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Please heed previous advice

Please heed previous advice

Henrik Holm9 Jun - 17:59
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1s fight hard to grind out result at Oxton

On the back of some favourable recent results at Townfield Lane, and the brutal T20 drubbing of Hale Barns, the 1s arrived confident to a cloudy Oxton. Nick again won the toss and again batted, on what appeared to be a pretty good all-round wicket.

At 37/4 off 16, with the top 4 gone, it really didn't look such a good toss to win. With the intermittent cloud cover, the pitch was acting up, with some inconsistent bounce. The outfield was also really slow, meaning that shots weren't getting full value for runs. Tim was unlucky to be caught at cover after it popped off a half-volley length, as was Rob who chopped on straight after an authoritative pull shot.

Joe and Nick began to rebuild, Joe playing some lovely pulls and flicks. Nick decided to take the outfield out of the equation, launching skipper Henry Dobson back over his head for the first of only two sixes in the match. Joe was perhaps unlucky to fall LBW for 20 after a long appeal. 69/5 and Dids had a lot of work to do even to get something potentially defendable. With the pitch being a bit up and down scoring was difficult, James and Will both falling to catches at mid-wicket due to the uneven bounce. Nick batted really well for his 45, anchoring the innings to take the 1s to 130 all out, eking out an extra 61 runs off almost 20 overs of sensible batting.

Oxton have quite a deep batting line-up, and so early breakthroughs would be required to put on pressure. Liam got straight to work, removing Cheshire no.3 Dobson first ball, snicking off to Sam (and producing some fantastic content for the DCC Instagram). Three balls later, Cheshire skipper Harry Dearden left a straight one and had his pad blown off, 4/2 after just one over, and inroads to work on. Leicestershire club captain Lewis Hill joined the resolute Jonny Crick; they scored at only 1.9 an over while together, outlining the difficulties of batting on the wicket. The pressure was building, and Oxton cracked first, Crick going LBW for 2, and then the massive wicket of Hill, missing one with a booming straight drive, Liam now with figures of 4-19, Oxton 36/4 with a long way still to go.

Jonty had bowled a nice spell, not really getting any reward for it, but Steve came on and continued to restrict the scoring. Dids kept chipping away, two in two for Steve, simple catches to Tim at midwicket and Rob at slip leaving the score at 46/6 and Dids right on top. Saffa Jordan Collier provided some resolute defence, but was next to fall to a fantastic flying catch by Rob, again off Steve. Jack Corran (who did score 58* in similar circumstances in the infamous tied game in 2022) joined former Neston captain Dane Williams, who had been anchoring the innings almost throughout. They batted really sensibly, knocking the ball around and going at only about 2 an over, but nudging the score towards the target, taking it to 85, 30 overs still left.

With Steve quickly running out of overs, Nick brought Joe on for his one-day bowling nous, and it worked almost immediately. Having survived a few close LBW shouts, and perhaps rattled by almost being run out the ball before, Williams flicked Joe straight down the throat of Tom at deep square leg for a determined 26 off 83, giving Dids an opening to finish off the game. Will came on, and despite some dogged resistance from Corran, Chris Stenhouse, and Ali Crick, he picked up the last two wickets LBW to bowl Oxton out for 105, and win the game by 25 runs.

In defending 130, the bowling line-up really showed their quality, making full use of the helpful wicket, even as it dried out in the late sunshine. However, on another day the 31 extras conceded really could have been costly. Overall, an important win and a good recovery from a difficult position. Onto a double-header at home, against Neston, and Longton in the next round of the National Cup.

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