Comfortable Win But at a Price
Ramsbottom 1st Team v Middleton 1st team – (HH) 31 July 2021
MCC 154 for 8 (50 overs) RCC 155 for 1 (35.1 overs)
This was an important victory for the Rams and eased any doubts we may have had about retaining our Premier League status.
Winning the toss Middleton elected to take first knock on track that looked full of runs and although they had suffered recent defeats they had been scoring in excess of 200 runs on a regular basis. Thus it was important to restrict them to as low a final score as possible. Grimmy stuck with his recent opening bowling partnership of Trigger and Clarkey and although we didn’t achieve an early breakthrough the lads keep it tight resulting in only 50 runs coming of the first 20 overs with Clarkey once again having no luck with two chances put down off him. A change of bowling saw our pro Daryn brought into the attack and he duly managed to break the opening partnership. The score was on 55 when he bowled an atrocious long hop which Shipley could only smash towards the backward square leg boundary where Clarkey made a difficult catch look easy. This brought the Middleton pro James Price to the wicket. Price is the league’s leading run scorer so it was vital to get rid of him as early as possible.
Having watched Daryn bowl ever since the came to Rammy I have to say that his overall bowling performance yesterday must have ranked among his worst but he was still able to produce two beautiful deliveries which got rid of the opener Walker and then the Middleton paid man with the scores on 57 and 60 respectively. This put us in a strong position as, although the opposition middle order battled hard, they found scoring very difficult. When Dan Pyke had to come out of the attack with a side strain after bowling 4 very tight overs, Owen Collinge was brought on from the old paper mill end. It is clear to see this young man is gaining in confidence every game and he is bowling with some pace. He was able to get rid of the opposition middle order with 3 catches going to wicket keeper Harry Caton and one to Alex Olpin in the deep. The Middleton innings ended with a score of 154 for 8, well short of what should have been a challenging total on such a good batting wicket.
The Rams batters had to make sure there was no complacency in the run chase so it was nice to see both openers, Alex Olpin and Brad Fielding, taking the attack to the opposition. The highlight of their partnership was the positive running between the wickets and they saw off the opening bowlers in a 53 run stand before Alex fell caught behind. Skipper Grimmy then joined Brad and both batted well making sure the bad ball (of which there were plenty) was punished and continuing the good running between the sticks. The opposition heads visibly dropped and the pair were able to post a century partnership to take us over the line with Brad finishing on 69 (his 1st league half century of the season) and Grimmy on 40 with nearly 20 overs remaining.
This was a very positive performance but the only negative were the injuries to Harry Caton (dislocated finger with hair line fracture) and Dan Pyke (side strain). It looks like Harry will certainly miss the next couple of weeks but we hope Pykey may be available for next week.
Four wins in a row have lifted our spirits but we now have to face a run of tough games against the league’s top teams. I am confident we can take a few of their scalps and hopefully finish the. season in a top 4 or 5 position.
Amateur Man of the Match was Owen Collinge.