Match Reports‎ > ‎

Saturday 6th July v Hollingworth (away)

posted 7 Jul 2013, 14:38 by Mike Madden
Elliot's driving always has scope for amusement, and I dont mean in a cricketing sense. In a desperate effort to save the planet we crammed into three cars for our longest away trip of the season, with Elliot explaining that he knew where Hollingworth's ground was, but he didn't actually know where Hollingworth was. To be fair, he knew that it wasn't as far as Tintwistle, and he certainly knew how to negotiate the last 400 yards or so from the Gun pub, his problem was that he couldn't locate the whereabouts of the Gun pub. Regardless, we squeezed in and set off, arriving without mishap some thirty or so minutes later. The pitch was hard, the sun was shining and the mercury was rising faster than JJs quicker ball. Winning the toss I had no hesitation in electing to bat, a decision that threatened to come unstuck.

Harry Bold opened with myself as a tractor meandered along the track at the road end, and we put on 31 before Harry was out lbw. Long before this my calf had cried "no more", a regular occurrence that seems to happen earlier in the day as the season progresses. Elliot was on standby, but I persevered as Peter was bowled for 7 and Reuben was caught for 17. At this point Elliot came in anyway, accompanied by the returning tractor that now headed up the hill, and he was soon on his way as he holed out for a duck two balls later. The Hollingworth skipper came on to bowl and aimed a beamer at my nose. I top edged it, expecting the cry of no ball to follow, but it never came and I was caught for 36. JJ Smith happily explained that the ball was dropping, so by the time it reached the crease it would have been well within the legal limits, and I will have to remember this the next time we play Hollingworth as I would not want to get caught out again by one of the skipper's gravity defying deliveries. JJ Goldfinch and Ole Madden came together at 76 for 5, coincidentally as the tractor made its fifth journey of the afternoon, and 100 looked a long way off. Ole was solid in defence, whilst JJ was aggressive, smashing 23 before being bowled. Ben Williams was out lbw for 0, and although we had gained our first batting point, the second was some way off. Bruce and Ole, with a combined age of 26, saw off several overs as well as four more journeys from the incessant tractor, taking us to 139 when Ole was bowled for 16. His new bat got almost as much applause as he did, and it was rather churlish of the tractor not to "toot" its approval as it passed by once more, by now reaching double figures in terms of journeys. Gibbo managed a "one short" before being bowled for 1, then Bruce and Colin saw us through to the close and 145 for 9, with Colin unbeaten on 5 and Bruce not out for a very mature 14.

I didn't notice the tractor at tea, perhaps the driver was on his break.

As we took to the field JJ Smith ensured that he was first on to the field, and he was becoming a little irritated at the tractor as it made journeys eleven and twelve that day. He almost swore as it reahced thirteen trips, then he was distracted by the fact that JJ was the name of our opening bowler, as well as his own name. Although Colin bowled very well, JJ was too quick for the Hollingworth top order. I would love to say that he was also too quick for Elliot behind the sticks, but our stand in, and possibly long term, wicketkeeper performed admirably against the searing pace. Two wickets, both clean bowled, put us in a commanding position, and when Ole took a catch off Colin we had Hollingworth at 23 for 3. Colin's figures of 1 for 20 off 8 showed that he is nearing his best form, and that could be crucial in the coming weeks. Gibbo came on and got an lbw decision, but the Hollingworth danger man reached 50 out of the first 60 and threatened to scupper our plans. Cometh the hour, cometh the tractor, and with JJ (Smith, not Goldfinch), cursing again, Gibbo deceived the opener with his flight, and Elliot pulled off a sharp stumping. Reuben was a little wayward, and also a little unlucky in his 5 overs 0 for 20, whilst Ben Williams continued his miserable day with 1 over for 8. Elliot snaffled a second stumping off Gibbo, who finished with the remarkable figures of 7 overs 3 for 7, whilst Bruce bowled two steady overs for 4. At this point I asked JJ to warm up again, and was somewhat surprised to see the umpire turning his arm over (the name thing again), meanwhile Harry Bold was called upon at the other end. His first ball was a full toss, but the batsman failed to deal with it and Ole took the catch. Three balls later Ben Williams came back to form with avengeance, taking a stunning catch in the deep to all but eliminate the home side's hopes of victory. Harry had two wickets, and his third came in his next over as Elliot took the simplest of catches. JJ started his eighth over as two tractors passed by, and he finished his day with 2 for 28 off 8. Harry completed the victory with another wicket, clean bowled, and Hollingworth were all out for 105. It was a hard fought 40 run victory played in great spirit at a venue that is becoming ever more popular. The tractors were busy throughout the day, but the last word goes to Gibbo. Harry took 4 for 8 off 2.2 overs, and as I commended him with the words "Great spell, Harry," Gibbo replied with, "I've heard that in a film".