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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Newton 2nd XI (away) 31/5/14

posted 4 Jun 2014, 07:42 by Mike Madden
When travelling to Newton it almost seems like a victory if you arrive in one piece with no more than one wrong turning, and so we were possibly a little over confident as we parked up at the ground where the noise from the motorway is diminished only by that from the Manchester Airport flight path. We lost the toss and were asked to bat on a dampish wicket, and we were soon in trouble. Ben Stones fell victim to his own aggression as he was caught for 2, then the captain got one that kept low and was bowled for 12. JJ Smith controlled the game with his usual precision, and having warned Ivan Heathcote several times about running down the wicket, the captain was called upon to explain it in non cricketing parlance. Undeterred, Ivan bludgeoned his way to 28 before being caught, whilst Rob Hill was dropped several times before being bowled for 35. Ben Williams offered up a simple return catch for 0, then Bruce Glover was bowled for 1 and we were in a bit of a pickle. Ethan Williams looked assured as he flicked the ball around comfortably, despite being called "one short" by the impeccable JJ, whilst chaos reigned at the other end. Peter Crowley always looks stylish when he leaves the ball outside off stump, less so when it takes middle and off for 0. Gibbo rarely looks stylish, and the ebullient left hander swung at a wide one first up, cutting it back onto his stumps, bringing Colin to the wicket. Ethan was bowled for 13, but Gareth Hill hit a four to great applause as Colin smashed a quick, unbeaten 15. Gareth was bowled for 7, but we had mustered a creditable 127 all out, with tons of overs to spare. Tea was a wonderful affair, with the ladies of Newton doing a splendid job, though we were heavy of stomach as we took to the field.

The Newton ground is deceptively large, with the boundary marked with what looked like tiny gravestones that marked the passing of dozens of long departed guinea pigs, so we were confident that the run chase would not be easy. Colin struck early, removing the opposition captain for just 1, whilst Rob Hill took a simple catch behind off Gibbo as Newton were reduced to 23-2. A stand developed until Gibbo struck again, with the captain taking a catch at short midwicket, but the rotund twirler was rather expensive in the context of the game, finishing with 2 for 42. Colin struck again, with a second clean bowled, but he had to finish with 2 for 21 off 12. Peter Crowley had no success in his 6 overs for 19, whilst Gareth Hill was not as tight as in his previous match, but he took a wicket after Ivan claimed a good catch. Gareth's 1 for 11 off 2 left the game in the balance at 71 for 5. At drinks Ben Stones was quite rightly given a dressing down by the umpire for leaving the field without permission, and he may have been thinking about this as he bowled two overs for 14. Ethan bowled 3 overs for 12, whilst Bruce had 1 over and 3 balls for 8, but the fielding became ragged as the confident Newton youngsters eased towards their target. Newton won by 5 wickets, but it was an even game for most of the time, played in very good spirit. We look forward to the return at New Horwich Park later in the season.