v Breadsall (6/7/2014)

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Breadsall beat Walsall Health by 4 wickets.

Dave Preece - a brilliant knock by the returning skipper

Dave Preece – second successive fifty

A second successive fifty for skipper Dave Preece wasn’t enough to save The Elf as they were defeated by a very talented young Breadsall side.

And in further good news for the skipper, he only ran out one of his team mates on his way to his half century.

The Elf welcomed back the man with more lookalikes than Madame Toussands, ‘Welsh’ Tom Davies back into the fold for his first game of the season.

In what was the first encounter between the two sides, Breadsall won the toss and elected to put The Elf in to bat on a wonderfully sloping pitch in picturesque surrounds.

Breadsall were patting themselves on the back for that decision when opener Rob Hewlitt fell in the first over, lofting a relatively straightforward catch to mid-wicket for a duck.

Ian Chuck came in and restored some order, with him and Andy Gorton putting on a partnership for 22 before Gorton departed for an unlucky 13.

The ship was well and truly stabilised with the arrival of Preece as he and Chuck took full advantage of the slope to begin turning the momentum against the opening bowlers Holmes and Payne.

Tom Davies - great bowling by the Ben Stokes lookalike

Tom Davies – great bowling by our very own Ben Stokes lookalike

At the half-way point, The Elf were 54 for 2 and sensing the platform for a push for a decent total.

The immediate departure of Chuck – yet another relatively straight-forward catch – for 23 meant the arrival of Dave Stephens who put on 15 before he was run out by the skipper, who continued to chalk up the runs at the other end.

Rich Fell notched up a boundary-laden knock of ten before he was clean bowled by an elementary delivery by Holmes.

But the last ten overs were heavy going for The Elf as they would have been looking to accelerate towards two hundred they were well pegged back by Breadsall.

The last three overs saw The Elf drop two wickets while adding just nine runs with Forrester trapped lbw for another unlucky 13 and Nathan Martin run out for a duck.

The Elf’s total of 144 might have been better if Matt Wright had been successful in his effort to carry on batting after the 40 overs were complete, charging out with a purpose to the middle following Martin’s dismissal only to be met by the fielding team heading back towards the pavillion.

In the defence of Wrighty, the fact that he was walking AWAY from the food, just as it was being made available just shows his commitment to the cause.

Matt Wright - a fine catch at midwicket to dismiss the opener Pook.

Matt Wright – a fine catch at midwicket to dismiss the opener Pook and his bowling saw the exit of the match winner Sam Buck.

Wright did contribute almost immediately in the field, taking a gobsmackingly brilliant diving one-handed catch to remove Pook for a duck off the bowling of Martin.

But The Elf came up against the excellent poised batting of Sam Buck who frustrated the visitors’ bowling attack as he notched up a brilliant 70, almost carrying his bat through the innings.

However, The Elf had no shortage of chances to remove the dangerman as he was dropped on a number of occasions en route to his match winning knock.

The Elf made a reasonable fist at chipping away at Buck’s partners with Chuck claiming the wicket of Golding with his first ball and repeating the feat by clean-bowling Hindmarch for seven.

Buck kept piling on the runs, however, holding up the Breadsall innings, even as Dave Stephens claimed the slightly fortuitous wicket of Smith for 12.

The arrival of Redhead at the wicket (the Breadsall batsman, not Tom Davies) following the run-out of Avi for four, effectively killed The Elf’s chances of taking anything from the game as he knocked an impressive 24 as he Buck continued to turn the screw.

Redhead eventually fell to the bowling of Martin, forcing a handy catch from Dave Stephens and Stephens was responsible for finally removing Buck with another catch off the bowling of Matt Wright.

But it proved too little, too late, as Breadsall’s partnership of Holmes and Holmes steered the side over the line without much trouble earning the home side a deserved win with three overs to spare.

Batting Runs
Gorton, A c b Payne

13

Hewlitt, R c b Holmes

0

Chuck, I c b Smith

23

Preece, D b Holmes

58

Stephens, D Run Out 15
Fell, R b Holmes 10
Forrester, T lbw Buck 13
Martin, N Run Out 0
Davies, T Not Out 1
Danks, M did not bat
Wright, M did not bat
Extras

11

Walsall Health

 144

Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N

7

2

35

2

Stephens, D

8

2

22

1

Davies, T

4

3

10

0

Chuck, I

8

1

29

2

Forrester, T

4

0

15

0

Wright, M

2

0

14

1

Fell, R 3 0 9 0

 

Man of the match: Dave Preece

Top bat: Dave Preece (58)

Top bowler: Probably Ian Chuck (2 for 29) but Nathan Martin’s (2 for 35) was decent and Tom Davies did brilliantly also.

Rachel Hangover Rating: 9.5 – carried forward from the previous Thursday’s Elf Social at the Red Lion in West Bromwich which the poor girl cannot remember attending and had to take a day off sick the following day…. very impressive stuff.

Tea rating: 10. Brilliant. Acarn spake. They clearly like their teas up in Derbyshire. Homemade cake, peanut butter sandwiches, the lot. Quite special.

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