With wins for all three senior teams plus three wins out of three for Shireshead Ladies in the softball league, it proved to to be wonderful weekend for the club.
At Milnthorpe, the first team renewed some old acquaintances, and came home with the spoils with 12 points after inserting the home side. Scratching around on a tricky wicket, Milnthorpe could muster just 100 for 8 in 45 overs. Opening bowlers Dave Jack (3 for 25 from 12) and Jake Agar bowled with great control and Jack dismissed the much vaunted Phil Bovis first ball with a rip-snorter of a delivery, the former Shireshead man parrying a simple catch.
Bowman dug in like Bowman does. Wills could not break the shackles. Jack Cunnington delivered an immaculate spell of slow bowling, returning 3 for 19 from 6 overs, ably supported to by Joe Oliver.
In reply, Shireshead without captain and talisman Tom Jacques (again) cleared the runs in the 31st over for 3 wickets with successive contributions in the teens from Cunliffe, Burns, Murphy and Rob Jacques. However it was Agar who put the bowlers to the sword, smiting 37 in rapid time including 5 fours and 2 sixes.
The firsts move to 3rd in the table behind Westgate in 2nd and leaders Heysham.
Meanwhile back at Clifton Park, Paul Yates was having his own ‘field day’ in Forton. Yates hit an unbeaten 74 and returned 2 for 8 in 6 overs in the fixture against Coniston 1sts. He and Ollie Wilkinson (17) put on 43 for the first wicket and Simon Gould, as is his wont, maintained full momentum striking 22 in another partnership worth over 40 with Yates. There was no relenting as Tom Brown hit the ball to all parts with fluent stroke play and no small measure of thespian panache.
Mead too maintained élan hitting 14 and Luke Bray, bristling with hunger as tea approached brought impetus to the final overs adding 28. Meanwhile Paul Yates, with a mixture of immaculate defensive technique, guile, elegant off side driving and awareness for the single, had paced his innings in the way that has served him so successfully for many years, providing the solid backbone any innings needs.
Tea was perfect. Thank you Mrs. Yates. Pate on rustic bread, sandwiches (various fillings), home-made mini quiches, a selection of exquisite fondants ranging from lemon shortcake bites to coffee iced sponge squares.
Coniston began their innings with serious intent, especially the ebullient Warne who set about the bowling of rookie Weir. Warne hit 26 in 20 balls before Mead trapped him lbw wit the score on 27 from a handful of overs. Mike Burton arrived and played in much the same manner until Park jagged one back to trap him on the crease for 17. Indeed Park (1-20) and Mead (2 -20) wrestled back control and when Bob Simpson was caught, plucked one handed out of the air by a nonchalant Wilkinson for 23 the target seemed to be slipping out of reach for Coniston as Shireshead gained the momentum. The introduction of Thomas Atkinson and return of Weir saw the home side home. Booming in-swingers at a decent pace gave Atkinson 3 for 21, and Aiden Weir clattered the wickets twice to bring 15 points to the Clifton Park and put the 2nd team in second place in Division 2.
On Sunday the ladies team hosted a tournament featuring Longridge, Garstang and Fulwood/Broughton, and finished with three wins from three in a much improve performance. This was despite being without key players like Katie Oliver, Emma Johnson and Jess
In the opening match against Fulwood and Broughton, Shireshead won comfortably by over 30 runs, making 66 in their inning to the opponents 32. Attacking strikes were aplenty from the reinvigorated youngster Evie McBride who hit 24 in her two overs and she was well supported by Lou Dent in a magnificent opening partnership. Yasmin A. and Amy M. bowled with considerable accuracy showing just how much progress they have made in only a few weeks at the club.
Local rivals Garstang were also beaten as Shireshead made 277 (net score) to Garstang’s 263. Superb bowling and energy in the field as well as great batting from the whole team, especially Carrie Parkinson and Sue Swire sealed a well deserved victory. Eve Park showed her skills with the ball as did Eve McBride but Amy Creed led the way with control and consistency.
The final scalp was Longridge who were outplayed by a buoyant Shireshead team. Shireshead passed the total in the final 2 overs and Sue Swire held out to deprive Longridge of any wickets. The game was played in excellent competitive spirit and Shireshead were thrilled with a well earned victory.
Meanwhile the senior 3rd team were winning at Bare, eventually taking the full 15 points. Ben Brown (34) and Stan Collinson (61) put on 61 for the first wicket and 24 from David Sloan pushed the total to 149 for 8 from their 40 overs. In reply, only Liam Burrow posed much resistance making 62 to add to his 4 wickets in the Shireshead innings. Dan Pye kept up his impressive from taking 4 for 32, and Ben Brown made it a good day for the all rounder taking 3 for 24.