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Saturday 20th July v Charlesworth (home)

posted 23 Jul 2013, 14:07 by Mike Madden
There was a buzz around the ground as Charlesworth came to visit, and we were later to find out just what that was. The pollen count was high, as were the temperatures, and when Charlesworth won the toss they made a bee line for their pads as they elected to bat first. Our openers got the ball to mis bee hive, and after a steady start Colin Wild struck, with umpire Stuart Ogg getting in to the swing of his lbw decisions very early. Reuben Cutts made another breakthrough clean bowled, then Colin reduced the visitors further with a second wicket clean bowled. Gibbo struck in only his second over, bowling a bewildered batsman, whilst Colin finished his hostile opening spell of 8 overs with 2 for 25. Peter Crowley tried hard without success, finishing with 5 overs 0 for 22, whilst Gibbo was probably thinking of sweets with a honeycomb centre as he lost his rhythm, finishing with 1 for 22 off 4. The fielding was occasionally good and frequently atrocious, with several senior and junior players attacking the ball like statues that have been put in slightly the wrong place. Ben Stones joined the fray, and produced a real sting in the tail. He took a wicket, clean bowled, with his first ball, and then took two more in the same over, one clean bowled and the other lbw. But then, was that Gibbo humming to himself? And was that a dust cloud rolling over the hills from New Mills? Whatever it was, Ben was keen to leave the boundary to get to the middle and tell us all about it, but he wasn't stopping, and when it got closer, neither were the rest of us. We headed for the safety of the pavilion as a scene from a 1950s B movie was re-enacted on the square, and a horde of killer bees swarmed across New Horwich Park. Actually, in best journalistic tradition, this is greatly exaggerated, and the genial honey bees were gone quicker than you could say "sugar puffs" so that the game could resume. Swarms of Charlesworth batsmen returned to the pavilion, with Bruce Glover forcing a miscue that was pouched by Nigel Morten behind the stumps. Ben continued his demolition with another wicket caught by the captain at gully, whilst Reuben Cutts finished the innings off with Stuart Ogg's third lbw decision of the day (so far). Reuben threw down an impressive 9.2 overs taking 2 for 39, whilst Bruce took 1 for 14 off 5. Most impressive, however, was Ben Stones' 6 overs 4 for 24, reducing the strong Charlesworth batting line up to 161 all out.

With maximum bowling points in the bag we set off in search of batting points and a victory. Unfortunately neither of those events occurred. The captain was trapped lbw for 11, whilst Reuben's lethargic running style saw him run out for 1. Peter Crowley was caught for 5, whilst Charlie Kitchen was bowled for 3. Nigel Morten promised greatness from the sidelines, but he was bowled for 0, then Will McIlveen was caught for a promising 7. Ivan was caught for 2, and Ben Stones for 6, whilst all this time Bruce Glover was frustrating the opposition and building himself a score. He was finally bowled for a team high 19, and when Colin was caught for 4, leaving Gibbo unbeaten on 0, we had collapsed to 71 all out. With our highest total of the season just 154 we have slumped to 3rd bottom in the league, and drastic measures may be required to reverse this trend.