2XI tumble down the Heyside
18 June 2017: Heyside 2XI 191ao v SCC 2XI 152ao: Loss (1pt)
SCC headed to Heyside with only 10-men and a much weakened side. This was unfortunate, the two sides were 2nd and 3rd in the League respectively and this would be an important game. Ben Tunnicliffe and Nathan Gallagher had family duties, previous day’s MoM Neil Holt had been working all night and Kyle “KFC” Clayton was simply unavailable. We had also lost Adam Smalley and Eshan Sharif to the 1s. A big consolation was Ryan McGrath’s return, and we were supplemented by Dave “Etoo”, Tom Hughes, Rick Hall and our latest Holt, young Jacob making his debut.
It was another scorcher, under any other circumstances you would win the toss and bat but we felt we must play to our strength, bowling, and try to blast them out whilst fresh. Skipper Ben Pollard again worked his wonders and we took the field with our eye on the prize.
Heyside opened with once 1XI player John Selby and Mark Barnes, himself high up the run charts. A good start was essential and wow did we get it. When Selby was out in the 5th over he was 0-3, having been what appeared to be stone-dead LBW to Ryan 2nd ball, dropped by Jonah off the same bowler in the 3rd over and finally snaffled behind of Zak in the 5th. Although Ryan didn’t get him, he had earned the wicket, good pace, excellent line and movement frustrating the shot-making opener. Ingham followed soon after having struggled in the same way, bowled by Ryan for 5. We had the great start we’d wanted.
Barnes, nickname Shag, was batting well though, and along with Watkinson saw out the remaining overs of the first burst from Ryan and Zak, both understandably needed a break after 6-overs in the blazing heat. When Polly and Gary Pemberton replaced them both bowled tightly, and it was good cricket as Heyside built a recovery. Pemmy finally broke the partnership, snaring Watkinson LBW for 16. His reaction to having a previous shout turned down, utter disgust at the umpire’s failure to raise the finger shown through profanity strewn but clever invective, played no small part. Nice one Pemmy! It was GP who again broke the next partnership, bowling Robertson, but not until Heyside had again diligently added another 30 runs or so. A few overs later he also pinned Barnes, who had by that time made an excellent 51. 120-5 in the 29th over.
Smith came to the wicket and began to smash. Polly brought Ryan back on at the other end in an attempt to blast through the remaining wickets, and he quickly knocked Mullarkey over, but this brought the “character” Warburton to the wicket, and he began to smash too. Etoo gave Polly a break, but he bowled poorly and the two of them took him apart, 0-27 from 3 overs.
Before we know it Heyside are in the 170s and Ryan has bowled out. We need wickets quick, Pemmy obliges, removing Smith for his 4th wicket. Polly, back at the other end, removes the chatterbox Warburton, thank god, but he’s scored a damaging 35 by then. Even better, Polly also rolls over the next two wickets and we restrict them to a solid 191. A good score though, we’re up against it.
Tea is taken with great relief. Much liquid is consumed, personally I had 6 glasses of squash, and it was clear that the hot weather has taken some toll. We definitely are up against it. The break is over and we’re out there.
Somewhat surprisingly, we get off to an excellent start. Jonah and, if I say so myself, Dickson bat extremely well, defending solidly and hitting the bad ball cleanly. We get off to a flyer, 50 up in the 7th over and I take 12 off the next, we’re soaring. By the 9th over we’ve scored 67, this is on.
But then Jonah knicks off, and the Heyside downhill tumble begins. Zak is caught behind for 1 and remarkably the next three batsmen, Pollard, Hall and McGrath all come and go for ducks in quick succession. Runs come from the other end but we’ve dissolved to 90-5.
Pemmy marches out and solid defence brings some solidity. Together we take stock, and some singles, and the score begins to eek upward. Barnes off-spin is tight and accurate, and the resultant shouts of "Good, Shag! Good, Shag!" from behind the stumps are a bit disconcerting (how would he know?). Defence morphs into attack, Dickson in boundaries, Pemmy in 4s and 6s, and we get a kick forward. We’re 120 before Pemmy goes too, missing a floater from Barnes. In between Dickson reaches his 50, unfortunately not noticed by his team-mates till some time later.
Etoo is in next, we steady again and eek closer. Runs tick over and we’re upto 151 and there are 10 overs left. Still on!
But no, Etoo gets pinned LBW, bit high I thought, and it goes from bad to worse as Tom Hughes backs away and adds another duck to the team’s tally. Young Jacob comes out to form the last partnership, but I let him down and aim a drive at a wide ball and play it on. All over, 152 -9 (ao).
A disappointing loss, any side will struggle to win when half its team score an aggregate of 1 run. Pemmy bowled and batted well, I had a good knock, but MoM Jacob Holt was flawless, impeccable in the field and undefeated with the bat. A good debut!
Daily Lesson: Drop outs meant we lost on Sunday, but they also have an unseen effect. Ben Pollard was looking for an 11th team member till after midnight, phoning all and sundry. Spare a thought for this please.