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31 August 2013 - 1st XI Alberbury (home), 2nd XI Frankton (away)

First XI

The 1st XI achieved another notable victory in the relegation battle with a solid win against local rivals Alberbury. The visiting openers were faced by possibly the youngest opening attack of all time as James Corfield and Patrick Fletcher opened up, and they acquitted themselves well with controlled bowling. Patrick enjoyed a huge celebration when his father Ian picked up a sharp catch off him in the gulley for his first wicket for the firsts. Patrick picked up another wicket and Richard Powell four as the visitor's innings fell away to 112 all out.

There were a couple of early scares in the reply, but Charlie Clinton and Jonathan Willams made sure of victory in the forty-sixth over.

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Second XI

Wickets fell regularly for Montgomery in their game against the top of the table side and it was only a late rally by Harry Long and Josh Kilmister, along with Jake Wilkinson's accomplished 21 runs that pushed them on to a total of 98.

The Frankton openers pushed the total along quickly and never looked in any trouble until Andrew Mains holed out to Ned Hayes fielding at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Josh Kilmister. They passed the total in the twenty-sixth over.

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24 August 2013 - 1st XI Pontesbury (away), 2nd XI Pontesbury (home)

First XI

Montgomery asked the home side to bat first in one of the games targeted for a win in the latter stages of the season. The home openers however made a confident start and it was only the introduction of Richard Powell and Jonathan Williams that started to get the wickets falling. Jonathan picked up five and Richard four as the Pontesbury middle order fell away. A late flurry of runs from Ryan Davies towards the end pushed the team on to 179 by the end of the innings.

The Montgomery reply failed to get going and only Tim Davies and Andrew Barker looked like achieving victory with 38 and 44. The rest of the team only managed thirty-one runs between them and the team had only reached 131 when the last wicket fell to increase the relegation fears at the end of the season.

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Second XI

Montgomery batted first on a green but true pitch, and lost Brian Corfield for only six runs. Thomas Corfield batted steadily at the other end and Adam Bowen and Jake Wilkinson both carried on their good form from previous matches with 34 and 37 respectively. The loopy slow bowling of Daniel Lakelin confounded the middle order, but the final total of 160 was competitive.

James Corfield on his return to the 2nd XI showed his good form again with three wickets and the home side never looked like getting close to the total, finishing on 95 for eight at the end of the game.

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17 August 2013 - 1st XI Much Wenlock (home), 2nd XI Albrighton (away)

First XI

A fantastic and completely unexpected result against the top of the table side left Montgomery jubilant as they enter the usual end of season relegation battle. Aaron Ruff-Cock led the batting with 52 and he was supported in the middle over by Richard Powell and Charlie Clinton, but the total of 172 looked a reasonable, but not winning score considering the batting talent iof the visiting side.

The game looked lost when the Much Wenlock openers put on over fifty runs, but then a succession of wickets left the team on 149-9. Number eight Sam George made the Montgomery bowlers sweat with a late 40 runs and a nail-biting climax to the match looked like going the wrong way for Montgomery, but Peri Mould eventually got the final wicket with the top of the table side still two runs short. The end of game celebrations were the best of the season so far.

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Second XI

The second XI came up against a stronger side than was expected at the bottom club Albrighton. Tom Wilkinson looked threatening on a fast pitch and a wonder catch by Ian Fletcher at first slip got the wickets tumbling. Big hitting by the batsmen was matched by regular wickets for the Montgomery bowlers and the total of 127 for the loss of five wickets looked like one the 2nd XI could chase down.

The new opening pair of Dave Thomas and Ian Fletcher pushed the score on to 39, but both lost their wickets in quick succession. The winning innings was by Adam Bowen who reached a fifty for the first time in league with batting that dominated a useful attack. A late display of power batting by Tom Wilkinson that included two sixes took the side over the winning line in the thirty-third over.

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10 August 2013 - 1st XI Forton (away), 2nd XI Beacon (home)

First XI

Montgomery were asked to bat by the home team, but the Sayers brothers failed to make an impression as Caspar Mould and Sam Davies made batting look easy. The loss of Caspar brought a couple more quick wickets as both Aaron Ruff-Cock and Tim Davies fell quickly. Richard Powell once again brough stability to the middle order, but the rest of the side fell quickly and a score of 160 for the loss of nine wickets didn't look enough on a reasonable pitch.

