Avoncroft 1st XI were defeated on Saturday in a game that they really should have won.
Croft were put into bat with opposition skipper calling correctly on the toss and with there having been heavy rain for a lot of the week it would prove to be a difficult pitch to score quickly and confidently on. With Matt Hare and Tom missing this week, Will Sach (84) returned to the 1st XI and made an instant impression upon the game opening the batting with Craig Hughes, on a wicket which was tricky to bat on given the deluge of rain that we had experienced in the week. He and Hughes put on 42 for the first wicket before Hughes(22) was dismissed. Sam Hughes replaced his brother at the crease and a partnership of 30 with Sach continued the steady accumulation of runs. While Sach remained resolute at the crease, wickets kept tumbling at the other end. With the score on 191, Sach was dismissed and with 6 wickets down and 9 overs still to be faced, Croft needed a partnership. Mark Wood (38) and James Downing(19) provided that for the home team helping to push the score on to 249 at the close of the allotted 50 overs.
The early removal of opener Hamilton by Hunter buoyed Croft’s spirits in the field but it was the wicket of Potter the other opener, who looked relaxed and composed at the crease, that would be the most prized. After 11 overs Five Ways were 39-1, Roberts the no.3 batsman rode his luck on a number of occasions being dropped twice in the field. When he was eventually dismissed for 32 in the 21st over by Mark Wood it looked like the game may pivot in Croft’s favour. The next ball Wood removed Gill for a duck and at 108-3 Croft felt they might pull themselves back into the game. Mahood joined Potter at the crease and a partnership of 118 was eventually the turning point in the game that took Five Ways over the finish line. Croft were not as a clinical with the ball, nor as sharp in the field as they had been in recent weeks and ultimately this cost them the game. A late flurry of wickets gave some faint hope of snatching victory but ultimately it was not to be, Five Ways finishing on 250-7 in the 47th over. Paul Athey returned figures of 10-2-36-3, Jon Hunter 10-2-43-1, Mark Wood 7-0-40-2 and Craig Hughes 10-1-35-1.
Croft face top of the table Kempsey next week and will need to be back on their game to come anywhere close to beating the undefeated league leaders.
Match Report by Mark Whitehead, 14/6/17
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