WEEK 12

Barnards Green win Worcester League as Nomads A break Nomads B hearts

Nomads 'A' (129-4) beat Nomads 'B' (88-5) by 41 runs

Defending champions Nomads A beat Nomads B comprehensively in this title decider by 41 runs breaking their fellow club side’s hearts in the process. The result had a lot riding on it as heading into the match, Nomads B had to win to clinch the title.

Barnards Green had to wait anxiously to discover their fate, but it was worth the wait as they are crowned champions of Worcester Division One. They will head to the County Finals on April 23 at the RGS Sports hall from 6.30 pm along with Nomads B.

It was a rollercoaster start with Nomads B reducing Nomads A to 51-4 from 7 overs, firmly putting themselves as the favourites. Then the wheels fell off, magnifying the topsy-turvy nature of the contest.  Guy Davies (52 n.o) was the chief destroyer as he added 78 incredible runs from the last 5 overs with an unlikely ally in Cameron Blakey (28 n.o).

That presented a real challenge for Nomads B and they were off to the worst possible start with Sean Butler castling Derek Austin from the first ball. Butler and Harvey Groves were in their zone and their pace clearly unsettled the Nomads B batsmen. The pressure mounted and a succession of run outs left Nomads B deep in trouble at 39-4 after 5 overs.

Nomads B’s only hope was to pray for a miraculous recovery akin to Nomads A staged earlier, Josh Hawes (38 n.o) in the company of Andy Leach tried but fell well short.  

Umpires - Chris Marsh (standing in his final league game: many thanks!) and John Iggulden; Scorer- Inge Bevers.


WEEK 11

Barnards Green clinch County Final place as Nomads A can only tie with Avoncroft

 

Nomads 'A' (113-3) tied with Avoncroft (113-4)

Nomads A failed to win a nail biting contest against a weakened Avoncroft side and as a result, are technically out of the title race. The defending champions’ fate was sealed when Barnards Green won later in the evening. Not only will they relinquish the crown, with this setback they’ll finish outside the county finals places too.

It could have been much worse if not for a rearguard by Ben Schiffmann (27 n.o) and Guy Davies (21 n.o) after an underwhelming start. They had no answers early on to a remarkable spell by Dan Elliott, who returned figures of 4-2 in 3 overs. When Josh Cound had Sean Butler stumped, Nomads were well and truly in trouble at 29-3 after 5 overs. But Schiffmann and Davies fought back and gave Nomads a competitive score to bowl at.

Avoncroft’s reply was littered with many unnecessary run outs but in between, Tom Murray (27 n.o) and Elliott (26 n.o) managed the course and they reunited for the final over with their side needing 12 to win. They could only manage 11 in a gripping final over.

Barnards Green (148-3) beat Cutnall Green (102) by 46 runs

Barnards Green booked their place in the county finals day on April 23 with this emphatic victory over Cutnall Green. They also regained top spot from Nomads B but their destiny of whether they can become champions will rely on next week’s match between the two Nomads’ sides.

This game included what David Coleman would say was a 'quite remarkable' catch. It has been advised by all who witnessed not to mention it at all, as it will no doubt be sufficiently mentioned by the catcher during the coming season. Leaping into the air in what appeared to be a pointless and extravagant gesture, likely to cause injury to himself damage to the floor and severe embarrassment all round, somehow Dannie Rees managed to stay in the air long enough to swing an arm even higher and take the catch at full stretch before crashing onto the ground with the anticipated effect. Further information on speed, size and wind direction will no doubt be made available in the years to come.

Barnards Green powered their way to 148, with Ryan Tongue (52 n.o), Rees (31 n.o) Andy Ford (27 n.o) and Ash Brewer (24) in full throttle. They were aided by some extravagant shies at the wicket by Cutnall Green fielders too. Their response was promising until the half way mark as they reached 76 in 6 overs. But Paul Hutchins (37) retirement and a run out ending Neil Evans (17) and Derek Higgins’ (10) stay meant that the chase came to an abrupt end.

Umpires - Bill Tansell & Barrie Taylor; Scorer - David Williams


WEEK 10

Nomads 'B' go top of the league and RGS cruise against Avoncroft

Avoncroft (88 all out) lost to RGS (89-2) with an over remaining

RGS notched up their 3rd win of the season against an Avoncroft side, short on luck and without their captain Paul Athey to compound the matters. The win climbs RGS up to 3rd in the table with Avoncroft rooted to the bottom of the table with only one win to their name.

