So Near So Far

Cleethorpes Cricket Club continued their winless run when they were defeated by Aston Hall on Saturday in the 4 Probate & Wills ECB Yorkshire South Premier League.

In a tense finish they failed by just 2 runs to chase down a target of 205 set  by the South Yorkshire side.

With ten overs remaining, Cleethorpes looked firm favourites to secure victory, but wickets fell at important times and boundaries dried up. Despite this only 31 was required from the final 5 overs, but keen fielding and accurate bowling brought it down to 3 needed from the final ball. The bowler, Tom Coulson, kept his nerve and Aston Hall jubilantly claimed victory leaving Cleethorpes with 4 batting points as a consolation.

These proved sufficient to keep them in eighth position in the league table, but clubs below fared better on the day and have closed on the ailing Meggies. A win is now vital if they are going to avoid involvement with the scramble away from the relegation spots.

Aston Hall were invited to bat first after Cleethorpes won the toss with Basheeru Walters making an early breakthrough. With the total on 27 he had Jack Simmonite caught behind before clean bowling former Pakistan Test player Usman Salah-Ud-Din for a 13 ball duck.

Matthew Cartwright looked solid and together with Nathan Ward saw the score pass the 50 mark in the 16th over. Eighteen runs later, spin, in the form of Jordan Cook’s off breaks were introduced with almost instant success. Ward, pushing forward, sent a delivery tamely back into the bowler’s hands to leave his side on 68-3.

The visitors continued to struggle as they illustrated their discomfort against spin bowling and Cleethorpes must have wished that Alex Osmond had been on the field and not hundreds of miles away in Switzerland.
With Cook more or less keeping one end tight Cleethorpes, attacked at the other with seam bowling which proved ineffective as 74 runs were added for the fourth wicket. Dean Smith then pulled a Cook delivery into the hands of Walters who was then brought back for a second spell at the Daggett Road end.

Cartwright had completed a solid half century, made from 94 balls, but was dismissed by Walters with the total on 156. Visiting skipper Johannes Bothma, in partnership with Tim Shaw, gathered some brisk runs at the death before the latter was run out two balls from the completion of his sides’ innings. Next, and final ball, saw Cook pick up his third wicket when he trapped Bothma leg before finishing with figures of 3-51 from his 15 overs.

Cleethorpes lost their customary early wicket when they replied. Only 15 runs were on the board when James Osmond edged behind soon to be followed back to the pavilion by both Louis Kimber and Jordan Cook leaving the home side in deep trouble at 46-3.

In form Bill Kirby was joined by 18 year old Tom Rollinson and they gradually brought Cleethorpes back into the game. 100 appeared on the board in the 31st over as both batsmen began to score with relative ease.

Four overs later Kirby completed his second 50 in consecutive games. His solid innings contained 5 boundaries and had taken him 96 balls. Two overs later Rollinson gave himself an eve of 19th birthday present when he completed his first half century of the season. He reached the landmark slightly quicker than Kirby, taking 79 balls and hitting 6 boundaries.

Without addition to his score Rollinson then mistimed an attacking shot and was caught by Bothma leaving his side on 131-4, but still handily placed. Nine runs later a careless run out saw another wicket lost before Walters and Kirby took the total to 180.

Kirby, having made 78, was then bowled by opening bowler Tom Coulson, who had returned to the attack, before claiming the important wicket of Walters nine runs later thanks to a fine running catch on the boundary.
Singles were scampered as the required gap closed but with six still needed for victory Joe Baker became a second run out victim when he failed to regain his ground when looking for an improbable run.

It came down to the last ball with 15 year old Max Taylor, who had brought cheer to the local support as he hurried his way to 11 from 15 balls, to take his side over the finishing line. He heaved through the line, but failed to make contact and missed out on the chance to hit the headlines and make himself a club hero at such an early age.

Although he was naturally disappointed he has demonstrated, during his brief appearances with the senior side, that it will not be long before he becomes a headline hitter.

Contact Gi Grimsby
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