Ryan Too Cool For 'Pool
Season 2015 could be one to remember for the 3rd team if Saturday’s opening game against Welshpool is anything to go by.
When Ryan Lloyd stroked the last ball of the afternoon through the covers for a match-winning two, his team-mates burst into celebration under the darkening skies.
It had been a close-run thing, but his side were good value for their 21-point return on the first Saturday of the season.
Chasing Welshpool’s total of 165-9, Wellington had looked in total control when Matthew Dickenson (71) and Steve Pitchford (23) were at the crease together, scoring freely in an assured fifth-wicket partnership.
But a pair of quick wickets soon threw the result into doubt. Firstly, Dicko was caught at mid-wicket, his only misjudgement of a fine innings. Then, for Pitchy, a second divorce of the week: namely, his bails from the stumps.
Wellington still required 27 runs for victory. If they were to prevail, a young and inexperienced lower order would have to get them over the line.
Enter Lloydy (24*) and his partner at the end, Henry Davies (3*). They took the game into the final over with a combination of bold stroke-play and sharp running, taking advantage of some bad fielding mistakes amongst the Welshpool ranks.
The stage was thus set for the final-over heroics of Lloyd who clipped a four off his legs to tie the scores, before keeping his nerve, despite two dot balls, to complete the job off the final delivery.
Captain Pitchford must take huge encouragement for the season ahead from this opening day performance, particularly given how the younger players in his side performed.
Earlier in the day, Henry Davies was the pick of the bowlers with 3-26 in his 9 overs. Lloyd bowled nicely with the new ball and claimed one wicket in a tidy second spell.
Little Simmo kept wicket impressively considering he’s new to the gloves - and given that those gloves only fit when he wears four pairs of inners! He also looked in total control opening the batting, before sadly chipping one to mid-on.
So for Wellington a lot of positives ahead of a trip to new-comers Prees next Saturday, including the form of now-veterans Dickenson and Jonny Black (3-32). But some areas for improvement too: on another day 32 extras may have cost them the game.
All things considered though, a strong and encouraging start.