Match Report from Ian Garrett
Earlswood 99 all out, 5WOE 3rd XI 100- 6
A rather different low scoring game against a much changed Earlswood team saw Five Ways win again, if with a middle order collapse that saw them rather stumble over the line at the end. Victory was built on an excellent performance in the field, with every bowler performing well, backed up by impressive ground fielding and chasing in the outfield, and secure catching. Earlswood made a disastrous start, being 19-5 after twelve overs, and never really recovered.
Like last week, the pick of the bowlers was Lucy Hardy, who took the first four wickets, despite a painful blow in the mouth early on when missing a return catch. Swinging the ball sharply, she bowled the Earlswood opener round his legs, won an LBW appeal when late swing trapped the number three, then was assisted by Hardy senior who took a neat catch at mid off. Ward at five struck his first ball crisply through mid-wicket for four, but then smacked a rare full toss from Lucy to Ian Garrett at mid on who took an adroit catch. When Steve Moore’s change of pace had Empson picking out Will Leach at short extra cover in the following over, Earlswood’s innings was sinking fast.
Captain Hannah Pettigrew, riding her luck but also playing some powerful shots, and Harry Empson, the most convincing Earlswood batter made something of a recovery, although the overall run rate never reached three an over, as Steve bowled with his usual guile and Megan Hancock-Nolan bowled an excellent spell, showing much greater control than last week, and proving unlucky with some half chances. On another day, she could have taken several wickets. Matt Stanczyszyn on debut picked up Pettigrew when another powerful but aerial shot picked out Tom Davies at mid-off, Brooker powered two pull shots to the leg-side boundary but then went for the big drive against Will Leach’s spin and meekly edged to Steve Moore at slip, and Will then cleaned up the tail, finishing the innings with three catches and three wickets. Earlswood 99, with Empson top scorer with 26. As arranged, batters returned to use up the forty overs, and the final score was 116, with both Lucy and Will finishing with unofficial five-fers.
Ian and Matt opened and ran up fifty in eight overs, Ian less fluent than last week but both able to make the most of a number of overpitched deliveries, especially from young spinner Amy Dixon, who was to return and take wickets later in the innings. Both retired on 25 as agreed, with victory already it seemed assured. In fact, much of the rest of the innings was hard work, with wickets falling steadily, and only Lucy Hardy making double figures as the innings slipped to 74-5. Ton Davies then played some nice pull shots and got us closer to the target before picking out a fielder, and it was left to Anthony Hardy and skipper Gavin Anderson to see us past the target, Gavin seeing us home with two boundaries over the leg side.
As with their innings, we batted on, and young Amy Dixon took three wickets in an over, leaving the returning openers to see us past the additional target of 116, albeit with nearly twenty overs to spare. Ian finished on an unofficial forty not out when the rains came down and sent us in.
So, another good victory, with a particularly good performance in the field, and stand out bowling from Lucy Hardy. Will Leach showed his all round value, and Matt Stanczyszyn impressed on debut. With a few players missing this week due to return, the 3rds can hope to continue their winning run in the next couple of weeks.