Pyestock put the disappointment of losing their annual fixture with Crane CC behind them with a surprisingly comfortable victory over Shepperton CC this weekend, with Chris McGovern the hero with 3 catches and an unbeaten 72.
Despite the heavy rain earlier in the week, the damp conditions did not dispel the home side who did well to get the game on using a pitch that bore the scars of a soggy affair the day previous.
Batting first Jon Ford and Glenn Taylor made slow progress against the bowling of John Egan and Porsarann, as timing the ball proved difficult on a slow surface, but amassed 16 runs before Ford was caught well by Alun Cope-Martin for the days first wicket.
This brought the in-form McGovern to the crease, and he too found going tough as the Shepperton bowlers sensed further inroads. The belief was justified as both batsmen were given a lifeline as regulation catches went to ground leaving the Shepperton bowlers frustrated.
Pyestock soldiered on with change bowlers Mark Osbon and Freddie Spiteri remaining wicketless as drinks arrived at the half way mark, with the visitors in a strong position at 76 for 1.
The drinks break, as it often does, provided the breakthrough as new bowler Thomas Pilkington, playing in his first senior game we are led to believe took the wicket of Taylor as a strong shot into the off-side was caught well by skipper Jack Hayes. Pyestock were now 77 for 2.
Jack Bromley now joined McGovern at the crease and both players punished Shepperton for their generosity in the field as Pilkington, Moy and Hayes toiled with the ball. McGovern brought up his half century in the 30th over as the partnership began to prove very useful to the visitors.
Bromley wasn’t far behind, but in the 37th over, the youngster became the third wicket to fall in unusual circumstances. Having already been warned by bowler Hayes with regards to leaving his ground early, the Shepperton skipper took his chance to run out the Pyestock number 4 from within his delivery side. With the appeal upheld, the batsman had to go, as debate was sparked over the legality of the bowlers actions.
McGovern and new partner Colin Butler added another 16 runs in the final 22 balls as Pyestock finished impressively on 200 for 3, the former ending on an impressive unbeaten 72, no doubt thankful for the earlier dropped chances that allowed him to finally settle.
After a superb tea which made Pyestock regret batting first, they set about defending their target, and a full blown wide from Neil Butler proof that tea had not yet settled.
Despite this inconspicuous start, Butler did claim the first wicket as Andy Chin mis-drove straight to Pete Harris who took a good catch.
It was the catching department in which Pyestock would thrive in this game, unlike others this season, as Jack Bromley clung on to a tough chance off of his own bowling to dismiss Mark Pepall for 2 as both Shepperton openers were back in the pavilion within 6 overs.
This brought Mark and Thomas Pilkington into the match and the father and son partnership slowed Pyestock progress through the order as both played cautiously against the tricky bowling of Butler, Bromley, Chris Heath and Glenn Taylor.
It was in the 13th over that the breakthrough was made as Heath found the edge of Pilkington Snr, and wicket keeper Tom Threlfall snaffled a regulation catch.
This wicket seemed to open the floodgates as Shepperton’s oncoming batsmen failed to adjust to the surface, and the match was irreversibly passed to Pyestock in an awful spell for the hosts, Glenn Taylor claimed the wickets of Pilkington Jnr (3), Hayes (6), Spiteri (4) and Moy (13), whilst Chris Heath dismissed Alun Cope-Martin as the home side slumped to 67 for 8.
With the match all but won, Pyestock bowled without pressure and Pete Harris and Chriss Olley performed well with the ball, with Harris claiming the wicket of Porsarann, while Olley was economical in his 4 over spell.
The last pairing of Mark Osbon and John Egan, proved stubborn and had the match been a traditional timed game, Pyestock may have been in danger of having been forced to settle for a draw, but with the 40 over format, this was not a threat and the pair were only delaying the inevitable.
An impressive 36 runs were however added for the final wicket before Chris Heath re-introduced himself and in the 39th over found a way through Egan to end the innings largest partnership and the game, with Pyestock victorious by 87 runs.
This match was a victory in more than just cricketing terms however as the warm welcome, and superb hospitality afforded by Shepperton CC really hitting home with the Pyestock faithful. it is certainly hoped we are invited back for a rematch in the future.