The match had its interesting subplot too with experimental indoor ball being used and both sides found its bounce unpredictable. Avoncroft didn’t get to the best starts and found themselves in trouble when Adam Rodway was clean bowled by Callum Turner. They continued to slide and too much wickets later it was 21-3. Tom Murray (18) was run out in the 6th over and Avoncroft was 36-4 at half way mark.

Dan Elliott (28) along with Dave Aston (26) tried to rescue what was left and seemed to have little problem with the ball too. Both were run out in the final over to leave RGS with an underwhelming target.

88 was never going to change the applecart, RGS openers started cautiously and soon began to unravel. They lost Turner in the 3rd over to a regulation catch off Rodway, and Sam Hughes followed caught behind off Elliott. From 25-2, it went only one way thanks to James Allen and Rhodri Williams sense of calmness, both retiring with victory in sight. George Cook (12 n.o) and Alfie Cook took the tape together in the penultimate over.

Nomads 'B' (118-3) beat Droitwich (59 all out) by 59 runs

This was a rout in the purest sense as Nomads B ran out comfortable winners by 59 runs against Droitwich. The win leaves them tied on points at the top with Barnards Green, both having tasted victory on four occasions so far.

Nomads, batting first, were initially unsettled by the experimental ball with Derek Austin (28) forced to wait for the ball when playing off the back foot. Rhys John took advantage of a slight lack of concentration by Josh Hawes (16) to have him stumped on 28. Austin then took centre stage scoring 14 runs from the 5th which took him to retirement. Pat O’Driscoll (26 n.o) was joined by Nick Jones (30 n.o) to take the score on to 105. They scratched in the final two overs to finish on 118.

Droitwich in their reply never got to terms with the ball and were in deep trouble at 4-3. They committed several offences of self-harm that are best glossed over. Max Young (14) ) was clean bowled in the 4th over and the last pair of Paul Bryan (13) and Martyn Davies (28) only briefly resisted the inevitable.  

The final curtain came in the 9th over as Pat O’Driscoll took a return catch from Davies.  

Umpires - Inge Bevers & John Iggulden; scorer - David Williams


WEEK 9

Barnards Green continue winning run, Cutnall Green return to winning ways

Cutnall Green (116-5) beat Avoncroft (94) by 22 runs

Avoncroft having been in a strong position after reducing Cutnall Green to 89-4, again failed to finish the job conceding 27 in the final 2 overs. Green started explosively with Matt Harris (32 n.o) and Paul Hutchins (20) taking 19 from Adam Rodway's first over. A more sedate tempo emerged after Mark Whitehead's slow but straight left arm entered the fray and by half way Cutnall Green had been restrained to 58-2 after a couple of run-outs. Derek Higgins (29) played well and positively after Harris retired and it was with this renewed pairing that 17 was plundered from the final over.

116 is about par for the course, and in theory Avoncroft had the irons in the bag. Unfortunately with Mark Whitehead tweaking a hamstring, Adam Rodway (14) opened with Tom Murray (25). Facing the accuracy of Paul Hutchins (0-12) and Neil Evans (0-23) Avoncroft fell behind the rate still requiring 50 runs in 3 overs but with wickets in hand. It was a bridge too far as the late urgency caused 4 wickets to fall for 10 runs.

RGS (91) lost to Barnards Green (92-3) with 11 balls remaining

RGS set their sights on a big score knowing Barnards Green’s mettle thus scoring at a rapid pace but they forgot 12 overs existed. The innings ended in the 9th over with one or two poor calls with a direct hit to help. Dannie Rees' top-spin hurried through to take 2 LBWs playing across the line.

