The 3rd XI claimed a win at Carlisle Park on Saturday, despite a top order collapse. Asked to bat by Woodmansterne skipper, Dave Edwards, they struggled to make any headway against the steady bowling of George Bunn and Ken Wright. Nally Fernando had already departed when the collapse saw four wickets fall for just one run. Martin Rutherford’s run out preceded ducks for Steve Fidler and Gareth Powell, both bowled by Paul Movel. The home side were reduced to 31-5 and were relying on Ollie Hampton to stage a recovery.
Hampton batted patiently, waiting for the odd bad ball to dispatch. He found an ally in the stubborn form of Gavin McCartney and they added 31 for the sixth wicket before McCartney chipped a half volley back to bowler, Ralph Patel,for 11. Jerry Fallows became the third duck of the inningsallowing James Harding to join Hampton for a spirited eighth wicket stand of 49. Harding’s 23 included some fine straight drives and precise placement of his aerial shots.
Hampton was, by now, at his belligerent best and took full advantage of a miscalculation by skipper Edwards, which meant he had to use a sixth bowler, the luckless Dawson going for 28 from his two overs. Rahul Puri stayed with Hampton until the end of the 45 overs, the latter completely dominating a 52-run partnership and ending with 95 not out. From the depths of 31-5, Hill had posted a respectable 163-8.
Ryan McCartney overcame a difficult start to bowl with consistent pace and direction, whilst James Harding swung the ball both ways in another impressive spell. They took a wicket apiece before the introduction of Gareth Powell. Bowling with great control, his inswing accounted for three of the Woodmansterne batsmen in a nine-over spell, including top-scorer, Michael Edwards (28).
Hill’s fielding backed up their bowlers, taking some fine catches in addition to some magnificent ground fielding. Jerry Fallows and Rahul Puri eached picked up a wicket and Ollie Hampton two, before Harding returned to claim the last with a cleverly disguised slower ball. Woodmansterne were left 35 runs short of their target.
Hill’s maximum return of 40 points from two games, sees them sitting in joint first place in the Fullers League 3rd XI East table with another home game to come next week against Wimbledon Lakeside.