TGCC 201 for 4
STONELEIGH 170 all out
TGCC WON BY 31 RUNS
200 runs scored? – check
Victory for Grafton? – check
These two factors typically go hand in hand, especially at the GCG; so thanks to Grafton’s new found batting resilience we were able to record a 30 run victory in our first ever game against Stoneleigh. Having climbed through the divisions, the visitors have found things a little more testing in Division 2; the most open of divisions, and find themselves second bottom with just one win all year (albeit a thumping win against Badsey).
Grafton were able to recall Mark Onens and Ian Quiney to replace Howard Benjamin and Sam Roberts and chose to bat on a track that looked like a road, but due to the parcity of water played like a typical slow and low Grafton deck of yore. Kirk went early, plumb lbw having scored 19 off 20 balls and yet again South Africans #1 & #2 dug deep to give TGC a strong backbone, DJ as obdurate as ever and Johnston seeking to hit anything overpitched straight back to the short boundary. Crucially however there was no collapse. Johnston was bowled, as was Killian and at 85-3 with 20 overs to go it was all tightly coiled. Wheeler took advantage of a wayward over to add 20 to the total, but soon got bogged down and it was left to the effervescent Onens to get DJ moving as the pair added 67 for the fourth wicket. Jarrett ended the game unbeaten on 84, with the runs after his 50 taking just 24 balls including a monsterous six over his parents sitting in cow corner. 201 for 4 on a tough deck, should have proved enough.
Badger’s tea pleasingly contained meat for all of those normal people which went down well and there was plenty left over for the swarms of children to devour over the course of the afternoon too.
Stoneleigh’s respose was slow. Lazenby and Moreton looked set on really playing themselves in; the left arm opening pair of medium pacers, Quiney and Pedley bowled well and Ivor’s ten over spell yielded excellent figures of 2-18. Only when the second wicket fell did Stoneleigh begin to show any urgency. Will Thomas (77*) playing some strong sweeps and assertive drives, but wickets fell around him primarily to Killian’s slow bwoling (3-57). Onens finally dismissed Lazenby (40) who slapped a rank pie straight to cover in the 35th over and at this point the Stoneleigh win was seeming unlikely. Thankfully Grafton were able to claim the final wickets as the visitors looked for an improbable result with Adam Kirk claiming three wickets in two overs at the death.
All very tight in Division 2; with Grafton in 7th place but only 40 points off league leaders Dorridge 3rds.