Arnside vs Warton
Tough weekend ends in back to back defeats.
Warton headed to Arnside in good spirits after a decent 20/20 performance the previous evening, all be it in a defeat and hopes were also high for the travelling Liverpool FC supporters, but more about that later!.
The league fixture against Arnside was rescheduled to commence at 1pm to take into account a small game of football taking place later in the evening and as the game started it was hot with a sea breeze for perfect conditions.
Skipper Crowther ignored his Vice Captains pleas to bat first after winning the toss (a decision which proved costly) and duly asked Arnside to bat first. Crowther and Needham opened the attack while steady progress was made from the Arnside openers. The dangerous Lee was beginning to open up until Needham took his wicket on (24) and Crowther accounted for Whincup (19) and the dangerous Richardson (11) and suddenly Arnside found themselves on 66-5 after Graseley took a great catch off the bowling of Needham. Warton's tales were up at this point and knew another couple of wickets could see Arnside out for 120. Unfortunately what followed was dropped catches and a brilliant partnership between Hodgson and R Shepherd who dispatched the ball to all corners of the ground. Sloppy fielding, in particular from one younger team member, who refused to dive for the ball as he was worried about his whites getting dirty didn't help matters as the total neared 200. Finney slowed the rate of boundaries (1-28) but R Shepherd finished unbeaten on 61 and R Hodgson rode his luck scoring 52. Warton went in at tea disappointed but we're still very much in the game. Graeme Crowther bowled brilliantly in the hot conditions taking 4/67. Ryan Needham also bowled quick and put plenty of effort in taking 2/58.
Warton's reply started impressively with the returning Matthews looking comfortable and Jeff Winder picked off anything loose and was looking well set for a big score. As the half century came up the platform was set until Ali Matthews (15) was desperately run out which turned the course of the game. Jack Bolton went for a duck and the next partnership was crucial as Barnfield joined Winder at the crease. Barnfield was timing everything to perfection as normal and his class was beginning to show. Disaster struck at the other end as Winder lost his wicket for an excellent 37. This was followed by Ricky Nelson (3) and Finney (8). Captain marvel Crowther was next to bat and was very much in form after his 49 the previous evening. Crowther started to score heavily and was working the ball round with Barnfield. Worrying news came in from the pavilion that all was potentially not well with Barney's young child and he may have to dash home. This led to Barnfield having to throw caution to the wind and he holed out for an excellent 32. Wickets were now running out and it was down to Crowther to lead the tail in trying to save the game, although with Crowther hitting boundaries there was still a chance of victory. S Partridge who is more than capable of turning a game on its head briefly threatened (7) and A Weatherill batted well with Graeme for a number of overs before he lost his wicket for 5. Phil, or is it Keith strode to the wicket looking confident and looked at ease playing a single before Graeme was eventually caught and bowled, looking to work the strike, for another excellent knock of 44 as Arnside wrapped up the victory. R Shepherd capped a magnificent personal performance taking 5-42 on top of his 61no.
A disappointing result but it will not derail the season. Plenty of positives to take forward.
The lads then headed to the Shovel as Finney played taxi driver to Ricky for the Champions League final. There was a great atmosphere in the pub on arrival and Jack's celebration after Liverpool equalised was something to behold, this was followed by Adam falling on his backside again as he had done earlier in the day in the changing room, something he does with alarming regularity!! Crowther was getting madder and madder as Real Madrid took the spoils to cap a frustrating day all round. But as is the case every week the lads stayed together and had a laugh and we go again next week.
By Gareth Finney.