GARGOYLES GET OFF TO COLD START
Play cricket long enough and there are no surprises left. Alstonefield Cricket Club’s 2012 season started with a wicket from the very first ball. Unfortunately it was the wicket of Gargoyles captain John Salt and with John Gill falling in the next over, 1 for 2 against a strong Wootton outfit, was not in the plan. It was clear that the wicket was damp and slow, making batting deceptively difficult. Neil Shotton with 13 and Ian McKay with 18, slowly stabilised the innings and took the sting out of a lively Wootton attack. Other top order batsmen went cheaply, before Richard Salt and Will Siddons, each with 24 aggressive runs, managed to secure a reasonable total of 93 all out. Not as bad as it might have been, but it felt 30 runs short. The bowling needed to be tight and the fielding needed to be sharp.
The bowlers duly delivered. Phil Bagshaw bowled his 8 overs for a miserly 14 runs. Sunil Angris took 2 wickets in 6 overs and captain Salt more than paid his dues with his best bowling performance for many a year with 8 tight overs and 2 wickets. Likewise for brother Richard, following up his top score with high quality medium pace, to earn the coveted man of the match award.
The fielding however was simply not up to the mark. Difficult catches went begging and easy chances were spilled, most notably by Neil Shotton, whose hands much preferred the warmth of his flannel pockets to the cool Weaver Hills air. Wootton reached their target with 7 overs remaining and with 5 wickets in hand. The Gargoyles made them fight for their runs, but needed that extra 30. Wootton won by 5 wickets.