After the 1st week of the season was cancelled due to snow!!….the season finally got underway for the 2nd team with a home game against newly promoted Whiston Parish.
Having been involved in several good battlesâ€™ last season in division 1, both teams gaining promotion, a tough fought game looked likely. Following the snow of the 1st week, it wasnâ€™t a lot warmer this week. The ground at Abbeydale had dried out remarkably well but was still a little damp/soft, so winning the toss, a plan of taking the field 1st, hoping the wicket may dry out and set up a good chase!
Henry Eldred and his new back open the bowling for the pavilion end, showing good pace on a slow wicket, bowling a good opening spelling, getting the opening wicket caught behind by Manni (making his debut from India â€“ not the weather he was used to!). Chris Pickford took the new ball from the City End, also settling into good area early! 1 wicket down, with Whistonâ€™s two â€œbig gunsâ€ at the crease, a change of bowling at both ends saw Matt Tyas and Ben Flanagan into the attack. Both also settled in relatively well, runs hard to get, with the odd looser ball in the over getting punished by 2 good batters. This partnership took Whiston up to 87 before Flan got the break through, frustrating the opener into a loose shot, clean bowled! Matt Tyas was replaced by Brad â€œBFGâ€ Jones and some off spin (always tricky on a cold day!). This lead to a steady stage of the game, with Brad & Flan bowling long spells, runs ticking over slowly, with wickets also falling regular but slow. Brad bowling through for a spell of 15 overâ€™s, 4 for 65, Ben Flanagan ending with 13 overâ€™s, 3 for 56. With a few overâ€™s remaining, the score was 171 for 9, but the final push could not quite grab the remaining wicket, final total 204 for 9…..including 21 wides and 6 no balls?!
Tea â€“ excellent!!
With a very strong batting line up, chasing 204 looked possible…..but with a disappointing starting, partly due to excellent bowling, some bad luck and indifferent shot selection, the scoreboard showed 16 for 4! This left Ben Rooke still at the crease, joined by Henry Eldred. Ben Rooke continued from last season…and the season before…and the season before….grinding out runs in his â€œtrade markâ€ style. Henry looked the most comfortable batter of the day, striking the ball clean, causing the Whiston bowlers to be swapped and changed frequently! With the score on 98, Henry was trapped LBW for an excellent 47 off just 50 balls. Ben Rooke still grinding on was joined by Andy Simpson and being left handed seemed to confuse the bowling attack with plenty of leg side deliveries helping the score board keep ticking over. With a constant run rate of over 4 an over, just with losing regular wickets the chase was still on! Rookey was finally also trapped LBW by the 1st ball of the opening bowlers new spell for a steady 39 off 80, the score now 135. A couple of quick wickets followed, but the runs still coming, 145 for 8, but Andy Simpson still at the crease joined by the more than capable â€œnumber 10â€ batsman Chris Pickford. With only 5 more runs added, Simmo was also on his way back the pavilion having dragged a wide ball on for 30 off 31 balls. Lexi Moore came to the middle for the last wicket partnership, possibly the best â€œnumber 11â€ the 2nd team has ever had (a part from Rob Shaw â€“ please see Barnsley League match report). By this time it was very dark in the middle, but the runs kept flowing, both Picko and Lexi making it still look possible to chase the total down with overâ€™s remaining. After a partnership of 26, Picko was finally dismissed caught & bowled, leaving Lexi 10 not out and the team all out for 176!
A valiant chase, but falling just short, maybe looking back to regret all the extraâ€™s whilst bowling/fielding and a difficult start against the new ball!
A promising season ahead still, with a very strong squad of 1st/2nd team players is only a good thing for the 2nd team with strong competition for all places!!
Away to Darfield next Saturday, and hopefully a few degrees warmer!