Match Report

Horspath 3rds

10 August 2019 - Away

1st XI Cherwell Div 4 fixture.

Mills blow Horspath away

Game day 14 saw the Mills make the trip to Horspath. Mills were dealt a blow in the build up to the game, with all-rounder Garrett pulling out of the trip due to lack of jumpers to deal with the blustery conditions.
Mills lost the toss and following some hesitation were asked to have a bat on what looked like a fair, hard pitch. Openers Haselgrove and Burney got off to a god start going at 6 an over for the first 5 overs with the pair punishing anything slightly off target. The scoring rate slipped a little as the Horspath found their areas and started to extract some lively bounce out of the pitch. With scoreboard pressure really building at 5/ over Haselgrove went for one shot too many, striking his Trademark swipe directly to the mid on fielder who took a smart catch to remove Haselgrove for a brisk 29. Hare came to the crease and looked very tidy, intimidating the opposition with his leave. Hare fell early though with a routine caught behind off the bowling of Berry for 5. In-from and promising youngster Tilley, promoted to the first team strode out at 4, the “future of the club” though struggled with the step up, never looking comfortable Tilley was given out plumb LBW for 2, again off the bowling of Berry. Head coach Donald Hare commented after the game that the youngster “isn’t ready” for the step up and “he needs to learn from recent academy graduates, Kelly and Claridge”. The later graduate joined Burney at the crease with the score on a balanced 83-3. The pair built carefully taking the score past 100, Claridge showing his class off his legs as well as his bribing qualities to ensure the umpire held out his arm for a no-ball when beaten by Berry late on in his spell. The pair faced a couple of interruptions due to rain which halted some of the flow for both bat and ball. Claridge was beaten though by a good Oakley delivery, extracting some lift to catch Claridge’s edge for an important and solid 18. The aggressive Dove joined Burney at 138-4, Burney keen to ensure that his teammates don’t think he has some sort of temperament went on the attack, striking some streaky boundaries and taking the score past 150, it would be a shot too many though when he would find Holmes at (almost) long on boundary, the skipper fallen for an Unusually not completely immature innings of 90. Speaking to Horspath sports 4 live after getting out he was quoted as saying that “it’s a good time to get out, we’ve got two very aggressive batsman in who are Cherwell 4s answer to Butler & Stokes”. The captain was not wrong, the pair ran hard and put away the bad ball to gain all momentum out of a weary looking Horspath side, putting on 46, Dove with 27 and Dre Madden with 22* with reports that the powerful batsman is holding back in a late attempt to win the batting averages. The positive end of the innings looked like it may come at a cost when there were reports from the pavilion that Dove was struggling with severe dehydration and was forced onto a drip during the break.

The Batsman though made it back out on time to support defending 199, Lefort and Cockroft opened up, the pair hit good spots but Horspath just about had the answers surviving the first few overs with only a slight cut to show for it. Mills, now panicking sent Kelly off the field to compose a wicket taking plan, the mastermind returned to present his plan, “just play cricket”, uninspired by the brain’s idea Burney elected For the openers to switch ends unaware that Lefort had driven up the previous evening and made the sightscreen immovable, the left armer broke the partnership immediately. After a short rain break, skipper Burney brought himself on spotting the slight spice in the pitch. Mills would then go onto to take 6 wickets in 7 overs, Burney claiming 4 and Lefort 2 as the pair removed the Horspath middle order, Lefort bowling with real pace and Burney finding lift as he caught gloves twice, from 34-1 to 49-7 Mills had seized control. Wilkinson and Holmes had not given up hope though, seeing off the steamers and looking solid against the spinners. It was the wily Kelly who would make the breakthrough, trapping Wilkinson LBW for 8 after 10 overs if resistance. Manger joined Holmes and seemed keen on sticking around, it would take the introduction of a short leg to induce a loose shot from the experienced spinner, Chipping to youngster Tilley for 6 off Haselgrove, Oakley the fell to the same fate 3 balls later to wrap up the win for the Mills side.

Next week the Mills will be without Lefort who is booking himself into a specialist hamstring re-hab centre and Burney who has had his holiday paid for by under bowled bowlers, Hare, Haselgrove, Cockroft & Madden.

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