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1st X1  v  Ludlow  25th April 2009 - John Fawcett Reports

Madeley 1st X1 arrived at Ludlow looking to secure their first win of the 2009 season. The task was made more difficult without the clubs two best batsmen (Steve Pugh and Steve Jones). Madeley were put into field first. With the wind blowing straight down the pitch it proved much easier bowling with the wind behind then against. Bowling with the wind at his back Craig McLean was giving the Ludlow batsmen plenty of problems. It was Craig that struck first clean bowling Sam Edwards. Other notable performers with the ball were Lee Bowen (8-11-0), Andy Pugh (11-37-0) and Richard Firmstone on debut (9-50-3). Both Andy and Richard starting off with some early season rustiness but once into their stride did a great job for the team. One discrepancy that Andy will need to work on however is the amount of balls that slid down leg side, one of which broke the finger of another debut man, wicketkeeper John Lloyd. John went off to the local hospital and reappeared around 10/12 overs later unable to keep wicket or bat properly.


Ludlow kept the score moving at around 3.5 an over for most of their innings but with a small acceleration at the end they took the rate to over four. Madeley’s performance in the field was not bad, they put down just the one chance throughout the whole Ludlow inning. The partnership of Lockley and Goldthorp looked threatening at one stage until a fantastic piece of fielding by Dan McLean at Mid On brought Lockleys inning to an end. Ludlow posted 214 -7 from their 50 overs.


In reply Madeley’s top three batsmen were cleaned up by a combination of Ali Raza and some arguable LBW decisions for just 9 runs. From this stage on Madeley were always going to be up against it with an injured John Lloyd and without the ‘big guns’ of Pugh and Jones. Richard Firmstone, Andy Pugh, Simon Woodcock and Jamie Lloyd all made starts but were unable to sustain their innings in the face of some good bowling and indifferent bounce from the one end. Debutant Lloyd decided to risk his finger and bat at number 11 until once again a ‘debatable’ umpiring decision finished him off. Madeley collapsed to a disappointing 103 all out in just 36.5 overs. Credit has to go to Sparrow, Coote and Raza for the way they bowled. Sparrow showed great control of line and length with a fair amount of away swing, Raza used the in different bounce well throughout his spell with some accurate bowling and Coote was as ever, difficult to get away.


Although defeated for the second time in 2 weeks Madeley can take some positives from the encounter. Andy Pugh showing signs of a resurgence, Lee Bowen and Craig McLean after just 2 games looking the part at first team level and Richard Firmstone on this early season form will be a great asset with both bat and ball.


MOM : Richard Firmstone


Next up for Madeley is a tough encounter with Wem who in their most recent fixture defeated last seasons champions Reman Services.