Roving Reporter Neil Kennedy again….following a weekend off supporting Great Harwood Cricket Club’s Beer festival which I am pleased to say was a great success for the club…..not necessarily my liver!
On arrival at the ground, it appears we are going to have good weather so looking forward to a good game. The picturesque ground named Towncroft is one of my favourites that I have visited, and Middleton have played on this ground since the early 20th century so has some history.
As I tuck into my lunch, Marcus turns up for the game dropping his takeaway in the bin next to the ground (no frugal advertising in these reports but from a well known American Fast Food outlet known as the Golden Arches)….no wonder he is known as Burger Jr!
It’s all happening as Hamza turns up and sells his car in the car park…….game not started yet!
As I finish my lunch I notice a special guest in the Umpire hut…….thought Mr Kayley was playing tomorrow not today…
Anyway, on to the game…..Russ wins toss, and we bat first.
Hamza and Harris to open.
Hamza 2 nice shots for 4. 14-0 off 3 overs. Making decent progress.
I make my way round the ground for my first lap….. News Alert:- Middleton groundsman looks tired…
Wicket:- Hamza bowled. 15-1. Joel Houldsworth in at 3. Unfortunately, he doesn’t last long…..Wicket:- Joel LBW. 16-2
Seb Whalley in next. We move the score on to 35-2 off 10 overs.
Wicket:- Seb out caught behind for 8. 47-3 Alex Kennedy in next. 71-3 off 20 overs.
Newsflash:- 3rd lap of the ground and good time to thank our scorer today Chris Hamer (or Burger Snr) who is settled in the scorebox with his scorer wife of the day….
110-3 off 26 overs……Harris batting really well and has moved on to 44 alongside Alex who is now on 26…..good partnership.
Wicket:- Alex out caught trying to drive one to mid-wicket (I think?!)…113-4. Paul Houldsworth in next.
Harris succeeds in getting his 50…well batted young man.
Wicket:- Harris bowled…..150-5. Captain Russ in next
Comedy Alert:- Run for single Paul shouts no…Russ turns back….then yes…Russ sets off again…where is the Benny Hill music when you need it.
A few wickets fall in the upcoming overs as follows;
Wicket:- Russ out caught. 181-5. Shovey in next. 7 overs left.
Wicket:- Paul bowled LBW. 197-7.
Wicket:- Ammer bowled. 214-8.
Wicket:- Abid out caught. 216-9.
Wicket:- Marcus bowled. 232 all out
We close the innings on a good score so hopefully we can defend this.
Shovey to open. Harris opens at the scoreboard
Early Wicket:- bowled Shovey caught Seb. 29-1. Good start.
Middleton move on to 42-1 off 7 overs……we need to get a breakthrough. Change of bowler as Marcus comes on for Shovey. Score 55-1.
Spectator view:- one of our supporters walks past and comments from the early overs bowled….”More extras than Ben Hur” 😊
Another change of bowler as Alex on for Harris.
Wicket:- caught & bowled Alex. 86-2.
Game proceeds and Middleton move to 105 at drinks. Run rate appears to be pretty level at this stage but their batters look set.
Change bowler as MC Ammer replaces MC Hamer…….need to change some names for next report…highly confusing.
Newsflash:- as I take what must be my umpteenth lap of the ground I decide to visit the toilets at the other end of the ground…..unfortunately this turns into what I consider a bushtucker trial….
….thought Ant and Dec were going to turn up.
Change of bowler – Joel Houldsworth in for Alex.
Wicket:- bowled Ammer caught Paul Houldsworth in slips…….one handed…diving catch…full length to his right (that’s what Paul said anyway). 146-3.
Shot:-6 – their batsman gets 50. Well batted.
Change of bowler as Shovey comes back on for Ammer. 167-3
Wicket:- great throw from Abid in the field makes a direct hit. 193-4.
Wicket:- bowled Joel. 193-5. Got the man out who got 80. Come on boys.
Change bowler Abid for Shovey
Another Wicket:- bowled Joel caught Seb. 198-6. They need 20 off 5 overs…..
Wicket:- bowled Abid. 214-7. Change of bowler as Harris replaces Joel. They need 15 off 4 overs.
Unfortunately for us Middleton win with 3 overs spare.
This was a very close game, and we competed well, but in my view, there were too many runs given in the field alongside some fielding errors. It was a great game to watch and we were all made very welcome by Middleton CC as their guests.
Player of Match
Harris with his 65. Well batted