Milford Sweep Aside Hillam.
Our third win on the bounce see Milford beat struggling local rivals Hillam.
Over the years our fortunes and local rivals Hillam have seemed to mirror each other. We seem to follow each other up and down the league tables, but just at the moment we have the upper hand. Hillam are struggling at the moment having lost a number of their better long standing players. As a result the club is finding it hard to regularly field a 2nd team and their 1st team is languishing at the bottom of division 1.
First half of the season we squeaked past them with a 2 wicket win but since then their form has dropped off. Last week they were bowled out for 34 away at Ledsham. That is a real shame as apart from been the closest ground travel wise it is also one of the nicest. The new pavilion is a credit to the club and the ground itself is always well turned out.
The weather played ball with lots of sunshine and a light westerly breeze. A couple of changes to the Milford team this week with Martin Bramley back in place of Sean Nesbitt and Sam Thomas a late replacement for Harry Jackson who in turn had been picked to replace Pete Batty. Sam having to forgo his chance of strengthening his claim to the 2nd team batting trophy.
Hillam won the toss and much to his teams surprise captain Will Vaks chose to bat. You could hear the muttering already ‘Be home by 3…..’
Steve Winspear had a two dream games against Hillam last year collecting 16 wickets for just 69 runs. So it was no surprise to see him opening the bowling. Well it wasn’t to be his day this year as he only managed 1 for 9 in an opening five over spell. It was his opening partner Dan White who was to do the damage today.
Bowling from the far end he dismissed both openers and after 6 overs was sitting on 4 for 14. Milford skipper Paul Hebden kept Dan on to see if he could get another five for. Alas that 5th wicket proved to be elusive and he was finally pulled from the attack after 9 overs.
The Hillam batting looked completely lacking in confidence, no great surprise after last week, and it almost seemed a case of 4 and out at one stage. Keeper Alex Ward claimed another 3 catches to keep him at the head of the league wicket keeping stats, but still couldn’t find that first stumping of the season. Despite the begging to square leg.
Hillam showed a little defiance when Dave Venables and James Laughton got together for the 7th wicket put a lovely pie first ball from Sam Thomas saw Venables sky it to Alex. Sam’s next two wickets were from much better balls and young James Bramley closed the innings when he bowled Danny Plows. James much relieved to have picked up a wicket as he now has qualified for the club bowling averages.
So Hillam all out for 69 inside 28 overs, twice as good as last week. An ironic cheer going up when they past 34.
An early tea was taken and it was superb. Sandwiches and other savouries of every description. A first was stuffed jacket potatoes. The sweet selection was equally impressive, the fruit kebab making a second appearance of the season. Must be the new thing.
Sometimes a low score can be tricky to get, you never know how to chase it. Do you go out all guns blazing and try to finish it asap or take a safety first approach and try to loose as few wickets as possible.
Fortunately the fight seemed to have gone out of Hillam and openers Stuart Morley and Dan White had a relatively easy ride early on. Whereas Kiwi Kyle Sloane was reasonably tight opening the bowling his partner Adrian Joynson struggled with his line & length. His four overs going for 23 runs which got our reply off and running.
Stu & Dan put on another 50 opening partnership, their 5th of the season. Just when it looked the game was done & dusted it started to get a bit feisty.
Hillam thought they had Stuart caught behind from an edge off Kyle Sloan. Stuart was convinced he had hit the ground rather than the ball. A bit of willy waving was about to kick off before Hillam skipper Will Vaks withdrew their appeal. Justice appeared to be done as soon afterwards Stuart was bowled for 19 within sight of the finishing line.
Dan White was out the following over, LBW. Much to his annoyance as he had really wanted the not out. Then Joe Barr was out 2 balls later for a duck. Surely we couldn’t muck this up. Scores tied and two wickets falling in three balls…..
No, not even Milford could manage that and Ben White smacked the first ball of the next over to end the match. Another good performance and with two matches remaining we look well set to finish inside the top 6.
Next week’s match is our last home game of the season and gives us a chance to gain revenge on Headingly Bramhope. They are currently bottom of the table with just one win, us. Our worst performance of the season. We were very complacent in that match thinking we just had to turn up for the six points. Then when we saw the pitch a few of the players seemed to wanting to get off home as quick as possible, as a result we were well and truly turned over.