All Square At Great Horton!
A very interesting first for the spen vic seconds at Great Horton.
Mark Loker filling in as skipper in the absence of John Ireland, won the toss and elected to bat on a wicket which although looked a little damp, seemed fine to bat on.
Derek Warriner and Mark Loker saw the first few overs through without too much trouble. The wicket then showed its true colours. Mark Lokerpulled a short length ball, only to see his stumps knocked back.
This was the start of a terrible batting collapse by spen. A mixture of poor shots and a very slow, low wicket saw spen struggling at 69-8. Only Leigh Manton who top scored with 29 was able to stay at the crease.
How ever Leigh found an unlikely partner in Tom Raven (20) who seemed to make batting look easy, to help the visitors post a score 0f 95 all out.
Great Horton got off to a great start reaching 45 without loss, and looked to finish the game quickly. Spen newbie Stuart Houlbrook (3-29) held up one end and made scoring exceptionally difficult
causing the batsmen to play rash shots. Derek Warriner teamed up with Houlbrook who has been brought out of retirement for another season pulled off 2 great catches. Tom Loker had a very good game
behind the sticks taking a low 1 handed catch, giving spen a glimmer of hope.
A blistering spell from Tom Raven (5-11) ripped through the great Horton middle order with some extraordinary bowling and turned the game on its head. Danny Simpson also bowled tightly dispite not picking up a wicket as did Spen debutant Ahsan Zia who finished with 1-31 from his 15overs.
Spen looked to be heading for an unthinkable victory when the hosts were 60-9, how ever their number 11 known as the wall batted out 20 overs and very slowly picked runs to edge Great Horton towards the finish line.
With the score at 94-9 the batsmen nudged the ball into the offside gap and looked to run the 2 runs needed. Courtney Hodgson who had fielded suprisingly well all game, gave chase to the ball and was able to fire the ball in to the keeper with the batsmen well short of his ground.
Over all a great fight from spen Victoria, showing spirit and determination. This is a sign of good things to come from a strong looking side.