Avoncroft 1st XI lost to Netherton on Saturday in a game where once again, we fell short with the bat and didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game.
Croft were put into bat with Mat Hare and Will Sach opening. A steady start was produced with Hare more the aggressor. They put on 67 before Sach was removed for 20. Sam Hughes came in at number 3 but was soon removed for 11, Croft though at the drinks interval were in a position of control on the game being 96-2 with plenty of batting to come. The hope of putting 250+ on the board soon looked in trouble though as Croft slumped to 120-5. Matt Hare had been dismissed for 60 having played some delightful cuts and drives, after coming back from injury, each successive game he has played he has looked stronger and stronger.
Unfortunately the rest of the batting line up saw lots of starts from people, Craig Hughes (22), Mark Whitehead (22), John Brunt (19) and Paul Athey (18) but no one was able to take charge of the game and push the score on to something that would be defendable. Croft were 203 all out in the 48th over.
203 always looked like it would be 40-50 runs short for victory and this proved to be the case as Netherton, while looking like they might wobble at 116-5 eventually coasted to victory 6 down and with nearly 4 overs to spare. Paul Athey bowled a great spell of 10-3-16-2, Craig Hughes supporting with 10-1-36-2. With Dan Elliot and Jon Hunter missing though, Croft lacked the depth they normally have.
It was a disappointing defeat which leave Croft in a precarious position within the league, still sixth but only 24 points above the relegation zone. The encounter with Rushwick next wekeend, the start of the second half of the season, will prove an important factor in how the bottom half of the table unfolds in the coming weeks. A big performance will be required from everyone in the team.
Match Report by Mark Whitehead, 3/7/17
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