1st X1  v Ludlow  15th July 2006

Ludlow won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat first on a dry wicket at Park Street.

Their youthful opening pair soon built up a useful partnership until a change of bowling brought the first success. B. Andrews had made a quick 36 mainly fours and sixes when he was well caught at deep mid off by Loll Woodhall going for another big hit.

Steve Faux takes the catch

The score continued to move along steadily and had reached 85 when after another change of bowling, Rico held on to a fine slip catch, when the skipper found the edge.

This brought the hard hitting Ludlow pro to the wicket and it was obvious that the scoring rate was about to accelerate unless further wickets fell. After hitting four sixes and five fours he was eventually caught on the mid wicket boundary by Steven Faux for 68. This was contributed to in no small way by Madeley's inability to take their catches. He was decked three times with straightforward opportunities, twice in one over when he was on about 17. The other opener had also been put down when he was on 12.

                                    Steven Faux takes the catch


It is said that catches win matches and at the very least these missed opportunities put paid to any chance of winning the match. The score was now 202 and the opener M.Hawes who had played a patient innings was now scoring off most balls. He took his score to 92 before he edged Rico and the keeper took the catch. The innings ended on 248 - 6 which with the Ludlow pro seemingly back to full fitness was a formidable and unlikely target.

 

Madeley were soon up against it. Rico after hitting the pro for four 4's was trapped on the back foot for 17. Andy

Jason gets a snorter

Laycock's fine run of form came to an end when in the same over he played around a swinging ball and got bowled. Pete Smith hit a solitary four before being well caught in the gully.
Andy Pugh followed when after hitting a couple of boundaries he mishit one that went straight to mid on. The score was a sorry looking 62 - 4 but Steve Pugh was still there showing some resistance.

The wicket was giving the tall Ludlow bowlers a lot more assistance with some balls popping and making life difficult. Jason Willets struck three blows before he received a ball that he could do little about and the ball lobbed into the slip cordon.

                                Jason receives a snorter

The introduction of the spinner brought some relief to the batsman and Steve Pugh picked his spot over mid wicket for some boundaries but even though we had no realistic chance of winning Ludlow quickly moved a fielder into that area. After the score had reached 104  Ludlow decided it was time to bring their pro R.Hodgson back into the attack and it had immediate effect when he got a very fine edge to Steve's bat and the keeper took the catch. He then bowled Steve Faux and had Steve Maden judged LBW with what looked like a very harsh decision. Right arm over to a left handed bat taking guard outside his crease and going well forward. What else can you say.                      

The skipper

This left Madeley on 113 - 8 with another 16 overs to be bowled and I'm sure that Ludlow thought that the game was over.

This wasn't to be the case as the tail wagged brilliantly with the skipper leading the way with a defiant 20 not out. He was ably supported by first Mark Wait who made 30 despite having problems with his back and finally Liam Petit who also held firm for the last seven overs.

We finished on 175 - 9 a commendable effort. If only we could have taken our catches.

         Would have been good skip if you had connected