TGCC 216 all out
FAS 219 for 9
A thrilling afternoon’s cricket at the GCG as we welcomed long standing visitors FAS for their 37th visit to Temple Grafton. So often these declaration games peter out, or are won at a canter (typically by FAS). Instead we had a one wicket victory as FAS hauled in their low target with just three overs to spare.
Winning the toss Grafton skipper Rich James elected to bat. In the main due to the fact that he had 6 players present, however at second glance that six included one batsmen, a couple of all-rounders and Howard. So with one eye on killing some time before the others arrived, the skipper took one for the team and opened up with Conor Green. Grubb did for Milky with one that nipped back before Reynolds picked up the wickets of Byrne and Edwards leaving Grafton reeling at 36-3 as scorers and umpires were juggled about. Green followed shortly afterward, smartly stumped, but the cavalry had arrived and between them Bowsher, Farrow and Harvey steadied the ship. Accumulating runs and pushing the score along. FAS’ liberal dose of wide balls helped no end with 48 extras comfortably being Grafton’s highest score. Farrow 20, Harvey 39 and Tommy Benjamin 29 all hidden down the order ensured that Grafton set a defendable target whilst Howard and Sam Roberts (his bat settings turned all the way up to BLART) added a lively 37 runs for the final wicket and added the proverbial cherry on the top.
Tea was taken at a leisurley pace to limit the half an hour’s loss of batting overs and in response Grafton got themselves off to a flier. Much like last week Dan McAdam was the instigator with a sharp opening spell whilst miserly old sod Howard Benjamin floated a succession of yorkers down at the other end, claiming Harrop with one that jagged back in a mile. Wyatt and Houlder slowly dragged FAS back into the game with a vital stand, but a beautifully disguised slower ball from debutant Matt Edwards did for Wyatt’s off stump and Grafton were in the game. As the 20 overs approached, FAS needed around 4 an over but the introduction of Roberts (1-23) and James (2-17) swung the game back in Grafton’s favour. Wickets fell and runs became hard to come by. Still Houlder remained firm. Bowling was juggled about and FAS were 8 down needing 10 to win off 5 overs. Houlder hit Howard for a six but was then dropped the following ball in the deep by Tommy. Zoe Dare fell to another Benjamin yorker and things were tight. The volume from the pavilion increased, Sam bowled a maiden at their number 11 but couldn’t tempt a shot or buy a wicket. Finally, Houlder squeezed one through the outfield for a four and the game was over.
ABsolute belting game of cricket for all involved. James Houlder’s 106* made all the difference but Graftpn bowled and fielded exceptionally well to keep themselves in the game.
Roll on visit #38