Match Reports - 1st August

County Division 4 North – Steeple Langford 1st XI v Trojans 2nd XI

Steeple Langford 1st XI had a comfortable 87 run win away at Trojans 2nds. Opting to bat first, Langford maintained a good run rate despite losing wickets at regular intervals. Tom Bennett continued his recent good form opening the batting, punishing anything loose for an excellent 80. Martin Grearson (26) and Nick Partridge (28) chipped in with useful runs but it was left to Gary Smith to see the away side to maximum batting points, the final total being 238 for 9 with Smith ending on a fine unbeaten 39. In reply, Trojans struggled against the Langford bowling with Partridge and Smith in particular bowling an impressive opening spell with Smith ending a fine all-round performance by taking 2 for 22 off his 10 overs. Only Raza with a patient 36* from nearly 30 overs and Prudden with a very good aggressive 46 showed any resistance and the home side’s innings petered out to 151 for 9 at the close. Adam McNeilly picked up a couple of useful wickets at the death to finish with 2 for 13.

STEEPLE LANGFORD II v UPPER CLATFORD

The league leaders Upper Clatford were the visitors to Langford on Saturday with the home team keen to dent their unbeaten record. Rob Emm continued his recent good form with the toss winning and electing to field. Chris Miles (4 for 20) and Raj Kumar (1 for 27) took the new ball with both getting good movement in the air and off the pitch. With one ball Chris Miles had the prospect of a hat trick and a five wicket haul but bottled it to keep the moths in his wallet. At the half way stage Langford were well on top with Clatford 57 for 5. For the second week running Darren Harvey can count himself unlucky (1 for 24) while, as has become the norm, Matt Pieterse mopped up the tail (3 for 36). A good performance in the field was epitomised by Stuart Emm taking a great catch on the deep square leg boundary. In position early, catching pose adopted, 10 minutes later the ball came down, never in doubt. Upper Clatford were eventually all out for 141.

With a relatively low score to chase Langford were confident of the win, however it soon became clear just why Upper Clatford are top of the league. The opening bowlers were accurate and got good movement off the pitch and through the air. Adie Hughes (23) looked to dominate from the start but wickets fell regularly at the other end. Raj Kumar (29) batted well as did Luke Emm (18) but the Clatford umpire’s finger (doing both ends for both innings) was up for LBW more often than not. That said things pretty much evened themselves out across the match with Langford benefiting from 3 LBW decisions to Clatford’s 4. With wickets running out Rob Emm (24 n.o.) took it upon himself to finish things off by hitting out but this only led to the run out of Dave Haugh as Emm looked to pinch the strike at the end of an over. Langford came up 10 runs short.

Compliments were received from the Upper Clatford players in that Langford pushed them harder than any other team this season but this was little comfort in defeat.