A Murray Goodwin Brings A Lady Godiva
Wellington stiffs entered Saturday’s fixture with struggling Wombourne on the back of four great victories.
Match report by Stewart Black
Due to the recent change in form of four wins from four games, the second XI have found them selves challenging the top four and possibly a second place finish. Finishing runners up would promote Steve's boys to the dizzy heights of the 2nd XI Premier Division.
On arrival Wellington's batsman were eyeing up the juicy short boundary, as the games wicket was prepared on the opposite side of the ground to the pavilion. Stewy Black (Blackie) quickly picked up the fact that, yes the short boundary was inviting but the long walk out to the middle for a first ball pearler, seemed more on the cards.
After another high intense warm up, returning Captain Mouler flipped the nugget and won yet another toss. On a soft and green wicket he decided to crank up the pressure on a sliding Wombourne and asked them to bat first.
A high quality Wellington side took to the field with a new family member. Robbie Clarke made his second team debut, adding a strong and two-pronged spin attack. Robbie wasn't excited about making his second team debut, he was "gagging!"
Wellington's opening Bowlers soon got to work on what appeared, a very fragile Wombourne batting line up. Matt Stinson (11-5-21-2) (Stinto) continued his good form by bowling good length, varying his pace and throwing the odd off cutter in for good measure.
But it was his opening partner Tim Dean (7-5-7-2) (Deano) who drew first blood, removing Wombourne's taller version of Dan Lloyd (Windball). A streaky back foot cover drive was snicked straight to Matt Shawcross (Borecross) behind the stumps. No need for Alan Colby (Wellington's Umpire and Al the Mackem) to call on Hotspot on this occasion.
It wasn't long before Stinto got in on the action, dismissing the dangerous Neil Grant with a well worked plan. Luring "Granty" to drive on the soft new wicket, he chipped up and straight to Stewy Black at mid-off.
Wickets continued to tumble as Wellington's opening pair bowled beautifully to the aggressive field set by Skipper Steve. Wellington reduced Wombourne to 15 for 3 and had the gun loaded ready for more rabbits.
Stew Black (5-1-12-0) replaced Deano from the Wrekin end and had very little success, although this was the first week Blackie was no ball free. Success!
Gagging for a bowl, Robbie Clarke (14-5-38-3) (Clarkey, Spaghetti Legs!) replaced Stinto from the Road End. With his flight, turn and bounce, Wombourne struggled with their approach to playing Robbie. His first wicket came from a slow turner, which climbed on the stylish looking Jono Meek, who could only shoulder it straight up to Borecross.
During his spell Robbie came under some pressure from the seasoned pro Calvin Priest, who lapped a few deliveries to the boundary. A poor attempt by Stew Black at long on was the final straw for Robbie who took his aggression out on the younger Matty Wright at the other end. This earned Robbie the team Mankini, which is now into its 7th game and really starting to fetor.
With Wombourne 83 for 8, Wellington were eager to see off the remaining batsman and shovel in some much earned tea. BUT!
Matty Wright and younger Tom Sibley had other ideas and put on 46 runs, helping Wombourne reach a slightly healthier total of 137 for 9 off their 50 overs.
Walking off for tea, most of the Wellington boys seemed happy with their efforts and "we’d have taken that at the beginning of the day" was mutter several times. A few of us however, were not so sure!
During the tee interval, both sides relaxed and watched The Ashes on Wellington’s slim line T.V. The Wellington boys couldn’t wait to tell the Wombourne lads how good Chris Rogers was during his classy stint as our Overseas Pro and "Oh yeah lads, the England Physio is a Wellington boy as well. Just saying!"
To the second half and Wellington opening pair made the walk along the green mile to take guard. Sat back in their seats, the Wellington boys were looking forward to watching the all Geordie opening pair knock around Wombourne's seamers.
It wasn’t long before the nails were being bitten. A great piece of skill from Wombourne's wicket keeper found the winner of last weeks green mankini Danny Candlish, stumped from a wide leg side delivery. Only a few balls later and Steve Lambs leg stump looked like a dancer from the Cirque Du Soleil. Oh no!
With the wicket starting to spit and skid, Ant and Dec were replaced by Danny Vaughan and Tom Saunders. Both like John Coffey, made the long walk and suffered the same consequence.
At this point Wellington were folding and those dreaded batting collapses looked like making a return. With the score at 30 for 4, in went Nick Mitchell who earlier in the day had taken a centuries worth of banter on how bad his nation currently is at cricket.
Nick seemed to be going well when, a delivery from Wombourne's Calvin Priest (14-1-50-4) darted back in, just tickled the leg stump and knocked off the bail.
With Nick back in the shack and Wellington sinking at 45 for 5, Matty Shawcross and Stew Black tried to dig in for a while. Stew Black was dropped twice in two balls and then an over later was let off again by Wombourne's wicket keeper.
After prodding and poking, life started to pick up and Wellington's hard hitting middle order pair and they found the rope with some heavy blows.
The pair really kicked on and Wellington found themselves at 102 for 5. Both knew that on this green and soft wicket, they were never going to find the last 35 runs easy.
Thanks to some lose spin bowling from Wombourne, Wellington reached their target with plenty of time to spare. Stew Black reached his fifty and with only 3 runs remaining, he came under a verbal attack from Wombourne's Goughy. The young bowler wasn’t impressed by Stew's or Wellington's performance and decided to vent his spleen. With his team on the verge of defeat and relegation looming his fellow team mate replied "shut up ginge, got a do at 8!"
Another 20 points see's Wellington win 5 matches in a row and 6 wins from 7 games. Also the top four all had negative results, which moved Wellington even closer.
Watch out Attock, the boys from Orleton Park are coming!