Nomads have the Edge on Gargoyles
Like any first date, there is a heady mixture of excitement and trepidation before the action begins and that’s exactly how it was on Sunday, as Alstonefield CC entertained Maryfield Nomads for their first ever encounter. It was clear from the outset that these nomadic ex Marehay CC players were a class outfit. The ensuing quality of the afternoon’s cricket and the spirit in which it was played, were a credit to both clubs. Once again, the result could have gone either way right up to the last over. The Nomads deservedly clinched a thriller, winning by 8 runs.
Batting first, the Nomads openers, Daley and Daniel, played the Gargoyles’ opening attack of Chris Wilkins and Tony Guest with respect, but punished the bad balls. Both looked comfortable and had moved the score to 40 after 10 overs when Guest bowled Daniel with a ripper for 19. Wilkins bowled with pace and found the edge on numerous occasions, without any going to hand. Approaching the half way mark and the 4 an over rate was being maintained by sharp fielding, when Will Siddons produced a perfect yorker to remove Daley for 20. Just 3 runs later and Andy Bray’s full toss was expertly caught at mid-on. 65 for 3 became 67 for 4 as Siddons repeated his unplayable delivery, bowling Rice for 0. Pykett then joined Fisher in the middle and these two immediately forced the pace. Pykett in particular was aggressive, striking eight boundaries in his 39, before falling to Bray’s looper. Ian McKay trapped Fisher lbw for 19 and then had Caulton caught at mid-wicket. There was a chance now of restricting the Nomads to something like 135 and a relaxed tea. Selby had other ideas and with a flurry of 6s, he took the score to 167 with an unbeaten 31. All the Gargoyles bowlers bowled well against a very good batting line up. Certainly 167 at just under 5 runs an over was well within reach.
Assuming that is, a decent start from the much changed Gargoyles batting order. Chris Wilkins, opening with his future brother in law, Oliver Peach, obviously had another appointment and uncharacteristically was playing expansive cover drives from the very first ball. The third one kept low and disturbed the woodwork. Dave Singleton struck the sweetest square cut off his first ball for four, but by the next over Selby had found his rhythm and produced the perfect away movement to dislodge the off bail.12 for 2. Captain Andy Bray then joined Peach and these two steadily gained control. Judicious shot selection and good running between the wickets put the Gargoyles in a winning position. When Bray was caught and bowled by Northage for 29, the score was 97 for 3 with only half the overs gone. Peach played an eponymous innings and reached a superb 50. Will Siddons took on the responsibility to shepherd the long tail towards the 167 target, but was frustrated by the steady loss of wickets at the other end. Tony Guest looked like he could see the job through with a sparkling 16, but when he was bowled, it left Siddons with too much to do off too few balls and he perished for an excellent 28. Again, the Gargoyles were just not able to get over the line when in a strong position. Something for club captain Simon Smith to address when he returns from France.
MARYFIELD NOMADS 167 FOR 7 BEAT ALSTONEFIELD CC, 159 FOR 7 BY 8 RUNS