24 June 2019 at Eskdale CC

Gregson won the toss and elected to bat

The longest away trip of the season for the Gregson, and what a pleasure it is to turn up at Eskdale Cricket Club. Surrounded by the green hills of the Lake District, the gentle sound of a steam train’s whistle echoing across the valley and a preponderance of cows and sheep just outside the boundary rope.

The Gregson arrived with hope in their hearts after last week’s victory and the skipper quickly won the toss and decided to bat first to try and capitalise on the good mood. A greenish wicket awaited Powell and Hughes as they strode out to open the batting. Some gardening was initially required to remove the rabbit droppings casually deposited on a length, but soon the game was away

Powell (7) started well, getting off the mark with a six over third man’s head, but such joie de vivre batting did not last long as Dave S clipped the top of the stumps as he attempted to pull a later delivery. Hughes (10) fell soon after to an lbw decision where the ball was perhaps slipping down the leg side, but Sumsion came in to continue seeing his form return with several boundaries.

Pye (1) was unable to fulfil his role as a pinch hitter at number 4 as he was clean bowled by Stuart, and when Sumsion (32) finally fell to Hakan’s catch off the bowling of Alex, McAllister and Morrison came together, the Geoff Boycott and Chris Tavaré of the Gregson.

Despite their reputations, a profitable partnership ensued. Singles were taken off most balls and the occasional four slipped through the gaps in the field. It took a spectacular caught and bowled by Doc to remove McAllister (45) just short of his half century, but Morrison carried on despite running out Metcalfe (3) while pushing for a cheeky second.

Plant (9*) came in for the final two overs and smacked two boundaries, a sumptuous off drive the pick of them and, with Morrison (23*), saw out the final over to give the Gregson a total of 142 -6 off the 35 overs.

After a wonderful tea, the Gregson made an early breakthrough with Alex (0) caught and bowled by Deighton without scoring, but Arun and Woody started to make batting look easy for Eskdale. In no time at all they had put together a 50 partnership and moved the scoring on further to 72-1 in less than half the allotted overs. It took a good ball from Deighton to remove Arun (38), which was immediately followed up by Hakan (0) top edging the ball high into the sky. It came down with snow on, but Morrison, running towards the third man boundary, safely pouched it into the gloves despite the ominous silence from his teammates.

Metcalfe accounted for danger man Jan (0) thanks to Sumsion taking another steepling  catch – if Morrison’s had arrived covered with snow, this one came down with space debris…

The introduction of Moulsdale bought rewards as Woody (38) was caught lbw and it was followed by another exemplary spell of spin bowling that saw Dave (0) clean bowled and Lee (0) caught on the third man boundary by a tumbling McAllister who just managed to keep his body inside the rope.

Plant took the third caught and bowled of the match to dismiss Stuart (19) and Sumsion ran out Doc (6) with a direct hit from mid on that lit up the flashing bails like a carnival. It was left to Metcalfe to pick up his second wicket as Andrew (0) was bowled – the sixth duck of the innings – and the Gregson shaded a close match by just 11 runs.

Eskdale is a fine place to play with a friendly opposition and a tea that left most Gregsonites wishing they’d fielded first so they could enjoy second helpings! Thank you for hosting us and we’ll see you again next season.

Two wins on the trot – anyone know the record for consecutive victories?!

Ra ra!

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