GARGOYLES’ CONFIDENCE IS CATCHING
Resplendent in their new, performance enhancing shirts, Alstonefield Cricket Club dominated their match against Osmaston, chalking up an 8 wicket win thanks to a clutch of brilliant catches.
After all the rain, the wicket was still drying out and captain John Salt elected to bowl first and make use of the inevitable two paced track. It was an inspired decision. Richard Salt bowled beautifully and had the dangerous Wolliscroft bemused by his slower ball for only 1 and then Osmaston captain Fryer on 4, played all round his yorker. Brother John quickly got in the groove, removing McCurragh for 3 and 2 more wickets in consecutive overs. At the other end, opener Ward impressed with his concentration and straight hitting, but he could only watch aghast, as there then followed a flurry of quite brilliant catches from Arthur Hack, Simon Smith with a spectacular low dive, Phil Bagshaw and Ian McKay, both with sharp reflex one handers, all off lusty blows. Sunil Angris entered the fray and promptly took 3 wickets off 8 balls, while occasional bowler Dave Singleton’s guile was too much for the Hills, as even he held on to a caught and bowled chance. After barely 17 overs, Osmaston were all out for 63, with Ward not out on 32.
A low total, but the Osmaston attack had not given up. Wolliscroft was dead eye accurate and had opener Robert Flower in all sorts of trouble, before having him caught at cover for 4. After his exploits against the tourists, Simon Smith walked to the wicket with a spring in his step, only to find Wolliscroft’s short in swinger too tempting and he was gone third ball. 11 for 2 after 10 overs and batting was looking decidedly difficult. Fryer and Hill kept up the pressure, bowling 11 overs for only 14 runs, but crucially those overs were wicketless, as Arthur Hack with 36 not out on a rare Sunday outing and Will Siddons showing maturity in his 22 not out, steadily and without fuss, moved the score along. It took 25 overs, but at 69 for 2, an 8 wicket win against a strong Osmaston outfit was an excellent team performance.