GARGOYLES CONQUER WIND, RAIN AND WEAVER HILLS
Alstonefield Cricket Club went up in the world on Sunday, with a 52 run victory at Wootton; the Gargoyles’ first ever win in the dramatic Weaver Hill setting.
Captain Salt won the toss and confidently elected to bat first. Opener Robert Flower looked a little rusty and soon perished to the accurate Deane and last season’s surprise package, Dave Singleton also went cheaply after a calamitous run out. Meanwhile opener Neil Shotton was playing with his customary gay abandon and with the in-form Mark Wright looking fluent , the score moved quickly to 65 for 2. When Phil Bagshaw entered the fray, the scoring accelerated again and his rapid 22, followed by John Salt’s boundary peppered 31, dampened the spirit of the Wootton bowlers. Mark Wright reached his fifty, all rounder Simon Smith made a breezy 17, Richard Salt ran amok for his 14 and Will Siddons, in spite of suffering from mild concussion, remembered what his bat was for and struck some gale force blows in his 31 not out. With Terry White dropping anchor, the last five batsmen had put on 115 runs. 208 all out after 40 overs was a decent score. It all rested on removing the classy Wootton top order cheaply.
Which is exactly what happened. Masterly bowling changes by captain Salt, kept the pressure on Wootton’s experienced strokemakers. In an inspired spell of bowling, Ian McKay surprised opener Mellor with a bail clipping leg cutter and in his next over had Wootton captain Fuller lbw to one that straightened up the hill, followed two balls later, with a stumps shattering inswinger, to account for the potentially dangerous Plant. With the score at only 52 for 4 from 15 overs and their best batsmen back in the pavilion, the win was secure. Deane batted with maturity to reach an excellent 50 in a losing cause, but there was no answer to the relentless accuracy of the all the Gargoyles’ bowlers. Captain Salt rotated his attack deftly, giving valuable bowling experience to allrounder Simon Smith, the flight of Dave Singleton and the sheer unpredictability of the still dazed Will Siddons, who took two wickets to clean up the tail. The fielding continues to improve and there was a near faultless display with the gloves by Terry White, but simple chances were again spilt. Wootton 156 for 9 at the end of their 40 overs.
A 52 run victory for the Gargoyles, made all the more satisfying by the impressive contribution made by every member of the team.