Just a reminder that our end of season presentation will be held at the club on Friday 28th September with a 7:30 start. Prizes for batting, bowling and fielding will be handed out to all our senior sides as well as for the Under 17 side. Everyone is more than welcome. The bar will, of course be open and we’ll be putting food on courtesy of Diane Newman and Tom Smith. Can players please let your respective captains know as soon as possible if you will be attending, along with numbers for parents/ wives/girlfriends.
Hard to believe that Saturday saw the first day of September and there are now just two weekends left of the 2018 season with our first team still having work to do to secure their place in the top flight for the 2019 season.
We picked up five points from the fixture against local rivals Warley, so will need four points from the remaining two games to be sure of Premier Division cricket next season. Southowram are the only team who can catch us and would need to take 12 points from both games and hope that we pick up three or less points. To enhance our advantage even further, Southowram host potential league champions Thornton on the final day of the season, but we’ll want to do the job ourselves and preferably this weekend away at Oxenhope.
We batted first and made 220 all out, with the Warley overseas taking 6 for 67. Simon top scored with 86 and was ably supported by Lewis (46) after the early loss of Tom to put on 94 for the second wicket. Tyson, Chris, Adam and Brocky all got to double figures, but we then went from 211 for 7 to 220 all out as our tail didn’t do much wagging, with Ross the last man out in the final over of the innings.
At 39 for 2, we looked to be on top, with Ross having taken both wickets and when Tom had their number four trapped in front with the score on 56, then it was game on. A 92 run partnership for the 4th wicket then evened things up again, but then swung back in our favour as Dan Sykes and Tyson took quick wickets to leave Warley needing 66 to win off 10 overs with five wickets in hand. Unfortunately, the only two other wickets to fall were when two were needed for victory, but did give us an additional bowling point, with Tyson and Dan both doing the honours again, but not before the Warley opener had made a ton. We were consigned to defeat with four balls left of the final over, but with a decent points haul from the game.
Four defeats in four for our 2nd team, but a spirited fightback with the bat ensured the game went pretty much the distance.
At 9 for three and then 27 for four by around 2.00 on Saturday afternoon, the second team were quite rightly wondering what they were going to do with the rest of their free time with Rhys, Smithy and Dave all back in the hut having scored a grand total of 0 runs between them. Brad alleviated the situation with three lovely boundaries, but when he was out (all four wickets to the same Booth bowler) we were safe to say in more than a spot of bother. Jon Hampshire in earlier than he would have wanted batted sensibly as well as sending the bad ball to the fence and made 40, putting on 82 for the fifth wicket with Henry. Jon’s would also be the final wicket of seven to fall in our innings, and in effect, ignoring the first 30 mins of play we had scored 212 for three, which is a great fightback under any circumstances.
Jon led the way on our re-building job, Henry had a classy half century to really get us back on track with all but four of his runs being scored in boundaries, Dan Vile had a quick-fire 20 and it was then left to Dylan and Rob to add some lower order runs which they did in some style, adding 88 for the eighth wicket. Rob would go on to record his maiden senior half century for the club, whilst young Dylan was happy to knock the ball around, once he’d got in and give the strike to his more senior partner. A score of 239 for 7 at tea was possibly below par at Booth, but we were more than willing to take that, bearing in mind where we’d been some two and a half hours previously.
Despite four wickets from Robin (4 for 60) and Rob Larkin bowling really well, but not having any luck, we were always a couple of wickets behind where we should have been if we really wanted to be in with a chance of taking the match. Henry bowled well and took one wicket, with four of the wickets to fall being clean bowled and skipper Smith taking a good catch at deep mid-off for the other, again off the bowling of Robin. We took the game into the 40th over before Booth scored the winning runs, having accelerated the scoring once again after the loss of the fourth wicket.
Not a great result, but plenty of spirit shown. Congratulations to Henry and Rob for scoring 50’s and to Robin for his 4 wickets. Dylan was, once again, tidy behind the stumps and we’ll look to build on this performance in the final two weeks of the season, where a couple of victories should see us in a final league position which reflects our performances over the past five months, and not just the last month.
Another 20 points for the Sunday first team and with two games to play, both against Rastrick, we are in with a great shout of taking the second promotion spot behind Triangle. It was a mix of 5 juniors and 6 not so junior players that made up our XI with Dan Brock skippering the side for the second time this season. The Illingworth skipper called correctly and we were asked to take the field on officially the first day of autumn but with the Astleys still bathed in lovely warm sunshine.
We were into Illingworth early and would go on to take wickets at regular intervals to limit our guests to 183. First wicket to fall was a beauty as Dylan took a one handed catch at full stretch off to his left the bowling of Leo, juggled the ball a bit, but clung on to get rid of their opener. Just goes to show that all that additional practice with our first team keeper is paying off. Brocky then took two wickets (one with an absolute horror ball) than somehow wiped out leg stump, the other with the assist of an absolute stonking catch off the good Dr on the boundary. That was the highlight of our fielding performance and Sunday wouldn’t be a Sunday without dropped catches and on this particular occasion, there were quite a few, which had we taken them all, we would have probably been chasing 100 or less.
Booey, looking all of his 65 years with a stiff back bowled 9 lovely overs without reward with the remaining Illingworth opener not being able to lay a bat on him without going agricultural. Rhys also had two wickets, but more about him shortly and Robbo came in and took the last wicket to fall, by clean bowling their number 11. Star of the show with the ball was Henry who took four for 46 off his nine overs. He cleaned up two Illingworth batters, Greeny on his return to the cricket field following 5 weeks in South America AND an engagement to Natalie (congratulation to you both Greeny from everyone at the club) took a dolly in the covers and the skipper took a smart chance diving forward to ensure that Lamps took the wickets he deserved from his spell.
So, 184 to win and we were only around 50 shy of victory at drinks after 20 overs. This was 95% down to Rhys who after giving a chance in the first over then went chanceless to be on 98 after just 20 overs. Once he’d got himself in, then the runs flowed with at least two boundaries being scored off every over. 29 extras helped the cause along with Browny just happy to sit on his bat at the other end, rotate the strike and watch the runs add up from the best seat in the house. When Rhys got to his ton and having to retire, our scoring rate, unsurprisingly dropped with four wickets falling in relatively quick succession, but there were still plenty of overs left when Robbo sent the third ball of 32nd over to the fence to give us a six wicket win.
This week’s fixtures
First team v Oxenhope (a)
Second team v Sowerby Bridge (h)
Sunday team v Rastrick (a)