Our Barmy Army Clubs are nearing the end of their seasons. With 4 or 5 competitive fixtures left, let’s take a look at the past couple of rounds from a handful of our 2019 clubs.
After the 1st & 2nd X1 matches were rained off on Saturday 10th, both teams faced Swansea the following weekend. After some incredible work by the club’s groundstaff, the 1st X1 bowled the league leaders out for 143. Steven Mills and Ian Hughes bowling in tandem put together 40 balls without conceding a run in the middle overs(Mills 10-4-14-2 / Hughes 10-4-17-1), but the 2nd innings didn’t quite go to plan as the hosts were rolled out for 73. The 2nds, meanwhile, travelled to the iconic St. Helens ground in Swansea. 3 Under 13s were given their senior premier league debuts: Oliver John, Benjamin Thomas, and Jac Bennett. In a reduced-over match, Carmarthen posted a competitive 249 after 45 overs. Mark Wilson (73) and captain Ian Taylor (72) laid the foundations with Welsh U15 international Owen Bailey adding 43. In reply Swansea fell 30 runs short with Wilson 3-16 & Bailey 4-56 leading the victory charge. Both Thomas and Bennett took wickets on debut. Things then got even better for the Carmarthen U13s, as they won their final on Monday night by a monstrous 111 runs. They will play Gorseinon in the South Wales League Final, while they also await a new date for the Welsh Cup Finals day. Finally, the club’s Under 15s finished a close second to St. Fagans on their own Finals Day, but will go again this coming Sunday against Mumbles. All the best to both age groups as they bid to add more silverware to a cabinet already brimming with metalwork.
A top of the table clash with Ashbourne on the 10th August saw Draycott & Hanbury lose the toss. They were swiftly inserted on a wet, lively track. Thanks to some excellent Ashbourne bowling, no batsmen settled. Draycott & Hanbury were bowled out for a meagre 83 in 35 overs. A promising start saw Ashbourne wickets fall at reasonably regular intervals, before Ashbourne eventually got home at 85 for 7 off 43 overs. Last weekend didn’t exactly go to plan either. Following another lost toss, Draycott and Hanbury were inserted and fell to 55 all out. Unsurprisingly, those runs didn’t prove enough and the opposition (Etwall) ran out comfortable winners. Title prospects look a little slimmer now, but the fight for promotion is very much still on with only two points separating second and third. The 2nd XI fell foul of the weather on two consecutive occasions in the past two weeks. Here’s hoping for a dry one this time round, with the forecast predicting a far better outlook.
As with Carmarthen, Shelley lost both of their fixtures on the 10th August to the weather but did manage some play last weekend. As has been theme so far in this piece, the first XI fell short in their run chase (88 vs 266-4), with the Shelley seconds picking up a convincing win. For the firsts, Bandula-Don returned more than respectable figures of 2-56 from 15 overs, before Harvey Jones made 29 and Sami Aslam 25 as the side fell from 58-1 to 88 all out … and people moan about England’s batting collapses! The Seconds climbed up to 4th after winning by 111 runs as they scored 220-6 on a soft, green wicket. Opener David Greaves was out caught trying to hit over mid-on, not realising he was on 99! Jim Nightingale, meanwhile, chipped in with a quick-fire 41* and 2 wickets in the second innings as Holmbridge fell for only 109. The result sets up an intriguing final few weeks for the twos, with plenty of opportunities remaining to break into the upper reaches of the table.
The Tong Park first XI edged a low-scoring thriller after a lot of rain running up to Saturday. Tong scrambled to 113 all out, and Bardsey had reached 36 without loss in reply before the introduction of 16-year-old Dan Taylor. Dan claimed 5 wickets for 12 runs from his permitted 7 overs. He was helped by Saqib Mir (3-24) and Zulfi Khan (2-9) as Bardsey were shot out for 82. The 2nd XI went down to table-topping Green Lane, managing only 147 all out in reply to the home side’s 228. Will Murray and Adam Hodgson took 4 wickets each for Tong Park Esholt, whilst Andy Oliver made 45 in the run chase. There was no Birthday present for 3rd team skipper Lee Burk, either; his side lost to Leeds Sikh. A depleted side could only muster 146 all out in reply to the visitors’ imposing 289-5.