Bramhall’s 2nd XI came to Urmston with a strong team and reassuringly clear skies. Knowing a win was needed, the Beavers’ captain James Davenport won the toss and despite the host’s ground being a well known ‘road’, elected to bowl first.
To begin the innings Stuart Stoneman produced a tight spell keeping Urmston to singles and picking up a couple of key wickets. Ruaridh Patel gobbling in at the other end meant the batsman had no easy runs on offer, with the home side being squeezed to just 40-4 off 25 overs. Captain Davenport then released the arsenal and introduced ‘The Flying Matchstick’ (Tom Drury) and then the fiery off-spin of promising junior Harry Smith. With flight, flight and some more flight, Drury teased four out and although Harry wasn’t sure himself, he spun it past two batters. A tight bowling and fielding effort, building sustained pressure from the off, meant Urmston were restricted to a paltry 81 all out from 36 overs. Leaving Bramhall wth a mammoth 64 overs to chase the score down.
Jack Bridgman coming back into the side after scoring freely against the overseas visitors at the recent Taunton Festival gave the Bramhall innings a quick start with a few powerful strokes, before falling to a good catch at deep backward square leg. But by this point Jack had trimmed the total back to make sure a straightforward chase remained.
Tim Wood and Dave Shoesmith at the crease then attempted to stem the flow of runs(!) but a steady trickle of extras carried Bramhall slowly towards victory. The victory being sealed by Ruaridh Patel in an uncharacteristicly non-reverse sweep like manner, with a straight drive for four completing a comfortable chase with “just” 46 overs to spare.
The 25 points will help with the teams push away from relegation, but more strong performances are still needed to ensure survival in the remaining six games, with Heaton Mersey the visitors this Saturday.