2nds Off The Mark with Big Home Victory
The Hosts posted 323-4 before bowling Thorncliffe out for just 199 to secure their 1st victory of the season.
On a Bright & Breezy day the 2nd XI welcomed newly promoted Thorncliffe to The 3 Shires Oval.
The side had 4 changes to it from the previous week, welcoming Daz Pugh back from the 1st team, James Hatton from the 3rds and Andy Harrison & Jack Eggleston for their season's debut.
Thorncliffe must have only looked at the previous weeks' scorecard for the 2nds and seen their low score, not the fact that over 550 runs were scored at Wickersley, when taking the decision to bowl 1st. The 2nds were grateful to get 1st use of an already used deck, knowing that the conditions would only improve for bowling as the day went on.
1st Innings- WOVCC
Both sides were extra keen to get started with fielders already in position and the batsmen at their respective ends well before the Umpires took to the field. Jack Eggleston was given the honour of partnering Matthew Asher at the top of the order and this proved a good choice as both batters got off to strong starts. With boundaries flowing and the Thorncliffe opening bowler's temper starting to flare, both Maggot, oops I mean mean Masher & Eggy looked like they were on course for half-centuries. With the score at 82, the 1st wicket fell. Eggy played an excellent straight drive, unfortunately for him it was straight back at the bowler who took a smart catch low to his right (82-1).
Jack Roberts was next in but didn't last too long. After playing an exquisite cover drive he lost his leg stump the very next ball (97-2) and was back in the pavilion for only 7; a number that would feature in his performance for other reasons later in the day.
Out to the crease strode Captain Kevin Cooper, looking to put the disappointment of his golden duck the week before behind him. Masher finally reached his half-century and Kev began slowly before a bowling change saw him really get his eye in. The score moved serenely past 100 before Asher was out caught on the boundary for a well compiled 57, including 12 boundaries (137-3).
Next in was Andy Harrison and he rolled back the years to give the small crowd some big hitting entertainment. He dominated the bowling and the scoring, making 75 from just 47 balls in a partnership of 97 with Fruity. He was the final wicket to fall in the innings after pummelling 8 fours and 6 maximums (234-4). Chairman Pugh joined the skipper in the middle and together they shared in partnership of 89. Kev now began scoring freely, moving to his half century untroubled, whilst Daz could get his eye in at the other end. In the last 5 overs the floodgates opened and it looked as if Fruity would get his century but, unfortunately, needing 4 from the final ball he could only muster a single, finishing on 97no. Daz Pugh was not out for 28.
WOVCC 2nd XI 323-4 K.Cooper 97no, A.Harrison 75, M.Asher 57
Tea: The usual spread at WOVCC, however the replacement of Roast Potatoes by Wedges was not well received. 5/10
2nd Innings- Thorncliffe
Thorncliffe knew they had to get off to a strong start whilst the new-ball pairing of Danny Harrison and Adam Smith knew early breakthroughs would put the team in the driving seat. And wickets did come, as early as the 2nd over, Smiggers nipping one away from the opener through to a diving Jack Roberts behind the stumps (3-1). Haribo struck not long after as the no.3 spooned a catch to cover (21-2). The other opener decided that he would slash hard at anything outside off stump and a flurry of boundaries moved the score onto 42 before a mix-up between the 2 batsmen gave Jack Roberts an easy run out opportunity (42-3). The Furby-Faced Smithy then took his 2nd wicket and a 2nd catch for Jack Roberts when the new batsmen snicked off (46-4).
The Thorncliffe opener and the no.6 were perhaps their last real chance of getting near the total required for victory and put on a reasonable stand of 30 before the next wicket fell. Having slashed and cut his way to 44, despite being scared of anything striaght and jumping away, the opening bat finally went after edging Matthew Asher behind to Jackers for his 3rd catch of the day and 4th victim (75-5). There was now a bit of a lull in preceedings as the batsmen took some control over the bowling and managed to put on a 50 partnership. James Hatton was into the attack and whilst bowling a little short at times he finally made the much-needed breakthrough, when Tom Shepard somehow managed to shift his sizeable frame full-length to his left, where he took a tumbling catch in the gully region (125-6). James stuck again when Jack Roberts put down his cymbols and finally claimed his 1st stumping, and 5th victim, of the innings (156-7).
In an attempt to get through some overs quickly Andy had convinced Kevin to let Eggy have a bowl. This didn't quite go to plan as the very angry opening bowler from Thorncliffe dispatched 2 huge sixes leading to 10 minutes of delay trying to find any spare balls to use. Eggy got his revenge though having him stumped off his last delivery (182-8); Jackers' 6th victim! Shep was on at the other end and brought an end to preceedings, having the no.10 caught by Chairman Pugh on the boundary (199-9) before then getting the no.7 stumped the very next delivery (199ao). That stumping was Jack's 7th victim of the day, meaning he had as many dismissals as he has scored runs!
Thorncliffe 1st XI 199ao T.Shepard 2-7, J.Hatton 2-28, A.Smith 2-54 J.Roberts 3 catches, 3 stumpings & 1 run-out.
The Michael Donson Award was presented in the bar afterwards, to his good friend James O'Connell for his magnificent TFC.