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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Newton (home) 16/8/14

posted 19 Aug 2014, 02:52 by Mike Madden
This was to be our greatest triumph. A strong side up against the top of the league - and we were confident. Unfortunately that was on Thursday, and by Saturday the usual bout of first team cry offs meant that inexperience was the watchword in the seconds.

We lost the toss and were in the unusual position of having to wait for the verdict, as the Newton captain was not sure what he wanted to do. His vice captain arrived, and we were duly instructed to bat first on a damp and soft wicket.

Harry Bold went early on, bowled for 3, but Elliot Simmonds and Ivan Heathcote repaired the damage. Elliot was bowled for 37, and then it was Ivan's turn to hit out. He was bowled for 31, passing 200 for the season as he did so, as Ben Stones started to find form, accompanied by George Holden. Ben fell agonisingly short of his fifty as he was stumped for 48, then George was caught for 15. Ole Madden and the captain came together to take the score past 150, but the skipper was bowled for 4, followed soon afterwards by Rob Hill who was stumped for 7 in what looked suspiciously like the bowler's 13th over. Ole ended up on 10 not out, with Will McIlveen unbeaten on 1 at the other end, and the total on a challenging 168 for 7. In our minds we wanted 150, so the extra 18 runs were a welcome bonus, but it would still be tough to defend with just one senior bowler.

Colin was that man, and he struck in the 9th over with a fortuitous lbw decision, as we reminded Ivan to concentrate on the game. Rob Hill took a catch off Colin, and when Harry Bold did the same the visitors were 54 for 3 with 19 overs gone, although we were still reminding Ivan to keep his mind on the game. Unfortunately, although Ole, George, Danny Burt and particularly Will McIlveen bowled well, there was a lack of guile and menace. Ivan drifted off on a number of occasions, including an embarrassing incident when the batsmen pointed out that "he's not even looking". Harry Bold tried to buy a wicket without success, whilst Ben Stones showed signs of a return to form but succumbed to batsmen who, by his time, had their eye in. We took it to the last over, with Ivan still somewhere beyond the fields and far away, but Newton reached their target with no further losses. The seven wicket defeat meant that we picked up just four points, a travesty in such a hard fought and close game.