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1st X1  v  Shelton    13th June 2009     -      John Fawcett Reports

Madeley first eleven arrived at Shelton optimistic of obtaining maximum points from one of the few teams still below them in the league. Some onlookers would say Madeley were weakened at the start of the game due to the late arrival of second team all-rounder Andy ‘Verbal’ Laycock, although those with any knowledge about cricket would dispute this. The great man arrived at around 13:15 and took up his position at cover. By this time Shelton had already got a good first wicket partnership on the board. The patient Salisbury and lucky Davies had taken the score to around 40 when Kieran Richards struck, taking the wicket of Salisbury LBW for 20. Richards bowled well without taking another wicket and would find himself unlucky to be taken off after a 9 over spell.

All the Shelton top order got starts but none looked likely to break the 50 barrier that is until the ‘Teflon’ Madeley fielders changed the game. Chambers in the middle order through his bat at every other ball bowled and was dropped three times before being bowled by Jamie Lloyd for 58. If this batsmen had been dismissed at the first attempt it is arguable whether the home team’s innings would have surpassed 160 never mind the 208 they eventually posted.  

Madeley were abysmal in the field. Missed run outs, mis-fields and dropped catches would cost them dear.

The Madeley innings started off in bright sunshine and batsmen Lloyd and Firmstone would need to graft to get Madeley off to a good start. Once again Madeley were without their premier two batsmen of Steve Pugh and Steve Jones. Some would see this as an ideal opportunity to score runs and cement their place in the side looking ahead to their imminent return. The openers lasted a total of 14 balls before Fawcett and Pugh took to the crease. Fawcett started off in his usual scratchy manner – the ball being angled from a seemingly 'Toblerone' shaped bat to 3rd man and fine leg on regular occasions. Andy Pugh at the other end was having his own problems, the largest of which was making contact with the ball. He was however holding up an end supporting Fawcett who was starting to play a few more conventional shots. The 92 partnership was brought to an end when Pugh shovelled a poor ball to cover. A very disappointing way to end his workman like innings. Fawcett departed shortly after for 66 but with the score on just over 100 Madeley looked set for at least a losing draw.  

From this point on the Madeley team collapsed in spectacular style. Batsmen Lloyd, Hodson, Woodcock and Laycock departed without adding more than 15 to the total. This left Madeley hanging on to avoid defeat. Skipper Jamie Lloyd once again looked accomplished at the crease before leaving a fuller length delivery that hit middle and off. Richards and McLean were left to survive the last over which they did successfully to leave Madeley finishing in no mans land on 125 for 9 after the 50 overs, over 30 short of the losing draw target.  

A few weeks back Madeley were alongside Albrighton in the league and the Madeley report surmised that with both teams talent they should rise the table soon. The table today shows Albrighton 50 points ahead of Madeley who now occupy 4th bottom to Albrightons 4th top. Madeleys recent abysmal form sets up a crucial clash next week when bottom of the table Newtown are the visitors to Park Street. Madeley will need to pick up points and get their form back next week to rise into the top half of the table.  This is surely the least Madeley will be targeting this season.