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Saturday July 14th v. Penistone (home)

Penistone heaven

Essential mopping up operations meant that play started just five minutes late and Thurstonland openers Chris Flanagan and Nathan Appleyard began cautiously against Chris Hawley and Tom Cadzow with a wide and a no ball contributing half the runs on the board from the opening nineteen deliveries. An early breakthrough for the visitors came later in the fourth over when Cadzow induced an attempted forcing off drive from Nathan which lofted the ball into the covers where James Beachill judged the catch well as the ball came down over his shoulder as he turned in pursuit.

Tension was palpable at this loss of an early wicket such had been the fragility of the home team?s batting for much of this rain sodden summer. Jack Oldham, however, took a single from his first ball and then hit a lovely drive to the extra cover boundary from Hawley as he and Chris applied themselves to their task of setting a platform for the innings. Their patience was rewarded.  Periods of watchful defence were punctuated by boundaries on the rare occasions that the opposition attack strayed in length. Chris managed to indulge in a comparatively rare six, pulled over mid wicket off a short Cadzow offering and the half century came up in the fifteenth over.

James Dalton and veteran David Hawley then took over the attack as the score mounted and it was the latter who made the breakthrough when Jack, after scoring an accomplished 32, was caught by Williams with the total on 81. Chris followed shortly afterwards when he was caught behind by Duncan Richards, also off David Hawley. He too made 32 and when Ashley Armitage attempted a pull shot off the bowling of young spinner Dylan Smythe only to sky the ball to the wicket keeper and depart for 2, fears grew that, at 88/4, the initiative was passing to the visitors.

Russell Mottram, however, stuck to his task in an innings which things together. Ryan Hunter struck two straight sixes in a score of 18 before falling lbw to D Hawley and Greg Holmes played a powerful cameo in reaching 15 helped by two fours and a six before being run out after hesitancy on the part of both batsmen. Russell made 20 before being caught by Beachill at backward square leg whilst Joe Law provided the Penistone fielder with his third catch shortly afterwards as he departed for three.

Sam Wright (14), a former junior player returning to the club after just over four years at Lascelles Hall, was then joined by Neil Booth (5*) and the pair added seventeen in their brief association with the former hitting a well timed straight six and the latter hitting a text book cover boundary. Sam was run out on the last ball of the innings as the batsmen attempted to run a rather optimistic single to set a target of 167/9, a big improvement on several totals in 2012.

Although Duncan Richards was quickly into his stride and looked in good form, both Joe Law and Sam Wright bowled economically as Penistone began their reply. The latter took the first wicket on 20 when Williams was trapped lbw for one. Sam followed this up three balls later by bowling Beachill and when Greg Holmes who replaced Joe bowled Richards for 19 just when the batsman was beginning to threaten to score a much higher total, Thurstonland were on top with the visitors on 38/3. Things got even better when Sam trapped Tom Cadzow lbw for nought to make it 39/4.  Mark Brown was playing well and he was helped by Chris Hawley as the total got to 58 before Nathan Appleyard accepted an edge from the latter off Greg?s bowling.

Brown began to go on the attack and briefly threatened to turn the game on its head as a flurry of fours and well judged singles and twos in partnership with T Reid saw the total mount quickly to 90 as drinks were served at the half way point of the reply. Whatever was added to them had an immediate effect as George Pinder fielded the ball at mid wicket from a push by Brown and an accurate throw to Nathan saw Reid (6) run out by a stride. In the meantime, George himself had joined the attack and looked to be gaining in confidence. He was rewarded with the important wicket of Mark Brown when Sam Wright held on confidently at deep mid off to a steepling catch. The batsman was just one short of a merited half century. Greg Holmes (4/38) then picked up two quick wickets thanks to a lightning stumping by Nathan and the comprehensive bowling of James Dalton.

Dylan Smythe had hit two fours in his 12 when George Pinder should have ended proceedings as the left handed batsman hit the ball high but straight to Ryan Hunter at mid on. In spite of everything looking right, including a brief rest in his hands, the ball leapt from his grasp and the final wicket remained to be taken. Jack Oldham then took over from Greg who had bowled his maximum allocation of twelve overs. With his second ball it was all over as David Hawley cut the ball into the unerring hands of the gully fieldsman. Who was there? Yes, it was Ryan again who, having surreptitiously changed his hand coating from Teflon to Superglue, clung on to the sharp chance at head height. Penistone were all out for 122 and Thurstonland enjoyed their first league win since May 5th.

Team: Chris Flanagan Nathan Appleyard (w/k) Jack Oldham Ashley Armitage Russell Mottram Ryan Hunter Greg Holomes Sam Wright Joe Law Neil Booth George Pinder.


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