Bramhall 2nd XI at Widnes 23/06/18

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

After a disappointing performance against Oxton, Bramhall travelled to Widnes determined to improve. Although Widnes have been struggling this season, they had put together an experienced line-up, hoping to break their poor run of results.
Winning the toss, Bramhall elected to bowl first on another warm Saturday. On a flat track, wickets were hard to come by, but eventually Gavin Tomlinson bowled the Widnes skipper, Phil Catterall, for 32, Chritchley was his next victim, caught behind by Reece Linney, but the other bowlers were not matching Tomlinson’s success. With Spencer showing his experience and Wearden starting to accelerate, it wasn’t until the introduction of George Willoughby that Bramhall took another wicket, bowling Spencer for 28. Berger and Wearden then put on the most substantial partnership of the innings until Willoughby struck again to remove Wearden for a well-made 54. Mark Brick joined Berger to continue pushing the score on, but the returning Tomlinson removed them both – Berger having struck a positive 66. With Willoughby snaring his third wicket, Widnes finished on 225 for 7. On a good track, with a fast outfield, Bramhall had stuck to their task well, and bowled with much greater discipline than against Oxton.
Given the conditions the target facing Bramhall was definitely “gettable”, but the pressure on the Bramhall batters was slightly increased by the fact that the side had a longer tail than in most games this season. However Ruaridh Patel and Tom Mason got them off to a good start, putting on 64 together before Mason was LBW to Mitchell for 30. George Willoughby joined Patel and together they added another 47 runs before Willoughby had to retire hurt, nursing a muscle strain in his leg. James Oliver added a quick-fire 15 before being well caught off the bowling of Mark Brick with the score on 135. As Patel continued to bat sensibly, Tomlinson showed his customary determination before being adjudged LBW for 14 to the persevering Dean. He was replaced by James Davenport, the last of the recognised batters in the Bramhall line-up, and when Patel eventually fell for 65 Bramhall found themselves still needing another 50 to win. The hobbling George Willoughby decided that he would play through the discomfort to try and help see his side home. As he became less and less mobile, and added a shoulder injury to his tale of woe, the onus fell on James Davenport to see Bramhall home. He rose to the occasion magnificently, eventually sealing victory with a six, with each of the not out batters having scored 30.

This hard fought victory, showing discipline and determination, takes Bramhall to third place in the league, within touching distance of the promotion places.