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Match Report

Sat 1st Jun 2013

Divison 2

Saxton 156/8 beat Hillam 118ao

'Blue skies and sunshine strangely welcomed the visit of fellow high fliers Hillam to the Dennison, sorry Saxton Oval on Saturday afternoon. Another rather unfamiliar sight was half the home side warming up in the nets an hour before the game was due to commence. Others however, chose to watch and smoke.

Team changes saw Saxton welcome back Chris Johnstone, complete with £40 (not £10) bat, Sowerby fresh from an afternoon in a tutu , Andrew Jackson on debut, and tea maker for the day, Harold Fletcher. It was also pleasing to hear that Liam B had also managed to make his flight to Croatia, as opposed to jumping in the River Aire pockets laden with heavy objects, which seemed a distinct possibility after last week's fixture. All rounder Dan Hewer also missed his first game of the season, choosing to seek his Saturday aMUSEment elsewhere.

Captain Potter, upon winning the toss sensibly chose to make first use of the typical looking low and slow Saxton wicket.

As has been the case in the majority of games this season, the opening pair provided the Saxton side with a steady platform, although unfortunately weren't able to really push on with Potter trapped in front in the tenth over. In walks Harry, in previous seasons known more for his off break bowling and suicidal strops than batting. How things change though, with the 'Boy from Beijing' looking composed and confident from the outset, despite wickets falling at the other end. Hills (20), Jackson, who looked impressive considering by his own admission that this was only his sixth game of the current millenium ,and Dennison getting starts, although the latter finding it hard to concentrate on the actual game with us only now a matter of weeks before the official opening of his palatial home.

Although neither Baxter, returning from the more serene Saturday afternoon pastime of amateur Rugby League, nor Saxton's own version of Barry Middleton, Chris J were able to add to the total, Harry continued to flourish at the other end, displaying a mixture of solid defence, with some lovely drives, flicks and late cuts to keep the home side in it against an effective if not exceptionally penetrative Hillam attack. Thankfully support came at the other end in the form of veteran all rounder DC, and a cameo from job seeking (still) Danny Walsh, fresh from spending the last hour telling everyone who wanted to listen, plus those who didnt, how much caffeine and nicotine result in you needing to go to the toilet. A final total of 153 for 8, which although competitive initially seemed perhaps 25-30 runs shy, despite a very slow outfield. The final word should go to young Harry though for his first senior half century, which ostensibly carried the whole Saxton innings. And which will also result in the first Mandarin name to appear on the Honours Board.

The aforementioned fellow also provided a very pleasant and hearty tea too, with not a bowl of Chop Suey in sight, which the majority of the team enjoyed in front of the sixteenth viewing of the season of the 2009 Ashes series. If anyone has any reasonable DVD's, either clean or blue, please bring them for the next home fixture. Even a Songs of Praise omnibus would do.

To clinch a desperarely needed and much sought after win, Saxton would need to bowl and field collectively well, with individuals also having to stand up and be counted. And Dave C did just that, plus alot more. 16-5 after 12 overs, to the shock of both players and spectators alike. All 5 courtesy of DC after a brilliant spell of seam bowling. On three occasions the stumps were shattered, one plumb LBW despite the protestations of the shell shocked number 3, and the final courtesy of a smart catch from young Jimmy after the ball had been parried up by the aforementioned opening bowler. Credit on that note should go to Jimmy for an excellent and enthusiastic fielding performance which really set the standard for his teammates, and completely belied his Oliver Twist esque appearance.
Surely there was no way back for the Hillam side.

Wrong. This is Saxton, where nothing is easy. 20 overs later and after a partnership of 87 between the excellent Pugh and discplined number 7, the nerves were beginning to jangle and shoulders starting to sag. Thankfully, it was to be our day, with Pugh departing for a fluent half century, smartly caught at square leg by Potter off the bowling of Steve Hills, whose incredibly tight spell of 12 overs for 16 runs had really helped to keep Saxton in the game. With the exhausted number 7 following soon after, courtesy of a very calm catch from that man Fletcher off the bowling of the skipper, Saxton were back in the driving seat.

And this time there was no let up, with Walsh coming on to bowl a sharp spell in a still quite pressurised situation, which reaped the reward of 2 wickets. It was just left to Potter, who had supported DC very effectively at the start of the innings to take the final wicket, courtesy of a sharp catch at Gully by a visibly delighted Hills

6 points, a great team performance and well deserved victory. Well done to all involved. And hopefully something to build now for the rest of the season. Even Dave the Dog looked satisfied this week in the pub half an hour or so later.

On a far more serious note though, Saxton's thoughts and condolences go to the Sherburn Eversley club after the tragic events that took place yesterday, Events that truly put life into perspective'.

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