Nailsea fightback falls short

ON a wicket resembling a well worn living room carpet, Frenchay won the toss and inserted Nailsea.

ON a wicket resembling a well worn living room carpet, Frenchay won the toss and inserted Nailsea.

Early run making was hard and extras set the pace on the scorecard, but Nailsea openers Russ Baker and Danny Woollard began to lay down a solid foundation to the innings.

With the score on 39 and spin introduced to the attack, Woollard fell to Stuart Gould, and it was almost two in two for Gould as James Tucker's top edged sweep was dropped.

Tucker was next to go, caught off Gould's bowling and that wicket brought Gareth Dann to the crease, and he and Baker set about rebuilding the Nailsea innings. Between them they put on 66 for the third wicket, showing excellent control and shot selection.

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With two settled batsmen the run rate gradually began to increase and, when Baker (38 off 114 balls) fell to another catch, it was set up nicely for the Nailsea lower order to inject some late pace to the innings. Matt Cornish (28 off 21 balls) looked in little trouble and following the dismissal of Dann for 47, some lusty blows from Pete Hardcastle helped Nailsea close their innings on 179-6.

The Frenchay openers Donaldson and Kylander made Nailsea's total appear somewhat inadequate - earlier in the year the pair had set about the Nailsea bowling, making light work of a 220-run target in 25 overs.

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Positive from the outset and seizing on any loose deliveries, Frenchay reached 113-0 by the 21st over. Then Nick Jury bowled Donaldson, for 62 from 64 balls. Adding only six more to his score, Kylander (51) was then trapped leg before by Stephen Allard and 125-2 became 125-3 when Pete Hardcastle returned to the attack to bowl Masoor Khan. Hardcastle then removed Jordan Khan (6) and Josse Van de Weyer (11) to make it 142-5. Some timely boundaries from Ayub Khan, took the score to 163, but leading wicket taker Hardcastle (4-45) struck again. Khan was trapped leg before for 19 and Stuart Gould followed shortly after, caught behind off the bowling of Baker.

With the score on 169-7 runs dried up and, with overs running out, a tense finale ensued. With six runs needed, Allard returned to capture the wicket of Dan Evans, and pressure told again when Ben Ferrett was run out, making it 175-9.

One over remained; five runs required, Sam Jukes hit the first ball from Allard for a boundary. Two dot balls followed but Jukes kept his cool, driving again through square cover to seal the victory.

Tom Moss returned to action in sensational fashion, launching an amazing attack on Frenchay 2nds' bowlers at The Grove, in an innings that lit up Nailsea's 258-5.

A solid opening partnership with Mark Barnes (31) saw off an accurate opening spell from J Buck, laying the foundations for things to come.

As Moss started to move through the gears Barnes and Simon Clements were dismissed by H Marshall, bringing Dave Blower to the middle. What followed served to underline Moss' dominance at the crease; the third wicket partnership of 131 reducing captain Blower (26) to the roll of admiring spectator.

By the time he was stumped, Moss had amassed 163 from a mere 126 balls, firing 11 fours and a remarkable 12 sixes.

Facing a daunting total, Frenchay were soon one wicket down, with Liam Lester having N Hatch caught by Barnes. The visitors then displayed great resilience, with stands of 54 and 48 for the second and third wickets.

Harry Hope (9-0-30-1) and Ian Sherreard (9-2-30-3) then removed four of the top six, Sixteen-year-old Chris Gale then returned to bowl out the lower order, finishing with an impressive 3-29, and sandwiching another scalp for thirteen year-old Lester.

So, a 74-run win for mid-table Nailsea that must surely rank as the highlight of an inconsistent season to date.

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