Prosecco Boys Fail To Sparkle
A flat performance as Milford suffer cup win hangover.
Perhaps it was inevitable that after the drama and excitement of last Sunday’s cup win the following league match would be a bit of a case of after the Lord Mayors Show. The warning signs were there at the start as the usual pre-match warm up seemed to have not the usual enthusiasm to it.
The forecast early in the week had been for a perfect cricket day but as the week progressed got worse and worse. We would be lucky if we weren’t interrupted by heavy showers. Fortunately most passed to the north of the ground and we only got the occasional sprinkle which just kept the wicket juicy but did not cause any interruptions.
Milford skipper Paul Hebden won the toss, for once, and elected to put Garforth PC into bat. This is the fourth time we have played Garforth this year having drawn them in both WCL cup semi-finals as well as the usual league games. Plus we play them in the Elmet Evening League so everyone was quite familiar with each other.
Billy Thompson was back in the side today and Paul Hebden was behind the stumps as Alex Ward was off playing football.
Steve Winspear & Dan White opened the bowling as usual and it was Dan who made the first breakthrough. Well to be honest it was really Paul Hebden who with quick thinking got Milford our first stumping of the year. Alex is the leading wicket keeper in the 1st division with 22 dismissals but they are all catches, obviously takes years of experience to be a stumper…….
Steve also got his regulation opening spell wicket and Garforth were struggling on 16-2. This was the first of 6 catches that went to backward point during the day. Ben White taking the first of his two today. (See Ben I know it’s you, just cannot put your catches in the right box when I submit the match return)
Garforth rallied and Michael Fisher and their overseas player Hayden Mortimer put on 76 for the 3rd wicket. Joe Raynor was brought into the attack but sadly couldn’t reproduce the magic which had won him Man of the Match on Sunday in the cup final.
Young James Bramley was brought on at the far end and bowled really well. He slowed the run rate down to a trickle and finished with 1 for 32 off 12 overs. Probably he should have had a few more wickets but it was a great effort and he keeps getting better and better with each match.
Dan Ward was brought into the attack and initially was a bit wayward but still managed, when he got it right, to take a couple of wickets. Dan always seems to come away with at least a couple of batsmen in his bag every match.
Once Bramley had finished for the day Garforth upped the run rate, having plenty of wickets in hand, they pushed on and put 50 in the last 8 overs to finish on 184 for 9. Both Steve & Dan White came back on and bagged a pair of wickets each but it was probably Garforth who headed for tea the happier team.
Garforth produced a lovely tea for us though sadly my head cold meant I couldn’t really taste much. It was only when I discovered a sultana in my sandwich I realised it was Coronation Chicken !!! The sweet stuff was bought but nice none the less, a very good fruit cake been the highlight. One of my five a day.
Dark threatening clouds behind the pavilion had me quickly working out the run rate in case the 2nd innings was rain affected but it mostly kept away from us and only the occasional sprinkle hit us between the bursts of sunshine.
Just over 4 runs per order were needed so there was no need to set off like rockets, just keep the scoreboard ticking over and not loose wickets. Sounds simple. Sadly our run machine, Dan White, is going through something of a dry patch at the moment and for the 6th time this season edged one to the keeper when attempting a cover drive. A real shame as he was just looking set. Still his 15 was enough to put him back on top of the 1st division run scorers as his main rival, Richard Ward from Kirk Deighton got a duck.
Fellow opener Stuart Morley followed soon afterwards becoming Darren Childe’s second victim. Unsurprisingly Stu was out LBW, though he claims to have knocked the cover off it before it hit his pad.
The Milford middle order just couldn’t string a substantial partnership together and when the father & son combination of Andy & Tom Conboy got working we looked well on our way to an early finish.
Andy Conboy just couldn’t drop anything today and came away with 4 catches. Three to son Tom, each one an almost carbon copy of the first. Tom getting a bit of lift and the batsmen edging it to Dad Andy at backward point.
Steve Winspear and skipper Paul Hebden came together for the 9th wicket and I thought we were going to have a repeat of the last league match when they dug in and put on a half century partnership. Not this time as Steve was caught when he finally tried to knock one off the square. That’s ruined his batting average.
It thought that would be it and the innings would be quickly wrapped up but I wasn’t prepared for the potential award winning innings from James Bramley. James was resolute in defence and has made a big claim to be the winner of this year’s Snail Award. He faced 32 balls as Garforth tried all their tricks in an attempt to claim the full six points.
Nothing seemed to faze him and even skipper Paul Hebden seemed happy to let him see out the last over. Fortunately James managed to score that 1 run to qualify for the snail and his 3.1 strike rate will certainly take some beating . Best get you suit ready James for the dinner…..
So for the second league match in a row we batted out for a losing draw but this time claimed a bonus point for reaching the 75% target. That now makes it 2-2 in the head to heads with Garforth. A win apiece in league & cup for both clubs.
"The other advantage England have got when Phil Tufnell is bowling is that he is not fielding." - Ian Chappell in 1990