The Montgomery opening bowlers looked like they were getting the better of the opening batsmen, but a number of plays and misses didn't result in a wicket and the batsmen moved quickly towards the winning total. Only a run-out by Tim Davies and a stumping by Dave Thomas captured wickets and the side reached the target in the thirty-sixth over.

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Second XI

Beacon have proved to be the 2nd XI's bogey team this year and once again the batting collapsed bewideringly against reasonable , but not overly threatening bowling. The total of 48 at least exceeded (by one run) the total when the teams played in May and only Jake Wilkinson and Ian Fletcher reached double figures.

Mike Williams picked up a couple of wickets in the reply, but the total was reached in the twenty-first over with the Montgomery side scratching their heads to try and understand why they cannot perform against this team.

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3 August 2013 - 1st XI Madeley (home), 2nd XI Madeley (away)

First XI

A weakened First XI were forced to bat first after the visitors won the toss, and it became apparent that overnight rain had affected the pitch badly. Make-shift opener Brian Corfield was quickly followed back to the pavilion by number three Aaron Ruff-Cock after they both received balls that stopped on the surface of the damp pitch. Richard Powell and Andrew Barker steadied the innings but found scoring difficult. A reasonable score still seemed possible when the score stood at 104-4, but the innings then subsided alamingly and ended on 109 all out as Chris Hodson mopped up the tail.

The Madeley innings started slowly, but although the run-rate was rarely above two and over for a while, the visitors always looked in control. Ping Mould took the only wicket which only brought Jonathan Prince to the wicket and he blazed his way to the finishing line, taking only a single over to score the twenty required for victory. Of the bowlers, James Corfield once again showed his emerging class and Richard Powell was only hit for three runs off his eight overs.

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Second XI

Mike Williams asked the home side to bat, but the pitch proved better than expected and the Madeley batsmen found scoring relatively easy with a fast outfield. Number three Pete Sanders was the main threat as he put on 92 runs and he was well supported by Steve Jackson who scored a quick 43 before being caught in the deep by Caspar Mould. Mike Williams was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets as the innings eventually came to an end at 233 for the loss of six wickets

The new opening pair of Thomas Corfield and Caspar Mould looked up to the task of replying and put on over 100 for the first wicket. Thomas Corfield was dismissed for twenty-five, and when David Thomas came to the crease he looked to increase the run-rate, but ended up running himself out trying to take a quick single. Caspar Mould was meanwhile on his way to making 58 runs in an accomplished innings and John Barker also pushed the score on with 40 not out. The innings ended on 207 for the loss of four wickets, but a useful points haul was a good result for the team.

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27 July 2013 - 1st XI Shelton (away), 2nd XI Shelton (home)

First XI

A fine bowling effort saw one of the division's top sides under pressure in the first half of the game. Richard Powell and Aaron Ruff-Cock led the way as slow bowling seemed to be the key, although James Corfield marked his First XI debut with a very encouraging performance and the wicket of one of the openers. The innings ended on 150 when the team was all out in the forty-ninth over.

Montgomery opbviously saw their chance of a big upset and things looked well-set as Tim Davies and Aaron Riff-Cock looked settled after Rob Bennett had been dismissed early on. Tim put on 15 and Aaron 44, but after the loss of Tim, and then Andrew Barker who started well, the innings subsided quickly as the team struggled to cope with Shelton's pro Kim Rose and the game ended in the thirty-third over when the score was on 108.

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Second XI

Mike Williams confidently decided to bat first against one of the strugling teams in the division, and he was rewarded by the team's highest total in recent years. Most of the batsmen chipped in, the top scorer being Jake Wilkinson with 38, and a ninth wicket stand of over 70 between Mike Williams and Tom Wilkinson pushed the score on to 239 after 40 overs.

There wasn't much resistance from the Shelton batsmen with only Zeke Mellor and skipper Matt Cadwallader reaching double figures. Dave Jones was the pick of the bowlers as he took his first ever five wicket haul and the innings ended after only 77 runs, resulting in a massive winning margin of 162 runs.

