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Weekend Preview - 17th and 18th of June

Dan (Mini) Metcalfe back in action!

The last time I wrote the weekend preview, I was moaning about all the rain…how quickly things change! A little bit of rain wouldn’t go amiss right now before all our grounds turn to dustbowls. Although, hopefully the rain will stay away from the Beer Festival weekend which is almost upon us. It’s now just 14 days before the first pint will be poured on Friday 30th June. We still have a few gaps for sponsoring barrels of beer (£75) and bottles of gin (£40) or £105 to do one of each. If you would like to get involved please speak to me (07970026316) or Ash Free (07415709104).

As we approach the mid-point of the season, games are already starting to take on added significance, none more so than for our first team who welcome East Ardsley to Jenny Lane. The visitors, who are one of the two teams currently below us in the league, will be looking to start climbing the table towards safety. Although we’ve been on a bad run of form lately, the league is very condensed and a string of victories could quickly make a lot of difference. With a narrow, high scoring defeat by Carlton last time out, Kev McDermott’s side will be looking to un-lock the run scoring shackles at HQ and put a marker down as to what they are truly capable of. Jonny Reynolds was very close to registering our first ton of the season as we came up 29 runs short of Carlton’s score of 321. Closing on 98* in a losing cause must have been incredibly frustrating – let’s hope he can channel that into something special on Saturday. As we look to drag ourselves up the table, the team will be hoping for more stand-out individual displays that can make the difference in close matches.

Match Ball Sponsor – Emilie Hainsworth

1st Team @ Jenny Lane vs East Ardsley – 11:30 meet

Kevin McDermott (C), Chris Reynolds (WK), Jonny Reynolds, Will Kelly, Mehrban Khan, Stefan Mather, Joel Newlove, Sam Holmes, Jamin Barron-Toop, Umar Zahoor, Jamie Abbott

The second eleven make up the reverse side of the fixture, visiting Jeffrey Field, as they currently sit 8 places above East Ardsley, in 3rd position. Hopefully there will be no thunderstorms or rain cancellations this weekend as we have some significant history against this opposition on rainy days! If the sunny weather continues however, our spin bowling attack of Jamie Abbott and Josh Capper will be hoping to continue on with their excellent season (although Jamie is in the ones this week). In the narrow defeat of Carlton last weekend, Jamie registered his 2nd hat-trick of the season whilst Josh added another 2 cheap wickets. Alongside Jamie, the standout player was Stefan Mather (also promoted to the ones this week), who after claiming 2 key wickets scalps with the ball, wrapped up the game with an undefeated 60 not out. As Simon McDermott’s men start to flirt with the idea of a title challenge, they will need to work on their consistency and make sure the top 6/7 batters get runs on the board.

Match Ball Sponsor – George & Tash

2nd Team @ East Ardsley – 11:30 meet

Simon McDermott (C), George Barker (WK), Sam Kelly, Josh Capper, Jake Terry, Haris Hussain, Jamie Denison, Sam Woledge-Wilkinson, Will Baker, Josh Hannan, James Butterfield

Right now, the third team find themselves in a similar position to the twos – in or around the promotion places, with dreams/hopes of silverwear starting to loom on the horizon. In another similarity to the seconds, wickets have been far easier to come across than runs (however, If you’d seen the length of the grass at Belmont for the first few games of the season you would understand that 115 was actually a very big score!). Recent weeks though has seen the likes of skipper Dave Hodgson, Paul Hannan, Will Baker, Simon Bullock and yours truly racking up the runs. Add to that the growing contributions of Josh Hannan, who hits far more 6s than a 14 year old should be capable of, and the team are starting to looking much more solid. Last Saturday, on a day when several senior pros in the team were making the case to bowl first, Dave chose to bat and was very pleased to see his team pile up 295. Seizing on the ‘solid platform’ laid by the openers, Will Baker set about the opposition and reached his highest senior score of 71 with shots all around the wicket. The engine room then combined to accelerate the scoring rate in the last ten overs to a total that proved to be too much for the men from Leeds Caribbean. A hostile spell of 7 for 54 from Harry Brook-Dobson kept the opposition’s hopes of big hitting in check – I’ve never seen so many bouncers bowled at the Superdome. Sam Miller kept up his recent miserly form with the ball, conceding just 7 runs from his first 6 overs of the innings.

Sadly on Sunday the threes kept up their consistent record of bowing out of the Pool Paper Mills Cup to 1st division opposition. Batting first our total of 133 was never going to be enough to cause much of a distraction to the best team in the top division. On a day when all our senior batters failed – it was left to Josh Hannan, Dan Grimmitt and Sam Miller to play powerful knocks and get us to in reality was halfway towards a good score. Thornbury knocked off the runs with relative ease but we showed enough in the game to know that with a full strength side, we can mix it with this sort of opposition.

3rd Team @Belmont Superdome – 12:30 meet

Dave Hodgson (C), Paul Hannan, Tom Pickles (WK), Simon Bullock, Richard Illingworth, George Illingworth, Parth Sunil, Danny Bell, Leo Smalley, Sam Miller, Dan Metcalfe

The fours had a tough day away at Leeds Caribbean last Saturday as they came out losers by 108 runs. Bright signs were shown by Dan (Mini) Metcalfe as he continues his fight back from the illness that has dogged the early part of the season. Runs and wickets, but most importantly 10 overs under the belt should stand him in good stead moving forwards. I’ve been told that Finlay McCaul took a couple of blinders in the field as he continues to find his feet in senior cricket. The next step for him will be adding some runs to his output and after being the star of the show for our 15s against Hepworth and Idle last night, hopefully they’re not too far away. He held our lower order together in a nerve tingling run chase before absolutely nailing a straight six in the last over to win the game.

4th Team @ Meanwood – 12:45 meet

Ben Fawkes, Akeel Ahmed, Ashley Free, Finlay McCaul, Tim Joy, Billy Cawley, Darren Barber, Graeme Love (Loan), Liam Brookes (Loan), TBC, TBC

The Sunday team are also in action again this weekend. At the point of going to press I believe that Mini is still looking for a couple of players so please get in touch with him if you would like to be involved. Last week they won away at Mirfield PC, with Jake Terry seizing the opportunity to lead with both bat and ball, registering a 50 and dismissing Mirfield’s top 3 batters.

To all our players and teams this weekend (and to England at Edgbaston).....Go Well!

James Butterfield

3rd Team Tea Rota Specialist

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