GARGOYLES AND THE HISTORY BOYS
Blessed with another glorious day, this time in the Weaver Hills, Alstonefield Cricket Club ran out convincing winners against a youthful Wootton XI. In a confidence building all round team performance, Harry Jones distinguished himself with a top score 48 and then achieved only the second hat trick in the club’s history, following Dave Singleton’s memorable feat only three weeks ago.
The afternoon hadn’t started so brightly for the Gargoyles, as opener Neil Shotton, tormented by Heathcote’s genuinely Bavarian pace and movement, was soon back in the car park admiring his assets. New boy Kieran Swann joined Harry Jones and slowly but surely these two added over 50 runs, as Jones coached his partner into a creditable 22 on his debut. 64 for 2, but captain Simon Smith knew the run rate was too slow and he and Jones moved up a gear, before two runs short of a high class half century, Jones was caught with the score on 86. Andy Bray joined his skipper and after a watchful couple of overs began his assault, notching a rapid 34 with some powerful off drives. Captain Smith had been growing in fluency for his 33, until undone by the sheer precision of Heathcote who finished with the admirable figures of 5 for 13 off 8 overs. After a stark reminder of the futility and danger of stealing the strike, courtesy of the Gargoyles’ very own golden balls, the innings closed on a competitive
163 for 7 wickets from 40 overs.
Captain Smith called for tight, line and length bowling from the off and Andy Siddons finding his old groove, didn’t disappoint, having opener Jeffery caught by debut boy Dan Swann in his third over. Oliver Degg came to the wicket and the game swung dramatically in Wootton’s favour, as he plundered 38 runs in boundaries in rapid time. At 56 for 2 off 10 overs, the Gargoyles needed inspiration. There then
followed an extraordinary 17 overs from the veteran Lancastrian triumvirate of Singleton, McKay and Jones, containing no fewer than 8 maiden overs, ripping the heart out of the Wootton batting, with a combined return of 8 wickets for 24 runs. For good measure, McKay narrowly missed a hat trick, before Jones went one better and secured only the second one in the club’s history, courtesy of some athletic slip fielding. They say age is temporary, but class is permanent and so it proved. It is unlikely the talented young Wootton batsmen will have ever faced the combined 180 years of flight and guile before and may never do so again.
Wootton all out for 85. Gargoyles won by 78 runs.