RGS stuck to the task and collected 3 wickets to run-outs after Ryan Tongue (25) and Adam Dovey (19) had set up the innings with 45 from less than 4 overs.This was followed by Rees (20) and Elliott Henessey (17 n.o) taking The Green to victory with time to spare and wickets in hand cementing their place at the top

Umpires - Bill Tansell & John Iggulden; Scorer - David Williams


WEEK 8

Avoncroft fightback too little to stop Droitwich. Barnards Green trounce depleted Nomads

Avoncroft (101 all out) lost to Droitwich (102-1) with an over remaining 

An out of sorts Avoncroft failed to present a weakened Droitwich side with a sufficient total to give themselves a real chance in this bottom of the table clash. Avoncroft's batting was a self-inflicted accident zone as both openers wandered down the wicket to perfectly ordinary balls outside the off stump, missed and were never seen again. Two others tried to work benign straight balls to leg, missed and were found LBW. Only Dan Elliott made a substantial contribution with 33, Mark Whitehead (19) & John Hunter (14) the others in double figures.

Rhys John whose well-flighted deliveries caused some pain took a deserved 22-3. Avoncroft's bowlers are normally a handful but on this occasion made no impression on the Droitwich batting.  The only success was a run-out while Martyn Davies (26 n.o) and Ashley Walton (25 n.o) aided by 31 in wides comfortably passed the target with an over to spare.   

Nomads 'A' (64 all out) lost to Barnards Green (67-2) with 4.1 overs remaining

A much anticipated game between champions Nomads 'A' and Barnards Green ended in a cakewalk as Barnards Green hardly broke a sweat to rout a much changed Nomads side with a man short.

The Green began proceedings with a wicket maiden from Jack Mac and although Ollie Ranscombe (21) and Guy Davies (16) looked in control for a short period both failed to convert good starts into retirements, and in the 9th over Nomads ran out of wickets. Being a man short has an effect when a side's batting fails to perform, but is even more significant in the field. Against a decent side this is too great a handicap to overcome and when trying to defend such a low score it is impossible. Sean Butler and Harvey Groves tried manfully to restrain the Green batsmen but with Dannie Rees (14 n.o) and George Rhodes (16 n.o) settling in, the game was up and an early visit to a local hostelry was in order.

Umpires - Barrie Taylor & John Iggulden; Scorer - Inge Bevers


WEEK 7

Nomads B go top, RGS continue good form 

Droitwich (99-5) lose to RGS (103-2) with 9 balls remaining

Droitwich got off to the worst possible start when Martyn Davies patted an innocuous full toss back to the bowler and his partner Max Young was half way down pitch to be stranded. In spite of offering numerous chances which RGS refused, Davies was eventually run-out in the 7th over for 21 having lost another three partners in the meantime. At 58-4, normal service resumed with Paul Spregg ending unbeaten on 31 after losing Dave Huntchback (13) in the final over.

Facing only 99, with batting their strong suit, the odds were firmly in favour of the school posting their second victory. It was a measured innings; 57-2 after 7 overs was only marginally better than Droitwich but with Callum Turner (29 n.o) safely retired, Alex Wheeler (27 n.o) and Will Reading (18 n.o) upped the rate to pass the target with more than an over to spare.

Cutnall Green (62 all out) lost to Nomads 'B' (63-5) with 4 balls remaining

This did not go to plan for Cutnall Green, or at least it wasn’t a plan to be recommended. Green took 18 from the first over but then fell foul of optimistic running combined with some excellent fielding from Nick Jones to be reduced to 34-3 by the 4th over. Matt Evans was then LBW to Andy Hill (2-12), on the same score. Derek Higgins (16) was soon last man standing and decided to avoid running altogether, picking up a few singles off the walls. He was bowled by Pat O'Driscoll in the 11th over.

62 is obviously not a good score, it is not a winning score, It is not adequate nor fit for purpose. However with Ted Bayliss bowling with pace not seen for a while, and Neil Evans back to his normal accurate self, at half way Nomads found themselves struggling at 29-3 with their top order removed. Matt Harris picked up 2 wickets in his first over reducing Nomads to 44-5 after 8.

O'Driscoll, Mr Reliable in the Nomads order this year, again came up with the goods. With little pressure on time, survival was the issue and he ended unbeaten again on 29 to take Nomads 'B' to the top of the league. 

