Match Report Ramsbottom 1st XI v Walsden 1st XI – 20th August 2023
RCC 208 for 8 (50 overs) WCC 189 for 8 (50 overs)
Que Sera, Sera
As all you intellectuals will know the headline means whatever will be, will be. This Doris Day song epitomises Ramsbottom’s fate after two wins on the trot still leaves us very much anchored at the bottom of the league.
The euphoria of victory over Walsden was tempered by Enfield’s unlikely win against Clitheroe.
Still clinging on to survival by our fingertips we knew we had to beat the Scott Street side to have any chance of remaining in the 1st Division of the Lancashire League.
Winning the toss we elected to bat first on dryish wicket that looked like it would laterly be spin friendly. After the early loss of TP to a fine slip catch we made steady progress through Ali and Ben, the young 17 year old showing last week’s maiden half century was no fluke by playing a variety of audacious and classical strokes before falling caught and bowled with the score on 66.
Ben was then joined by Harry and the pair showed their prowess at running between the wickets as they took the score past the 100 mark before Harry was stumped. Ben, who had played an anchor role, deservedly reached his half century before immediately falling to one that turned away from him.
For once our middle order batsmen made good contributions but we needed a lift to give us a challenging target for the opposition to chase. This came in no uncertain terms from Brad. We know it can be feast or famine from the enigmatic character and he certainly provided the former smashing 46 not out off only 24 deliveries which included 5 fours and two 6s. This took our score to 208 at the end of our allotted overs. Unfortunately we suffered a 5 run deduction for running down the wicket on more than one occasion.
Still it was a formidable target and we got off to a great start when Billy trapped Lord lbw in his first over. A period of very tight bowling followed from Billy and Birdy with only 18 runs scored off the first 10 overs. With pressure on scoring the Walsden batsmen had to try to up the ante and this brought the second wicket. With the score on 36 Barker drove Billy through the covers. Hooson batting at the opposite end clearly thought there were two as he knew Ali, our closest fielder, would have to slide, then get up to complete his throw. What he did not expect was how quickly Ali would slide and in the same motion throw the ball to Brad who returned it to Harry, leaving Hooson stranded in the middle of the wicket after being sent back by his skipper. A fine piece of fielding teamwork.
There then followed along period of consolidaion by the batters who found scoring difficult against some tight bowling. This allowed Harry to replace Billy with Denty after 17 overs. After a poor first over when he conceded 12 Denty got into his rhythm and the pressure was put back on.
With the score on 66 Birdy got his reward when Barker attempted a drive and only succeeded in spooning the ball to mid off where Ali took a comfortable catch. Sadly, only minutes later, Birdy had to leave the field after suffering a suspected hamstring injury. This was a cruel blow for us as he has been by far our most consistent amateur bowler this season.
With the opposition pro Jayawardena joining Dawson at the wicket runs started to come more freely and the pair put Walsden in charge by adding 90 and taking the score to 156 before Jayawardena was well caught low down by Ben at deep mid off. This was a much needed wicket as Rammy had gone through a profligate period of fielding spurning four chances offered by Dawson. With 48 runs needed off 8 overs and both the Gale brothers to bat, the bookies would have favoured Walsden. Fortunately by this time Billy was back into the attack. He quickly changed the course of the game by bowling Joe for 2, having Josh caught behind for 2 and having the dangerous Gilford well caught by our sub fielder Ed at deep square leg for a similar score.
With Denty bowled out it was left for the Pin to bowl the last over in which he took the wicket of Shackleton.
A great win against a strong team who find themsleves just above us, but one has to bear in mind they have received a 17 point deduction and lost 8 games to the weather.
Man of the Match – Brad Fielding for his knock that changed the course of the game.