Deadlock between Croft’s midweek XI and the Junior Parents XI after enjoyable tussle
Whites and tracksuits were dusted down as a number of the parents of our junior players came out of retirement (for some dating back to their school days) to take on Avoncroft’s midweek XI in a friendly encounter on 27th July. Croft batted first but failed to get the expected brisk start as Pete Shaw (1-11) and Steve Morgan (1-11) kept the top order in check. Paul Levy kept up the pressure with 2 further wickets, displaying a smooth bowling style that he’d modestly tried to hide away at the start of the game. With holiday season hitting availability, the Parents side had called upon 3 juniors to support their cause and all three looked right at home with the ball. Fin Morris picked up his first adult wicket, with Oisin Morgan and Matthew Athey also keeping things tight during their spells. Captain fantastic James Downing led the Croft fightback with 32*, ably supported by Max Jukes (15) and Jack Bennett (15*), enabling them to post 112-7 with Wayne Smith taking the other wicket to fall. Other performances of note included a clean display behind the stumps from John Neeson and 2 catches for Steve Morgan, who helpfully offered his coaching services at the end of the innings to those fielders who had failed to meet his high standards.
The Parent’s XI played their trump card by opening with 11-year old Fin Morris and 10-year old Matthew Athey, with the Croft bowlers responding with a mixed display of rarely seen spin bowling! Fin departed early, but Matthew remained for six overs, reaching 12* before being asked to retire. Pete Shaw displayed some lusty hitting to reach his retirement score of 27* and with Paul Levy (9) and Jon Livesey (11*) also making solid contributions, the Parents side kept up with the run rate throughout the innings. Wayne Smith (19) looked to have tipped the game in the Parents favour with some powerful hitting, but Croft had held back Downing and Jukes for the final four overs and this proved decisive. The Parents entered the last over with the responsibility on Andy Hooper and Steve Morgan to see them over the line. In the face of good quick bowling from captain Downing, the pair consistently got bat on ball but the desired boundary eluded them. Needing 2 off the last ball, Hooper cut the ball powerfully to the cover boundary, but a good piece of fielding meant he was run out coming back for the winning run leaving the game tied.
Many thanks to the Parents for putting themselves forward to play and to the Croft players who competed in the right spirit, particularly in their support of the younger players on the team.
Match Report by Paul Athey, 03/08/2017