29th May 2016

Crucial win for 2nd XI 

Sway II 180-9, Mudeford II 93ao

After defeat in their opening two league fixtures, Sway 2nd XI were eager to get a win under their belts if they were not to become early season relegation favourites.

The weekend got off to a tricky start for Sway after skipper Dan Stevenson 's ill-advised Friday evening duck madras brought on a nasty case of food poisoning and meant that whilst he made it to the game, he would have to bat at number 11 and any runs were unlikely to be out in the middle! Stevenson delegated the captaincy to Sam Nailor, who to date has a 100% record as 2nd team skipper, and on winning the toss, Nailor had no hesitation other than to bat given the warm sunny conditions and flat track.

Nailor opened the batting himself with Rick How and the pair proceed to frustrate the decent opening Mudeford attack of Vines and Pennock. After 15 dot balls from the start, Nailor got the scoring underway in an emphatic way by depositing a full toss from Pennock into the Gracewell grounds. In fact Nailor's first 5 scoring shots were boundaries, whilst at the other end How steadfastly kept out the ball and working anything wide away using the pace.

The pair had successfully seen off the opening bowlers with the score reaching 40 off 10 overs when How was trapped LBW for 11. Vito Falso was in at three and got off to a cracking start but was caught for 7 bringing in the in-form George Lewis. Lewis and Nailor pushed the run rate up with a series of big shots and had reached 92 off 2 overs with Sway dreaming of a 230+ final score.  It was not to be however as the visitors clawed their way back into the game. The Mudeford skipper Pettingell had been getting some treatment from Nailor, but produced one of the balls of the season, a cunningly disguised slow cutter, to bowl the Sway skipper for a superb 61.

Winning skipper, top scorer and lucky leprechaun - Sam Nailor

Lewis was then caught behind for 17,  and it looked like the Sway innings may collapse when Ryan Drayton accurately picked out Mudeofrd's best fielder at cover. The returning Chris Hammond looked in decent nick, but he became Pettingell's 4th victim when he was bowled for 10. This brought together a pairing of Nick Brien and Will Woodfine with the visitors tightening the screw with some tight bowling as suddenly runs became very hard to find. Brien (16) was scratching around for some form but at least kept his wicket intact whilst Woodfine (15) as ever at least kept the scoreboard ticking over with some good running. After a brief cameo from a frustrated Dave Marshall, it was left to Sam Harvey and the ailing Steveson to bat out the final three overs and try and get Sway to a defendable score. Mudeford took their eyes off the ball a little and Harvey took full advantage  smashing an unbeaten 21 to see Sway to reasonable total of 180-9 off the allotted 42 overs.

After a superb County Standard tea, provided my Mrs & Mrs Stevenson, Mudeford opened their reply with the father & son pairing of Sean and Liam Kelly with Sway opening their attack with Nailor and Harvey. It was Nailor (6-1-18-2) that was to draw first blood with a couple of early wickets - Kelly junior was caught at slip by Hammond whilst, Kelly senior, who had looked very comfortable, inexplicably wafted at short, wideish delivery and ballooned the ball to Rick How at point. At the other end, Sam Harvey (9-2-13-1) had been producing his best spell of bowling of the season - tight lines giving the batsmen very few scoring opportunities and he deservedly picked up the number 3, Sam Fuller for 6.

In the second father & son combo, Fuller senior entered the fray clearly with the intention of taking the game to Sway and there now followed an interesting period of play as Nailor turned to his change bowlers. Dave Marshall, frustrated by being relegated to batting at number 9, was sufficiently fired up to forgo his normal tea time cake consumption and was scuttling in, intent on doing some serious damage to Mudeford's middle order. The veteran picked up a wicket in his first over, when Pettingel was superbly caught by How at gully, diving forward like a 17 year old! Whilst Marshall soon claimed another wicket, David Fuller was still there and a tactical battle enveloped as Sway tried to tempt him into shots. Fuller played very well, without really ever scoring at near required rate, and Mudeford's hopes took a big hit when he was trapped LBW for a well-made 35 by a Marshall delivery that kept low. Marshall picked up two further wickets to finish with figures of 9-2-22-5, his 6th competitive 5-wicket haul for Sway but first in RD1.

Dave Marshall making a political protest!

Sway now looked to finish off Mudeford - Will Woodfine clean bowled Sutton for 6 and Sway's victory was finally complete when George Lewis has number 10 Vines well-caught behind by Brien  as Mudeford slumped to a disappointing 93 all out.

A much improved performance all-round by Sway in all three departments of the game. Batting still needs some work, but performances such as this should see the team finish safely in the division this season.