The under 15s lost narrowly to Pelsall despite an unbeaten 52 from Myles Davis, the under 14s recorded two victories (the highlight of which was a maiden half century for the club from Sam Horobin), and the under 10s won two games out of three.
Add to this the start of our All Stars programme on Friday night with around 40 little stars in attendance, which when coupled with an under 10s game and the usual junior coaching made for a busy night at the club. Congratulations to Sam Horobin for winning the inaugural junior player of the month award, and a special mention goes to the other nominees Ross Parker and Teddy Szewczyk.
Saturday saw the first team maintain their winning start to the season with a hard fought but fully deserved four wicket victory. Wombourne batted first and were dismissed for 242, Dan Bassett top scoring with 56.
Attiq Chishti (2-40), Laeq Chishti (2-25) and Aatif Ali (3-51) were the main wicket takers for the firsts, who reached their target with three overs to spare. Ishaq Mohammed (26) and Rana Hassan (48) provided good support to Attiq Chishti who completed a fine all-round game with an excellent unbeaten 87 to see us home to victory.
The second team travelled to Wombourne for the reverse fixture and recorded a comprehensive 170 run win after an excellent team performance. Batting first, we totalled 270-5 with Ian Brown (29), Atta Chishti (30), Paul Szewczyk (47) and Michael Hartwell (49) all making useful contributions in support of captain Richard James who finished unbeaten on 68 as the innings closed.
James then took 3-26 as the Wombourne reply faltered from 58-0 to 100 all out after a superb spell of bowling from Callum Morrell (6-21) - who had two opportunities to take a hat trick - sparked a dramatic collapse which led to a fine win for us.
With no fourth team fixture, the third team travelled to Highcroft and Great Barr and were well beaten after being bowled out for a below par 149. The ever consistent Steve Jones with an excellent 81 was the only batsman to offer any real resistance, Alfie Morris (17) being the other batsman to reach double figures. Despite a wicket apiece for Chris Green, Will Hinder, Ollie Deakin and Jack Pope, Highcroft reached their target with nearly 20 overs to spare for a comfortable six-wicket victory.
The Sunday first team travelled to Aldridge and were defeated by 92 runs. Aldridge were bowled out for 187, with Ben Marson (3-32) and Nathan Taylor (3-30) both performing well with the ball. No batsman passed 20 for us in reply as they were bowled out for just 95.
The second team took part in a high scoring and very entertaining game with Hammerwich who totalled 247-9 in their innings, largely thanks to a fine 115 from Stephen Blews, well supported by Alastair Lawrie (45) and Matthew Deyzel (54). Our young bowlers performed admirably against some strong batting, Sam Beeken (3-47) and Josh Baker (4-51) both receiving due reward for their fine efforts with the ball.
Special mention must also be made of youngsters Sam Horobin and George Price on his senior debut who both bowled excellent spells which deserved better reward. The Penkridge reply was built largely around a century partnership between Jon Price (75) and Richard James (81) as we finished on 234 all out and a narrow 13 run defeat after an excellent afternoon of cricket.
On a personal note, I played both games for the second team this weekend, both of which were very enjoyable to take part in. Wombourne has always been one of my favourite grounds, right in the middle of the village with a good cricket wicket and usually plenty of people watching.
Another 2-2 draw in the young v old football warm up, the olds push for victory being thwarted by us “scoring” a goal only to find it was the wrong set of cones the ball had passed through. A solid batting effort (of which my contribution was bringing a newspaper for us to read before spending all afternoon with my thigh pad and box on without getting near a bat!), and notable for Paul Szewczyk’s attempt to make his ground (which was eventually successful) by attempting something resembling the front crawl in the ungainly style of a baby seal floundering out of water...
Callum Morrell then bowled superbly for his maiden five wicket haul for the club, no doubt helped by having warmed up extensively – after having had deep heat rubbed into his undershorts unbeknown to him during the tea interval! Three catches and a stumping for me were pleasing and my wicket keeping felt much better this week.
The fines committee then bizarrely raised more money this week after an excellent all-round performance than it had the previous week after our wayward efforts with the ball, and captain Rich James somewhat unfortunately was awarded the “Muppet of the Day” hat having made an unbeaten half century, taken three wickets and captained us to victory. It’s a tough school we’re running…..
Sunday’s game was a good game of traditional club cricket, both sides having a mix of senior players and some good junior cricketers. A narrow defeat for us in a game played in an excellent spirit throughout, with several outstanding performances. Club Chairman Jon Price batted well for his 75 (once he’d gone back home to get his whites off the washing line) in the same game that son George made his senior debut and bowled four very tidy overs.
Sam Horobin, Sam Beeken and Josh Baker all bowled well for us – and Josh hasn’t mentioned at all that I dropped a catch off him which would have given him his maiden five wicket haul – “You’ve only dropped that so you didn’t have to buy a jug Dad”… Despite Rich James making 81, we fell just short in a really enjoyable game to play in.
This week sees a full weekend of fixtures, including the under 19s taking on the club coaches in a game on Thursday night and a race night on Friday as we look to build on our promising start to the season.