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Match report: Kings CC (H)

Pyestock Threaten to Topple the Kings,

But again fail to see Home Advantage


Pyestock CC Vs Kings CC

Sunday 13th May 2012

Weather Conditions: Dry, Bright, Breezy

Pitch Conditions: Wicket: Soft, Green, Outfield: Very Long, Soft, Very Bobbly.


If Pyestock thought that last season’s 13 run deficit in the draw against old foes Kings CC was close, it was nothing compared to Sundays heartbreaking defeat.

Not since 1996 has the Hampshire based outfit tasted victory against their third longest serving opponents and the years that followed have generally supplied either last gasp draws or crushing defeats.

The tide appears to be turning however with far more even games becoming the normal, and Sundays encounter was no exception.

Returning Captain Neil Butler won the toss and like his counterpart last weekend, allowed the visitors first use of a soft green track. The decision paid instant dividends with the captain himself producing an in-swinging beauty to dismiss Miller with the first ball of the game, and King’s season.

Shell-shocked Kings set about their recovery with Wright and Nangle seeing off some accurate bowling from Butler and Chris Heath, and on a pitch, again proving difficult to score on, did well to move the score on to 18 before Nangle skied a delivery into the grateful arms of Butler at deep mid-on.

As the game progressed it became apparent that a similar script was being written to the previous week, with the ball not coming onto the bat and batsmen getting themselves into normally unnecessary trouble, both Owen Mears and remaining opener Wright mistiming shots to gift Chris 2 more wickets and reducing Kings to 33 for 4.

As Pyestock have learned to their cost in previous years, kings rarely collapse in their batting and also bat right down the order, and this match was no different, with Warne and Melligan again slowing the momentum of the home side before Melligan was bowled by Chris Heath who shortly afterwards collected his fifth wicket, when the desperately unlucky Warne somehow scooping a poor ball up and over his head and into the grateful hands of Vaughan Newcombe behind the stumps, for what is likely to be his easiest catch of the season.

This flurry of activity, had brought Gordon Young to the crease, a player Pyestock are fully aware can cause significant damage to any good work, put in previously, however on the unpredictable wicket, he too seemed to be more concerned at preserving his wicket than scoring against Dan Heath and the introduced Jack Bromley, who returned after his cameo at the end of the 2011 season.

Kings appeared to be comfortable with both Young and Daye at the crease, and looked to be taking Kings towards a reasonable score, Young in particular seemed to find Dan profitable on the leg side. Eventually another breakthrough came, Daye lofted Dan into the mid on reason, where once again, Neil Butler was prowling, and took the catch at the second attempt to give Dan his first and only wicket.

Paul Bygrave assisted and supported Young well; however Jack Bromley soon joined the party with a superb spell that removed first Bygrave, then Young, and finally last man Richard Sones  to bowl out Kings for a mediocre looking 80.

For the first time in years, Pyestock had dismissed a Kings side, and to do so for less than 100 in only 34.3 overs was satisfying, however, having been dismissed for only 84 the week previous, the home side still held reservations, and these would prove noteworthy as the game progressed into the second half.

Missing several recognisable bowlers, Kings opened with Paul Bygrave and Richard Sones, with Jon ford and Glenn Taylor facing a tricky 20 minutes before tea. Pyestock scraped to 11 for 1 with Glenn departing having been trapped LBW by Bygrave.

With a full half of the match remaining and Pyestock requiring 70 runs with 9 wickets, the ball was fully in the court of the hosts, however Kings emerged determined to fight and protect every single run they had earned previous, and doggedly reduced Pyestock to a feeble 17 for 4 within6 overs of the restart, Chris McGovern, Jon Ford and Mike Carpenter falling to the disciplined bowling of Bygrave and spinner Warne.

The Butler brothers were at the crease together and Neil in particular attempted to dig Pyestock out of the huge hole they had found themselves in,  and bludgeoned a quick 12 runs that was not in keeping with any run rate seen previously, before being undone by a Warne ball that simply didn’t rise off the pitch and sent the skipper packing.

Colin soon followed as Gordon Young joined in the wicket fest and soon both he and Warne were running the show, collecting 8 wickets as a pair.

Vaughan Newcombe was soon further treading down the path back to the showers after edging behind and Jack Bromley played an uncharacteristic shot to reduce the home side to 58 for 8 it all seemed lost.

Dan however, who was held back in the batting order to rest a sore groin, was trying to keep the faint hopes of a turnaround alive and scored well, including a 6 off Warne to emphasise his remaining threat. Kings realised this and upped their game, trying to remove Dan from the strike as much as possible and tightening their bowling line, and again it paid off with Dan slightly reaching for a ball that popped into the covers and sparked wild celebrations amongst the Kings fielders.

One wicket remained though and Pyestock required 10 runs from 10 overs. Bowlers Chris Heath and Mark Padwick took the approach of defending and trying to find the odd run without taking the risk of trying to launch either bowler from the park, 3 runs were sneaked out in 4 overs before a slightly more leg side ball from Gordon Young deceived Chris Heath and caught the leading edge to give the bowler a simple caught and bowled as well as a 4th wicket.

Pyestock had fallen 6 runs short and in what was a nail-biting and closely fought battle, had once again finished second best, although some of the relief amongst the visitors was evident as the game finished. The excellent spirit in which the game was played a happy reminder of the sportsmanship that used to reign supreme in these fixtures before the difficulties in the mid 2000’s.


Kings CC 80 All Out (C.Heath 5 for 17)

Pyestock CC 74 All Out

Kings CC win by 6 runs

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