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20 July 2013 - 1st XI Newtown (home), 2nd XI Newtown (away)

First XI

Skipper Tim Davies was hoping a second home victory would push Montgomery up the First Division table and he decided to bat when he won the toss. The loss of Sam Davies to a smart catch in the slips didn't seem to have upset the plan as Richard Powell and Aaron Ruff-Cock pushed the score along to 59 - 1 before Powell was caught behind for 23 trying to cut the spin of Jono Davies. Aaron Ruff-Cock looked well set, but in a critical moment he tried to rush Davies and was stumped by keeper Dai Brown. The Montgomery innings then went into panic mode as a succession of batsmen tried to up the run rate with their eyes on the 200 mark and the final total of 169 - 9 was a little short of earlier expectations.

The Montgomery bowlers knew that two or three critical wickets would win the game, but Newtown got off to a good start and it wasn't until the total reached 65 that Richard Powell made the first break through. Tom Foulkes then went to carry on the good work with the impressive Steve Davies at the other end. At times the run rate slowed, but Newtown were well set to overcome the target throughout the innings and they achieved it in the forty-fourth over for the loss of only three wickets.

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Second XI

A confident Newtown skipper decided to bat when he won the toss, and he led the early part of his side's innings and although wickets fell regularly the home side were able to post 166 at the end of their 45 overs. Once again James Corfield was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets for 31 runs off 11 overs.

After a good start by the openers the Montgomery reply looked steady, and although some batsmen went cheaply most chipped in, with Jake Wilkinson carrying on his good form for a top score of 25. Eventually however it came down to a last wicket stand to win the game, and it was Patrick Fletcher who fittingly stroked the ball for four to pass the target in the forty-third over.

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13 July 2013 - 1st XI Lilleshall (home), 2nd XI Allsott (away)

First XI

In another game identified as a 'must win' Montgomery slumped early on to 55-5 as they batted first after Tim Davies won the toss. Poor batting and a comical run-out of Aaron Ruff-Cock when he looked well-set seemed likely to condemn the home side to a damaging defeat. However, the long batting order paid off as first Jonathan Williams with 25, Charlie Clinton with 18 and Harry Wilkinson with a quick 33 at the end supported Richard Powell's 48 to push the side's score over 200 for the fourth time in a row.

The Montgomery bowlers got into the Lilleshall batsmen early on, with danger man Ed Keenan being caught spectacularly by Jonathan Williams as the ball seemed to be speeding over his head in the slips for four off Harry Wilkinson. Wickets were then shared between six of the bowlers as the innings slumped to 158 all-out in the forty-second over and Montgomery picked up a very valuable 24 points.

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Second XI

Another score over 200 was made by the club as Bryan Corfield with 31, Adam Bowen with 38, James Corfield with 31, and Jack Williams with an outstanding 58 led the rush on a magnificent batting wicket at Allsott. The final figure of 215 was the highest of the season, but there were some nerves that the home team could do better.

These worries were realised as the top of the order made solid starts and Ali Raza made his way to 68. However, James Corfield picked up regular wickets and by the time the innings passed the 200 mark there was not enough time to finish the job as the innings ended on 201 - 8 at the end of 45 overs.

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6 July 2013 - 1st XI Broseley (away), 2nd XI Knockin (home)

First XI

Montgomery had the luxury of picking from the biggest squad of available players this season and took a strong team away to one of the Division's leading teams. Returning pace bowler Ping Mould opened the attack, but it was Harry Wilkinson at the other end who picked up the wicket of opener Adam Holinshed for a duck. This early success was followed by a stand of 82 runs by the home club, and, although another three wickets were captured the total of 232 - 4 was a formidable one.

There was some opitmism at the top of the innings following the 290 scored the week previously, but when Tim Davies fell early he was followed by a succession of wickets and it was only a fine innings of 78 by Sam Davies that saved Montgomery's blushes as they were finally dismissed for 181 in the forty-ninth over.

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Second XI

The visitors won the toss and decided to bowl at a hot and sunny Lymore. Although Thomas Corfield and David Thomas were lost early on, the former to a running mix-up with his opening partner and father Brian, three innings took the home side over the 200 mark. Brian Corfield's 20 gave the stability at the start, then Jake Wilkinson, batting with his trademark Mongoose, pushed the score on with his well crafted 54. Jake was then joined by Jonathan Williams, whose 61 pushed the side to 204 and caused the veteran to head straight for the showers when the forty overs were up.

