Friday, April 27, 2012
Tipton Cricket Club’s season got under way on Sunday with the traditional John McKay memorial match, writes David Birch.
The sides, made up of 24 of Tipton’s finest, were led by two of the club’s vice captains, Jim Bugler and Matt Williamson, and included three new players, Keith Collins, Roger Hunt and Nitin Purandare.
Williamson won the toss and asked Bugler’s men to bat first on a damp wicket.
The showers held off long enough to make a start and Chris Tubbs and Dave Dawson looked comfortable until Dawson tried to hit Paul Williamson across the line and was bowled. Wickets fell as frequently as the April showers, with only Alec Pace (12), John Williamson (17) and skipper Bugler (13) keeping Tubbs company long enough to reach double figures.
Tubbs found scoring no easier than anyone else, but he hung around resolutely until the 19th over for a top-scoring 23.
Paul Williamson and Dave O’Higgins were the leading wicket-taker with three each, but all the bowlers offered a testing challenging on such a slow wicket and Phil Wright, Chris Mason, Simon Bishop, Adam Gibbins, Nitin Purandare and Josh Singh were all rewarded with a wicket each.
A total of 88 ought to have been well within the range of Williamson’s team, but this was to be a bowler’s day. Steve Shaw made up for his nought with three wickets and Bugler, Mark Channon, Keith Collins, Jack Roberts and the two Birches, Joe and David were all hard to get away.
Phil Tolley top-scored and retired on 30; Purandare stuck around for a patient 26 and Roger Hunt and Paul Williamson nearly secured victory but were only able to score a single from Joe Birch’s last over to draw level to tie the match: in the circumstances possibly the most fitting of all results.