Lapworth CC 123-9 (40 overs) lost to Walsall Health CC 124-7 (31.2 overs) by 3 wickets
The Elf made their second consecutive away trip this week down to always good hosts at Lapworth in rural Solihull.
The sun was well and truly out and in the absence of Rob Hewlitt, Ian Chuck hastily went out to the middle and became Nasser Hussain reincarnated when he WON the toss and decided to BOWL first on a glorious day. Tom Davies and Chris Hall’s faces were of sheer disbelief (the result will tell you that Chuckie was right but hey-ho).
Dan Armstrong and Dave Stephens opened the bowling for the Elf and looked to be toiling away to no avail until Dave trapped Marsden lbw for 1 in his third over. Some real tight bowling from the Elf pair saw Armstrong dismiss the other Lapworth opener Lewis for four runs.
The scoreboard didn’t get any better for the hosts as Stephens bowled Agnew for five and the side from Warwickshire’s backs were to the ropes.
Tom Davies replaced Armstrong in the 11th over and with his first ball served up a pie that monsuiers Blumenthal and Ramsey would have been proud of. The Lapworth batsman couldn’t believe his eyes when such a beef & merlot pie was headed his way but he hit the shot straight to Greg Phillpott in the covers and the Elf were coasting.
In his seventh over, Stephens picked up Williams and Lapworth were in disarray at 30-5.
The home side then had a massive dig in from Carr and Buckle who put on an excellent 50 run partnership to steady the ship but ever reliable Ian Chuck got Buckle for a well played 16 and the Elf were looking to wrap things up. However, Gallacher had different ideas and hit a quick time 17 including a big six over cow corner into a tree.
Dan Armstrong finally picked up the 7th wicket of the innings and should have had the eighth when Carr who was on 45 at the time nicked off to Gort but the umpire said not out.
The incident clearly played on Carr’s mind as he couldn’t get the ball off the square and in JP’s first over hit a sweep straight to Tom Davies on the 45 degree and he was out.
JP got Faber for two caught by Rich Fell who was sporting a suspected dislocated thumb but the Elf could not get the final wicket and Lapworth posted 124 for victory.
In the late afternoon sunshine, Gort and Chuck got the Elf’s innings going. In tricky batting conditions the usual opening pair looked undeterred until Chuck nicked off to Smith and the Elf were 39-1.
Alex Nunns on the back of his superb 30 not out last week did the same as Chuck and the Elf were 51-2 approaching drinks.
Captain Rob Hewlitt decided to take matters into his own hands and smashed a boundary laden 24 to give the visitor’s innings the impetus it needed. Rob departed on 86-3 when he was bowled by Buckle.
Greg Phillpott joined Gort and the two men saw the Elf past 100 and almost into cruise control territory you’d think? However, despite Rach and Tom balling at JP to lift his leg in the air with the score on 111 he did not and Gort spooned a catch to mid wicket, the away side still 13 runs from home.
Greg Phillpott looking comfortable on 14 then got caught off the impressive looking Choudry and Lapworth smelt blood. Dan Armstrong had a brain meltdown (probably still pissed from turning 18 on Thursday) was caught behind and two balls later Chris Hall notched his second quack of the season and the Elf looked to be snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Step up Ben Stokes wannabe Tom Davies, with wickets tumbling around him the Elf bowler smashed ‘Carr’ for four through square leg with his first shot and then with his third played the most exquisite cover drive you will ever see. The Lapworth fielders just watched as the ball raced to the boundary and all of a sudden the scores were level and with the second ball of the next over Dave Stephens scampered a single and the Elf were home for their second victory of the season.
Exceptional tea as ever at Lapworth. Variety of sandwiches, pizzas, pork pie, cakes, tea and even some fruit at the end to give it a solid 8.5/10 (no olives, no 10).
7 for a shower this evening and the showers at Lapworth even came with their own curtain so the Elves aching bodies were not on display. Decent spray and temprature 6/10.
No rowing feats this week however with Chally coming off ‘non fer’ I feel for the concept twos in Tipton Sports Academy Monday evening….
Written by Tom Davies