EARLY June showers have made for interesting times for the cricket season, but the Church Times Cricket Cup competition continues. We are now heading towards the quarter finals, although several first-round matches are still to be played. Leeds and Canterbury/Rochester look to be in strong positions.
On Monday of last week, Coventry played Leicester at Bedworth Cricket Club.
In a 30-over game, Leicester won the toss and invited Coventry (who had only nine players) to bat on a well-worn pitch. Coventry started well, until Gandon was bowled for 39. Robinson, who was playing his first game, grew in confidence, and went on to make 24 runs. Leicester had come with a strong bowling side, but the Coventry innings was steady, ending up on 128 for 5 off their overs. At this point, the injury score was two hamstrings and a pulled calf muscle.
When Leicester batted, wickets fell steadily, mainly to Parker, who was bowling off a reduced run (he had pulled a hamstring earlier); but Leicester’s captain Pickersgill (also one of the earlier injuries) came in lower down the order, and, sweeping strongly, might well have taken Leicester to victory, until he was trapped lbw for 35. By the end, both Leicester batsman had runners, and Coventry had just six players standing. In the best spirit of the game, Leicester graciously lent them three substitute fielders. Coventry won by five wickets.
In view of the injury list, however, and a diocesan clergy conference, Coventry have had to concede their final group game v. Norwich/Ely.
On Monday this week, the teams from Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham and Leeds met at Burneside Cricket Ground in unusually sunny conditions. Leeds won the toss and elected to bat.
Carew and Groenewald opened, and scored quickly. Carew went on to bat through the innings for an unbeaten 112. Bradford (3-32), Wills, Abbott, and McNally Leeds back. Still, at the end of their 30 overs, Leeds had made 158 for 7.
The target seemed achievable, but the Carlisle innings began badly when Wills was caught by Moor off the first ball. Tight bowling by Bavington (3-13) and Arnold (0-4) left Carlisle with a constantly rising challenge to keep up with the run rate. The fall of the third wicket brought McNally to the crease. He began to find the freedom in batting that others had struggled to achieve. The run chase began to look possible again, until McNally (65) was caught by Burge on the boundary.
Leeds mopped up the Carlisle tail with an over to spare, and won by three wickets.
Coventry 128-5 (Gandon 39, Robinson 24, Parker 24; Norman 3-15, Gyles 2-5). Leicester 96 (Pickersgill 35, Trethewy 17; Parker 6-12, Burton 1-12, Gandon 3-18).
Coventry won by five wickets.
Leeds 158-7 (Carew 112*, Bradford 3-32). Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham (McNally 65, Bavington 3-13, Arnold 0-4).
Leeds won by three wickets.
Manchester forfeited their match to Lichfield on Monday. Yesterday’s game against Chester/Liverpool was abandoned owing to the weather. Leicester’s matches against Hereford and Lincoln were also unable to take place.