Back at home this week at The Cliffe as we host Lowerhouse. I drop Alex off an hour before the game and it looks like there is a kids birthday party on at the club….started early I thought as it was only 12pm. I then notice they are all dressed in same coloured t-shirts…..wow it’s the Lowerhouse team. This must be one of the youngest sides we have faced this season…….hope they don’t leave their Farley’s Rusk wrappers lying around!
The ground looks great again bathed in sunshine. Changes to team are mainly Ethan Houldsworth, Alex Kennedy and Thomas Newton in this week. GHCC to bowl first…Game On.
Mark Leach and Ethan Houldsworth open bowling. Both ends start well as we are keeping runs down to a bare minimum….
Early Wicket!- bowled Leachy caught Alex Kennedy. This follows another early Wicket!- bowled Leachy caught behind by Ben Rogers our latest new addition into the squad…welcome Buck…(sorry Ben). 3 for 2 – great start.
As I start my note taking, am interrupted by the arrival of Young Dobbo…..Danger Alert!- last time I was with him at Middleton away he cost me a fortune in crisps and drinks….Help! Only joking Young Mr Dobson😊. As this is happening Leachy is on a Hattrick as the new batsman arrives at the crease……the crowd are apprehensive (well 6 of us are)….as he runs in….batsman keeps him out. Unlucky Leachy well bowled.
News Alert!- the kids party I thought was happening, which I mentioned earlier only to be the Lowerhouse team, has a special guest….the Incredible Hulk has arrived….is it fancy dress day here at Gt Harwood…..nope…it is 1st Team Player Patrick Swanney in a “camp” vest top and shorts covered in Green Paint….doing some fun run he said, so nipped for a shower….strange!
Wicket!- another wicket for Leachy caught & bowled. 8 for 3. Ethan also bowling well at the other end and not giving much away, which results in a Wicket!- bowled Ethan. 20 for 3. Well deserved. Then follows a change of bowler as Alex Kennedy replaces Ethan. Leachy proceeds to get another Wicket!- clean bowled. Score now 38-5. Andy Brown replaces Leachy at the Dog & Otter end back in the side after a week or so off. He proceeds to get a Wicket!- bowled LBW. 59-6.
We approach the drinks break at 80-6, with Alex bowling well at the scoreboard end and not going for many runs.
As I stand there obviously looking bored and have nothing to do!….I end up doing drinks for the lads with 1st Team Captain Mr Houldsworth. As I approach the players who are all dressed in white I realise I have the jug of Vimto…..”don’t pour it on them” my mind is saying….i survive with nobody ending up with a pink shirt!!. The Lowerhouse young players love the drinks…..like Fruit Shoots in a jug. Scorer is also thirsty so he gets a drink also…..a Stella!
Thomas Newton comes on to bowl after Alex finishes his 8 over spell. Wicket!- bowled Thomas and caught Andy Brown. 89-7. Ethan Houldsworth on at the other end to bowl his last 2 overs. Matt Oddie replaces Ethan.
Chance!- catch to Rhys off the bowling of Thomas. The players go up to celebrate. The umpire gives batsman out but to the credit of our Captain Rhys he states it hit the ground. Umpire reverses decision. Well Done Rhys…..the Lowerhouse fans give him a round of applause. 111-7.
Thomas Newton then proceeds to bowl his 2nd Beamer of the day and has to be taken off. Rhys comes on to finish his over. Wicket!- bowled Rhys caught Andy Brown. Rhys then gets another Wicket!- bowled. Lowerhouse close the innings on 136-9.
Summary of innings is Lowerhouse did well to recover from their early wickets and have posted a score that will require full focus for Great Harwood in the 2nd innings. As I gather my thoughts in readiness for the 2nd Innings to commence, I see the happiest man to be here today…..coming for another light refreshment….well done Mr Cricket Rick Law-Riding who is our scorer today…this club has some great support behind the scenes who without would struggle.
Ben Rogers and Captain Rhys to open batting…come on boys lets get off to a good start. Rhys starts well and plays some nice shots as doesn’t seem he is hanging around. We amass 25 runs off just 3 overs. Rhys quickly moves to 22.
I hear Sean Dyche encouraging the Lowerhouse team from the sidelines…surely he should be preparing for Burnley’s first trip into Europe……Aberystwyth….sorry I mean Aberdeen. By the way it isn’t Sean Dyche it is the Lowerhouse Team Manager.
Wicket!- Ben Rogers caught & bowled for 4. In comes Dobbo at 3. 42-1. Dobbo must have watched Zorro last night as is swinging at everything. Wicket!- Dobbo out LBW….albeit I must state it was a very poor decision….or as Dobbo said on his way off…”it wouldn’t have hit 3 sets”!. 49-1. Owais in next at 4.
Rhys meanwhile is motoring on as we get to drinks at 61-2. Prior to drinks Paul Houldsworth shouts down to Leachy “Bloodsucker – get the drinks”. We resume play and few more nice shots…Wicket!- Rhys out bowled for 46….unlucky Rhys but well batted. “Dad” Holt in next at 5.
New Event Alerts!- as I have reported on several games this season in my role as parent / match reporter, there have been many news alerts…..from the man on the bike Reggae music at Lowerhouse……to a shed at Church showing Sky Sports…..but on this occasion my eyes drift to the scoreboard end as an elderly gentleman notices one of the bushes is dry and needs watering……unbelievable but god bless him! Must have been “caught short”…pardon the pun.
Wicket!- Dave out bowled. 74-4. Bill Oddie in next (Matt)…ohh Goodie. Wicket!- Owais out. Leachy padded up and in next…”Come on Weedkiller” shouts Alex. 82-5. Chance!- Matt dropped at that position next to the Wicketkeeper…but not right next to wicketkeeper…and not the next one to that……the one after that!. Note to self – learn fielding positions…..there’s “No Point” I here you say.
Wicket!- Leachy out bowled. Andy Brown in next. Unfortunately loses his wicket for 8 runs out caught. The young guard are now padded up…in comes Ethan. Need 41 runs off 18 overs. We have plenty of overs to spare so come on boys. Drinks arrives shortly after and we are on 114-7.
Play resumes and Matt and Ethan are looking good and both playing some nice shots as we close in on the chase. Ethan proceeds to hit the winning runs – Well done everyone.
In summary as we record Captain Rhys undefeated run of 2 games the lads all chipped in and did well. The fielding was good and although Lowerhouse recovered to a respectable total, the game never looked in doubt. This was probably the youngest side we have faced this season, but still need to work hard to get the result. Well done lads.