Wickets were shared in the Knockin reply with Joe Haycock in particular spinning his way to good figures of 3 -30. Once again James Corfield knocked over danger batsmen at the top of the innings, including Ed Nicholas who had scored 130 the previous week, and the visitors innings eventually ended on 110 all out

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29 June 2013 - 1st XI Condover (away), 2nd XI Condover (home)

First XI

At last the Montgomery First XI lived up to their full potential and overpowered the Condover team with an impressive display of batting and bowling. They were asked to bat by the home team and lost Sam Davies caught behind early on, but then Aaron Ruff-Cock and Tim Davies embarked on a match winning partnership of over 150 runs. Aaron had reached 87 and Tim 68 when they were dismissed, but the powerful batting was continued by Andrew Barker, Jonathan Williams and Richard Blayney. When the fifty overs were completed the team had scored 290 - 8, one of the highest totals achieved by the club in recent years.

The Montgomery bowlers immediately got stuck into the Condover batsmen, with Richard Powell leading the way with three wickets. A run out by Sam Davies increased the home side's woes, but a seventh wicket stand between Simon Dodds and Patrick Higham delayed Montgoemery's romp to victory, until Ed Bennett joined the party with three wickets at the end. The Condover innings was ended in the forty-third over and Montgomery had won the game by a margin of 125 runs to earn a very valuable 24 points.

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Second XI

Mike Williams asked the visitors to bat first and a strong batting line-up looked to have the measure of the Montgomery bowlers despite a slow start caused by controlled bowling by James Corfield and Patrick Fletcher. The introduction of Mike Williams turned the game as he picked up both openers with his trade-mark in swingers, and accurate spin bowling by Joe Haycock and swing bowling by Ieuan Griffiths helped to restrict the batsmen. James Corfield returned to pick up two wicket towards the end, and Ned Hayes' first bowl for the team this season was rewarded by a wicket. The innings ended on a challenging, but achievable 142-9.

In reply Montgomery started slowly, and they lost openers Thomas Corfield and Adam Bowen just as they reached double figures. The main part of the innings was built around a solid 30 from David Thomas, with acceleration coming from Jake Wilkinson as he raced to 24 before being caught. There was a nervous few overs after Thomas was dismissed, but the maturity of skipper Mike Williams brought the team home in the forty-first over.

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22 June 2013 - 1st XI Welshpool (home), 2nd XI Willey (away)

First XI

Welshpool made the short trip to Lymore and decided to bowl first on a wet pitch with more rain threatened. Despite the loss of a couple of quick wickets Tim Davies, Jonathan Williams and Andrew Barker played well in support of Aaron Ruff-Cock who knocked a quick 64 off 46 balls. The innings finished with a quick rush for runs and the team were very satisfied as they went into tea on 210 after their 45 overs.

Welshpool lost three quick wickets and it wasn't until a fourth wicket stand of 86 between Ryan Preston and Rob Birch that the visitors gained some control. Weather interruptions meant that their innings was curtailed after 37 overs when they had reached 167 - 6 and the game ended in a very valuable winning draw for the Montgomery side. The pick of the bowlers was Harry Wilkinson with 3 - 43 off ten overs.

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Second XI

The long trip to Willey allowed the Montgomery side to listen to radio commentary of the Lions' victory in Australia, but a damp pitch greeted them on their arrival. Skipper Mike Williams lost the toss and the team were asked to bat first. Ian Fletcher was dismissed quickly and scoring was heavy going with a slow outfield and accurate bowling. Only David Thomas made headway in the top half of the innings, and his knock of 32 kept the score ticking overs as others came and went. Josh Faulkner hit out at some of the slow bowling and made it to 17 before swiping at one too many, and after Thomas was dismissed it was left to Mike Williams to drag the side past the 100 mark. He finished on 26 not out when the innings ended on 113 - 9.

