A short drive to Frecheville, the 1st Saturday without any really sun or warmth, with rain over night saw the game in a slight doubt. A slightly soft and damp strip where the covers had leaked made for a very different wicket to previous weeks in the season. Toss won – bowling!
An excellent start with the ball for Jack Mr Cricket Lister & James Scholfield saw runs very hard to come by with the over’s clocking up faster than the runs! For those who haven’t been to Frecheville, there is a slight “slope” on the ground with small boundary on 1 side – Mr Cricket & Schoff unable to agree on ends to bowl also had a coin toss, Schoff winning and choosing to come down the hill. This proved vital (for Schoff at least), with pressure building the 1st wicket fell, LBW from Schoff (caught Simmo!), 31 for 1. 2 balls later, a moment of déjà vu and another wicket fell, LBW to Schoff, 31 for 2. Some excellent bowling from Mr Cricket & Schoff, with a bowler friendly wicket set the tone for a #digin batting day. Mr Cricket finished his spell, unlucky to have not picked up any wickets. Dan the Man Priestley making his 2nd debut took control up the slope, showing excellent control from the start keeping the run rate at its slow pace still. Schoff continued his charge down the hill; clean bowling 2 more taking his total to 4 wickets, score 38 for 4. Excellent ground fielding helped the pressure but awful catching did not – no names mentioned but during the innings 9 catches were put down! The Frecheville score continued at a pedestrian pace, but with the drop catches batsman were able to continue – 1 batter even remarking “I’ve never been 16 for 4 personally in 1 innings”! Schoff bowled 13 over’s straight through, excellent figures of 4 for 26. Dan The Man claimed his opening wicket for the 2nd team and should have left with at least a couple more to his name – another excellent spell, 13 over’s, 1 for 41. Alex Aggie Varley took over from Schoff looking hard to score off, but with batsman feeling their luck was in started to chance their arm. Mr Cricket returned but down the hill this time, 1st ball wicket, caught behind by Simmo. Mr Crickets final charge down the hill saw 3 wickets added to his season total, final figures of 11 over’s, 3 for 28. Danny “my hair is brown in the right light” Walton finished off from the bottom end with every variation shown, taking 1 more wicket – close of 1st innings Frecheville 128 for 9.
Decent tea – full ham and cheese salad, enjoyed more by the “senior players”.
Chasing 128 in 46 over’s seemed very possible, plenty of time for batters to look at the bowling and build a score….unfortunately this did not happen! A batting collapse of gigantic proportion saw the top order crash to 13 for 6! Frecheville’s 128 now looking a very long way off! This collapse was helped by some good catching all round, with NO chances going to ground. Simmo and Mr Cricket were the 2 left at the crease, with the run rate dropping with dot balls and maidens coming easily. After several over’s of regrouping, and the bowler up the hill getting tired, a run or 2 were finally scored, helped mainly by a full toss, followed by another full toss then another being helped to the boundary by Simmo. Bowling change up the hill saw a change of “tactics” from the bowler – seeing Simmo could play a full toss well, he opted to try the long hop instead – these also found their way to the fence. Mr Cricket was looking safe and steady at the other end, as Simmo brought up his 50 with a 6 over long on. A very tight spell of bowling for the Frecheville opener came to an end, 13 over’s 1 for 15, replaced by the former Collegiate junior Danny Mines. Fresh back from Aus, keen to impress, but Simmo gave him no time to settle hitting another 6 over long. Jack was picking up his strike rate too and 128 for coming into range. 1 shot too many from Simmo saw the ball hit the stumps; bowled for 82, score 113 for 7, partnership of 100 with Mr Cricket. Next man in was an out of practice Edd Crafty Croft, but the experience showed as he played straight and was in nicely behind the ball. Mr Cricket took the lead roll and with a flurry of excellent boundaries through and over the off side saw the total reached in 43 over’s, Mr Cricket ending not out 34!
A hard 5 points won in the end, but definitely 2 points lost! Catching has to improve and the top order has to fight back harder next week!
Next week home to Millhouses Works – the team currently 1 place above, having lost 1 more game but gained more bonus points! Catches win bonus points!