Welwyn Garden City IV 126-10 (39.2) v Langleybury III 127-4 (35.3)
By Roy Newman
A great team performance
Langleybury travelled to Welwyn Garden City on Saturday, looking to continue their revival on the back on two decent results. The wicket was beyond damp, but given the amount of rain that had fallen, it was in better condition than expected. The toss was vital, and skipper Paul Crawley called right for the third consecutive time, and had no hesitation in fielding first – even though we were one short at the start.
A fair slope and a strong wind made it common sense to bowl seam downhill and spin uphill. Bury opened with two 15year old's - Ben Beesley at the top end, who bowled with genuine pace and Ollie Channer at the bottom end, who bowled with decent control. It was the latter who made the breakthrough when opener Tom Edwards was caught at mid-wicket by Paul Crawley. Flight and guile proved too much for Mario Priolo, the other opener, as Ollie Channer tempted him forward and Mike Dobner took yet another sharp stumping. Welwyn’s skipper, Steve Willis, came in at 4, but didn’t trouble the scorers before flicking Ollie Channer to Beesley at square leg. Ollie Channer finished his 9 over spell with superb figures of 9-4-15-3. Ben Beesley, meanwhile, was unlucky not to pick up a couple of wickets himself. A mini revival for the hosts ensued, before Kevin Kelly broke through, with Ben Beesley taking his second catch to remove Sandeep Sharma, their No. 5. The middle order decided to go after KK, with Lutf Islam (No. 7) in particular finding the boundary quite often. Those around him had less control though, with three on the trot being caught on the boundary, all by Gavin Mawn, who bought the celebratory ‘jug’ for such a feat. Graeme Roe bowled a luckless 9 overs for 17 runs at the other end. Young Dan Roberts grew into his spell and bowled a pearler to remove the big hitting Lutf Islam with Mike Dobner taking his second stumping, before Paul Crawley came on and removed the last pair in quick time. Bury bowled out Welwyn for 126 – the third time in four games that the opposition had been restricted to less than 150.
Openers, Jonathan Gunning and Chris Currie started very steadily indeed, before Jonathan Gunning fell to a leading edge in the 11th over with the score on 35. Chris Currie enjoyed some much needed time in the middle and went on to top score (36) before falling LBW to a yorker. Stuart Knox began looking in control before he was unfortunate to chop on. Gavin Mawn, promoted to No. 4, played some glorious drives before playing around a straight one on 23, before the reliable Graeme Roe prevented any chance of an upset with a controlled 21*. Welwyn re-introduced their opening bowler, Richard Dolan, but it was to no effect as Paul Crawley provided consecutive square cuts to chalk off the winning runs and cap a professional response to the run chase. Welwyn had four tidy seam bowlers who, given the right conditions, will certainly go through other sides in the division. Whilst it was an important toss to win, it was also an assured performance from Langleybury and particularly pleasing, insofar as all 11 played their part.