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2nd X1  v  Ludlow  26th July 2014     -      Steve Cansdale Reports

 
On a hot Sultry July day, a very depleted 2nd XI took the long journey to 2nd placed Ludlow.
 
With skipper Loll Woodhall still out injured, and Jamie Lloyd working. The Captaincy was passed
to Simon Woodcock. On paper Madeley didn't have a very strong bowling side, but a fairly strong
batting side. Ludlow won the toss and opted to bat. Their decision was soon founded to be correct. On a very fast outfield Richard Taylor and Glen Whittaker pounded our bowlers. It didn't help either when Mark Mason pulled up in his fifth over after two balls with a pulled hamstring. A very resurgent Micky Roberts was brought into the action, bowling his famous left arm leg breaks. Along with Simon Woodcock, they slowed down the Ludlow openers to a certain degree. Also what didn't help was the absolutely terrible fielding from Madeley. Two very easy catches
dropped,a missed stumping and all round misfields allowed Ludlow to get to 148 before the first wicket was taken, a catch by the ever enthusiastic Daniel Bowdler off of Simon Woodcock. Woody was on form, and took the next wicket by having Richard Taylor caught in the slips by Mark Mason 181-2.
Mick Roberts had the pleasure of claiming the next two wickets, Running Out Matthew Hawes, and then bowling Luke Miles with a beauty of a ball 203-4.
Ludlow seemed to enjoy what was really batting practice, and the next two wickets were taken by Woody, one LBW and one caught in the deep by Lee Standell 254-6.
It looked as though Ludlow were heading for the 300, when Dan Kearsley was brought back into the attack and reduced Ludlow of another two wickets 267-8. Ludlow the declared after 44.2 overs, which gave Madeley 55 overs to chase 268.( Simon Woodcock 4-86 - Dan Kearsley 2-58 - Mick Roberts 1-89.)
 
This was now a chance for the younger players to show what their batting was like.
"Young 'Un" Dave White opened with Alex Dillon both looking quite comfortable at the crease to begin with, but Dave was soon to go, caught by pulling his shot. 18-1. Not long after Alex joined him by pulling his shot too. Daniel Bowdler came in next and scored a very quick 5, before he too was caught by swinging his bat and made a very quick return to the changing room. 28-3. Lee Standell only lasted a couple of balls before he too was caught at Long On for 2. Jack Loftus was next to return to the changing rooms managing a Golden Duck.34-5.
Now came the more experienced players of the team, Mark Mason and Simon Woodcock. Mark with his injury partnered Woody wonderfully in the slight resurgence of Madeley, only scoring 5, but his experience and batting prowess showed as Woody knocked up the runs. They made a very valuable partnership of 60, before Mark too was caught. 94-6. Mick Roberts joined Woody, and he too partnered well, helping the score along to 131, before Woody was bowled, with his score at 49. Mick followed him more or less straight away, when his tired arms from bowling 15 overs didn't allow him to hit the leather as hard as usual and was caught. 131-8 
William Sanders was bowled after a couple overs after sharing the track with his Dad Mick Sanders at the other end. 132-9 from 51 overs. The last two of Mick Sanders and Dan Kearsley only had to last for four overs to gain a very surprising losing draw. But with 2.3 overs to go, Dan Kearsley was given out LBW to a dubious decision. Without Woody's 49, and Extras of 53, the rest of the side only managed 34 between them. A very poor display all round.
A very big fixture coming next, versus Wroxeter & Grove. This is a MUST win, or We may be heading back to Division Two.

 
Footnote: The opinions stated in this report are not of Madeley C.C. but of Author Steve Cansdale.