posted 23 Jul 2011, 03:39 by Web Master
updated 23 Jul 2011, 03:41 by Mike Chastney
With a much changed team from the Saturday due to several key players being still ineligible for the cup due to the rules regarding playing for the 1sts in the North Lancs league and with other players not available due to a variety of prior commitments it was a journey into the unknown for some of the Cockermouth team. Added to this availability connundrum was also the fact that this fixture should have been played at Sandair but due to an error by the League we were told it was away and were only made aware on the thursday that we were actually the home team, however it was going to cause too mich hassle rearranging the game so we agreed to travel.
On a blistering hot day on a picturesque Culgaith ground the Skipper won the toss and elected to field. With a quite different bowling attack to the previous day it was left to the veteran Richard Wilson and the comeback King Dean Platten to spearhead the attack. Richard bowled a tidy spell in the searing heat. Dean bowling in short spells on his comeback trail also bowled quite tidely without reaklly finding his true rythme. This brought Mark 'Give it a rip' Middleton onto bowl and in a very entertaining spell of bowling infused with some wickedly spun leg breaks which often spun so much they were pitching on the stumps and spinning towards the edge of the bowling crease becoming wides in the process. Mark took 4 wickets and although conceeding 50 runs in the process there were probably about 8-10 wides and he proved to be unplayable at times. Culgaith with their Giggleswick students in to bolster their team proved to have batsmen through their team to score runs, however their New Zealand debutant Brandyn Gardner led the way with a good 70 at the top of the order before being bowled by Steve Chambers. The Culgaith innings ended with them reaching 239 of which their were 30 odd extras, which would prove to be vital in the end!
The Cockermouth innings could not have got off to a worse start, Gardner proved to be even more of a potent threat with the bowl in handb than he had with the bat as in the space of 6 overs Cockermouth succumbed to 9 for 4 with the Kiwi taking 3 wickets in a blistering spell of left arm pace bowling. This left Chambers and the wily and experienced Alan Stables to re-build the Cockermouth reply with 239 seeming a very long way away. However with Gardner finishing his initial spell the pressure was released slightly and the 2 batsmen began to construct a strong partnership, Chambers began to pick off the Culgaith bowling especially helping himself to the Culgaith off spinner. Stables was just beginning to strike the ball effortlessly when he played on to the new spinner. With another quick wicket again putting the breaks on the cockermouth reply Sam Scully walked to the crease needing to score runs and assist his skipper in putting together a strong partnership. Young Scully to his credit did just that he timed the ball beautifully especially on the off side and with Steve they put together a 100 run partnership which included the Skipper bringing up his century with a sweep for 4 behind square. With the tie becoming close and the home team employing virtually all their fielders on the boundary Gardner was reintroduced back into the attack with almost instant success, removing Scully for a well crafted 30 runs.
With almost 40 runs needed off 4 overs and all the fielders bar the keeper and bowler saving boundaries the last over required some sort of miracle to ensure a win, however miracles don't happen often and the 2nd's fell 19 runs short, Skipper Chambers ended on 140 not out in a valiant innings and in reflection after the calamitous start getting so close was a herculean effort by the team.