17th May 2015

 

Youngsters promise much in Tony Woodhouse Cup opener

Fawley 174-5, Sway 173ao

It was the start of a new era for both clubs as Sway travelled to Fawley for this season's opening Tony Woodhouse opener. Sway gave an adult debut to U12 Luca Allies as well as fielding fellow U13 Bradley Balcombe. With U15s Michael Allport, James Marshall and Daniel Simonini it was a team future of potential for the future. Fawley were starting a new era of Sunday cricket without their talisman and deadly foe of Sway batsman, Ian McElhenny who despite having a new partnership to occupy himself with, clearly could not stay away from his old haunt  - his arrival during the game triggering some amusing chanting from the Fawley players.

Sway batted first with Will Baughan opening with debutant Allies. Skipper Chris Straw's somewhat questionable decision to put the youngster in at number 2 backfired when he bowled by Scott Rogers for a duck. Dave Marshall came in at number 3, a position so elevated that he almost suffered a nose bleed. Rogers then trapped Baughan LBW whilst at the other end, U13 Dan Newcombe, one of Fawley's finest prospects was bowling a fine controlled spell. James Marshall, who was still moaning about a shoulder injury received in the morning when he was hit by a beamer in the U15s game, played a couple of aggressive shorts before getting a ticking off from the old man - only to play defensively to the next ball and edge the softest of catches to first slip.

At 18 for 3 Sway were now in a spot of bother as the skipper Straw, probably the Club's most improved batsman joined the fray. The pair put on 66 for the 4th wicket before Straw attacked the wrong ball and was bowled for 18. Simonini, after a nervous start with the Fawley lads crowding around the bat soon got his confidence and played very well, hitting 3 boundaries before he was bowled by fellow spinner and U19 skipper Lloyd Coxall for 18. Newcombe then returned to the bowling attack and picked up two well-deserved wickets - Bradley Balcombe for two and Michael Allport for a quacker. All this time, Marshall was fighting hard to a) get some strike, b) not get out playing a silly shot and c) stay awake after just 3 hours sleep. With the arrival at number 9 of Saturday's centurian Pete Bennet, Sway had a chance to really accelerate but he was unfortunate to chop onto his stumps for 8. Derek Seaward at 10 was stumped off the bowling of fellow veteran Lawrence Reed trying to "walk down" the ball to get Marshall on strike. Finally with two overs to go, Dave Hurrell came to the crease proudly defending his record of never having been dismissed in his 15 innings as number 11. Unfortunately, the record was not to last - with the mid-off fielder on the boundary, Marshall pushed the ball about a third of the way back and called for a two - in hindsight the additional run was not on if a) the throw was decent b) the fielder athletic and c) the batsman not quite as quick as he used to be. The one run that was successfully completed brought up an unbeaten century for Marshall but the gloss was rather taken off by running out his dear colleague and ending his record!

Sway opened their reply with Balcombe and Allport. Balcombe (4-0-18-1) had a wake up call that in adult cricket anything short on leg stumped will get put away but in credit to the youngster he corrected his line and was rewarded when he bowled A Boba (who had hit him for 3 fours) for 12. At the other end, Allport (8-1-31-2) was demonstrating his improvement holding up his end superbly with a fine display of controlled and accurate spin bowling. Allport picked up the wickets of S Dale and Kieran Coxall for 8 to have the Fawley reply in a spot of bother. This brought Adam Freeman and Lloyd Coxall to the crease - the pair who have both already played for Fawley 1st XI in the SEPL this season proved harder to shift. Luca Allies went for a few runs in his 4 overs, but there was enough there to see his potential whilst at the other end spin wizard Straw could not quite find his mojo as the home side took control of the game. The effort in the field was however outstanding especially  by the youngsters. Allies, Balcombe and Simonini were excellent whist the injured shoulder of  Marshall Jnr received an extensive work out with innumerable throws from the mid-off boundary where Straw has ruthlessly chosen to stick him!. Simonini came on to bowl near the end of the innings and was impressive - having eliminated the bad ball from his overs he deservedly picked up  wicket when Freeman was casually, but impressively caught by Straw in the deep for 70. As the game neared its conclusion Will Baughan game on for a rare turning over of his arm - then picked up a wicket when "not the greatest ball in the world" was smashed by Coxall (51) straight into the accommodating stomach of Marshall who perhaps ill-advisedly was fielding at a fairly short mid-wicket.

Fawley were in the end fairly comfortable winners but there were plenty of positives for the inexperienced Sway side - which of course is the whole point of the competition. Thanks to the Fawley lads for an enjoyable game played in a fine spirit - and for the top class teas!