It's Raining Points
Recent form has seen the stiff's rise from second bottom to fifth and closing in on the top four.
Match report by Stewart Black
Saturday’s fixture saw Wellington up against title challengers Brockhampton.
During the week Skipper Steve made a decision to drop himself due to the increasing high caliber of competition for places. The captaincy was handed over to Stew Black (Blackie) who would marshal a second XI that was even stronger than last week’s side that slaughtered Stratford Upon Avon.
Down came Steve Lamb (Lamby) to replace run machine Sam Lloyd (Beep beep beep), who had been called up to the first XI thanks to some superb batting displays.
Back into the team came Nick Mitchell (Peaky) and Dan Lloyd (Windball). Peaky returned to the side after a crusade to Greek islands in search of the Golden Fleece and to worship the Demigoddess Aphrodite for a change of fortune on the lady front. However Dan returned from a more successful escapade, having represented the Midlands at the Bunbury Festival.
Also returning, was the butt of all jokes, lesser brother and team favorite Tom Saunders. Tom had been unfortunately demoted from the first XI as Wendell’s external auditory canals probably in needed some rest.
Having arrived just in time for the toss, Brockhampton’s captain succeeded in guessing tails (never fails) and decided to have a bat. Skipper Stew having warned them of the success Wellington had last week batting first, blasting over 300.
So to the field went a confident and excited Wellington side, who in the changing rooms had spoken about the need to be ruthless and hungry if they were to achieve victory.
Matt Stinson (8-2-2-40) opened as the norm from the road end. His opening spell was a mixture of some unusually lose deliveries and some unplayable nuts. His spell picked up two wickets with one notable swinger in which Martin Delany (D Rock) caught superbly low down.
Martin (9-2-0-39) opened from the Wrekin end and struggled to find rhythm and was unable to join Stinto in the wickets column.
Brockhampton got off to a flyer with their Captain striking the ball with ease and reaching a team total of 50 inside the first 10 overs. But Wellington knuckled down and started to restrict Brockhampton to 60 for 2 off 15 overs.
With Tim Dean (Blonde bombshell, Deano and Lady’s man) replacing Stinto from the road end and Captain Blackie tagging in for D Rock at the Wrekin End. Together they bowled a good first changed spell with both producing dismissals of the highest quality.
Firstly Stew Black (7-0-3-24) slammed a delivery down at pace that climbed (popped) on the in form Brockhampton skipper that resulted in him being caught behind. Then young Deano (7.5-1-2-21) bowled arguably the ball of the season that angled in, pitched, seamed and swung away to hit the top of off stump. Stew back also found himself a few overs later, on a hat tick in which he produced a wide(ish) delivery but almost succeeded as the new batsman did his best to snick it behind.
On a wicket that was starting to crumble and dust up, Skipper Stew turned to the spinners. Windball (6-1-2-23) bowled a very good spell picking up three wickets, landing several deliveries in the bowler’s footmarks that spun and bounced vigorously.
Peaky bowled a spell from the road end and grabbed “a sniffer!” His leg breaks turned too much for the tail-enders, which resulted in him throwing down what I can only described as Simon Whitlock like darts. Finishing with figures of 7-1-1-22
After Brockhamptons powering start they were stuttering and trying to muster a total but were now 130 for 9.
Skipper Stew called on himself and Deano back to try and remove the final wicket, which was threatening to ruin the party. After some huffing and puffy, number 11 was finally dismissed and Brockhampton had totalled 172.
At the interval former first team all rounder and Wellington hero Greg Johnson gave some advice to Skipper Stew about maybe sending in a pinch hitter to get the side off to a quick start. Having a little think, the stand in skipper took the chance to abuse his power and take up Greg’s advice. He sent in himself!
Starting up with Geordie boy Danny Candlish, Stew Black took on the opening bowlers and hit a quick 17 off 3 overs. This gave Wellington a 22 run platform for the usual opening batsmen Danny and Lamby to build on and work the bowlers around.
Lamby and Danny nudged the ball around and kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely. Unfortunately Lamby (2) chased a rare wide delivery from Brockhamptons nippy left arm opener and was caught at point.
With the score at 38 for 2 in came Peaky, whose previous outing for the seconds was a cool and tidy 96 not out against Bridgnorth. Nick played some beautiful cover drives and looked in total control until being caught on 20.
This dismissal called upon Martin Delany (D Man) who earlier in the day whilst bowling, decided to take his anger out on Brockhamptons middle order. Martin who is a very tough competitor got under the skin of the opposition and they were ready for their revenge.
Little did they know this type of atmosphere in the game excites D Man and enjoying every minute, he started to show his quality and power with some big strikes. A hook shot for six over the grounds man’s shed urged him to continue to the non-striker's end and let the bowler know that he really needed to do much better.
On 32, Martin chased a wide delivery and was caught in the slip cordon and to the delight of Brockhampton, they had their man. But D Man had done his job and Wellington with Danny Candlish at the wicket were edging closer to victory.
Approaching his 50 and with speckles of rain in the air, Danny Candlish decided he was going to push on and get Wellington over the line. He flicked a big six off his legs and got the ground to its feet as they cheered yet another half century. Danny was shortly out on 56 but had done the damage and was rightly praised by the opposition skipper who admitted he is a great example to all young cricketers on how to value your wicket.
The professional job was finished off by Tom Saunders (13 not out) and Dan Vaughen (12 not out), who both decided they only way to end the match was in hurry. They both showed their class by hitting through the line and in the “V”.
With Brockhampton winning the toss, Wellington had gained another 24 points. That’s 4 wins from 5 matches now and all victories resulting in 24 points for Wellington.
If the 2nd XI can field this strength side for the remainder of the season then this young side could well finish inside the top 4. With a little over 60 points behind the top 4, it will be a difficult task but one that should not be ignored if this side are to progress for next season.
On a final note, over the recent couple of months Stew Black introduced an award to the worst performance of the day. This was to encourage younger players to value their wicket or bowl tighter lines and field every ball like your life depended on it. The unfortunate reward is a photo wearing a Borat Mankini. There have already been a great selection of winners and this week's performance went to Steve Lamb. Congrats Steve!
Well done boys.