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2003 - Results
11th May - Elthorne

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Elthorne: 182-all out

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 N.Marsden  102 A.Barrett  6-22
 Toby R.  24* A.Horn  1-35
 Gordon M.  12 N.Howarth  1-42
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West End: 84-all out

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 B.Pudney  24 Tom M.  3-12
 J.Greathead  15 Toby R.  3-20
 T.Axe  13 Sanjay K.  1-0
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ELTHORNE win by 98 runs

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     The third match of the season, and the second on the new pitch at West end. Once again, there had been some rain during the week. Not as much as the week previous week though, and Norman Fostecute, our groundsman, had been able to give the pitch some heavy rolling. Elthorne are roughly our equal, despite the fact their captain, Nick Marsden, is capable of large scores on a regular basis - how much would the new pitch influence today?

     The pitch looked quite good and Marsden, having won the toss, put West end out in the field. Adie Barrett took the first over from streets Heath end, bowling five economical and effective overs. A quicker delivery on a good length caught the edge of mark A's bat and sailed past the wicketkeeper, Johnno, and into the captain's safe hands at first slip, a great catch. Good length and line continued to pay off, Sanjay, the No. 3, found one creep through off his pads and on to the wicket, a tad unlucky. Rick P was removed in classic fashion, the ball moving away to find a thick edge, Ben Pudney taking this one at second slip.

Great to play at home  Ian B receives a stinker Phil D has a go

     By now, the gloomy skies had turned to what we hoped was a passing shower. New recruit Phil Dawson checked the score at the other end and had also beaten the bat on occasion but without luck and bowling changes at both ends seemed to signal upping the run - rate by Marsden, whose good eye and timing saw that the ball went to the boundary with increasing frequency. Andy Horn and Neil Howarth also bowled well, taking a wicket apiece. However Marsden seemed to hog the bowling and removed any advantage West ends bowlers worked hard to gain. The passing shower eventually ended as the first three deliveries of Barrett's second spell were dispatched to the boundary. However he then switched around the wicket and bowled Marsden for 102. Two consecutive Yorkers in his next over finished Elthorne's innings at 182, Barrett finishing with six for 22 and Howard Turner surprisingly taking none. Apart from the three listed, no-one else made double figures!

     Johnno and Ben opened West Ends' account in upbeat fashion, indeed for a while, Elthorne's bowlers were on the back foot as Ben wasted no time in repeatedly finding the boundary. His sixth scoring stroke was also his 6th four but his enthusiasm got the better of him with the very next ball which skied for an easy catch, Toby doing the damage. Ian Brown fell two balls later which brought in Neil Howarth who also went for nought, two more to Toby - a shame, as both men looked good in nets. Terry axe and Howard Turner put up dogged resistance before Tom removed them and it was a case of Elthorne's bowlers bowling straight and just waiting for the wickets to come, which they did in due course.

Phil thrashes another  Scarface Axe's seam marks

     In retrospect, the difference between the two teams was one man, Nick Marsden, whose century for Elthorne was pretty much the winning margin. Although the pitch had displayed some uneven bounce, especially at the Streets Heath end, Nick's innings proved that with care and attention the wicket can be tamed. There's no doubt it still has time to settle and if the difference seen just one week after the pitch opening day continues, West end will have an excellent playing surface for years to come.

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