Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Walsden 1st XI  – 4th June 2023

RCC 247 for 8 (50 overs) WCC 248 for 3 (48 overs)

Scorecard here

Early ecstasy followed by more agony

Another abject performance with the ball and in the field saw us come away pointless from Walsden after posting our highest league score of the season.

The old adage of winning the toss and batting first on 19 out of 20 occasions is one I would generally support but in our position where every point is precious it might be better if we tried to chase.

Nevertheless it is what it is and with a good track and a small ground there looked to be potential for a hatful of runs. Without a regular opener TP opted to try Brad Fielding upfront and both batsmen faced some fine aggressive bowling from the veterans Shackleton and Joe Gale.

Tom fell caught behind with the score on 16 and Brad was joined by our sub pro Gangta. Brad played the main scoring role in the partnership and had reached 22 before he got one that seemed to stop a bit on him and he ended up spooning it back to the bowler.

This brought Jason Pyke to the wicket for his seasonal 1st team debut (it is no secret that your author thinks this player should be selected whenever available.)

He immediately took over the scoring mantle from Gangta who seemed to really struggle and it came as no surprise when he was bowled for 13 off 40 deliveries.

Our go to man Harry joined Jason who was really timing it sweetly and it was a sad blow when Harry edged one to slip for a run a ball six.

Jonny Dack has not had the greatest of seasons and coming in with four wickets down he was clearly nervous. Sometimes one flash of inspiration can change a mindset and after struggling for a few balls he picked Shackleton up for the sweetest of sixes over the midwicket boundary. This calmed the nerves and although he played second fiddle to Jason he was quick to give his partner the strike and the pair enjoyed a fabulous partnership with runs flowing freely.

However when you are down you always seem to get a kick in the teeth and when he had got into the 80s it became apparent that Jasan had injury issues as his running was clearly affected. Nevertheless he reached his century before being brilliantly caught on the boundary for 101, (consisting of 13 fours and 5 sixes) a brilliant chanceless knock. His partnership with JD had produced 114 runs in quick time.

Next to the crease was Seb Schofield, another batsman in need of a confidence boost. With little time to think about the situation he started attacking the bowling from the word go and smashed 33 off 17 balls with 7 fours in a 49 run partnership during which Jonny recorded a well deserved half century. With three wickets falling in the last over we still posted what should have been a challenging target of 248.

Between innings we learned that Jason had done his hamstring (I don’t think us guys born in the 1940s had hamstrings) and would be unable to field, meaning Rob Read, our manager, had to don his whites for the first time in a few years.With the limited bowling attack we had available it soon became apparent that Walsden were going to find run scoring easy.

There was very little consistency in our bowling borne out by the fact that there was only one maiden over in the oppostion’s innings. Almost every over bowled contained one or two “hit me” deliveries. The only time we put some pressure on Walsden was after the fall of the 2nd wicket when Josh Dentith, in his third spell, seemed to find a better line. Coming in at number four the opposition pro Jayawardena struggled to get going. He had only made 5 when he was dropped off a straight forward chance at mid on. After that he rode his luck and along with Hooson, who played very well, they took their team home after 48 overs.

Man of the Match – Jason Pyke

Footnote – since the departure of Sen we have had minimal contributions from the sub pros who were signed in good faith. Nikhil Gangta displayed plenty of enthusiasm but struggled badly with both bat and ball. It is so hard to get pros, particularly on Saturdays, and the money demands they make are ridiculous for the quality and commitment they offer. As soon as we get a regular pro the better.