On what should have been the highlight of their season in the magnificent grounds of Chatsworth House, Alstonefield Cricket Club came a distant second on Sunday, losing by 85 runs. The Gargoyles’ confidence was high, boosted by the return of veteran Dave Singleton, two strong wins so far this season and an unbeaten record in the stately surroundings over the years. And they started like a team in form. ……….Click here to read more.
The opening attack of Chris Wilkins and Tony Guest restricted Chatsworth to just 26 runs from the first ten overs, Guest bowling Nadin with a snorter. Ian McKay and Andy Bray then continued to apply the pressure with 14 overs of accuracy and for Bray, 3 wickets for 27. At the end of 24 overs, Chatsworth were struggling at 72 for 5, following Captain Simon Smith’s smart run out of the classy Shibley for 39 and a reachable target for the Gargoyles looked inevitable. 5 overs later the score had rocketed to 133 for 5, as Gibson plundered the high proportion of full tosses from the hapless Gargoyles’ bowlers to all parts of the outfield and beyond. And it didn’t stop there, with clever support from Nash, who made 21 not out, Gibson took his score to an unbeaten 62 and the Chatsworth total to an improbable 189 for 9. At over 5 runs an over on a slow wicket, this was not going to be easy.
And so it proved. Once the irrepressible Gibson had removed Harry Jones with a brute of a rising delivery, the Gargoyles’ batsmen were pinned down by the sheer accuracy of the Chatsworth attack. Wilkins with 19 and Bray with 21, both tried to up the pace, but perished in doing so. At the half way mark, the Gargoyles were 44 for 4 and out of contention. By the 26th over the score had dwindled to 66 for 9, following a string of tame dismissals, including a career first golden duck from last week’s match winner Neil Shotton. There was some spirited resistance at the end, as the ever more confident John Clarke with 10 and Ian McKay with 27 put on an unbeaten 38 to earn a modicum of respect by staggering over the 100 mark.
With Ashbourne the visitors next Sunday, Captain Smith will be hoping this was just one of those days.
Chatsworth 189 for 9 beat Alstonefield 104 for 9, by 85 runs.