Three wins on second league weekend
The second week of the league season saw the 1’s finally get going with a crushing victory at Ashby Hastings, together with great wins for the 2’s and 4’s and an incredible implosion by the 3’s preventing the clean sweep.
Matt Craven’s men made the journey to Ashby on the back of 2 frustrating defeats the previous weekend and keen to get their Premier League campaign up and running. The team showed 2 changes from the previous week with fit again Aamir Mahmood returning and a call up for returning spinning colossus “mighty” Joe Cuthbert. Having inserted the opposition Ashby finished their innings on 219-9 with blonde haired nomad Tom Driver returning excellent figures of 5-34 for his 2nd “5 for” in succession. He was well backed up by tight spells from Aamir and Daz Shaw. Any thoughts that there would be a repeat of the previous weeks batting woes were quickly dispersed as openers Greg Smith (116*) and a circumspect Matt Craven (77*) posted an unbeaten stand of 220 in 35 overs.
The Smith’s renaissance continued in the 2nd team with Pedro posting a classy 112, supported by an excellent 2nd successive league 50 for the emerging Sam Johnson as the hosts posted a target of 248-4 for Loughborough Town 2’s to chase. However, a tremendous spell from the fit again off spinning toffee-man Tom Bailey, bagging a “6 for”, ensured that his grin at a welcome return to the wickets would be tempered by the need to purchase a jug in the bar afterwards! Loughborough were dismissed for 158 and even the absence of rural technician and skipper Christopher Hill could not prevent a 24 point haul to continue an impressive unbeaten start to the season.
The 4th team travelled to face Billesdon 2’s buoyed by the returning Harrison Norton and Jay Boucher taking their place in another strong looking line up. Having inserted the opposition upon winning the toss the skipper was soon a candidate for a call to the Samaritans as the opposition raced to 60/1 off the first 8 overs…..warnings of the fast scoring nature of the ground had been unheeded as the Humble Pie was baked! However, no matter as Oliver Lodge delivered another tremendous spell to rip the top order to shreds for the 2nd week in succession, clear evidence that if the yellow cap fits….. Supported well by Dunc Jones the visitors hit all kinds of trouble and seemed to be trying to bat out time until they realised that we still had to bat. Little and Large spin twins Ellwood and Pounds soon tied up the innings and we went to tea having full bowling points and chasing 107 for 2nd maximum point win on the bounce. No problems this week with an elegant display of artistic thuggery from John Pounds (59*) the cornerstone of an 8 wicket win with 30 overs to spare. Top of the league with 2 from 2 and unbeaten since August 2011 competition for places is hotting up down there.
Saved the 3rd team report until last as they somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of certain victory against local rivals Bowden. For 80% of the game the #yearofgreenoandgold seemed to be about to be marked by a 2/0 record as Bowden were dismissed for 183 with young guns Ben Lodge and Monik Patel taking 4 wickets apiece, and Tej backing up his strong finish against Kempston with a miserly spell of 1/7. At 162/2 the game looked in the bag until the “inexperienced” duo of Wilkins and Spence showed that running between the wickets is about as strong a point of their game as effective communication…..poor old watching Mrs Wilkins went horse as she saw the horror of her old man being run out without the need of the TMO. Spence then made matters worse by getting out next ball, unable to live with what had just happened and losing our last 7 wickets for 19 runs meant that somehow we had lost by 4 runs! A difficult spill to swallow for the Greeno Army, and made worse as it was witnessed by a large crowd of club mates anticipating Charmain’s drinks.