On a wet and chilly (summer’s) night at Top Ground Southwell won the toss and elected to
bat first (partly due to latecomers!!). Skipper Greg Behl and Harry Napier saw off an accurate
opening spell. But Napier was run out going for a quick single. Step forward, Charlie Wand.
When Behl was also run out coming back for a tight second run, Ruth Sprawson (22*) and
Wand (36 retired) put on 50 for the fourth wicket, waiting for the bad balls and punishing them
to the boundary. Ruth was eventually well caught at mid on going for another big hit and when
Wand retired, Dan Jones and Max Clarke were looking to get some quick runs towards the end
of the innings. Clarke was brilliantly run out by a direct hit from the Hucknall wicketkeeper so
Joe Ashworth joined Jones and the pair took the score to 110-4.
Ruth Sprawson bowled the first over for Southwell and had a close lbw shout turned
down. But two balls later, she had the batsman plumb in front and the umpire agreed. Harry
Napier, Greg Behl, Dan Jones, Joe Ashworth, debutant James Pritchett and Alex Jan all bowled
tight spells and Pritchett took an excellent catch to dismiss Hucknall’s other opening batsman off
the bowling of Ashworth. An overall good performance from Southwell wasn’t quite good enough
as a great innings of 35 retired from Hucknall’s Lobb saw them home with three balls remaining.
You just can't help yourself can you. Cricket and the weather are inseparable. Driving over to Underwood the clouds were thick and grey, it didn't look promising especially after sitting at Top Ground the previous evening shivering as the people all around were wrapped in blankets. Once again the weather surprised as, on arrival, the sun appeared and we were blessed with a cloudless evening in the warm sunshine. Our first challenge was to find our 11th player. It turned out that a typo from the coach in the team e-mail meant Helen thought that Robbie was not playing, replaced instead by Ron B. We were nearly ronned of his presence but a Richie Bowles phone call meant that Rob, now officially "Ron", managed to get there half way through our innings. Both teams were fielding a young side. We had two U11s and 2 U13s whereas Underwood only had two players over the U13 age group. We were batting first on an astroturf pitch and it was clear that Johnny and Jake were determined to give us a good start. Johnny building a solid platform whilst Jake pushed the run rate, they took on the fielders' arms to turn 1s in to 2s much to the "delight" of Carin on the boundary. We were going well throughout with Jake (36 retired), Johnny (37 retired) and Ruth (37 retired on last ball) the stand out contributors. We finished our 20 overs on a remarkable 170 for 3. It was a big target so Johnny and I agreed that we would give bowling oppotunities to our youngsters and those who did not have much of a bat, knowing we had three more experienced bowlers in reserve if needed. Zac and Joe Stutchbury opened the bowling with Zac taking 1 for 9 in his 4 overs. Underwood had a good knock from D Buckley who eventually retired on 35, but it was first change of bowling that saw a dramatic change. Joe Ashworth, making his bowling debut at this level, "ripped" out their middle order in a spell of 4 overs, 4 wickets for 4 runs. Underwood were not going to recover and we were able to ask Greg, Alex Jan, James Smith and Ron Brown to complete the overs which they did with great credit. Underwood finished on 72 for 5 leaving us with a 98 run victory. Whilst the opposition were far from full strength it was still down to us to apply our skill to deliver such a convincing win which is testament to the continued improvement we have seen over the past few matches. Well done to the whole team. Still a few things to keep in focus, particularly backing up and throwing accuracy. With just two more home games left in the league we will then have the summer break to prepare for the U15s v. parents match on September 3rd. I would also like to call out the captaincy Johnny Butler provided. He has really developed this season when covering for Devon and these last two games have been really excellent. In good hands for next season I feel. Thanks to Ted Behl for umpiring and Derek Sprawson for scoring. Much appreciated. Team :- Johnny Butler, Jake Saleh, Zac Ashworth, Matty Bowles, Ruth Sprawson, Joe Stutchbury, Ron, I mean ROB Brown, Greg Behl, James Smith, Alex Jan and Joe Ashworth
Well it only seemed like yesterday we were at Top Ground playing U15 match on a glorious evening on a fine pitch with a large boundary. But I was wrong. It was the day before yesterday! MHM are a good side who take their cricket very seriously. Having played them twice already with two losses we were determined to try to redress the balance this evening. Winning the toss and electing to bat it was uncannily similar to our previous match against Farnsfield. Several batters got a "start" but could not forge on to build a big score. As always MHM bowled and fielded well to make every run difficult. Rob (11), Matty (14) and Joe (11) tipped double figures but we ended on 69 for 9 after our 20 overs. It felt 20 runs light at least. Crofts, Bayton and Lynam were the wicket takers for MHM in a good fielding display from the visitors. Using Monday's bowling and fielding display as inspiration we took to the field with hope and energy. Josh (4 overs for 9) and Johnny (3 overs, 3 maidens for 3) set the standard and the required run rate started to grow to give us hope. Wickets were the key and we were unfortunate to only take 2 in the end (Zac and Ruth with 1 each). Their batters kept their heads under pressure with New (19) and Lynam (21 not out) the stand out contributors. MHM were relieved to see themselves past the winning post with 2 overs to spare. Once again our team can hold their heads up high with a fine battling performance against the odds. I know MHM enjoyed the competition we offered. Well done to each of you despite the loss. We can concentrate on the league now eh? Thanks to Richie Bowles and Will Powell for saving me from more than a few overs umpiring and to Ted Behl for scoring. Team: Johnny Butler, Jake Saleh, Zac Ashworth, Rob Brown, Josh Cottam, Matty Bowles, Ruth Sprawson, Emily Stutchbury, Joe Stutchbury, Greg Behl, James Smith
Another glorious evening at Top Ground saw our local rivals Farnsfield visit us on a good looking wicket, set with a big boundary. No weather prediction from me this time. Batting first, our first 2 overs showed some promise. However their openers, Andrew and Kilford, soon started making inroads with some fine bowling, each finishing with 3 wickets. Our usual talisman, Dev, was dismissed early so others needed to make some runs. It was hard going throughout and only Josh and Matty made double figures as we eked out a total of 60 all out with one ball remaining. First blood to the opposition with an all round good performance in the field with each bowler making a contribution. We had nothing to lose as we went in to field. At the break we talked about fielding basics and tight bowling and that is what we got. Each and every one of the team stepped up to make the target as difficult to achieve as possible. A wicket each from Josh, Zac and Dev helped rein them back but they eventually managed to reach their target with 3 down on the first ball of the final over. Wakefield top scored for Farnsfield with a fine 24. Maybe, crucially, wides second top scored with 13. Well played both teams in a fine game. Thanks to Richie Bowles for umpiring and Sam "hopalong" Grimley for scoring (and Tweeting) Team:- Johnny Butler, Jake Saleh, Dev McCarthy, Zac Ashworth, Josh Cottam, Matty Bowles, Ruth Sprawson, Joe Stutchbury, James Smith, Ollie Howell, and very last minute sub (5 O'clock!!) Joe Ashworth.