v Old Moseley Fitmen (H) 10/07/22

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Walsall Health CC vs Old Moseley Fitmen

Old Moseley Fitmen won by 2 runs

This week saw the Elf welcome Old Moseley Fitmen to Carter Park on a glorious hot day.  Walsall Health’s team chopped & changed several times throughout the week due to a lot of players coming down with Covid but in true spirit of the Health they managed to rally around and get 11 players on the park BIG HAND to Nicka for stepping up on Sunday morning and offering to play despite bowling 13 overs straight through and consuming several cans of cider the day before.

Old Moseley Fitmen’s captain won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first, Elf skipper Nunns headed back to the changing rooms dreading telling his team mates that they had to field first in the heat and wondering if he would every win a toss on a hot day!!

Here’s how we got on.

Batting order

No 1 – Dan Armstrong (0 & 2-29 from 7 overs): A mixed day for the Elf all-rounder bowled a superb spell in the heat up the travellator as he picked up a couple of wickets and bowled with control as he had the OMF batters hopping around at the crease but unfortunately that was as good as it got for Dan as he registered another duck for the season and is now leading the duck race as he was bowled by Assad in the 2nd over of the Health innings some say he was in a rush to get back to the pavilion to finish off his Big Mac.

No 2 – Jack Stenson (72): An unusual quiet day in the field for Jack compared to previous weeks but batted superbly to hold the Elf innings together with a well-made 72.  Jack started slowly as wickets fell around him but soon found run scoring easier with some lovely clips through the leg side for 4 and some good running turning 1’s into 2’s which helped re-build the innings, involved in 2 good partnerships 42 with Mac & 62 with Alex Nunns.  With scores of 83 and now 72 this season I’m it won’t be long before little Jack reaches the big 100.

No3 – Dan Dunn (4 & 0-0 from 0.3 overs): Fresh from a full 90 mins football before the game Dan was setting the example in the field by running around & chasing down everything and also keeping everybody else going in the heat, had a couple of direct hits in some close run out calls, came onto bowl at the end of the OMF innings and was involved in a run out for the 10th wicket as Dan fielded off his own bowling and threw the ball to Andy and Gort did the rest.  Despite also being fuelled by McDonalds at tea Dan could only manage to score 4 with the bat as he became Assad’s second victim as he was caught and bowled to ball that stuck in the pitch and just looped back to the bowler unlucky Dan.

No4 – Will Lauchlen (1): Will was given the difficult task of patrolling the big boundary in the heat and to his credit he stuck to his task well as he chased everything, even balls that he knew he probably wouldn’t catch was also pleased to find some shade as the innings worn on.  But as always Will give’s 110% in the field and never lets his head drop top work buddy.  With the bat Will was Assad’s 3rd wicket of the day as he was bowled by a ball that kept a little low and breached his defence but still avoid the dreaded duck.

No5 – Mac (6 & did not keep): Mac was back fresh from his holiday and also from the previous days’ celebrations for Eid.  Mac found himself without gloves this week so was in the outfield something that he’s not that used to but did not let himself or his team mates down as he fielded superbly stopping everything that came his way and also took a good catch on the boundary off JP, good hands Mac, came into bat with the score 24-3 and the Health in trouble but helped Jack to re-build the innings in a solid partnership of 42 before being bowled by Bal for 6.

No6 – Alex Nunns (65*): Health skipper Nunns came to the crease with the score 66-4 and with plenty of work to do.  He soon got the score moving with a flurry of boundaries as he and Jack added 62 in 10 overs for the 5th wicket and then added another 53 with DS for the 7th wicket before running out DS (Sorry Dave) but despite his best efforts he couldn’t see his side home as they just fell short but Nunns was proud of the effort that everybody had put in despite the tough weather conditions and was certainly in need of a drink or 2 at the end of the game.

No7 – Andy Gorton (0 & a stumping and run out): Andy returned to side after recovering from Covid and still not feeling 100% (he is negative) kept well behind the stumps in the heat as he stood up to the stumps to all of the bowlers and was rewarded with his 50th stumping for the club, I’m certain that’s a record that won’t be beaten.  But unfortunately with the bat Gort became the Health’s second duck of the day as he was plumb LBW to Cuthbert, in fact he was so plumb that I think he practically walked but the clubs all-time leading run scorer is closing in on another record and I’m sure it won’t be long before he reaches that landmark.

