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25/08/2007 - Four Counties League Division 3

Shenley Church End CC - 163 (7 points) lost to
Caddington CC 1st XI - 164-8 (25 points)
Shenley's promotion hopes took an untimely dent after an agonising 2 wicket defeat to Caddington in a long hard fought match. The visiting side successfully chased down the average sized total in the 45th over leaving the final game with Open University as the Division Three crunch game.

Church End knew a win would ultimately seal promotion, but as always in Cricket or any sport things are never that straightforward, as SCECC were about to find out. After long deliberations Caddington put the home side into bat on a fair looking Manor Fields strip.

Immediately Shenley were in trouble. Andy Peacock fell, along with Homer Evans for small totals. As Shenley regrouped it looks as if the middle order may hold, it did for a short while, only for then to see Colin Wayman inexplicably edge onto his pad and knock down the off bail.

Anton De Beer cracked a extra cover six in a short innings, but on 13 he edged to first slip, the catch juggled before controlled. Richard Fletcher soon followed, a skidding ball barely left the ground on the bounce to connect with the middle stump. By then the score stood teetering on 52-5.

It was left to Stuart Burke and Nick Rogers to steady the ship. Burke notched a classy 45 and Nick moved on with a steady knock of 34, in a partnership worth 80. But the latter of the two went with 12 overs to go, leaving Simon Sidwell seeing through Burke and Graham Teagle, moving the innings past 150.

Good tight Caddington bowling, from the likes of Paul Harris (3-19) and Ash (3-35), penned Shenley in to very few runs, but the dogged tail was holding. Sidwell fell on 11 to give Jon Pennells his first bat, but the next over he edged on for a score of 163 off 41.2, a beatable total with 2 extra overs passed to the visitors.

By no means were Shenley finished. Determined to regain the upper hand Jon Pennells opened up with no less than 3 wicket chances in 4 overs, all dropped catches. The opening partnership of Simon Pleasant (36) and Dale Skeath (40) always seemed unsteady even though runs came nicely mainly due to spurned catching opportunities or narrowly missed, and numerous run-outs somehow avoided.

However the wicket total rose steadily. Graham Teagle bowled superbly to churn out healthy figures of 10-1-23-2, while Richard Fletcher pitched in with 2-19. De Beer managed to scalp the wicket of Paul Harris, the Caddington middle order main stayer in his 3-32, leaving Caddington merely a few runs away from victory.

Simon Sidwell came on, pushing the economy rate right down, with only 14 runs conceded from 35 balls, taking it into Shenley's unbowled overs. But the difference between the sides was the vital extra over in hand, releasing the pressure on the run chase and giving Caddington a well fought win.

What could have been Shenley's promotion turned into only their second defeat of the campaign. It is now up to SCECC to beat, or even draw at Open University on the final weekend, and hope Biddenham do not secure success against Drayton Parslow. Vitally, it is all in Shenley's hands...

Strip used: | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |
Pitch Condition: Good
Catches dropped: Numerous...

Team: Andy Peacock, Homer Evans, Colin Wayman, Anton DeBeer, Richard Fletcher (c), Stuart Burke, Nick Rogers, Simon Sidwell, Graham Teagle, Jay Fletcher, Jon Pennells. Umpire: Anthony Brace.

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© SCECC 2007 - Created and maintained by Simon Sidwell