The 2nd team travelled to Elsecar on Saturday, with relegation most certainly a possibility. However, news of Shiregreen’s match with Wath being called off ensured that we survived, regardless of what happened at Elsecar.
As expected, we all….sorry, most of us all made the journey to Elsecar despite the weather we had experienced. On arrival, Elsecar players working extremely hard to make sure everything done possible to get a game on. The conditions were very, very poor with standing water around the outfield. Elsecar naturally keen to play, as win would have confirmed their title – we on the otherhand, happy playing a variation to indoor cricket. Anyway, much to Colegate’s disgust – we got the nod from the umpires that play was due to start, 35 over game. The wicket was marked out (we were not playing on one expected), looking extremely lush and green. Riaz won toss and inserted.
After taking the field with 10 men – Longers missing, as he had not travelled due to the fact he thought it would be off, Butts and Bully opened the bowling. Neither did any damage, with Meadows and Farmer looking in good form. Pitch did not misbehave / we could not get it to seam/swing, and by the time Longers had turned up, they were 68-0.
Great bit of fielding from Colegate ran Farmer out, and the wicket brought a change in the game. Ben Fielding, Riaz and Benji all used, and shackles were put on with wickets coming. 1 for Ben, who got Swallow caught expertly at cover point by Bully, with 2 in quick succession for Riaz – Hunsley and Lesroy Weakes the men out. 92-4, with 7 left – we had done exceptionally well to recover – although wickets brought Glenn Yates to crease.
All bowlers were punished without one slog shot being played – he smashed 71 off 34 balls, hitting 8 6’s and 2 4’s and the innings had taken a dramatic twist. By the time Riaz eventually got him, the damage had been done. Meadows helped himself to a 50 too – off 81 balls though, with Riaz getting him too. Benji got the final wicket, and ECC finished on 187-7.
New opening partnership of Riaz and Danny opened the batting, and we started positively. 28-0 became 28-2 though, as Riaz was stumped and Danny (again) played across the line and was out lbw. Butts poor day continued with a 0, and with Bartles also getting a minimum we were 38-4.
Colegate went to a superb catch from Meadows, and after Bully played small cameo, it was left to JJ and Ben Fielding to get the score to respectable amount. Both went at the end, but they had both shown glimpses of talent for next season. We finished 97-8.
Survival then – and in my honest opinion, that was a superb achievement by the side bearing in mind the magnitude of players we have lost / the number of players who have not managed to bridge the gap between 4th/3rd team and play consistently at this level. I know others don’t think that, and no doubt that will be good talking point when we have end of season drinks after next week’s game against Shiregreen. Talking of which, if the game is off – there will be a game of football played at Abbeydale before we go out, so turn up regardless. Bring a good football as well. You lot may as well me celebrate my goals again for the last time this year.