No8 – Dave Stephens (28 & 2-12 from 8 overs): The ever so reliable DS was on the mark from the off as always and was unlucky not to have taken a wicket with his second ball as he found the edge of Mould’s bat but unfortunately it didn’t stick but none the less Dave was soon in the wickets as he had Sharif caught at mid-on by Nunns and then bowled Nicks the very next ball to be on a hat-trick with all the Elf fielders surrounding the bat for Dave’s hat-trick ball willing it to happen but unfortunately it didn’t despite the ball wrapping the batsman’s pads and all of the Elf fielders appealing and pleading with the umpire to give DS his hat-trick it just wasn’t to be (unlucky DS) Dave bowled his 8 overs straight threw (big hand) and finished with figures of 2-12.  With the bat DS continued his good form and made a quick fire 28 before being run out by Nunns (again sorry Dave) in a partnership of 53 from 9 overs which nearly won the game.  Top effort DS.

No9 – Dave Clive (13* & 0-81 from 8 overs): A tough day at the office for DC, had 2 spells of 4 overs from both ends but struggled to find his rhythm as the opening bat Mould took a liking to short pitched bowling and despatched it to the leg side boundary but to his credit Dave didn’t let his head drop and continued to toll away and bowled some beautiful back of the hand slower balls, on another day he may have picked up a wicket or 2.  With the bat DC came to the crease knowing that he had to put bat on ball and he did so with a quick fire 13* that nearly saw the Health home in the run chase with Nunns.

No10 – Alan Dunn (DNB & 3-40 from 8 overs): Stepped up at the last minute to make sure that the Health had 11 players but Nicka wasn’t there just to make up the numbers.  He was soon into the action bowling 1st change from the pavilion end and bowled the dangerous Mould for 48 and then followed that up by bowling Thaper first ball to also be on a hat-trick and bring the control back to the Elf unfortunately the hat-trick wasn’t to either for Nicka as the ball from just back of length kicked up and missed the batsman’s edge and thumped straight into Andy’s chest behind the stumps (well taken Gort) despite the heat Nicka was in the hunt for more wickets as he bowled his 8 overs straight threw and was rewarded with 3-40 and now leads the race to 50 wickets between himself and Dan.  Nicka was also rewarded with a Big Mac & fries at tea as he became the 3rd Elf member to tuck into a McDonalds.  Rumours are circulating that Ronald McDonald is in talks to become the clubs sponsor next season.

No11 – Jonathan Preece (DNB & 2-55 from 6 overs): JP the wizard started his spell with some beautiful flighted deliveries that had the batters second guessing whether to advance down the pitch to him or try play off the back foot but they started to work him over and picked up 1’s & 2’s with the odd boundary but JP never one to give in soon had reward as he had the dangerous Cuthbert stumped for 35 it was a key wicket as it broke the partnership between Cuthbert and OMF skipper Martin.  Martin had started taking a liking to JP’s bowling as he swept him for a couple of boundaries to move onto a well-made 50 for OMF but JP like the 90’s WWF wrestler the Mountie always gets his man and had Martin caught on the boundary by Mac attempting another sweep.  JP was also in the action in the field as always nothing gets past him and nobody would dare take on his rocket arm but this JP took a brilliant catch off the bowling of Dan Armstrong the ball hung in the air for an age but it gave JP enough time to steady himself underneath it and he was never going to drop it (top catch JP!) the determination and concentration on JP’s was everything that we all know and love about JP but unfortunately his father Dai missed the catch as he was very kindly getting the drinks ready for the players.

All in all, it was a good game of cricket that went down to the last ball of the 80th over of the game.  Games against Old Moseley Fitmen are always close encounters as years gone by have proven.  Big thanks to those that came to watch and support and a big hand to Mac and his family for the lovely samosas, pakoras and paneers that they brought along at the end for all of the players from both sides to enjoy they went down a treat.

Next week Walsall Health travel to Bayshill in beautiful Winchombe.

Negotiations have begun.

Alex Nunns

Batting
Bowling

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