If ever a match could prove to be a stumbling block this was always going to be the one. Having lost to them in the cup earlier this season, rivalries were always going to potentially affect the colt’s thoughts. With ex players in the Greenleafs, Tutins and Gumperts, the question was could the colts Focus on playing the team, rather than the individuals.
Winning the toss again, Jack Longden elected to put the opposition into bat. A regular feature of this current winning streak. The first two overs from Danny Lane and Ben Morris were maidens, and the theme was set. Jordan Williamson came in third over, and started by bowling Farmer with his first ball, then finished the over by taking the wicket, of Airstone. Only a wide on the board, and two wickets down.
Enter the danger man in Will Greenleaf, strong ox of a lad, who can hit the ball miles. Credit to George Booth and Owen Sykes who restricted the new batsmen, and took a wicket apiece before any damage could be inflicted. With six Maidens in the innings, two being wicket maidens, Denby never got into a strong position, finding the Shepley attack hard to dispatch. Fourth pair for Denby did give the innings some late impetus, with a mention for A Stancliffe; scoring 22 not out with three sixes. At last something for Denby to rekindle their innings with the final pair to come in.
Danny Lane and George Booth had other ideas, and strangled the last pair to offer only two singles, and a wide off the last two overs, with George Booth claiming a further two weeks off the final over. A strong fielding performance, with fine figures from all. Mentions for George Booth 3-1-8-3, Jordan Williamson 2-1-2-2, Danny Lane 3-2-2-1, and a first wicket for Oliver Hinchliffe finishing with 2-0-5-1. Denby finishing on 273 for 9. Nett 201.
Proud parents applauded the boys off the field, some would say job done. With opening pair Ben Morris and George Booth starting by taking nine off the first over, normal batting service appeared to be in play. However, next over, B Morris decided to lose his wicket in the next over and then again in the third. Having not lost a wicket all season, it appeared they now appear like buses. Wobble on, and Denby were visibly lifted by the quick turn around. Second pair Owen Sykes and Toby Kinder found the. Owning hard to dispatch, and had a partnership of 14, but lost a wicket, so at this stage, the scores were close and a partnership was required.
Oliver's Duffell and Hinchliffe started well, if not taking some rather risky singles, and the game looked to heading to calmer waters, before both lost their wickets and the pendulum appeared to be swinging again. Parents could be heard offering advice, and voices seemed a pitch higher than usual, some nerves were jangling.
Game on; enter the two most improved batting pair this season. Jordan and Charlie, Reliable, secure, and scoring some strong scores. In their allotted overs, they added 32 runs to the score, for the loss of no wicket. Balance addressed game secure, with Danny and Captain Jack Longden in to steer the ship home. Danny finishing on 13 and Jack on 10 not out. Just to keep some excitement in the Game Danny offered a catch to Denby, and then got bowled. Lovely to watch Mark Lane on the touch line, plays a wonderful match on the boundary.
The wickets arrived too late to worry Shepley, who closed their innings on 295 for 7. Nett 239. Another great win, but as the colts reflected, with better shot selection, the game could have been easier for all to watch, and the margin of victory greater.
Congratulations to Denby, who came out to field knowing the challenge would be a tough one but stuck to it right to the final overs. Shepley, as mentioned we know who we play now, and the games will all be like finals, and very strong opposition. Let's keep the record going, and see what it can blossom to come the 6th August.
The whole conclusion is in your own hands, and the pleasure in having a chance to play a further two games at the end of August has to be the challenge we set ourselves. Brilliant performance, enjoy the week, let’s train hard Friday, and be ready for next Wednesday.... One at a time.
Click here to download the scorecard. Season to date averages can be found here