Max Rowley leaves the field at Flaggoners Green having seen the 2nds home with 50* off just 23 balls
An understrength Bromyard 1st XI travelled to old rivals Astwood Bank and came away with a 98 run defeat on a muggy afternoon. Bromyard won the toss and stand-in skipper Ian Bullock asked the home side to take first use of a green pitch, which proved to be somewhat two-paced. George Bouston and left-arm swing bowler James Brown, playing his first league game for the 1st XI since the Marches League days and making his 1st XI WCL debut aged 49, took the new ball but Tom Pedley got off to a fast start, striking Bouston for three boundaries in succession down the ground in the third over, and after 5 overs Astwood Bank were already 35 without loss. Their fifty came up in the 7th over and it was against the run of play when former Stratford-upon-Avon batsman Rob West (21) mis-timed a drive off George Bouston’s bowling and was caught at cover by James Godsall, making it 62-1 in the 9th over. Bouston completed his over as a wicket maiden followed by Rob Willis coming into the attack, and when Bouston bowled 18-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman Jake Browning for a duck after he missed an attempted lofted drive, the home side were 67-2 in the 11th over.
Just three balls later Rob Willis induced a defensive edge from Tom Pedley and he was well held at slip by Bouston, for 42 off just 32 balls with 9 fours, and the pair of 21-year-old medium pacers continued to slow the run rate before Sam Thomas (6) lobbed a Willis slower ball to Ed Smith at extra cover, making the score 98-4 in the 18th over. Former Astwood Bank 1st XI skipper Pete Alexander (1) had a short stay, driving Bouston to Dave Taylor in the gully, who took the catch above his head, and all of a sudden the East Worcestershire hosts were 99-5 having lost 5 wickets for 37 runs. However their skipper, the left-hander Tom Underhill, formerly of Evesham and Bromsgrove CCs, was still at the crease and he began to pick off the occasional bad ball with aplomb. With George Bouston having bowled his 10 overs straight through to claim 3-49, off-spinner Dave Taylor replaced him at the far end of the ground and kept the batsmen quiet for most of his accurate spell.
Alan White, formerly of the Lenches CC of the Cotswold Hills league, contributed a valuable 21 before being bowled by Rob Willis, the bowler gaining revenge having just been hit for a huge six over midwicket by White, to make it 142-6 in the 28th over, before Nick Leighton replaced Rob Willis in the attack. The score had moved on to 172 in the 36th over when Michael Desmond (15) chipped Leighton to Alex Parker at mid-on, and Tom Harris made 8 before being caught in the deep by Rob Willis off John Parker’s bowling, making it 198-8 after 41 overs. Tom Underhill took control of the closing overs however, having survived a concerted lbw appeal from Taylor soon after passing his fifty, losing fellow left-hander Dan Taylor (4) caught and bowled off a leading edge off Nick Leighton to make it 218-9 in the 46th over, and Underhill then dominated a last wicket stand of 40 with Daniel Brookes (9*), having been put down at cow corner, reaching his hundred in the final over before being caught by Ed Smith at extra cover off the bowling of John Parker from the penultimate ball of the innings for 102 off 105 balls with 13 fours and 2 sixes, Astwood Bank posting 258 all out from 49.5 overs. George Bouston (3-49 from 10 overs) and Rob Willis (3-53 from 10 overs) were the main wicket takers for Bromyard, while Nick Leighton (2-40 from 10 overs) and Dave Taylor (0-30 from 10 overs) both bowled economically.
In reply Ian Bullock and Nick Leighton gave Bromyard another steady start, reaching 29-0 after 10 overs. The score had moved on to 62 in the 20th over when Bullock was caught behind off medium-pacer Michael Desmond for 35, and Desmond and fellow medium-pacer Alan White extracted significant cut and swing from the old ball. Left-arm spinner Dan Taylor took the second wicket, Nick Leighton holing out to mid-off for 27, making it 89-2 in the 28th over, and when Edd Oliver ran down the wicket to Taylor but could only loft a catch out to deep square-leg to be caught for 25, Bromyard were 101-3 in the 31st over.
