Windhill & Daisy Hill 157/9 (40 overs)
Dave Shaw 85*
Luke Barker 2-43
Buttershaw St Paul's 159/2 (31.4 overs)
Andrew Pinfield 45
Ryan Holdsworth 2-42
Buttershaw St Paul's won by 8 wickets
Buttershaw has never been a happy hunting ground for the 2nd team, but we traveled optimistic, seeking our first victory of the season. The conditions were the best for a few weeks with scorching sunshine greeting the boys pre-match. Scouse won the toss once again and decided we would make the most of the conditions and a decent looking deck.
Dave and Crabbie made their way out to open this week and made the most of some early wayward bowling, putting away a couple of boundaries each. Crabbie (8) was undone by a quick yorker from the skipper of Buttershaw who had their early breakthrough. Shaun (0) made his way out at 3 and was soon on the wrong end of an awful decision, adjudged to have knicked off to a sharp bouncer from Phillipson. Bryan was in next, with one job - stop any potential middle order collapse, and he did so valiantly, seeing us up to and after drinks, with Dave continuing the scoring at the other end. With the temp needing to be upped for the final 20, Bryan (5) attempted his fourth reverse sweep of the innings, but this time the bowler got it straight and Bryan made his way back - but with his job very much done. This set the scene for the middle order to come and in and force the tempo, with a very much well set Dave who had now brought up a fine 50 - his second in three games. Daz (16) playing with more freedom played some nice strokes but was soon undone by spin, and Scouse (9) was undone by one which kept low on a pitch which was quickly dying out. Jack (1) got one which jumped up at him and he hit was straight up, and at 111-5 we were now struggling to post a competitive score. Ryan came in for his first bat in over 12 months, and he played some great shots to boost the efforts. In the end, Ryan (18) fell caught just shy of the boundary. Pete came in next, and with some clever strokes, and more powerful hitting from Dave we made our way up to 150. Pete (5) played on in the penultimate over, and Sedge (0), in for his first bat of the season hit one straight up into the covers. Johnnie did his job as last man in and Dave, who finished the first and last ball of the innings batted all through to ensure we were not bowled out. 157 was again probably 40-50 runs less than what we could have expected, but it gave our bowlers something to defend looking ahead.
Sedge and Scouse opened up, with Sedge in particular finding some early movement from the pitch. The ball quickly roughed up though, and swing and movement quickly died out, with the Buttershaw openers starting to settle in and play some nice strokes. Chances came and were unlucky not to be taken, and when Ryan came into the attack he made the first breakthrough with McDermott (39) bowled by a good one. Ryan made another breakthrough just after drinks to remove the other opener Pinfield (45) who played on, but this proved to be the last breakthrough of the innings, as the next pair made batting look fairly easy, breezing through the remaining 50 runs or so to see Buttershaw home with over 8 overs to spare. A comprehensive victory for the home side.
A disappointing defeat, but some positives to be taken. Dave is in great form and as long as we can keep him in the seconds, his runs will be invaluable. Our fielding was tight today and it was good to see young Jack get his first ball of the season and impress at that. Scouse now knows we have a spinner in Shaun in the team too for when Ryan is incapacitated. A big game against bottom side Rodley, who have lost 4/4 next week at fortress hill, really a must win.