Warton vs Westgate
Hyningmen beat champions, in rain delayed nail biter.
On Saturday 16th June we were greeted with an unusual sight of rain coming down from all angles leaving many wondering if it would be a wash out. Both teams made their way to the Hyning; and with Westgate setting up camp in the visitor changing room and Warton watching the football, all were quite content as drop after drop descended on the outfield. It wasn’t until 3.15pm that the clouds dissipated and the umpires deemed the pitch suitable for play. With the agreed start time being 3.38pm both sides had lost 13 overs making it a 32 over a side match.
The ‘veteran’ Crowther decided that the pitch was a shade of green after the rain that no man should elect to bat on with Warton winning the toss and putting Westgate in to bat. Buchannan and Frith were selected to face the new ball taking three from the first over leaving Buchannan on strike for the beginning of the second over where Needham decided to replicate a wide that Steve Harmison would be proud of first up. This unwanted variation appeared to work as Buchannan nicked the next ball to Barnfield who kept well all innings. Westgate were 4-1. Next in was Westgate skipper Hill, who looked calm as always at the crease attempting to make some fast runs dispatching the ball to the boundary twice in his innings. Frith was looking comfortable dispatching Needham for two fours in the over until a short one had Frith playing off the back foot and was caught by G. Finney at backward square. Westgate were now 15-2.
Arrestidou was next in to join Hill at the crease with both determined to dampen the ever growing morale of the Hyning men. Enter stage Railway End; Crowther having Hill caught behind and the beginnings of an innings collapse looming in the minds of on lookers. Westgate entered the 12th over 27-3 and ended it 28-4 as Needham was to collect his third victim again to a poorly timed shot by Conroy who was left walking back to the hut with a duck to his name, with Warton knowing that a crucial wicket had been taken.
Arrestidou now joined by Puffett in the middle and was still looking to get his innings going until he was caught at mid-wicket by Mayor, who redeemed himself after his earlier straight forward drop with a more complex catch taken looking over his shoulder. Scores now 32-5 and Needham had four for the afternoon so far. Puffett and Wilkinson now looking to dig in started to improve the morale of Westgate until an inspired bowling change with the veteran deeming his own bowling unsatisfactory and bringing Partridge on at the Railway End immediately getting Wilkinson caught behind for 14 again by Barnfield. 60-6 and things were looking good for Warton.
Tattersall was to come to the crease to make the 7th partnership of the day looking to get his head around the testing track but with a few back of a length balls getting him on his back foot it was the full delivery from Needham that had the stumps splayed. Needham collecting his fifth for the day leaving the scores at 78-7 with 8 overs left. In came Wilson who knew that stabilisation was needed and a partner that Puffett could stick with. Price who was brought on for Needham bowled well keeping it tight at the end of the innings but despite the accurate bowling of Partridge and Price, Puffett was able to notch up a half century and Wilson gathered a tidy 26 to leave Westgate 134-7 at the end of their 32 overs. A good recovery from 7 down.
It was time for tea and with Keith and Liz making a debut in the Hyning kitchen we were treated to a good old Yorkshire style spread, despite not having the dripping that had been talked about for weeks before. Thank you for the efforts and I am sure that black pudding could make a welcome addition to any cricket tea in the future.
The two Bay Leadership Academy colleagues were asked to open up for Warton with expectations high after some excellent displays with the bat from both in recent weeks. However Conroy and Wilson had other things on their mind making life difficult at the beginning of the innings for both openers. Finney was the first to go after hitting three delightful boundaries he chopped on and Wilson had his first victim with the scores now 16-1. Price was joined by Nelson who as ever looked strong and unwilling to give his wicket up without a fight but with Price being trapped in front by Conroy in the fifth over nerves began to appear with a comparable situation to that of the first innings being created. Warton were 16-2.
Barnfield now alongside Nelson looked to steer Warton back into a more commanding position with the loose ball being picked off by both batsman playing with good composure knowing that there was plenty of time left in the innings. It wasn’t until the 18th over when Wilkinson had Nelson gloving one to Buchannan being the stumps. The score now 70-3. In came Mayor fresh off a lovely, well-deserved 56 the night before looking to bat with the new founded confidence was able to punch one to the boundary before being cleaned up by Nisbet moving the scores to 75-4.
With only 60 runs needed to make it over the line and 13 overs remaining Partridge came to the crease displaying some highly unorthodox forward defence strokes that are not known to be part of his arsenal, unfortunately one too many of this new style of batting from Partridge led to his demise with the ball striking him in front to leave Partridge with a duck to his name. Warton were now 75-5.
Veteran Crowther was the next to join Barnfield at the crease showing a level head and helped stabilise the innings with Barnfield who continued with his display of eloquent stroke play making batting look effortless. Barnfield made his way to a well-earned 50 until in the 28th over he looked to put one over the top but was instead caught by Wilkinson who was having an inspired day in the field and Conroy getting his second. Warton however still looked in a commanding position of 122-6 with only 13 runs needed to seal the win.
Weatherill joined Crowther at the crease knowing that sticking with his captain was a must to get Warton over the line, unfortunately Wilson demonstrating a never say die spirit bowled Weatherill for 0 and Warton were now looking worried at 124-7. Needham came to the crease with pleas from Crowther to bat sensibly for once in his life, leaving a few outside off stump to Wilson before hitting a four back over Wilson’s head, Crowther was unable to do anything other than look perplexed. Crowther was to keep strike and keep the singles flowing and with a little help from four byes in the previous over went into the final over of the game knowing that the scores were level and one run would seal the win. Crowther in good fashion put Conroy through the covers for four and the win was confirmed.
It was an excellent game to have been a part of with both teams enjoying the intensity and adrenaline the game produced. We would like to thank both umpires and scorers for their help in the day because as ever the game could not be played without them.
12 points Warton!!!