First XI stutter in Division 2 opener
Updated: May 30, 2021
After three consecutive washouts, the Shrews finally kicked off their campaign on Saturday, hosting New Forest side Bramshaw at the Recreation Ground. Captain Jamie Mitchell named a strong team, including the returning Will Harries, with the side looking to bounce back following the Wiltshire Wallop defeat at the hands of Potterne on Friday evening. The warm up football was won by Team Bate and given events to come, it is tempting to spend more words on this than the cricket. Alas, on winning the toss, skipper Mitchell elected to bat first and Messrs Gurd and Brewer strode to the wicket looking to survive the early exchanges.
Despite a tight spell of bowling, the openers were relatively untroubled during the first 10 overs, moving the score to 37 before Gurd fell to the bowling of Joe Coombs. The old adage of 'one brings two' has always seemed to ring true when Shrewton bat and this occasion was no different, with Brewer stumped smartly by Bramshaw captain Tom Arnold before the introduction of spin saw Will Harries provide a simple catch for extra-cover. However, Will Sleeman and Harrison Clark rebuilt and with scoring becoming easier, took the score to 87-3 in the 20th over of the innings.
Unfortunately, the wicket of Sleeman triggered the second collapse of the innings, with no recovery in sight this time round. Shrewton lost their last 7 wickets for just 31 runs with the innings closing inside 30 overs on a score of 118. Brewer and Sleeman (both 29) were the only batsmen to make it past 15 and at least 7 of the 10 batsmen to lose their wickets will reflect on loose shots far too early in their innings'.
After Laura Nicholson provided the side with a much appreciated proper cricket tea (their first since 2019!), the Shrews knew a fast start would be needed if they were to stand any chance of defending the low score. Right on cue, Will Harries delivered, producing fantastic deliveries to remove both opening batsmen for single figures inside the first 6 overs. A wicket apiece for Mitchell and Sam Gillott left the game in the balance at 50-4, but Harries apart, the Shrewton bowlers didn't quite hit their straps with a somewhat staggering 42 extras in just 20 overs bowled as the visitors found their way to the target with 6 wickets in tact, Joe Coombs completing a good all round performance with 38*. To add injury to insult, skipper Mitchell took a blow to the wrist from a firmly struck drive in the last few overs and the side will be hoping for positive news following his Saturday evening trip to A & E.
Few positives can be taken from what was a poor all-round performance, but the side will look to bounce back next week with a trip to Bishops Waltham.
Shrewton - Gurd, Brewer, Harries, Sleeman, Clark, Gillott, Newbury (wk), McClure, Mitchell (c), Bate, Pownall