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1st XI stumble over winning line at Cooke Collegians

by Gary Knox on June 17th, 2010

Alan Thompson had a great debut with the ball and vital 0 not out

Donaghcloney traveled for a midweek 2 night game at Shaws Bridge against a formidable Cooke Collegians team. Already missing Stephen Hanna through injury they were dealt another major blow as David Marshall was struck down with illness on his journey to the match. Fortunately Keith Martin was able to contact Graham Steele to fill the void.

Cooke Collegians won the toss and elected to bat. This was a decision that seemed to backfire as Jonny Stevenson removed the opener with a tickle through to skipper Keith behind the stumps. Matthew Lyttle promoted to strike bowler in the absence of Marshall also had success with a caught behind dismissal, leaving the host 4 for 2.

Cooke Collegians then seemed to get established as they scored quickly moving onto 38 in only the 8th over. Young Lyttle then produced two great deliveries over the next couple of overs. He seemed to extract extra bounce and benefited by finding the edge of the next two batsmen with both catches gleefully accepted by glove-man Keith Martin, for figures of 3 for 25 from his 6 over burst.

Tim McClure and Gary Knox then entered the attack as they tried to put the brakes on the Cooke Collegians run rate. McClure was unfortunate as he saw chances drop just over or between fielders. However, Knox proved that spin may be a harder proposition as the batsmen struggled to score with any fluency against him.

With the wicket receptive to spin skipper Martin called on young debutant and under 15 player Alan Thompson to bowl his off breaks. Along with the experienced Knox they curbed the hosts scoring rate and started to build pressure on their opposition.

Knox reaped the rewards of the pressure removing skipper Boyd and in his penultimate over removed danger man Richard Johnson for 35 leaving the home side on 108 for 6 at the 30 over mark, claiming tidy figures of 2 for 8 from a 10 over spell.

Colin Martin continued with the spin attack and soon registered his first wicket. With Stevenson returning to the attack the pair soon mopped up the tail, with Martin claiming a further wicket to take 2 for 13 and Stevenson registering another 2 wickets to claim 3 for 33, to dismiss Cooke Collegians for 138 in the 43rd over.

On the second evening Donaghcloney opened their innings with skipper Keith and his brother Colin Martin, as they looked for a steady start. Unfortunately Colin played a false stroke holing out to midweek for only 2 with the score on 10 in the 6th over.

This brought the inform Neil Carson to the crease to join Keith. It was not long before the two men confidently set about their business. Both batted diligently as they respected the good ball and set about punishing any ball erring in line or length.

At the 25 over mark Donaghcloney were well on track at 79 as they seemed in cruise control for their 5th win in 6 league games.  3 overs later with the partnership yielding 75 runs, Keith Martin was trapped LBW for an assured 31.

Lyness Topping joined Carson at the wicket and was there to witness Neil pass the 50 mark for the second game running. Topping was then unfortunate to be the victim of a superb bit of fielding as on backing up he saw a crisp Carson drive superbly fielded and a direct hit seen him caught short of the line for 3 and the total on 107.

With Carson still there Donaghcloney seemed in total control. The with as his only false stroke of the evening he saw a lofted cover drive caught and was dismissed for an excellent 63, and the score on 121 for 4.

Amazingly a colossal collapse in the batting saw Donaghcloney teetering at 132 for 9, Lyttle out for 6, followed by 3 ducks for Knox, Phil Derby and McClure, with Stevenson registering only 4.

With only Graham Steele who was stand-in for the ill David Marshall, and young Alan Thompson to knock of the remaining 7 runs things looked ominous. With real grit the pair dug in and under huge pressure managed to drag the team over the winning line.

The partnership did have a few heart stopping moments including Steele being dropped and scrambling a run to tie the scores. However, it was the batsmen who held their nerve at this stage as Chris Johnson bowled a wide to give the village team victory.

Skipper Keith Martin was delighted to gain the victory, but was disappointed in the manner of the win ‘we bowled and fielded superbly and have displayed great depth in options especially with the absence of Hanna and Marshall. Young Matt Lyttle definitely stepped up to the mark’, he continued ‘we must ensure to apply ourselves, we have to show more determination in the middle order to score runs and we cannot keep relying on Neil Carson or the top order to score all the runs’.

Keith finished by praising the heroics of the last wicket partnership of Steele and Thompson ‘Graham come in late and the day and really dug us out of a hole, while young pup Thompson bowled great the first night and followed that up with the best 0 not out of his young burgeoning career, managing to hang about when more experience players failed to do so’.

From → Match Reports

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