Rob Willis and George Bouston had just begun to tick the scoreboard over when a mix up saw Bouston run out for 4, and when Willis was caught off Tom Underhill’s off-spin in the next over for 20, followed by Alex Parker being bowled second ball for a duck, Bromyard were suddenly 121 for 6 in the 35th over. John Parker briefly applied the long handle to good effect, with successive big sixes off Underhill’s bowling, over long-on and cow corner, but when he was caught in the ring off the returning Daniel Brookes’s medium pace for 14, Bromyard were 143-7 in the 39th, and Ed Smith was caught off Dan Taylor’s bowling for 13 in the next over. Five overs later the match was over, Dave Taylor being caught off Brookes’ bowling for 4 and James Godsall being the last man out, stumped off Dan Taylor for 6, leaving last man James Brown 0* and Bromyard all out for 160 in 45.1 overs. For the home side left-arm spinner Dan Taylor picked up 4-35 from 9.1 overs as Bromyard were forced to attack him as the required run rate spiralled, and Tom Underhill (2-20 from 3 overs) and Daniel Brookes (2-32 from 10 overs) were the other main wicket takers. The 1sts remain 4th in the WCL Premier Division ahead of a local derby at home to East Herefordshire rivals, 10th-placed Colwall, on Saturday.
The 2nds meanwhile mounted a brilliant run chase to win by 3 wickets with 9 balls to spare at home to Stourport 3rds. The visitors posted a daunting 282-8 from their 45 overs after winning the toss, Spencer Colley making 55 off just 38 balls with 5 fours and 5 sixes, Paul Edwards making 52 off just 45 balls with 10 fours, and number 7 George Teal a destructive 96* off just 76 balls with 5 fours and 9 sixes. Dan Mills (2-28 from 9 overs) and Nathanael Newitt (1-22 from 7) were the pick of Bromyard’s bowlers. In reply Mike Reece scored 74 off 82 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes, taking his season’s league tally to 494 runs with his third fifty (and 31st in all for the 2nds) to go with 1 hundred, and 18-year-old Zac Bernard-Pullen made 73 off 67 balls with 11 fours and a six, his first fifty of the season and third in all for the 2nds. The two put on 142 for the 3rd wicket to give Bromyard a shout, but it was left to the skipper Max Rowley though to see his side home, blasting a brilliant 50* off just 23 balls with 5 fours and 3 sixes, one of the quickest fifties for the 2nds in the Worcestershire League, with support from Will Bolton (24) and 15-year-old Jamie Rawle (5*), as Rowley hit the winning boundary and also brought up his fifty, Bromyard reaching 285-7 after 43.3 overs in one of the 2nds’ highest run chases. The 2nds remain just 1 point ahead of Hagley 2nds in a very tight WCL Division 6, and make the long trip to 9th-placed Enville 2nds on Saturday.
The 3rds require just one more win from their last two league games, or to be precise 13 points, to win WCL Division 9 South and be promoted to Division 8 (South or West) next season, after a comfortable 7 wicket win over Colwall 4ths at the QE. The visitors could only post 115-9 from their 40 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bat, Mark Pedder top-scoring with 30 and only two other Colwall batsmen reaching double figures, BCC Chairman Luke Johnston taking 3-16 from 7 overs the day before his 50th birthday, and stand-in skipper Dean Corbett taking 2-27 from 6 overs. Special mention too for Paul Tomkins who took 1-5 from 6 typically miserly overs, and youngsters Oli Bouston (1-13 from 4 overs) and Zain Zahid (1-8 from 2 overs). In reply 3rds’ run machine Matt Long made an unbeaten 52 with 4 fours and Dean Corbett completed a captain’s performance with 29* as the 3rds reached 121-3 after 23 overs. The 3rds remain top of WCL Division 9 South, 33 points clear of Eastnor 2nds and 48 points clear of Tenbury 2nds, who have a game in hand. They travel to Ghost Meadow to play 6th-placed Colwall 4ths in the return fixture on Saturday.
Finally the Sunday team saw off Martley by 8 wickets at Flaggoners Green. The visitors chose to bat first but were restricted to 143 all out in 31.4 overs, Justin Rushgrove top-scoring with 44, Jim Basford making 23, Bella Kennedy 19, Tom Butler 17* and Owen Birchley 13. Nat Newitt bowled an impressive opening spell and took 2-16 from 5 overs, before a devastating spell from his Dad Andrew at the end of the innings, as he took 3-2 from 1.4 overs. 12-year-old Oli Bouston also bowled another very impressive 5 over spell of 1-12, and 14-year-old Zain Zahid took 1-16 from 4 overs. In reply Nat Newitt blasted 39 off just 31 balls including 2 huge sixes over long-on and cow corner, 16-year-old Hugo Bernard-Pullen played a mature knock of 43* off 56 balls, and Edd Oliver chipped in with 33* off 32 balls as Bromyard cruised home to 147-2 in 23.3 overs, just before the heavy rain started to fall. The Sunday team are back in action this weekend as they travel to Sapey for a local derby.
The Evening League team are also back in action next Tuesday in their final outing of the season, the Dowdeswell Cup Final vs Old Vigornians, at a venue that is currently TBC.
Written by: admin