Seconds March On
After last week’s heroics at Shifnal, Wellington 2nd XI took on Stratford Upon Avon who were level on points with them at the start of play.
Match report by Stewart Black
Last week’s win had brought a renewed buzz to the changing rooms along with a line up that on paper, would compete with most teams in the local Shropshire Premier league.
On entering the home dressing room, players were greeted to the sound of Skipper Steve’s assortment of music. An unnamed friend of Captain Mouler had “acquired” him a new Bluetooth speaker device, at a price that even the best online retailers would struggle to match.
After a high intensity and flawless warm up, the new Band of Brothers gathered to heed the thoughts and instructions of Captain Mouler. During this address was the welcoming of the third Clarke brother, Oli (The Oswestry Ripper) to the club.
To the toss and Skipper Steve for the second week running failed to predict which way the old lady’s head was going to land. But Stratford’s skipper had informed Captain Mouler that his team was 2 players short and he was unsure about their ETA. So Stratford’s Captain did what all Captains would do and chose to baa… Bowl first?
On agreeing skipper Steve’s plan of action, Wellington’s openers took to the field and slowly stamped their authority on the innings. This new batting frontline is quickly developing into quite a formidable partnership and with ease, amassed a first innings partnership of 211. Young Sam Lloyd hit 161, to which momma Lloyd (Chrissie) drew tears of delight. Geordie Danny Candlish sadly hauled out on 92 and also drew tears but from fellow team mates, who desperately wanted to see Wor Kid reach his first century for the 2nd XI.
Dan Vaughan (Todd Flanders) missed out on the opportunity to cash in and played around a straight delivery, which were few and far between. Stew Black (Blackie) chipped around a quick 20 but was caught by a Draco Malfoy doppelganger, as Wellington edged past the 300 mark. With 308 on the board, Captain Mouler called for the declaration giving Wellington 4 extra overs to test Stratford’s resolve. But more importantly brought tea!
After the break, a confident and chirpy Wellington took to field in search of another 24 points but in doing so, would only require 8 dismissals.
Ink covered Martin Delany (D man) opened up from the Wrekin End and bowled a sharp spell on a very slow and low wicket. One notable short delivery got Stratford’s Draco Malfoy lookalike jumping at the crease, in which the 5 man slip quadrant could smell his fear. The D mans spell was hard fought but ended in no reward.
Opening from the road end was Matty Stinson, who continued his good form in picking up the first 3 wickets. Matty’s bowling has improved immensely on these dry and batsman friendly wickets, showing clever changes of pace, off cutters and variations of swing.
With Stratford 32 for 3 and a raucous Wellington baying for blood, Skipper Steve brought on Stew Black. A short and fiery spell saw Blackie claim revenge, finding the edge of soiled Draco Malfoy’s wand. Blackie also bowled the perfect bouncer that found the grill of Stratford’s number 5 who quivered “I don’t care, didn’t hurt!”
With the score at 38 for 4, Stratford decided Wellington’s massive total was unachievable and switched to block mode. Tim Dean (Skinny Dean, Deano, Blonde Bombshell) bowled a hard fought and accurate spell but with no cigar.
With Stratford “stodging” it was time for Captain Mouler to call on himself and new recruit Oli Clarke to dismiss what looked the last recognized batsman. It worked! Skipper Steve removed both batsman leaving Wellington 2 wickets away from victory with more than 20 overs remaining. Oli Clarke grabbed his first wicket, dismissing Stratford’s unorthodox number 8, which had seemed frustratingly impossible.
Off came the skipper and back on came Matty Stinson and within 3 balls the game was sealed and the 9 men of Stratford would have to make the 77 mile trip back home. Having been level on points at the beginning of the day, Wellington’s win bridges the gap by 22 points and jumps them up 2 more places to 6th.
A comfortable win that has earned the 2nd XI 48 points from the last 2 games, built moral back up and sent out a message to the rest of the league. Next week’s fixture will be a much tougher test for Mouler’s men, with 2nd placed Brockhampton making the 160 mile round trip to Orleton Park.
Well done lads, rest up and lets make it a hat trick of wins.