V Lapworth (24/05/15)



Walsall Heath 179-9 (40 Overs) Lapworth 181-3 (38 Overs) LAP win by 7 wickets.

The ‘Elf travelled down to leafy Lapworth in Warwickshire to hopefully put an end to their 2 game losing streak in the month of May.
Skipper Dave Preece lost the toss and the Elf were put into bat by the home side. In grey overcast conditions, it looked like the correct call by the hosts.
Two returning ‘Elf regulars went out to open the batting, Andy Gorton and the Elf’s Kolpak player, for his second consecutive season, Ian Chuck.
The latter was soon to find himself back in the hutch when he played what can only be described as a forearm smash to a full toss, it certainly wouldn’t have disgraced the grass of Wimbledon, 15-love to Lapworth.
Gort was then joined by six-time (yes, SIX time) fielder of the year Rich Fell, who grafted his way to 9 before being trapped in front of all three stumps by Seeley.
The skipper Dave Preece was in at number four, as he and Gorton put on a steady partnership before Gorton himself ballooned a catch to square-leg. An unfortunate end to another well grafted knock, the Elf opener made 28. This brought Vice Captain Rob Hewlitt out to bat with the skipper. Both were going nicely before the VC Hewlitt was caught by Pratt for 13.
Enter Gary Fitzpatrick. Still down as a ‘guest player’ Fitzy and Preece put on a great 58 run stand to add some much needed momentum to an innings that was lacking direction. This time it was the captain who was out for a well produced 37.
A little bit of a lower order wobble saw Lapworth drag the ‘Elf back from 160-5 to 164-8 with Nathan Reeves going for 1, resident Iron Man Chris Hall getting bowled for a duck and Nathan Martin going to a fantastic delivery from Winter, the most impressive of the 6 bowlers on show who had the ball swinging like Christine & Neil Hamilton and had great figures of 8-1-23-3.
Fitzpatrick was joined by Tom Davies or ‘insert nick name here’. Davies and Fitzpatrick added 15 more before sadly the latter was caught in the last over on 47 to see him miss out on a well deserved maiden 50. The Elf set Lapworth a chaseable 180 for victory.

In the second innings of the game, Elf openers Chris Hall & Nathan Martin made a great fist of it by restricting Lapworth to 12-1 off the first 10 overs, Hall edging ever closer to his 260th wicket for the club.
Even at drinks, the Elf lads were great spirit, having the home side 55-2. Chuck this time deceiving Bart Kay for 11. A big hand to Kay who came on to field for the Elf for a few overs when they were a man down.
Unfortunately a 140 run partnership really took the game away from the away side. Ben Wright played some exquisite strokes before being caught by the Health’s top run scorer Fitzpatrick for a well made 86 with the score on 166-3 in the 36th. The home side’s skipper Faber saw them home with 56 not out with two overs to spare.


Batting Runs
Gorton, A c Owen b Seeley


Chuck, I c b Winter


Fell, R lbw b Seeley 9
Preece, D b Owen  37
Hewlitt, R c Pratt b Owen 13
Fitzpatrick, G c b Seeley 47
Reeves, N b Winter 1
Hall, C b Owen 0
Martin, N b Winter 1
Davies, T Not out 10
Preece, J Not out 0


Walsall Health


Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N





Hall, C





Davies, T





Chuck, I





Preece, J





Hewlitt, R





Fell, R 3 0 21 0
Preece, D 2 0 14 1



Hewlitt Jr & Hewlitt Jr Jr were at their energetic best today and spent the majority of the game in the nets, playing the world’s longest test match. Rumour has it they’re coming back tomorrow when Charlie will be 856 not out and Fred will be about the start his 36th spell from the field end.

A few candidates this week but it has to go the Health’s all-round sportsman Gary Fitzpatrick with a well made 47. Some real good strokes in there, he even hit his first six!

Even though he did not take any wickets, Karel Poborsky/Diego Forlan/Nathan Martin chipped in with 3 spells and finished with 8-1-20-0. He was really unfortunate not to take a really sharp caught and bowled in his last over to get the wicket his effort’s deserved.

A tough call today, the trophy may have to be split three ways between Hewlitt, Fell and Reeves. All were ever-present and stopped plenty of runs. Great effort lads.

Rach’s wine this week was also backed up with a really impressive picnic (which was probably better than the tea!) The Elf lads even had a dabble with some pizza pieces that looked like mini samosas. Picnic effort: 9/10.

Dai ‘sat with the lads’ whilst they were batting this week but strangely went to the score box when the Elf were fielding, leaving Gorton Jr no one to talk to. Dai also had the embarrassment of mistaking Elf resident ginger Tom Davies for a lady, probably Geri Haliwell.

Written by Tom Davies

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