V Coventry Willow CC (17/05/15)



17th MAY 2015

WHCC v Coventry Willow CC

Walsall Heath lost to Coventry Willow CC by 38 runs

On rather cool overcast afternoon ‘The Elf’ welcomed Coventry Willow. A very much new look team from the one that we faced at the end of last season.

Dave Stephens opened the bowling and also his account for wickets. That nagging line and length was back. A dropped catch and a couple of harshly turned down appeals could have seen earlier dismissals, but Dave did not lose heart and soon got the rewards his excellent spell of bowling deserved. Back to back, two time fielder of the year Rob Hewlitt opened from the other end. In recent seasons limited to the occasional overs Rob stepped up with 5 overs, getting a wicket. Mr Tickle-esque in the field, however, bread and butter catches from last year proving to be a little more difficult this time around.

Enter the King of Spain, who’s regal deliveries tied up an end very economically for 5 overs… while at the other a fully match fit, Iron Man, The Excellence of Execution, ‘The Elfs’ Premium Strike Bowler was back. Chris Hall with the breath taking figures of 8 Overs, 4 Maidens, 10 Runs and taking 3 wickets.

In the second game of his first season, Lyndon Billingham, took a majestic catch, high and swirling he moved backwards, reaching high over his shoulder, snaffling a far from easy chance. Nathan Reeves unlucky with some excellent efforts to add to the catch tally early doors, but his overall energy in the feel was to be admired and set the standard.

Tom Davies (insert ginger based nickname here) in his first game had a fantastic spell with the ball too. Matt Wright taking a skied catch at Gully to give him his greatly deserved wicket.

Another bowling change from the skipper saw the Slater / Wright combination. Slater showing improved control with his Malinga Style Technique, like JP controlling an end with 5 excellent overs. While Wright got a stumping with his first delivery of the day. The Skipper, Dave Preece, standing in for the resting Super Andy Gorton, did well behind the stumps. Whipping off the bails twice during the spinners spell and helping Wright achieve his first ever wicket maiden.

Hall & Wright saw out the remaining overs. Mike Sayers pure energy, in the field all day, put his body on the line time after time, I am sure Katie will have great sympathy for her brave little soldier when he hobbles home. There may be a bruise or two that will need some TLC.

A target of 123 was set for ‘The Elf’ to chase and after a rather nice tea we resumed the field. The Gort demonstrating that he is a real Team Man, umpiring for the entire innings, a gentleman of pure class.

The Skipper & Nathan Reeves opened the batting. And sadly the tone was set for a bad day in the middle. The Captain out second ball, while Nathan was caught spectacularly on the boundary after a couple of lusty blows. Billingham & Slater continue their attack on the duck race, while Dave Stephens and Mike Sayer did get off the mark with 4 runs each. Chris Hall flourished the bat with his usual style but lost his wicket teasing to promise so much more. Wright, 1 n.o, the last man standing after a day of shambolic batting.

However, Rob Hewlitt, Tom Davies and Jonathan Preece can all take credit in their efforts. Rob, immense in the context of the game, held the innings from total collapse. Trying to preserve his wicket and also keep the score board ticking was a very big ask. forging a good partnership with Tom who did exceptionally well. While JP didn’t get a high score, only Rob faced more balls.

All out for 85 runs and 38 away from victory. The result reflected in the dull overcast weather. Onward to Lapworth next week, where after last season one can only imagine that they have half of their first team, a Warwickshire Colt and any other ringer they can lay their hands on to exact revenge.

Batting Runs
Preece, D b Joshi


Reeves, N c b Joshi


Sayer, M b Joshi 4
Billington, L b Imran 0
Hewlitt, R c b Nabell 37
Slater, S c b Imran 0
Stephens, D c b Nazeen 4
Davies, T lbw Nazeen 16
Preece, J c & b Khan 2
Hall, C b c Raj 7
Wright, M Not out 1


Walsall Health


Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Stephens, D





Hewlitt, R





Preece, J





Hall, C





Davies, T





Slater, S





Wright, M 6 1 20 2

Nice to see Lyndon’s wife Fiona with the girls Olivia & Nancy, not forgetting Rich bringing down George. Cakes from tea well received by all the children.

Rob Hewlitt
Offered the greatest resistance with the bat. A sterling effort.

Chris Hall
3 Wkts From 8 Overs 4 Maidens giving up a miserly 10 Runs

Mike Sayers
Mike & Nathan Reeves both excellent in the field, but Mike just edges it because of the shot taken to the shin.

No wine this week and back to home 2 jugs pop pouring duties. The Outfit – A Polo top with matching scarf, jeans and converse footwear todays look.
However, black and blue, might have been the colour scheme, well at least for JP, had he hit a ball off her while warming up to bat

The Welsh Wizard took refuge in the scoring box, bizarrely colder and breezier inside than out. He has also decided that Lyndon is now an ex-president and former Commander & Chief of the free world.
While Lyndon doesn’t mind being Parkes and now Lyndon Johnson, the question remains, will he ever get more names than Tom?


Written by Mathew Wright


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