Ramsbottom XI and 2nd XI were both drawn against Darwen CC with 1st XI playing for a home crowd and 2nd XI travelling to Birch Hall.
Find out how they got on…
Rammy ‘Wynn’ Opening Game
The Rams started their 2019 campaign with a great win against last year’s LCB cup winners Darwen.
On a gloriously sunny day which drew a big crowd to Acre Bottom, Tom Parton won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to bat on a wicket that looked full of runs.
However to quote Shakespeare from the Merchant of Venice ” All that glisters is not gold” and run scoring did not prove easy against some accurate bowling.
After losing the talented J.J. Fielding for six, the skipper Tom Parton was joined by Simon Hanson and the pair started to dig in and look to post a big score.
However just when Parton appeared to have got into his stride – he ‘clothed’ the worst ball of the day to mid-on, where the fielder held onto the catch at the ‘third’ attempt.
Hanson was then joined at the crease by the ever-reliable sub professional – Daryn Smit. Smit returned to his beloved second home bringing his now extended family with him. Smit and Hanson then produced what proved to be a vital partnership (which did not meet the approval of certain cynics in the crowd who thought runs could have come at a faster rate.) However it was clear to those who know the Ramsbottom record run scorer – that if he was finding it difficult, then the wicket was proving more troublesome than expected.
The stand came to a close when Hanson was stumped going for a big hit. The value of his thirty-nine should not be underestimated. This brought the talented Rehan Udwadia to the crease and with Smit still there, then we could expect an onslaught in the final few overs.
However having just passed his half century Smit was caught trapped in front to the joyous relief of the Darwen players.
The Rammy tail needed to wag and it did so with lads perishing in the cause but entertaining the crowd with some big hitting and cheeky strokeplay.
Udwadia’s twenty-four and Brad Fielding’s dozen runs helped us to a total of 185.
The word round the ground was “not enough” and that Rammy were at least twenty to thirty runs short. However our players had batted and knew the wicket was not the road everyone thought it would be. The players stated that the ball was sticking in the surface and there was turn for the spinners.
The bowlers just had to deliver and my goodness did they deliver.
Skipper – Parton chose to open the attack with the legend that is the veteran John Fielding and one of our latest recruits, eighteen year-old debutant Jack Wynn. The opening pair knocked the opposition back on their heels with a mixture of raw aggression from the youngster and guile from Trig.
Wynn bowled with a purpose, clean bowling the opener and adding an LBW whilst his opening partner – Fielding took three valuable wickets including the opposition Professional Batticciotto to a brilliant diving catch from Udwadia.
Could things get any better?
You bet they could – every bowler tried by Parton took a wicket including another debutant Dan Pyke. When the final wicket fell, caught and bowled by Smit to give the Rams a comfortable victory all eleven players had made a contribution to what was an excellent start to the season against a strong side which will be right up at the top of the league come the end of the season.
It is hard to pick a man of the match after such a performance but my vote would just go to the debutant Jack Wynn.
Mick Everett 21/4/2019
Darwen 2nd XI Vs Ramsbottom 2nd XI
The 2nd Xl got off to a winning start under new skipper, Dale Gabriel with a commanding victory at Birch Hall on Sunday. With Darwen finishing a few places above ourselves in fourth last season, this was set up to be a stern opening test for Gabriel’s men.
In true Marsdonian fashion, Dale called wrong at the toss and we were bowling on what looked a testing wicket to bat on up front, and so it proved, as new signing, and former Rammy man, Ghulam Abbas (2-21) repeatedly beat the bat of the Darwen opening pair. Using the slope and his natural ability to move the ball away from the right hander, Mano, a man not short of nicknames or outlandish training gear, finally found the outside edge sending wicketkeeper Ben Parkinson flying in front of not just first but also second slip to take the catch and make the well-earned breakthrough.
With at least seven genuine bowling options at his disposal, (sorry Pricey, neither me or you count as viable at this stage) Dale made positive changes at regular intervals, with Jake Walker and the returning Matthew Sutton – more on him later – providing real testing bursts of bowling to maintain the squeeze on the Darwen batsmen. However, it was the ever-reliable Chris Round who forced the second wicket, bowling their remaining opener for 31. With the score at 62-2 at the halfway mark, we had bowled ourselves into a promising position.
As is custom in almost every innings, the batting team usually have a spell of control, and down to a combination of aggressive shot-making and a drop in intensity from our fielding unit, the 3rd wicket stand took Darwen to 105-2 at the 30 over mark, and we were staring down the barrel of a chase north of 180.
Following a regroup at drinks and the combination of Dale (4-28) and Chris (3-42), what followed was nothing short of ruthless from the bowlers, as Darwen collapsed from 105-2 to 139 all out.
Job half done.
In all honesty, we made a meal of what should have been a regulation chase. However, having been on the wrong side of a few of those chases gone wrong, it is never plain sailing.
As was the case, we stumbled to the total six wickets down, with the only real notable contributions coming from Parky with a run a ball 47 and Martin Cropper with a typically fluent 19. Both set the foundations with a breezy opening stand of 40 which all but buried any potential of a shock.
The match finished in truly bizarre fashion with the aforementioned Matthew Sutton taking centre stage in a way maybe only he could achieve. Needing seven to win he firstly hit a full toss for six over square cover towards Darwen town centre, before launching a half volley through cover for four more, dislocating, and then relocating his knee whilst in mid-air. Naturally, this was initially met with laughter from the boundary, however the severity of the situation quickly became clear as the Darwen lads indicated Sutty was in need of an ambulance.
Sutts didn’t make it to A&E that evening as clearly Easter Sunday and Strongbow Dark Fruit wait for no man. The good news is Sutty is going to be fine following the all clear from the professionals Monday morning. Special mention to the Darwen ladies who helped out when the incident occurred.
So, 12 points and a perfect start to the Gabriel era. We await the arrival of Norden (and probably the rain) next Sunday.