Simple game, win the toss, win the game!
Incredibly, Oakmere won a toss (with some help from the vice captain on tossing duty), and the 1st XI decided they would have a bowl first.
Woodford were quickly reduced to 7-2, thanks for a wicket a piece from Norton and Howard. Howard once again produced a fantastic spell of bowling, regularly beating the outside edge with hardly a run conceded. In a 12 over spell, he conceded only 11 runs, only 8 of which came off the bat. His ability to bowl longer spells now he’s no longer restricted could prove a real asset for the 1st team as they look to build on this victory.
Wickets fell at regular intervals with only some counter attacking shots from the number 8, once the visitors had slipped to 73-7 that saw an element of respectability to their score. 2 wickets for Guest, and 4 for Jones meant that Woodford were dismissed after 42 overs for 122.
That’s a bit more like it!
The top run scorer in the division was dismissed cheaply for the second week in a row, to a “good nut’ (his words, not mine), which saw Ric Lyons join Alex Hodges at the crease with only 8 on the board, the away team with the initiative. Both batted cautiously, leaving the ball well, and absorbing a tremendous opening spell from the brother Meese, knowing that time wouldn’t be an issue with some attacking stroke players next to come in.
A change of bowling led to what turned out to be a decisive moment in the match. The gully fielder claimed the catch of Lyons, but as his is right, the Oakmere man waited for the umpires to confirm his dismissal, for which they concluded the ball had bounced and he was given not out. The visitors were obviously disappointed but Lyons concentration was cemented and batted superbly all afternoon. To rub salt in to the visitors wounds, he smashed the next ball for four through the covers, that brought the Oakmere faithful to their feet.
He and Alex Hodges continued to bat sensibly, punishing the more frequent loose deliveries, and it was only when the clouds started to gather, that some more attacking stroke play was required. Hodges chased a wide one and was dismissed for 36, having put on a vital 86 for the 2nd wicket.
Stubbs found himself promoted to 4, and bludgeoned the ball around, whilst Lyons continued to find the rope. The Yorkshireman really did bat beautifully, a couple of impervious straight drives were the real highlight.
Oakmere reached the total inside 35 overs, and about 30 minutes before the heavens opened. A great team performance, and the first time the 1st XI have won a game without needing the batting of a certain Harrison Jones!
Something to build on.
Oakmere 25 points, Woodford 4 points