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Match Report

Sat 4th May 2013

Div 2

Saxton 170-9 (0) lost to Crossgates 174-5 (5)

'Week 3 and back to the Oval for a game against previously unbeaten Cross Gates.

Team changes saw Steve Hills reverting back to a a familiar captaincy role with JP away missing penalties and winning cup finals in Beirut, sorry Sherburn, the debut of Mike Engel, via Cape Town, Cornwall and Towton, and the return of Matt Ball, looking fresh after spending the previous evening in a bed rather than under an Apple tree.

Toss lost, and into bat we went on a green looking track, which promised bounce and action. Sadly, reality is a very different concept with the track playing in the usual Saxton manner, i.e. slow, low , unpredictable and wonderful to keep on. For the third week running, the openers, on this occasion Hills and Ball provided a very steady start in the midst of a threatening Cross Gates new ball partnership. Both batted solidy,scoring 30's before succumbing whilst trying to increase the run rate. In walks Mr Bishop, bat just about in tact despte travelling to most parts of Kirk Hammerton the previous weekend. What a difference 7 days makes. 53 runs later, thanks to some glorious offside strokes and brutal pulls, a smiling Liam walks back to the pavillion with bat raised (rather than flying) to well earned applause from his team mates. Team mates who had just picked themselves off the floor having been party to Mrs Gilbertson uttering the words 'look lively Dan'........less than 5 minutes after a discussion about her son's recent 18 and a half sleep-a-thon.

Much credit has to go to the Cross Gates attack though, who continued to make scoring very difficult for the duration of the 45 overs. Control and discipline saw the home team finish with a total of 170, which although competitive, was perhaps 40 runs short according to the Saxton skipper. Notable mentions must go to Denno for a patient and sensible innings, despite an initial run rate similar to that of Geoffrey Boycott's in the sub-continent. Without it however, a sub 150 total could well have been on the cards. Unfortunately, no one else was really able to contribute, with Sowerby ashamedly even having to resort to blocking the penultimate over to ensure Cross Gates didnt recieve any additional balls in their quest to chase down the score that they had been set.

Many thanks to Mrs Gilbertson for the very pleasant teas at this juncture too, ably served by an understandably weary looking Dan, fresh from facing his fourth ball in three weeks. Hopefully the poor young man will have finally finished the washing up now too, having not foreseen the value of paper plates on tea making duty day. Still, it beats another evening glued to the headset and joypad.

There's very little to say about the next 25 overs, except very well played to the Cross Gates batsmen, particularly the young opener, who is unquestionably the best batsmen we've seen so far this season, and the number three, who provided able support at the other end. 130 for 1 and cruising, without giving the home side a sniff, let alone a genuine chance. However, one thing to be said about the Saxton club is that despite a times a lack of cohesion, there's never a shortage of spirit. Something that was apparent during excellent return spells from the opening pair DC and Dan H, the latter picking up a very well deserved 4 wickets courtesy of some tight and accurate seam bowling. A case of too little too late as far as the result went, but some pride restored, against a side who will challenge at the top of the division this year.

Other positives from the day came in the form of a promising debut from Mike, Dan H's engagment and pleasure at not breaking a third bat this season, G-I-L-B-O engaging in constructive conversation, Steve's hamstring not going yet again, Sowerby's childlike sulk after being hit in the chin, and Denno having a week off from trying to peddle random Saxton merchandise.

Not to mention the prospect of a trip to Old Leo's next week.

And I hope I arent the only one with a craving for a Donner Kebab at 9am on a Sunday morning.'


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