Allsop Cup - Round 2 - Cup hopes dashed
After a month without a game two matches in two days were riches indeed as the twice postponed cup tie got under way in something approaching settled weather although a cool breeze was present just to remind everyone not to get too excited. Jack Oldham, absent through illness the previous day, managed to play after a last minute withdrawal caused problems although he left captaincy duties to Chris Flanagan. It was agreed that he would bat further down the order and station himself at slip or gully to minimise the need for movement.
Chris was quickly off the mark with a single from the game?s second ball and Nathan Appleyard hit two fours, the first of them an excellent cover drive, as the innings got off to a positive start. An unaccustomed air of anxiety has tended to accompany most of the Thurstonland innings in this rain interrupted season as wickets have tended to fall with a rapidity not experienced for several years. The opening stand was worth 23 when Chris, on nine, tried what looked in the end like an inelegant pull shot something in the manner of a frustrated angler trying to release a snagged line. The result was being bowled by James Dyson for nine. Ashley Armitage?s unlucky weekend with the bat continued when he received a very good ball from Jordan Geldart which left him and then moved back off the seam. He departed for this second duck in twenty-four hours. The familiar tally of 24/2 was posted on the scoreboard.
Tom Broom, however, settled in determinedly and two further boundaries from Nathan lifted the score to 45 in the twelfth over. An attempted leg side shot was then Nathan?s downfall as he only succeeded in lofting it to long serving Denby Dale player Richard Lammyman who took the catch comfortably. He had made 21 and looked capable of quite few more. Neil Booth now joined Tom who was playing with concentration and together they took the total to 67 when Tom, on eighteen, tried to flick a ball from Aiden Geldart to leg and, after a long delay, he was given out lbw for 18.
Ryan Hunter was quickly into his stride with three well timed drives for four whilst Neil settled into his anchor man role and adding singles as the score mounted to 99 as the thirtieth over approached. Aiden Geldart then struck again as Ryan was bowled for 24. Jordan Thackray again looked in good touch as he and Neil increased the scoring rate. Jordan hit three boundaries, one of which was a wristy drive through the covers which would have graced the first class game. Just when it seemed that a big innings was in prospect he was run out for seventeen although there had seemed to be little danger as the batsmen set off.
Jack Oldham then made his appearance and managed to plod for a single before seeming to decide that boundaries were the best option given his less than robust state of health. Three sumptuous cover drives delighted the onlookers. He and Neil saw the total to 138 before neil, after a patient 28, edged Ben Oldroyd to wicket keeper Newsome. He had his second victim shortly afterwards when Jack was caught behind for 13 off the returning Jordan Geldart (3/49).
There remained time for an entertaining three overs when the youthful pairing of George Pinder and Jack England scampered ones and twos in adding fifteen runs. They were undefeated on 10 and 9 respectively and the target set was 165/8.
D Firth and R Stanley began the Denby Dale reply with Jordan Thackray and George Pinder opening the Thurstonland attack. The latter shaved the stumps on a couple of occasions and deserved a wicket as the visitors put on 26 for the first wicket. Firth was then caught behind for 12 by Nathan Appleyard off Jordan who soon afterwards bowled his partner for the same score. The experienced pair of R Lammyman and A Amos then took the total to 52 before Tom Broom struck with the last ball of his first over as he had Amos caught behind for five.
Richard Lammyman (26)  had continued to accumulate patiently until his innings was ended by a lightning stumping by Nathan off David Rishton and when Ashley Armitage caught Jordan Geldart for 19 at deep mid on off Tom Broom?s bowling, Thurstonland were in the driving seat with the visitors on 82/5 in the 29th over.
Ben Oldroyd, after a scratchy start, began to play positively and added a couple of fours to well taken singles but three quick wickets seemed to put the game firmly in the home team?s grasp. Chris Flanagan bustled in from mid wicket to catch Ryan Geldart for nine off Tom?s bowling, Aiden Geldart was run out following a slightly unlikely swoop and throw from Neil Booth to Nathan Appleyard and when wicket keeper Newsome was bowled first ball it seemed that the game was up for the visitors at 119/8  with just over six overs left and 47 runs required.
Unexpectedly the momentum shifted as Oldroyd was joined by James Dyson. In death or glory fashion they attacked the bowling and fortune favoured the brave. Two sixes came in Tom Broom?s last over to leave him with figures of 4/48 and when Dyson departed for ten well caught on the long on boundary by Tom off Jordan Thackray (3/21), thirteen were needed from seventeen balls. James Peace snicked a single to fine leg when aiming an off drive and seemed a little fortunate to survive a confident appeal for a run out. Ben Oldroyd reached a deserved fifty and soon afterwards pulled the winning boundary through mid wicket from the game?s penultimate ball.
The silence in the home changing room would have made a Trappist monastery sound like a Metallica revival concert as Thurstonland continue to look for their first win since May 20th.
Team: Chris Flanagan Nathan Appleyard (w/k) Ashley Armitage Tom Broom Neil Booth Ryan Hunter Jordan Thackray Jack Oldham George Pinder Jack England David Rishton.