Walsall Health 179-9 (40 overs) beat Oak N’ Ash 173 All Out (37.5 overs) by 6 runs.
The Elf played their second game and consecutive home game of the season this week in blustery conditions at Aldridge against usual opponents Oak N Ash.
The Elf welcomed in Alex Nunns for his first game of the season and in at the last minute Josh Butler to keep the Elf at 11 men.
The Elf batted first with solid opening pair Gort and Chuck kicking off the innings for the hosts. It did not take long for the away team to get their first scalp when Gort spooned a catch to cover and The Elf looked like they could be in trouble.
Trouble, what trouble? After surviving a big LBW shout first ball, Alex Nunns and Ian Chuck put on a monster partnership for the second wicket which eventually surpassed 100 runs with the runs that brought up the 100 partnership, Nunns brought up his maiden half century of the season but unfortunately was out caught the next ball to a big hand from the watching Elf faithful.
Skipper Hewlett joined the party and chipped in with 11 before he was triggered by Gort which lead to a miniature collapse, The Elf went from 146-2 to 160-6 when Nathan Reeves was out first ball (with a bat kick to boot…joke in there somewhere!), Nathan Martin/Larkin was out for two and Josh Butler was bowled for four.
Dan Armstrong was in at eight to steady the ship towards the end of the innings, even contributed with a few lusty blows over cow corner to get The Elf to 179 after their batting overs were completed.
The Elf came out the field and the wind decided to die down a lot from the previous innings but it was a usual April overcast afternoon in which the game sprung to life in the dying embers.
Nath Larkin dismissed J Cotton with an absolute peach of a delivery to go through his defences and then opening partner Dan Armstrong got a run out of Sharpe off his boot to keep up Armstrong’s 100% run out record so far this season.
Tom Davies and Chris Hall were on at first change and both men chipped in with wickets. Firstly Davies getting the tidy looking Finn after Gort took a sharp under edge catch and Chris Hall dispatched Gallen’s bails for eight. Davies then got ‘D.Bailey’ who was gone in a flash when he chipped a catch to Hewlitt and the Elf had their opponents 70-6 at drinks, looking to turn the screw after drinks. A mention should be made here as Nathan Martin made a superb one handed catch to give Chall his second scalp, Martin already on four snaffles for the season in a great fielding effort.
JP and Josh Butler combined for eight overs of mystery left arm spin in which JP got the dangerous looking P Cotton who had biffed a few boundaries and Oak N Ash were staring down the barrel at 89-7 in the 25th over.
Sheldon and Parker put on an excellent partnership until Nathan Martin came back on for his second spell and bowled Parker for 23 with the Elf still 60 odd runs ahead with less than 10 overs to play.
The Oak n Ash skipper came in and supported Parker relatively well, both men scoring runs and looking like they could steer them past the Elf’s total until bowling hero Chris Hall came in and got Sheldon for an excellently played 39 with Oak N Ash only 8 runs from victory. Two balls later, it was all over. Going for a big shot Cotton spooned a catch to Alex Nunns who stayed calm under pressure and won the game for his side.
A really hard fought victory for the Elf who proved their mettle in winning a close game when they looked to have lost it. Chris Hall eventually finishing with man of the match figures of 6.5-0-28-4.
The Elf travel to Peopleton next week and will be looking to make it three from three in what’s been an excellent start to the season so far.
Shower club update
About the same numbers as last week for shower club but as yet there have been no ‘fruity numbers’ so far with regards to shower gel and shampoo, hopefully in the upcoming weeks there will be some nice variety for the lads to choose from.
Written by Tom Davies
|Gorton, A||c b Finn||
|Chuck, I||not out||
|Nunns, A||c b Finn||51|
|Hewlitt, R||lbw Cotton||11|
|Reeves, N||c b Cotton||0|
|Martin N||c b Parker||2|
|Butler, j||b Cotton||4|
|Armstrong, D||not out||11|