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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Buxton (home) Saturday 18th April 2015

posted 19 Apr 2015, 06:51 by Mike Madden
It was a remarkably sunny day to start the season as Whaley Bridge seconds hosted Buxton, and with a youth policy firmly in place we won the toss and confidently asked Buxton to bat first.Fifty runs and no wickets later we had second thoughts, but old stager Colin Wild came off after 8 overs for 17, and Ed Kitchen changed ends to allow Peter Crowley, on his long awaited return from injury, to throw down the ball. This had an immediate impact as Peter took a caught and bowled (having dropped an easier chance), and we were on our way. Ed Kitchen's switch proved effective as he had Buxton's star junior caught by Ethan Williams, and there were several chances of a run out before Harry Bold finally got the ball into Will McIlveen's hands to gain the third wicket. Ed took his second wicket, clean bowled, to finish with 2 for 36, whilst Ben Stones got a wicket with a delivery that was arguably a no ball, as Bruce Glover took a very good catch in the deep. Ole Madden took a sharp catch off Peter, then Will McIlveen took a catch behind, again off Peter, and we sensed an early tea. Ben finished with 1 for 23, whilst Peter took another caught and bowled, once again shortly after dropping an easier chance, and he finished with 4-20. Ethan Williams bowled just 1 maiden over, and at the other end Ole Madden struck twice, both clean bowled, to finish with 2 for 2. Buxton traipsed off having slumped from 51 for 0 to 103 all out, and we had 51 overs to reach our target.

The youth policy stayed in place, and when Harry Bold pulled a couple of fours we were confident. Ben Stones was given out lbw first ball, then Harry fell to a good catch for 9, and we were 9 for 2. No panic, as Peter joined Ivan Heathcote at the crease, but when Peter was bowled for 4 we were getting twitchy. Ole played two glorious square drives for 4, but he was then caught for 8 trying to repeat the feat. The captain was still not tempted to promote himself from number 9, and Will McIlveen and Ivan steadied the ship. They inched past 30, 40 and 50, eventually bringing up a fifty partnership. Will played with a lot of freedom, and Ivan ground out a score that showed a lot of patience. They took us into the 80s and 90s, and although Will almost got out with just a handful of runs required, they saw it through and we won by 6 wickets. We have persevered with our youngsters for several years now, and this victory was a testament to that policy.