Umpires - Inge Bevers & John Iggulden; Scorer - David Williams


WEEK 6

Barnards Green lose unbeaten record; RGS notch up first win with another last ball victory

Barnards Green (105 all out) lost to Nomads 'B' (106-3) with 2.2 overs remaining 

Barnards Green began in a hurry with Josh Tongue (28) in particular with Andy Ford (19) taking 38 from the first 3 overs. With Tongue retiring in the 3rd over off only 10 balls, Ryan Tongue (27) accompanied Ford until he bowled by Josh Hawes. At 52-1 after 5, The Green was planning for a big score but the innings went into recession and the rate declined. It was only during the final two overs they decided enough was enough but the search for late runs meant Barnards Green lost 4 wickets for 3 runs in 4 balls. Nick Jones took 21-2 for Nomads B.

Nomads only needed to avoid risks, but by the 5th over were 48-3, with Derek Austin(18) posting the only substantial score. Pat O'Driscoll (30 n.o) and Andy Leach (20 no) were the heros for the chasing side as they steadied the leaking ship with an assured unbroken partnership reaching target ultimately with more than two overs spare. 

Nomads 'A' (114-4) lost to RGS (115-4) on the final ball

RGS took the hardest way out to stop their two game losing run and took the biggest scalp possible, the defending champions Nomads, in the final ball. Talk about a finale!

Nomads batting first made a slow start losing unnecessary wickets due to loss of concentration. Ollie Ranscombe (27 n.o) looked in good touch though to retire at the beginning of the 5th over off just 10 balls. Guy Davies was run out inexplicably wandering out of his ground at the non-strikers end, and an out of touch Harvey Groves followed shortly leaving Nomads 50-2 from 6.

The partnership of Rich Henry (28) and Sean Butler (26 n.o) added a further 64 in the last 6 overs of fairly gentle school bowling, including 29 in the last two, presenting only an average target for the school.

A certain amount of circumspection was shown by the RGS openers, and when Callum Turner (25) retired at the half way point, the scoreboard showed 51-1. Two quick dismissals followed and it looked likely that the school might struggle. George Cook (23 n.o) was soon partnered by Alex Wheeler whose retirement lasted just three balls as his replacement Turner's run-out meant he had to return immediately. With 3 overs left and 36 required they set about the task with some determination and confidence. Needing 3 from the last ball Cook kept his cool and guided the ball to the cover wall with apparent ease to win this drama filled contest.

Umpires - Bill Tansell & Chris Marsh; Scorer - John Iggulden


WEEK 5

The 'Greens' notch up important victories 

Avoncroft (124-5) lost to Barnards Green (125-4) on final ball

If ever there was a nail biting finale! Barnards Green needed four to win from the final ball, which was hit to Mark Wood but he conspired to palm the ball onto the back wall and above the line. Avoncroft brought their own downfall though as they had plenty of opportunities to close the game out but chances were dropped, some dives over the ball, and a run out spurned by lobbing the ball over the keeper all pointed to this demise.

In the end, the Tongue brothers Ryan and Josh survived, each on 40, others except for Blair Kingsland failing to make an impact on the score.  Avoncroft's innings was similarly put together with innings of note from Mark Wood (41) and Tom Murray (30 n.o) with Jon Dovey picking up 27-2 for the winners.

Cutnall Green (134-2) beat Droitwich (112-2) by 22 runs

The score sheet flattered Droitwich a tad as they were never in the hunt in spite of picking up 49 runs in their last 3 overs. Rhys John, Ashley Walton and Phil Thomas’ contributions were too little too late to have any bearing on the end result.

They were 44 after 6 overs and that was never going to be recovered chasing 135 to win. Cutnall Green meanwhile were 60-0 at half way, a launching pad of quality. They had a little stutter late on as Paul Hutchins, Matt Harris, Derek Higgins and Ted Baylis all reached their allotted 25 which allowed for a short hiatus at 114. But the openers returned with sharpened cudgels to take them to 134 and seemingly guaranteed 2 points.

Umpires - Inge Bevers & Barrie Taylor; Scorer David Williams


WEEK 4

Nomads enjoy a clean sweep

Cutnall Green (72 all out) lost to Nomads 'A' (73-0) with 4 overs remaining

Being a man short and a weakened line-up didn’t help Cutnall Green’s cause and were in trouble in the first over, losing Matt Harris bowled by a quick one from Rich Henry. Indecision led to the loss of Derek Higgins in the 6th with the score 49, and although Paul Hutchins battled hard to (35) retire and then return, his stay was ended caught and bowled by Cam Blakley. Since then the innings stuttered to a close with few further excitements. Nomads 'A' who are the current champions and lost their first match, were in better form with the bat this time. Guy Davies and Harvey Groves effectively settled the matter without alarm by taking Nomads to 53 without loss at the halfway stage.

