Season opens with a win
By Mark Palfreeman
Nerves jangle as a nailbiting conclusion to the season opener results in Adwalton win.
As the 2011 season got underway, East Leeds was the venue and opponents for the Second XI in their first competitive game of the season. With the plethora of players available the side included two new names; Wayne Blackburn who was acquired as wicketkeeper from Gildersome in the close season and Chris Taylor, the former Woodkirk CC captain who has joined following a successful season with the bat in 2010 and after the unfortunate folding of Woodkirk as a club.
With his second coin toss win of the season, captain Mark Palfreeman elected to field first on an early season pitch after learning lessons from the previous weeks friendly against Long Lee. Initially this seemed to have benefitted the home side as Martin Kent and Abid Tarvaz put together a half century opening stand.
But a change in bowling did the trick as Andy Ingham came on and profited from the slow pitch bagging 4 wickets for only 38 runs in a tidy 12 over spell. He was ably aided by Chris Smith at the other end who also bowled tightly picking up a fine 4-21.
At 124-9 the innings seemed over, but old head and Captain WD. Surtees held out with L. Crossfield keeping the score ticking over and pushing the score to a respectable 161, with the final wicket falling with only one over remaining.
A deceptively low 161 was always going to be a challenging target on a track which was undoubtedly hard to bat on and indeed that began to look the case as Adwalton lost three early wickets finding themselves 26-3. As captain Mark Palfreeman plugged away, he was supported in strength by Josh Bowles, whose typical swashbuckling style brought runs quickly, with 43 scored off just 35 balls particularly profiting with 21 runs from a rusty over from T. Bowler. A partnership of 53 pushed Adwalton towards the total, until Bowles swung wildly at a ball that clipped the bottom of his off stump.
Reece Farnhill coming in at number 7 showed maturity as he supported his skipper on the way to a score of 17 and put the required total within sight. There was however to be one final twist as Palfreeman, after working his way to 43 holed out by dropping a catch to deep mid-off. This left a nervy Ben Allinson and James Emmott to score the final ten runs, fully aware only two wickets were to fall. Luckily they held out and scored the required 162 with 8 wickets to begin the season with a winning start.