SIGNS ARE GOOD FOR GARGOYLES
In a thrilling 400 run contest, Alstonefield Cricket Club came up just 10 runs short of inflicting a surprise defeat on a strong Ashbourne XI. Captain Simon Smith will have been both thrilled with the contributions from each team member and yet ever more determined to make catching practice compulsory.
Batting first, Ashbourne made steady progress against the tidy Gargoyles opening attack. Richard Allen was straight into the groove, bowling his 7 overs for only 27 runs. At the halfway stage Ashbourne were 69 for 1, at exactly 4 runs an over. The Gargoyles containment tactics continued until the 24th over, when at 101 for 4, Brad Lewis came to the wicket. In 4 overs the score had raced to 155 for 4. The Gargoyles did well to apply some pressure to the lower order and Harry Jones picked up another 4 wicket haul, but 6 dropped catches, some difficult, but most regulation, did not help the cause. 204 for 9 at just under 6 per over.
Captain Smith continues to ring the changes and the new opening pair of Harry Jones and Dave Singleton made a purposeful start, with 20 runs off the first 2 overs, before Jones holed out to deep mid-on. Andy Bray joined Singleton in a stand of 64, showing good shot selection and aggression in his brisk 28. Captain Smith knew what was required and immediately raised the run rate, striking 7 boundaries in his fluent 35. Meanwhile the serene Singleton rode his luck with aggression and judicious placement, securing the season’s first half century, to sit alongside his historic hat trick in the first match of the season. Neil Shotton made a welcome return to form with his new bat in a 49 run stand with the ebullient Dan Swann, who announced his batting debut with a six, six, and four from his first over. Steadily, the Gargoyles had got within reach. Needing 10 off the last over for victory, Swann and Tony Guest were dismissed and that was that. Defeat by 10 runs at 194 for 6 wickets.
- PHOTOS OF THE ASHBOURNE MATCH IN THE GALLERY (LINK TOP OF PAGE)