RGS (136-4) lost to Nomads 'B' (137-3) with 4 balls remaining

With the exception of Cal Turner who unwisely attempted a tickle to gulley first ball and Rhodri Williams who succumbed to another golden duck, the RGS batting display was greatly improved this time around. James Allen (27 n.o) and Alex Wheeler (35) took the score to 66 before Williams was stumped first ball. But Will Reading (26 n.o) and Alfie Cook (28) ignored the setback and powered on, taking 16 from the final over and presenting Nomads 'B' with a daunting task.

Normally such a total is sufficient, but someone had failed to inform Nomads with Derek Austin (33 n.o) in particular hitting the ball with ferocity. They reached 51 in the 4th over when Oliver Scurry (15) was caught and bowled by Cook. Nomads reached the hundred well ahead of the rate in the 8th over but lost Nick Jones (14) and Pat O'Driscoll (21) on the way. Andy Leach (25 n.o) and Josh Hawes (14 n.o) continued the rush to victory, with Derek Austin returning to finish the task.

Umpires - Bill Tansell & John Iggulden; Scorer - Inge Bevers

WEEK 3

Avoncroft snatch unlikely victory, Barnards Green get off to winning start 

Worcester Nomads 'B' (101-4) lost to Avoncroft (102-4) with 3 balls remaining

With the exception of Derek Austin (25 n.o) who retired during the 5th over Nomads looked below par and at 49-0 half way, with wickets in hand the expected acceleration failed to materialise. This was due in part to some committed fielding by Avoncroft. Joe Laugher (16), Ben Wittenbury (18) and Andy Leach (19 n.o) all struggled to find rhythm and Nick Jones (13) who looked in form missed a quick straight one from Paul Athey.

Avoncroft didn’t have it easy though and as a result of smart fielding, they were 2-2 at the end of the first over both openers dismissed through run-outs. Another run out in the 4th over reduced them to 30-3 and their chances of pulling the chase off looked slim at that stage.

But Dak Elliot (36 n.o) and Adam Rodway (23) then produced a slow recovery to 59 in the 8th when Rodway too was run-out. Athey (19 n.o) added impetus which infected Elliot and in 3 overs they brought the total within 7 runs of victory taking 38 from Leach's overs.

Droitwich (88 all out) lost to Barnards Green (89-3) with 3 balls remaining

This was another low scoring game, in which Droitwich, without 2 regulars, managed double figures in only 3 overs and were all out with more than 2 overs unused. Ashley Walton (27) and Paul Spregg (20) looked comfortable, after Martyn Davies (14) and Jake Young (10) had failed to take advantage of a promising start.

Although 88 is hardly challenging, Barnards Green made a meal of it. The Tongue brothers both departed within 2 overs, bringing Dannie Rees and John Dovey together. They combined to make the task more difficult than it was by hitting the ball straight to fielders. Dovey (26 n.o) retired in the 8th over with the score 65-2, and the next 2 overs yielded only 5. Requiring 19 from 2 overs, At last the penny dropped and the ball was coaxed to the side walls, Rees (28 n.o) retiring in the final over just prior to the winning runs. Walton returned the best figures of 4-1 but strangely in a low scoring match was only allowed 2 overs. 

Umpires Gary Gough & John Iggulden; Scorer David Williams.


WEEK 2

Avoncroft snatch unlikely victory and Barnards Green get off to winning start

Avoncroft came from behind to snatch victory against Worcester Nomads ‘B’ and Barnards Green made tough work of a relatively small Droitwich total in week two action of WCBL RGS Division One Indoor League.

Worcester Nomads 'B' (101-4) lost to Avoncroft (102-4) with 3 balls remaining

With the exception of Derek Austin (25 no) who retired during the 5th over Nomads start looked below par. They were 49-0 half way and with wickets in hand they were expected accelerate but it failed to materialise. This was due in part to some committed fielding by Avoncroft.

Joe Laugher (16), Ben Wittenbury (18) and Andy Leach (19 not out) all struggled to find rhythm and Nick Jones (13) who looked in touch missed a quick straight one from Paul Athey. A below average total suggested Avoncroft might have an easy passage towards victory.

