May 26th 2018

3rd XI go top with Bench win

Lyndhurst & Ashurst II v Sway III

On a warm muggy afternoon Sway captain Steve Drayton was debating over whether to bat or bowl.

The weather, wicket, new ball, team strengths were all considered.......but in true village style, Sway elected to bowl to allow Sway icon Pete Bennet to open the batting later and dash off to sing Oklahoma at Sway Church in the evening.

Talking of icons, the match featured two more from the New Forest cricket scene, one a landmark and one a legend. Bolton' s Bench and Kevin a yew capped hillock, the other a cricket capped player from Hythe & Dibden, bolstering the Sway line up under the new player loan system.

Lyndhurst & Ashurst opener White came to the crease sporting a museum piece of a bat, but his 'correct' shot making saw him nearly carry his artefact, only falling to Sway's 7th bowler, McCarthy. Sway opened the bowling with the mean economy of Drayton and the miserly guile of Crossthwaite's spin option. Sway used 8 bowlers, not many clubs could field the opening pair plus Burton, Morris, Lomax, Holden, McCarthy, Sharp and Straw, six of the bowling line up took wickets.

After 16 overs Sway had removed 5 of the host team batsmen and looked odds on to bring about an early tea.

Sway were keen in the field. Lomax took a very sharp catch off McCarthy at slip, Morris grabbed a diving catch at silly mid off off Burton, Bennet held onto 3 behind the stumps and Drayton took a dolly at mid off. Sharp in particular was throwing himself about point, turning probable boundaries into dot balls.

At 24 overs L&A had lost 7 wickets, with only opener T White (19), S White (12) and D Agha (17) offering double figures.

Sway were dominating and L&A needed their tail to perform, and what a wag it gave. The 27th over brought the 8th wicket, another didn't fall until the 39th with Petley and A Chanham all but making it to a 50 partnership. Sway tried everything, at one point sporting a two slip, gulley, leg slip, two silly's and a short point field to Petley, but L&A's pair were resilient.

Finally former colts star Andy Straw, making a welcome return to cricket, made the breakthrough in the penultimate over, having Chanham caught behind for 33.  In the final over Sway turned to some dibbly leg spin from Morris as a final throw of the dice and, despite a confident LBW appeal, Petley and L&A survived.

The hosts had reached a beatable total of 128 for 9. All 8 bowlers bowled excellent spells, in particular the 3 Colts Burton, Lomax and Holden were impressive, showing pace and variation. Pick of the bowlers were McCarthy 2 for 5 off 4 overs and Morris 2 for 9 off 5 overs.

After tea Bennett and Straw opened for Sway, the L&A opening bowlers M Chanham and D Agha couldn't contain them. After 10 overs Sway were 51 for 0. Straw on 33 then drove a Petley delivery. The experienced bowler parried the ball in the air, tripped over the stumps, grabbed at the ball again whilst falling, only to grab for it a 3rd time on the floor and finally hold on. Bennet was out for 32 straight after a 'choir time' reminder was sent out to the middle, leaving Sway 86 for 2.

Lawes 23 not out and Burton 34 not out saw Sway home quickly for an 8 wicket win, victory number 4 out of 4 for the RD2 side. Petley, the thorn in Sway's side was L&A's best bowler with 2 for 30 off 5.

It was a sporting match played in a good spirit, so many thanks to L&A for an enjoyable afternoon.
Team 'stat' fact.........Tom Burton now has an RD2 average of 194 !!!

Andy Straw - not played a league game in a while, but back in the groove!