Three on the spin for Second XI
A glorious Saturday saw the Shrews second XI host Sway II at the Rec. Looking to continue their unbeaten run of form, skipper Newbury (returning from 1st team duties), had selected a strong side to face what was expected to be a well drilled Sway outfit. Sure enough, as the Shrews were digesting their full English breakfasts and limbering up with cans of Red Bull, Sway were running through an extensive array of fielding and warm up drills.
As per usual, Newbury lost the toss, but surprisingly Sway chose to bowl on what would turn out to be a belter of a track - thanks to George Clift and the ground staff for the hard work put in throughout the week. The ever reliable Wood and Little opened the batting, reaching a Test Match worthy 55 from 15 overs, before Little (21) edged a shaping delivery to first slip. Following a sustained appeal, during which the umpire’s finger remained firmly down, Little decided that in the spirit of cricket he would walk anyway. This brought Battisson to the crease with a freshly washed bat courtesy of a Sway player. A number of well struck boundaries flowed, before he was caught for a quick fire 19. Vallis’s (5) stay at the crease was cut short, after being pegged LBW plum in front of the leg stump. Fortunately, he graciously accepted the decision, as has become the norm for Shrewton in the last few years.
With less than 10 overs remaining, and the Shrews still only on 137, Wood was finally dismissed for a well made 70. Holtby (14), Bentley (5) and McClure (3*) all chipped in, but it was the arrival of skipper Newbury (33), wielding his trusty (second hand) bat that moved the score on. Striking lofty blows, and combining well with the chaotic running from White (6*), the innings closed with a competitive total of 198/7 posted.
Following a delicious tea courtesy of Laura, the Shrews prepared to defend their total and position at the top of the table. Bentley and White opened the bowling, with Bentley striking in the 2nd over to dismiss Clarke for 1. White struggled to bowl with his usual frugality and was soon replaced by Wood. Under sustained bowling pressure and some sharp fielding from Parrish, wickets continued to fall regularly, with Wood allegedly moving the ball through the air and off the pitch. The introduction of Little saw the runs dry up and scoreboard pressure mount. Had Holtby been practising his catching, rather than revising for his algebra exam, then the game would have probably been over by the halfway point. Nevertheless, some sharp bowling from Vallis and Jackson’s use of flight, mopped up the tail, bowling Sway out for 142 in 31 overs.
A comfortable win over a quality side, sees Newbury’s second XI sat atop County Division 4 West. Next week, weather permitting, they’re on the road to 16th placed Brockenhurst, where they’ll look to extend their winning ways.
Shrewton II – Little, Wood, Battisson, Vallis, Newbury (c), Holtby, Bentley, White, McClure (wk) Jackson, Parrish