But, as a result of smart fielding Avoncroft were 2-2 at the end of the first over, with both openers dismissed through run-outs. First ball of the 4th and another run-out reduced Avoncroft's innings to 30-3 and their chances looked slim.  Dak Elliot (36 not out) and Adam Rodway (23) then produced a slow recovery to 59 before Rodway too was run-out.

Athey (19 not out) came to the rescue of Avoncroft and added impetus which infected Elliot and in 3 overs they brought the total within 7 runs of victory taking 38 from Andy Leach's overs in the process.

 

Droitwich (88 all out) lost to Barnards Green (89-3) with 3 balls remaining

Another low scoring game saw Droitwich, without 2 regulars, managing double figures in only 3 overs and were all out with more than 2 overs unused. Ashley Walton (27) and Paul Spregg (20) looked comfortable, after Martyn Davies (14) and Jake Young (10) had failed to take advantage of a promising start.

88 in this format is hardly challenging, but Barnards Green made it seem so. Tongue brothers both departed within 2 overs, bringing Dannie Rees and John Dovey together. They combined to make the task more difficult than it was by hitting the ball to straight fielders. Dovey (26 not out) retired in the 8th over with the score 65-2, and the next 2 overs yielded only 5. With Barnards Green needing 19 off the final two, the penny finally dropped and the ball was coaxed to the side walls, with Rees (28 not out) retiring in the final over just prior to the winning runs. Walton returned the best figures of 1-4 but strangely was allowed only 2 overs.

Umpires Gary Gough & John Iggulden; scorer David Williams

 


 

WEEK 1

Droitwich beat champions Worcester Nomads A to post notice of intent and Grammar School just fail to stop Cutnall Green

Droitwich made their intentions clear by decisively defeating Worcester Champions Worcester Nomads ‘A’ by 31 runs in the first week of WCBL RGS Division One played at RGS Sports Hall, Worcester.

In the day’s other match, Cutnall Green displayed their perennial ability to hunt down large totals by chasing Royal Grammar School’s impressive 131.

Droitwich (127 all out) beat Nomads 'A' (96-4) by 31 runs

A very different Nomads 'A' side were given the task of defending their title, taking on Droitwich who were largely unchanged from last year. Batting first Droitwich got off to a steady start until Jake Young was run out on 22.

Ashley Walton in the rarefied air of first down was second out next ball without exercising the scorer. Rhys John and Max Young then consolidated and were ably assisted by Harvey Groves, playing his first game, conceding nine runs in wides. The lower order came in and were run out, so Young (55) and John (33) were reunited to add 34 in the last three overs during which they too were run out.

Nomads 'A' were circumspect in their response until Ollie Ranscombe (12) was run out in the third over on 20. Two further run-outs brought them to 46-3 at half way needing an injection of urgency, but Phil Thomas restricted Nomads to just five from the seventh over. Guy Davies retired passing 25 in the 10th over, but was required almost immediately following the 4th wicket, another run out. However, Nomads were too far behind to mount an assault even with their two successful batsmen at the crease. Davies ended 37 not out and Sean Butler 22 not out as Droitwich eased to victory.

 

RGS (131-2) lost to Cutnall Green (132-4) with 3 balls remaining

A much more competitive looking school side set Cutnall Green a real challenge by amassing 131 for 2, with five batsmen achieving double figures; They were Calum Turner (27 not out), Alex Wheeler (40 not out), Rhodri Williams (26 not out), Alex Cook (15 not out) and Will Reading 10.

In spite of pace bowling from Williams and Reading, Matt Harris and Neil Evans showed how to play the game by using the pace to cushion the ball to the spaces and were 55 after 4 overs, well ahead of the rate. Harris retired in the fifth, and the sixth brought RGS their first wicket with a run-out on 71. Evans then retired and for a couple of overs Cutnall Green with new batsmen lost some momentum struggling to 86 after 8. Two further wickets brought the return of Harris to partner Derek Higgins who was settling in. 44 runs were conceded in the next three overs with 10 in wides causing the game to turn back in Cutnall's favour.

Umpires - Barrie Taylor & Inge Bevers; scorer John Iggulden