Three Victories to start the Season

A great start to the 2008 season

Lodsworth v Ebernoe
Played at Lodsworth
Saturday 26th April 2008

Lodsworth: 77 (James Hickey 26 not out. Alfred De Souza; Reid 4-15)
Ebernoe: 43 (Gibbs 12, Evans 11; Matt Hall 4-8 & Jon Houghton 3-6, Andy Long 2 for 12)
Lodsworth won

With the Indian Premier League in full swing, it was time for Lodsworth to put on their whites and see if they could emulate the world stars. As in previous seasons, Lodsworth’s first opponents of the season were the strong local rivals Ebernoe. In previous seasons Ebernoe held the upper hand, but with Lodsworth’s work ethic and team morale the tide has turned.

Captain Hall started as usual by losing the toss and Ebernoe placing Lodsworth into bat. Alfred De Souza and Rod Taylor opened the batting on a very slow and low wicket. Ebernoe’s bowlers opened with a tidy spell especially Read (4-15) who at times was unplayable. With wickets tumbling at regular intervals, 50 looked out of the question as Lodsworth were 31-5. James Hickey & Matt Hall put on a partnership of 31 before Hall was bowled. It was only De Souza and James Hickey who got in double figures with James reaching a commendable 26 not out. Lodsworth finished 77 all out.

At tea, there was plenty of discussion whether the total was 30 runs short. It was agreed if we could put the ball in the right areas then we would have a game on our hands. The Ebernoe innings started off unbelievably, as Richard Stemp was caught first ball off bowler Andy Long. This was backed up by the ever-reliable Paul Phillips who was unlucky not to take more than the 1 wicket. The pair bowled 17 overs for only 25 runs for 3 wickets. With the game on a knife-edge, Captain Hall brought himself on with Jon Houghton, which proved to be a great double substitution. Both Hall (4-8) and Houghton (3-6) bowled stump to stump and caused problems. Only Gibbs (12) and Evans (11) offered any resistances before Ebernoe were 43 all out.

Overall it was a great team effort and signs that this season may be more fruitful than last year. It was a real team effort but individually, we have to say Matt Hall got Man of Match with some good very good bowling and some good tactical captaincy.

Man of the match Matt Hall

Easeborne v Lodsworth
Played at Easebourne
Sunday 4th May 2008

Easebourne: 80 (P Riding 23. Matt Hall 3 for 6, Graham Braithwaite 3 for 4 and Andy Long 2 for 18)
Lodsworth 87 for 5 (James Hickey 27 not out, Jon Houghton 22 not out Alfred de Souza 17; Paul White 4 for 23).
Lodsworth won

Lodsworth bowled tightly to contain the experienced Easebourne team to just 80 runs. Andy Long and Harvinder Singh were rarely off target as Easebourne struggled to amass 38 runs off the first 21 overs. Jon Houghton kept on the pressure surrendering just 16 runs in an eight over spell. Matt Hall and Graham Braithwaite then swept through the middle order, Braithwaite capturing 3 for 4 and Matt Hall 3 for 6 as Easeborne garnered just 80 runs.

Alfred de Souza started of like a rocket with 17 off the first over but met his nemesis two overs later as he strove for another six. Lodsworth stuttered briefly with the loss of Graham Braithwaite and Ollie King both for ducks before Hickey (27 not out) and Houghton (22 not out) carried Lodsworth to 87 for 5 and a comfortable victory.

Man of the match: Graham Braithwaite.

Kirdford v Lodsworth
Kirdford
Sunday 11th May 2008

Kirdford: 80 (J Lehan 21, B Jeffery 11; Graham Braithwaite 4 for 14, Jon Houghton 2 for 6, John Clifford 2 for 12)
Lodsworth: 82 for 1 (Andy Wilson Smith 61 not out, James Hickey 11 not out; J Upton 1 for 13)
Lodsworth won

In their third game of the season Lodsworth demolished a Kirdford team who are not currently the force that they were two or three seasons ago. It happens to all village teams of course – a cycle that sees one village dominate for a few years and then fade away as older players retire or youngsters go off to University and the team has to build again from the foundations.

Winning the toss captain Jon Houghton standing in for Matt Hall decided to field. Kirdford started cautiously and survived without loss for the first ten overs with Andy Long bowling very well to record 6 maidens. But when Graham Braithwaite and Jon Houghton came on to bowl Kirdford’s innings disintegrated. Braithwaite with 4 for 14 and Houghton with 2 for 6 demolished the middle order. John Clifford made a cameo appearance taking two wickets in his first over and finishing with 2 for 12. Only J Lehan put up any resistance, scoring 21 with extras being the main contributor to the Kirdford total of 80 all out.

Lodsworth reached 82 in just 12 overs with Andy Wilson Smith scoring 61 not out and James Hickey 11 not out. This was James’s third unbeaten innings. The pick of the Kirdford bowling was J Upton with 1 for 13.

Man of the match was a close run thing – Graham Braithwaite again caught the eye after his winter playing in Australia but Andy Wilson Smith deserved the award for his swashbuckling batting on hos first appearance of the season. Overall a good team effort.

Man of the Match Andy Wilson Smith

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