Cloughed round the ears
After the semi-tropical conditions of the previous week low clouds, intermittent rain and a chastening breeze brought ever optimistic cricketers and spectators alike back to reality. In recent seasons Thurstonland have acted in the kindly uncle role in one or other of the games against Holmbridge. Whatever struggles our opponents have gone through to that point of the season, one or other of the matches has usually given them a welcome boost.
An opening maiden from Lee Booth was followed by Tom Broom's first delivery to M Gledhill who edged the ball into the gully where, after a brief juggle, the catch was dropped. There was also a suggestion that D Clough, who was eventually to prove a thorn in the side of the visitors, might have survived a stumping chance in the first over. Gledhill managed eleven before Russell Mottram took a low catch, also in the gully, off Lee's bowling and when, in quick succession, A Moorhouse (6) and P Morgan (4) provided Nathan Appleyard with a catch and a stumping respectively off Lee and Tom followed by C Earnshaw being lbw to the former for four, Thurstonland looked well on top at 44/4.
Darren Holroyd made just six but helped Clough raise the score to 92 before he was bowled by David Rishton but, in the meantime, Jack England, in spite of bowling one or two testing deliveries, suffered at the hands of the increasingly confident Clough who peppered the short off side boundary when offered full pitch deliveries. Runs began to come at an increasingly rapid rate as neither Stephen Mortimer, on his first team debut, nor Jack Oldham was able to stem the flow of runs from the pavilion end. Clough was briefly inconvenienced when he hooked Jack's first ball on to his nose but this had little effect as he proceeded to his century.
Andy Haigh (32), Richard Parr (23) and Matthew Poulain (22*) all gave positive late order support as Clough ended on 106 not out and the Holmbridge total after their 45 overs was 227/7. Lee Booth with 3/22 and David Rishton 3/49 were the pick of the visiting attack but runs flowed a little more freely from the other end.
Chris Flanagan and Nathan Appleyard got the Thurstonland reply off to a positive start and both were particularly severe on Matthew Poulain. The half century opening stand came up in just the ninth over and the total had reached 54 when Nathan was lbw for 19 to R Barraclough. Chris was severe on any short deliveries, pulling for four and six on the leg side whilst also driving well through the covers as well as cutting square of the wicket. Jack Oldham provided good support and was soon looking confident as the score mounted at a healthy rate. With just over half the overs gone the total had reached 130 and Chris had reached his first fifty of the season when Jack tried to turn a ball to leg only to miss and fall lbw to Darren Holroyd for 37. Russell Mottram was quickly off the mark with a single and a four through square leg when Chris, having reached 78, was well caught by Barraclough off a full blooded pull shot. A yard either side and another boundary would have been the result but at 145/3 the home team had renewed hope.
Forty minutes later their hope was turned into reality as once again the remaining batsmen looked short on confidence. Russell managed eight as did Jack England whilst David Rishton was left unbeaten on that score. Darren Holroyd (6/36) was largely instrumental in turning 130/1 into 177 all out and inflict a third successive league defeat on the visitors.
Team: Chris Flanagan Nathan Appleyard (w/k) Jack Oldham Russell Mottram Tom Broom Neil Booth Ryan Hunter Stephen Mortimer Lee Booth Jack England David Rishton.