Innings of: Finedon Dolben III
Innings of: St Michael's
St Michael's remained in the shake up for promotion with a comfortable 6 wicket win over Finedon Dolben III on Saturday.
Finedon hadn't lost a game for 2 months, and must have been confident of extending that run. With that in mind, the home skipper, on winning the toss, chose to bat first on a very green looking wicket. And it wasn't long before the St Michael's opening bowlers were making inroads into the home side's top order. Malc Swann was first to strike, removing Ashley Denton for 1. Martin Baker struck in the next over, removing Simon Denton for 9 caught behind after being hit for consecutive 4s. A couple of overs later, Swann was at it again as James Evans was bowled for 2. Michael Roberts looked to be settling in when Baker had him caught in the gully by Danny York for 22.
A superb catch from Stuart Griffiths then removed Steve Lack for 7. He had already been dropped twice, and was probably expecting a third spillage as the ball looped to wide mid off. However Griffiths, playing his first game in 2 months, leapt like a salmon to pluck the ball out of the air, much to Lack's disbelief to leave the home side reeling at 51 for 5.
A recovery of sorts began when Tom Minney struck a few lusty blows, but has went for one swish too many as he was stumped by Brian Ahearn of Simon Cannell's teasing turners. This tail then wagged, as Andy Parry and Mark Henson put on 62 for the eighth wicket before Ian Geddes came in to the attack to claim 4 quick wickets. Also notable was keeper Brian Ahearn's 3 stumpings.
The St Michael's reply began in cautious fashion. The score had moved on to 30 when Danny York was first to go, caught behind for 15. Matt Collier didn't hang around long, LBW to Adam Denton for 3, leaving the reply stuttering at 44-2. Will Kingston scratched around until he was caught for 5, and at 62-3, the wheels appeared to be coming off.
However like the North Star, the veteran Alan Bartley was resolute in his presence. His calm demeanor steadied the ship, allowing Ian Geddes to take centre stage. Both scored freely to the edge the visitors home. When Bartley was eventually bowled following an awful swish across the line for 57, the evergreen Malc Swann strode the the crease, whereupon he spanked a quick fire 21.
The winning target was reached with 3 overs to go, as Geddes stroked another 4, at the same time passing the half century mark, securing 28 points for the visitors.