Miserly Wellington See Off Cae Glas
By David Ross
The 3rd XI climbed to third in Shropshire League Division Two after a comfortable home victory against Cae Glas.
After last weekend’s abandonment, Steve Pitchford’s side have now won both league games they have played this season.
The Wellington skipper won the toss and enjoyed first use of a green wicket - and his openers did not let him down. Jack Fishman was the star of the home attack, conceding just four runs in his permitted first spell of seven overs. At the other end, Ben Keeble was similarly effective, toiling away for 10 overs and shipping just nine runs.
Though neither of the Cae Glas openers were dismissed during this early onslaught, they were starved of runs to such an extent that their innings was effectively killed off at the roots. After 15 overs, the score was just 13 for 0 and David Ross was introduced to the attack. Having watched the openers toil away beautifully for no credit, he cheaply removed the first batsman of the day with a long-hop that ballooned off the handle to Tugboat at first slip. Fishy bit his tongue.
Miles behind on the scoreboard, the Glas batsmen were forced to try and find momentum from somewhere before long. Yet this was not the pitch to be forcing the issue on. Four quick wickets fell around the drinks break, two for Ross and two for the returning Ben Pilkington.
It could have been more but for Captain Pitchford shelling another chance at mid-off - his second in 48 hours. Unlike his effort against Shifnal, this one didn’t hit him in the beak, and the onlooking crowd was thankfully spared his Pepe-style theatrics.
Having said that, if ever a game could have benefited from a moment of slapstick, this was it. Entertainment was in short supply as the scoreboard ticked over at barely two runs an over for the remainder of the innings. The first boundary of the day did not come until the 36th over.
Perhaps a little bored himself, Pitchy acquiesced to opposing skipper Keith Yapp’s request for a runner because he was recovering from a chest infection! Very sporting from our man - however it was noted that Rich Benting’s reciprocal appeal in the second innings, on account of him being generally unfit, was not granted by the visiting side.
Yapp picked up 10 runs before he fell to Lewis Gough, who was brought into the attack and claimed that and one other victim. Fishy returned and picked up the two wickets that his opening spell had surely warranted. No such joy for Keeble at the other end, however. He came back and closed out a spell of 12 overs for 11 runs, but no wickets.
As the players took their tea, Cae Glas had posted 102-9 from their 45 overs, including 31 extras. Wellington’s bowlers quite rightly helped themselves to an extra slice of cake in full expectation that their batters would make light work of the total.
Benting and Simmo opened up for the home side and made steady progress on what they were discovering to be a very slow pitch. Young Matt was the first to fall, misjudging the pace and slicing one to cover, before Tug skied one to long-on after a quick 27.
After the fall of Matty Pitchford, Corey Kernick (30) and Old Man Pitchy (16*) came to the crease under pressure at 55-3, but they were able to take advantage of loose deliveries on a regular basis and soon the required runs were ticking down below thirty.
Corey’s demise after playing on brought Ian Murphy (15*) to the crease who finished the job with the skipper for a comfortable six-wicket win. Needing just five for victory, Smurph clinched the points with a six down to long-on in the 27th over.
Another great performance for the 3rds who have shown a lot of early season promise in both league and cup. Next up is a trip to SCAT to face Shrewsbury’s third lot next Saturday.