Avoncroft Sunday XI arrived at Ombersley sitting top of the league after an impressive run of form that had seen them win three on the trot. Historically Ombersley provide a strong test with a raft of quality youngsters at their disposal but Croft had shown such good recent form they would enter the match in confident mood.
Not for the first time Croft lost the toss and would bowl first. The usual opening partnership of Jukes and Cound, so potent in recent games found things tough going and were not able to find the breakthrough. With Baldwin and Wild finding the boundaries with ease and the scoreboard racing along Croft turned to Dan Elliott who duly made the breakthrough bowling Wild for 39. Croft were not able to put the brakes on however and Baldwin and Cosh continued to score freely.
Croft finally managed to make inroads with Liam Kehoe picking up two wickets removing Baldwin for 46 and Cosh for 35. Any thoughts of Croft running through Ombersley were swiftly dismissed by the arrival of Sam Vesty, he showed his class with a brisk 51 before retiring to his credit, allowing others in the team to bat. Croft were able to take further wickets through Ed Pugh and Dan Elliott (2) and at the close Ombersley posted 273 for 7 from 40 overs.
In reply Croft got off to a solid start with Jonty Heslop and Dan Elliott combining hard hitting and quick running to put on 66 for the first wicket inside 12 overs. Jonty however fell for 33 when he looked in good touch. Chris Pitt joined Dan and together the pair looked to try and get Croft towards the target. They were however tested by a ever more turning wicket and a good quality bowling attack that contained a raft of spinners all turning the ball.
With Croft pushing hard to stay with the rate Dan passed fifty with ease, both looked solid in defence and able to find the boundary, however the chase would be derailed by the introduction of Sam Vesty to the attack. He bowled 4 overs for just 11 runs effectively ending any chance Croft had of reaching the target. Pitt was eventually bowled for 41 bringing an end to a 132 run partnership with Dan, a Sunday record. Dan would reach a deserved century finally ending on 103 not out. Croft finished on 213 for 3 from 40 overs.
Croft were ultimately to pay for a series of dropped catches and misfields that cost them valuable runs. A lesson learned against a good quality Ombersley side who did not make the same mistakes. Croft return home for a friendly fixture against Codsall this weekend.
Match Report by Christopher Pitt, 21/06/2018