Pyestock CC were humbled this week with a comprehensive 9 wicket defeat at Concorde CC, but it was a case of what might have been as key decisions, went against the away side in an enjoyable encounter in the early summer sun.
Batting first after captain Chris Heath once again couldn’t call the coin toss, Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor looked in little trouble against the bowling of Josh Griffiths and Adam Carter, although Ford was somehow reprieved in the 2nd over with a calamitous drop in the slips from a thick edge. The sigh of relief heard by all around.
Ford and Taylor seemed happy enough compiling the runs until the 7th over when the latter top edged a leg side pull and the high catch confidently claimed by wicket keeper Nick Freeman.
This setback slowed the run rate somewhat with Tom Threlfall given the responsibility of settling the innings down once more but the youngster too was lucky as he squirmed a delivery into the covers at a nice height, with the fielder flat footed, the chance was gone.
Nevertheless, the home side did not have to wait long for their second scalp as Threlfall was bowled in the 11th over as Griffiths picked up a second wicket, and when Ford was also dismissed 2 overs later, Pyestock now looked to their meaty middle order for hopes of a recovery from 60 for 3.
Neil Butler and Dan Heath looked comfortable against the change bowling of David Nash and Dean Carter, but in a familiar theme of the afternoon it was when the batsmen looked at their most relaxed, that they succumbed.
The left arm of Dean Carter first bowled Heath for 7 before Butler somehow reached a wide delivery and slapped it straight back at the bowler for a simple caught and bowled chance.
Pyestock were now in big trouble at 83 for 5 but with the Bromley brothers at the crease, Ben making his first appearance for the side since 2014, hopes of a recovery once again seemed more reality than fantasy. Ben however was unable to clear the cobwebs from his lengthy sabbatical and was bowled for a duck.
Chris Heath (6) provided slightly better resistance before being unluckily bowled by Dean Carter as the back-spinning ball flicked the bail following a defensive shot, and Pete Harris (1) also walked the now well trodden path to the pavilion after having his stumps broken.
Pyestock had squirmed over the 100 mark with Jack Bromley providing the runs and resistance at the other end, and was now teaming up with the entertaining Richard Eynon, who delighted the crowd with his usual array of expansive shots and creative foot movement.
This brought up the joint highest partnership of the innings as both batsmen punished the loose ball to the point that Concorde were forced to reintroduce opener Adam Carter along with George Howard, and it was Howard who produced the breakthrough with Eynon stumped, as he advanced to meet the ball, good work by Freeman behind the stumps
Last man Colin Butler did not see much action, as Bromley was bowled in the 37th over for a brave 40. Pyestock closing on 150, Someway short if the predictions of a healthy score on a pitch with few gremlins.
After tea, Chris Heath and Richard Eynon toiled with the uphill run-ups and both struggled for consistency, with home captain Chris Turvill and Patrick Haddon making light work of adding 21 runs from the first 8 overs, there was a small moment of worry for Haddon who edged to Glenn Taylor at slip, the no-ball call saving the blushes that would have come from the dropped catch.
With little going their way, Pyestock turned to Dan Heath and Neil Butler, both looking to continue their good start to the season last week, and it was Heath who struck in the 16th over, bowling Haddon for 13 and giving Pyestock their first wicket of the 10 they needed for victory.
Almost immediately before however, came the main talking point for the rest of the day, Butler trapping the fluent Turvill in his crease, in front of the stumps, a huge LBW appeal waved away by the umpire, bowler perplexed, and aggrieved in a way that anyone who is aware of how Pyestock’s long serving ex-skipper plays the game will know that something didn’t sit right.
Pyestock battled on, but Turvill was now well into his stride and contributing well to his teams chase. Ben Bromley produced 5 excellent overs, to show he maintains the form shown before his absence and should prove a threat for the remainder of the season, but alas it was was wickets the visitors craved, and they just were not coming.
Glenn Taylor, often the master at breaking partnerships was introduced, as the situation became critical with Turvill bringing up his half century in the 28th over, and thanks to Pyestock’s early collapse, Concorde had 22 further overs to knock off the remaining 49 runs.
With the draw out of the equation, Pyestock were fast running out of ideas, another strong LBW shout was turned down before Heath was removed from the attack, after a highly impressive 12 overs of mixed seam and spin, which kept the host’s top order guessing, but the composed duo at the crease had survived, and although probably relieved to see the end of their chief tormentor, were determined to get the job done between them.
Jack Bromley injected a final burst of pace but by the time he was introduced the game had gone and once 4 overthrows from Ben Bromley had hit the rope, the writing was on the wall. Aptly it was up to Turvil, who carried his bat for 79 to hit the winning single and subject Pyestock to their heaviest defeat (in terms of wickets) since the 9 wicket capitulation at Godalming CC in July 2008.
Pyestock will need to dust themselves down and find a way to overcome newly-named Ewell CC next week, looking to gain revenge on last seasons 5 wicket defeat.