MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION 2
EXNING I v BRAINTREE I
EXNING I 205 for 8 BRAINTREE I 159 for 8
EXNING I (19 pts) beat BRAINTREE I (7 pts) BY 46 RUNS
With a vastly weakened side from their previous week’s victory at Easton, Exning went into Saturday’s clash against Braintree with some trepidation, having memories of the resounding defeat inflicted upon them earlier in the season when the Essex side ran up over 300 runs, to which the Park side only just managed to get into three figures.
However, as it turned out, the visitors were also similarly weakened themselves, enabling Exning to register a second consecutive victory, the importance of which was not immediately apparent at the time, but as the rest of the Division 2 results filtered in over the weekend, it became abundantly clear.
Other than Ipswich & East Suffolk who have sat in the ‘rock-bottom’ slot for some weeks now, all the other clubs around Exning in the bottom half of the table won, but this victory has allowed the ‘status quo’ to remain as Exning face a challenging run of matches against the teams scrapping at the top end of the table, over the next 3 weeks.
Play commenced some 30 minutes late following persistent morning rain right up until 12.45pm and when the visitors won the toss, they had no hesitation in ‘inserting’ the hosts on a damp outfield, which would slow up run scoring, and on a pitch which it was expected, would help the bowlers.
Despite this, and lots of diligent ‘huffing and puffing’ from the Braintree seam attack of Cameron Heron (1 for 23) and Daniel Garner, the Exning openers, augmented by a generously escalating total of ‘extras’, ran up the Park side’s highest 1st wicket partnership of the season; Kris Judge scoring 13 in the company of Peter Woods in a stand of 52.
Having set the base on which to build, Tim Catley then joined Woods in a 2nd wicket partnership of 86, where caution was the original by-word, but as the score moved into three figures, both batsmen took advantage of the occasional wayward ball, before Woods (60) became the next wicket to fall on 138, having entertained with two huge sixes in his innings.
Catley continued to move the score along at a more than acceptable rate and although Barry Stephens (4 for 46) and Oliver Grayson (3 for 51) ‘strangled’ the middle order scoring to a great extent, he found dutiful support from Dom Nelson (14 not out) as they made hay in the final 5 overs; Catley crashing three sixes from Grayson’s final over.
He was finally bowled in the penultimate over for 80; an innings including 6 fours and 4 sixes, as Exning posted a total of 205 for 8 on the board at the tea interval.
Warren Celiz (18 including four boundaries) hurried off the Braintree reply, but when he was spectacularly snaffled up by stand-in keeper, Catley, diving in front of 1st slip to give Daniel Baigent (2 for 53) the first wicket, the innings took on a more ‘laboured’ approach as Ian Starling (1 for 25 in 13 overs) and Michael Griggs (1 for 33) oversaw the score reaching 57 for 3 as Robert Jones (25) was athletically caught by Baigent in the wide mid-off area.
Daniel Chalk (30) endeavoured to get the Braintree innings moving along, but with Starling conceding just 5 runs from the final 7 overs of his spell, and with the introduction of Peter Woods (3 for 32) as the 2nd change bowler, the score slumped to 96 for 6 at the end of the 25th over. It was then a matter of whether Exning could claim a full 20-point victory by bowling the visitors out, and how many batting bonus points could be gathered by Braintree.
As it happened, Barry Stephens held steady for an undefeated 19 while Daniel Garner (28) helped collect 3 batting points, but although Ben Readman (1 for 13) and Baigent saw two more wickets fall, the Park side had to be content with a 19 point victory as the innings tailed off on 159 for 8 to give Exning an important 46 run victory.
MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION 8 WEST
BURY ST EDMUNDS IV v EXNING II
BURY ST EDMUNDS (6 pts) EXNING II (6 pts)
Heavy overnight rain and ‘covers malfunction’ led to Exning II’s short trip to the Victory Ground, Bury St Edmunds being called off at an early stage during Saturday morning, with each side being awarded 6 points for the cancelled match.
EXNING SUNDAY IX v OLD NEWTON
With the Exning side admittedly struggling to raise a full XI, the match was cancelled at an early stage during the preceding days, as visitors Old Newton, were experiencing even more acute ‘staff shortages’ than the Park side.