Minchinhampton 2nd’s were able to maintain their unbeaten run this season, but this game was a lot harder than many previous matches.
Winning the toss, Stroud 4ths decided to have a bat. Alan Venn & Jack Cartledge opened the attack, each were able to get a wicket reducing Stroud to 10 for 2. At this point Woodham joined opener Cole and they set about building a good stand and taking the attack to Minch. Change bowlers Marcus Cole (who toiled tirelessly without luck or success) and Chris Davies (who found little turn today) took the brunt of the hitting. Venn returned to remove Cole for 39 followed by Woodham well caught by Davies off the bowling of Cartledge for 62. Rich Scott nipped in to take another wicket, while at the other Jon Wood came on at the death, bowled an excellent line and was able to get turn and bag 4 wickets – 3 of them stumped excellently by Will Fortune – Jon will start his next match on a hat trick. Importantly only 3 runs were conceded in the last 5 overs bowled by Wood & Venn and a final total of 168 for 9 was posted and looked achievable but a challenging score. Minch had one of their poorer days in the field failing to hold on to 4 chances of various difficulties.
Minch set about chasing the total Rich Scott opened with Tom Richings who was quickly bowled by a good swinging ball for 0, Matt Hole played some big shots and quickly scored 22, but when he fell we were at 48 for 2. John Creedon joined Scott and together they steadily built the innings with Scott reaching his third 50 in his last 4 innings before Creedon returned a catch to the bowler for an important but well made 24. Simon Penn fresh from his 183 was next in but was soon back in the hutch missing a straight full toss from the young leg spinner Cole. Alan Venn joined Scott with 50 still needed, but some good lusty blows put Minch on the verge of victory before firstly Venn and then Scott fell for 22 & 77 respectively leaving Cartledge & Fortune to see us home.
The match was played in good spirit between both teams.
This was however an excellent win for Minch, which extends their lead at the top of the table, as closest rivals Chalford were defeated by Charfield.
Finally a word of thanks to the beautifully maintained score cards by Ron Birch.