Frustrating weekend for PCC
Match reports for 14th/15th June 2014
- Preston CC v Northwood – Saracens Herts Div 2
Preston CC 1sts entertained Northwood at home in Saracens Herts Div 2.
Preston won the toss and elected to bowl in muggy conditions and set about the task at hand well. The fall of two quick wickets to Preston’s openers Henry Morecroft and Mark Waters kept the run rate down for much of the innings. However, a dogged and determined knock of 54 from the talented Northwood skipper Dan Rogers set the stage for a outstanding, and at times destructive, innings of 100 from No.4 Dhaval Panchal. A useful flurry of runs lower down from Reeve (36) and Murphy (17) set an impressive total of 223 for 5 off the full 53 overs.
Preston’s batting on this occasion wasn’t up to the task with only Fleckney, Gallimore, Gwanoe and Harrington-Smith making starts. Northwood’s bowling attack was mixed at times but opener Lewis showed consistency to claim 5 for 22 and Panchal continued to enjoy his day out by also picking up an economic 3 for 24. A mix of poor shot selection as well Northwood holding their catches meant Preston crumbled to a disappointing 92 all out in the 40th over. Northwood took home a well deserved 30 points leaving Preston with no points and work to do to get back up into the top spots.
- Preston 2nd XI v Wheathampstead 2nd XI – Div 5
Preston 2nd XI fell to a disappointing defeat at Wheathampstead after opting to bowl first in helpful conditions. A wicket straight away for Ollie Gallimore, thanks to a sharp slip catch by Martin Pierce, suggested Preston could impose themselves on their opponents. Instead, it was a day to forget for most of Preston’s bowlers as a regular serving of poor deliveries allowed Wheathampstead’s batsmen to build a challenging total. A mini-collapse from 100 for 3 to 100 for 6 gave Preston hope that they could yet dismiss W’stead for a relatively small total, but more ordinary bowling let the hosts off the hook and they finished with 186 for 7.
With the drying wicket regularly making the ball bounce spitefully from a good length, Preston knew they had a tough task, especially when the in-form Richard Gatehouse fell first ball to brute of a delivery. But opener Barry Turner then showed his class, opting to attack anything remotely short or over-pitched. Turner raced to a fine 50, and then continued to unleash an array of strokes that gave Preston real hope. Sadly, Turner fell lbw for 75 with the total score at 96 for 4, and the match was then firmly in W’stead’s hands. The remaining batsmen could not match Turner’s skill and form, and Preston were finally dismissed for 150 and a frustrating defeat after two successive victories in the previous weeks.
- Preston 3rd XI v West Herts 3rd XI – Div 10
The third team travelled to Queens School Bushey to play West Herts 3s where the start was delayed by heavy drizzle and standing water in the outfield. A ‘good toss to win’ was promptly lost by Macca and Preston were inserted on a damp and lively track. Openers Carr and Biggs made survival the priority as the West Herts bowlers made good use of the conditions, Preston inching their way to 33-0 at the 20 over mark. Refreshed by the drinks break and with drying conditions, the run rate increased with Carr putting two straight sixes into the adjoining tennis courts. After Biggs departed for 27, Gambo Snr (26) kept the runs flowing, followed by a fired up Pete Robbins (22) who also took a liking to the tennis courts. Making his seasonal debut, Dangerous D. Norman was cruelly reminded of the vagaries of the LBW laws as he departed for 3 with the middle order chasing quick runs. The West Herts heads (and catches) dropped as Carr closed in on a century. With Preston chasing batting points, he went for a maximum into the tennis courts and was caught on the boundary for an excellent, hard earned 94. The innings closed at 197-6 after 51 overs.
The West Herts openers took a slightly different approach to Preston as they raced to 42-1 off the first 7 overs. Fortunately Hammy was on hand to take the crucial wicket of the hard hitting opener who was superbly caught by the running, tumbling Duncan Hoyle at deep mid off. The catch changed the game as Dave Allen (4-23) reeled in the next three batsmen and Hammy ‘gripped and twisted’ to return 8-7-3-1. At 68-5, West Herts dug in deep as Macca shuffled his bowlers in search of a breakthrough and push for victory. With the conditions easing in the late afternoon sun and despite the Preston boys’ best efforts, West Herts survived at 123-6 after their 45 overs.
A great all round team effort by the thirds was capped by the aforementioned D.D. Norman’s seasonal debut in the Red Lion, a late phone call to the wife and a lift home!
- Preston 4ths v Wormley 2nds – Div 11 East
The 4th team used Old Albanian’s third pitch on Saturday as the school in Hitchin was holding a fete.
Although Preston only had 10 men, skipper Dave Saunders invited opponents Wormley 2nd’s to take first knock in the hope of bowling them out cheaply on a skiddy all weather wicket. Despite Chris Newell’s impressive 5-54 from 15 overs, he was not backed up so a total of 198-6 was posted.
In reply Waqas Azad and Dave Saunders put on 36 for the first wicket, Azad scoring 28 (top scorer). Next best was Chris Newell with 23 but Tim Nash 20 not out saved the game for Preston who finished on 127-7 to gain their second draw on the trot.
- Preston CC Sunday 2’s v Harefield 2nds – Chess Valley Div 7
Preston took their development team across to Harefield on Sunday in the Chess Valley. Met with a field of tracksuits, flip-flops and Oakley wrap-arounds our mixed side was always going to be up against it. Harefield took first knock on a flat wicket and from ball one smacked it all over the park. A very long 45 overs later they had posted a mountain of a total – 368 – with every one of their top order batsman making significant runs, including 137 from their opener.
Preston in reply posted an admirable 211 all out. David Fleckney enjoyed himself getting a well deserved 70 with Simon Luxton and Nigel Biggs also caressing the bowling around. The young guns – Ronan Halpenny, Jake Cook and George Constantinidi all once again showed great composure in light of the onslaught; they bowled and fielded ever so well and all contributed with the bat with Master Constantinidi giving a bit of the long handle for a well deserved 37. A lovely ground, great guys, super tea but a complete and utter mis-match.
- Preston Sunday 1sts v Frenford – friendly
Preston Sunday firsts were awarded a walkover in their Chess Valley Div 3 fixture against Chipperfield/Clarendon after their opponents failed to field a side. Instead, Big Bird managed to get a good fixture at the Field Of Dreams against Essex side Frenford. Ali Morecroft kindly stepped in to provide tea, and a thoroughly enjoyable game ensued.
Frenford batted first and made 198 in their 40 overs, with LHS particularly proud of his miserly figures of 1 for 17 in 8 overs of Kumble-like legspin. Preston’s chase faltered at times after a typically blistering start from Will Gallimore. Stand-in skipper Pete Murrell eventually had to lead the way to victory with a fine 69 not out, including a hooked six that we’ll never hear the end of in the Red Lion on Friday nights. Pete found good support from a half asleep Ben Hill, Preston’s number one surf dude Tom Mercer, and the silky Mark Waugh impressionist Ollie “Kronenburg” Gallimore. At the ridiculous end of the scale, Max Anderson managed to play the worst shot of the season to achieve a glorious duck, but then he probably thought it was all a dream and could someone please wake him up when we land at Luton.