TGCC 276 for 8
WOODBOURNE 192 all out
With Grafton struggling to get out of the relegation zone this year, the home fixture against third from bottom Woodbourne had all the makings of the archetypal relegation “50 pointer”.
With Grafton debutant Rich Harris working in Birmingham until 2pm, the toss became more crucial than normal, to avoid us having to field with 10 men for 30 overs. Killian took out his lucky coin, and, with the toss won, had no hesitation in batting first.
Kirk and Harvey got off to a blistering start, in part thanks to some wayward bowling from a test match hungover Crawshaw, who was struggling with his line and length. With 10 overs gone and 60-0 on the board, things were looking good for Grafton.
Kirk was first to go, caught at point, just as he was starting to open his arms with some exquisite on-drives down the ground. The first ball nerves of Wheeler were soon dissipated as he clattered his second ball high over cover for a one bounce boundary. Wheeler and Harvey took Grafton to drinks, with an above par 120 for 1 off 23 overs. Harvey passed his 50 in the first over after drinks, and then set about punishing the tiring Woodbourne attack. After hitting probably the biggest 6 ever seen at Grafton, he was unluckily dismissed, bowled off his pads for a well-made 70.
Wheeler and Killian continued to drive home Grafton’s advantage, Wheeler using the aerial cover drive well, whilst Killian stuck to his usual mows over cow. Wheeler passed his maiden league 50 with a superb run a ball 58. When he was finally dismissed with 10 overs to go, he had taken Grafton to 210. Farrow batted brilliantly in the final 10 overs for 39 not out, including a micro leg side 6.. Grafton finishing their 45 overs on an impressive 276 for 8.
Tea was classic Holt. Beef, mozzarella, tomato, rocket and enough cake to sink a battleship.
The second innings saw Woodbourne come out fighting. Opener Bates in particular was aggressive to anything pitched up. Club stalwarts Holt and Joyce bore the brunt of his onslaught, and it took the introduction of the leg spin of Ed Harris to remove him LBW for 40 off 27 balls. With Woodbourne having a procession of left handed batmen, Killian opted for the off spin of Harvey and inswing of Rich Harris to shore up the middle overs. Harris was unlucky to not take any wickets, beating the bat on a regular basis. Whilst Harvey burgled 3 wickets in a fine 10 over spell that went for 29.
Adam Kirk replaced Harris and continued his excellent form with the ball, picking up 3 for 38, and in the process bringing Grafton home for a comfortable win.
The win takes Grafton 5 points clear of the relegation zone, and it is all to play for with 4 games remaining.