Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Lowerhouse 1st XI  –  17 April 2022

RCC 148 allout (49.1 overs) LCC 152 for 8 (49.2 overs)

Scorecard here

Opening Heartbreaker for Rams

This was a game which the neutral supporter would have loved but for the home supporters it provided an agonising conclusion. 

Batting first on a wicket that looked full of runs the Rams made a steady if unspectacular start with Jonny Dack & Alex Olpin seeing off the new ball and taking the score to 40 before Jonny lobbed up a simple catch to midwicket.

Alex was then joined by skipper Kieren Grimshaw and the pair accelerated the scoring rate and did not look in trouble until Grimmy was deceived in flight by a ball from Paddy Martin and was stumped with the score on 78.

This brought our professional Sen to the wicket and after an early scare when nearly run out by the Pin before getting off the mark, he settled nicely into his stride. With the score on 95 and with 20 overs remaining Alex committed batting suicide by attempting another risky run and paying the price by being comfortably run out. This was frustrating as he was seeing the ball well and looked capable of a big score. 

After this we had a terrible collapse with little support being offered to our pro as the overs ticked away. Only Seb Schofield of our last seven batters reached double figures. Sen fell caught on the boundary, top scoring with 39 but a final total of 148 seems totally inadequate against a strong Lowerhouse line up.

Our worst fears seemed to be confirmed when Lowerhouse raced to 20 from the first 4 overs forcing Grimmy to introduce Jon “Trigger” Fielding into the attack. Having hardly turned his arm over for ages the Rammy legend picked up a wicket in his first over bowling Joe Martin. At 29 Lowerhouse lost their 2nd wicket when Charlie Cottam was needlessly run out and 4 runs later Trigger trapped the Lowerhouse pro Parry LBW without scoring.

The Rams began to believe a shock was on the cards but Lowerhouse have a long batting line up. Run scoring was at a premium save from a six from a free hit after Jon had surprisingly overstepped and 22 more runs were added before Paddy Martin was brilliant caught at slip by Sen. Our pro had been introduced into the attack by this time bowling in tandem with Fieldo and he took the next wicket having Barlow caught a slip.

The Lowerhouse captain Ben Heap appeared to be the main barrier to a Rammy shock win and when he fell for 47 to an injudicious shot off Trig’s penultimate ball of his spell we became hot favourites.

However nobody had told this to the two young men at the wicket. Henry Cottam and Tom Walker, both in their teens, showed commendable maturity and although the scoring was slow they edged their side to 99 before Grimmy trapped Cottam in front. Only 3 more runs were added when Sen had the vastly experience Chris Bleazard caught behind and many thought this was game over. Unfortunately young Walker and Joe Hawke had other ideas and they quickly started to claw the deficit back. Rammy had one more chance to get rid of Walker but when that catch was spilled the Lowerhouse pair were able to see their side home in the final over of the game.

Defeats like these are hard to stomach but we can learn lessons from it. The most disappointing aspect of the game was the batting collapse after such a decent start. It was clear that spin was the most potent element on this wicket yet our tail end capitulated to the 5th and 6th change medium pace bowlers.

Amateur Man of the Match was Trigger for his 4 for 18 off 13 overs – a great performance.