of Simon Hampshire and Fahad Hussain ensured that scoring shots were at a premium. The pressure finally got to the opposition batters when one of their openers attempted to launch Simon over mid off. Making a good connection, it looked for all the world as though the ball would be heading to the rope. That was until, Brian Haigh came swooping out of nowhere like a hungry seagull to take a tremendous running catch. He would admit later in the clubhouse after he'd secured the fielding mark that he couldn't see the ball and had merely stuck his hands out more in hope than expectation, but they all count Bri! Two Hampy senior deliveries later and the opposition were three down with Greeny taking a sharp chance behind the timbers and then clean bowling the incoming batter.
If we had been sharper in the field and taken all of our chances, then the game would have been over a lot sooner, but all credit to the opposition who stuck at it, in particular their fifth wicket pair, who put on just shy of 100 runs before the senior member of the partnership was clean bowled by Fahad in the closing overs. This wicket signalled the end of the St Peter's resistance, with only 10 more runs being added before the game was sewn up, fittingly by Simon Hampshire who took a catch off his own bowling to seal the 20 point victory.
So, a good all round team effort once again by the Sunday section, this time with the just reward of a maximum points victory. Simon Hampshire and Fahad Hussain were the outstanding players on the bowling side of things, sharing the nine wickets to fall and returning impressive figures of 5 for 33 and 4 for 23 respectively. This was backed up by the ever reliable, yet unlucky Andy Boocock and some excellent work in the field and behind the stumps.
No game this weekend due to international call ups, but we'll be back in action away at Elland on 10th June.
Fielding Mark:- Brian Haigh