Innings of: St Michael's
Innings of: Express
St Michael's brought the curtain down on another season by beating Section 2 winners Express in a thriller at Kingsthorpe Rec.Stand in skipper Dave Tebbutt lost the toss, and Express chose to bowl first. On a dodgy track, the Express bowlers were soon on top. First to go was Malc Swann for 9, and he was soon followed by Dave Tebbutt, caught behind after gloving off a rearing ball from former St Michael's player Pete Hills. Brian Ahearn struck some lusty blows, before he was bowled for 19. That wicket saw a mini collapse, when the score went from 44 for 2 to 45 for 6 in 3 chaotic overs. Bill Kingston steadied the ship, and was ably assisted by first Phil Matthews and then Martin Baker. Baker scored his first runs of the season when he pushed his first delivery for 2, which raised an ironic cheer from the tent.
The final total of 90 in less than 30 overs looked well short of the mark, but on a pitch that was playing all sorts of tricks, it was still one that would require concentration and effort to overcome.
In reply, the St Michael's opening pair of Swann and Baker tore into the Express batting lineup. Baker first had Brooks LBW for 4, and then soon after removed Field for 9, also LBW. His third wicket was Maule, who was going well on 19 at the time, but a ball that rose off a length took Maule by surprise and he edged a simple catch to Ahearn behind the stumps.
Malc Swann then got into the act when he removed Toone, also caught behind, and then he removed the dangerous Pooley, assisted by a Neil Holliday catch at gully.
St Michael's miniscule skipper Tebbutt chose to bowl Baker and Swann straight through their 12 overs, and his gamble paid off when Baker took his tally to 5 with 2 wickets in his final 2 overs, whilst Swann grabbed his third in his last over to leave the league leaders reeling at 45 for 8 after 24 overs.
There was no way back for Express from that point, and whilst the last batters hung around for a while, it would have taken a monumental effort for the last 2 pair to score the 40 odd runs required for victory. As it was, Richard Davis and Andy Wilson grabbed the last 2 scalps to secure the win.
A good day at the office, with St Michael's defeating the league winners for the second time in a month, and the only side to do so all season. And it concluded a good season for St Michael's with a good league record to go with the Garnett Plate victory in July at the County Ground.