James Corfield then produced a blistering spell of fast and accurate seam bowling and demolished the Willey top order, picking up four wickets in his first three overs, each bowled for a duck. Accurate bowling from Keith Griffiths and Patrick Fletcher prevented the remaining batsmen scoring freely, but the game was in the balance all the way to the end as Lewis Hurdley kept the Willey innings together with 47 runs. The innings ended on 91 -7 and Montgomery earned a deserved winning draw. James Corfield picked up his fifth wicket in his return spell to return impressive figures of 5-17.

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15 June 2013 - 1st XI Alberbury (away), 2nd XI Frankton (home)

First XI

Montgomery travelled away to their local rivals for yet another 'must win' game, but failed again to kick-start their season in a lack-lustre losing draw. Skipper Andrew Barker paid for his decision to bowl first as Alberbury amassed a formidable 278 - 4 with the middle order batsmen Ed Kneale and James Wynne in particular enjoying the Montgomery bowling in an unbeaten fourth wicket stand of 157.

Sam Davies provide the core of the Montgomery reply with his first fifty of the season, and most of the other batsmen chipped in but overhauling the target never looked likely as wickets fell at regular intervals. When the innings ended on 193 - 8 the side had just managed to score enough for a single draw point.

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Second XI

Top of the table Frankton came to Montgomery with a strong side of youngsters in good form. Mike Williams decided to bowl first, and he was rewarded with a controlled performance by all his bowlers as they restricted the vistors to 175 - 8 in their forty overs.

The Montgomery batsmen struggled against the Frankton bowlers, particularly Tom Cockayne who picked up four of the top five. Only Ian Fletcher survived for long and it wasn't until he was joined by James Corfield that some resistance was forthcoming. James was not out in the end for 23 as the team held on for a losing draw on 109 - 9.

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8 June 2013 - 1st XI Pontesbury (home), 2nd XI Pontesbury (away)

First XI

The game was targeted as a must-win fixture by skipper Tim Davies, and on winning the toss he confidently decided to bat first. He was rewarded with a good opening partnership between himself and Sam Davies, but when Sam was dismissed charging the leg spinner the gates were opened and four quick wickets followed as the innings slumped from 51-0 to 70 - 5. A rally by Andrew Barker and Richard Powell pushed the score on again, but the final total of 150 all out was at least thirty runs short.

The Pontesbury reply started shakily with a run out by Sam Davies and the loss of number three Gareth Pugh for a duck, but a partnership of 124 between opener Andy Robinson and number four Dave Thomas moved the innings steadily towards the total. A late wicket for Aaron Ruff-Cock was not enough to disrupt the chase and it ended in the fortieth over with a disappointing loss for Montgomery that puts them in a difficult position approaching the middle part of the season. The talk in the bar afterwards was about missed opportunities, and several players were fined for dropped catches.

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Second XI

The Second XI also targeted the game as a must-win, and the innings progressed well after they were asked to bat. Leading the way were Brian Corfield with 35 and Ian Fletcher with a well crafted 55 as they both made the most of the hard Pontesbury wicket.

The Pontesbury reply was built around a partnership between opener Phil Hartshorn and number three Alex Bromley. Both made steady progress, but Montgomery were content that the batsmen never quite cut loose, although the home side always maintained wickets in hand. This was made to count when the run-rate was increased towards the end, with Stan Davies' spin in particular getting harsh treatment. Even so, the home side only passed the target with eleven balls to spare.

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1 June 2013 - 1st XI Much Wenlock (home), 2nd XI Albrighton (home)

First XI

Montgomery travelled away to top of the table Much Wenlock determined to put up stiff resistance against the team who have dominated every game they've played this season. Asked to bowl, Montgomery had the best possible start as the first of the home side's imports, Irfan Saroop, was dismissed pulling the first ball of the day straight into Sam Davies' hands at mid-wicket. The number three fared little better as he was bowled by the first ball of Andrew Barker's second over. The greatest resistance came from opener Scott Thurber, until he was run out by a smart piece of fielding by Mike Williams, and Asif Iqbal, who was eventually undone by Aaron Ruff-Cock's fast ball. The wickets were shared evenly by the bowlers' with Aaron Ruff-Cock returning best figures of 3-27 as the innings finished on 131 all-out - a very impressive effort by the bowlers who dismissed the home side for their lowest total of the season.

Montgomery found batting difficult on a pich with low bounce against some naggingly accurate bowling. Dave Thomas battled it out from number three, and with Tim Davies formed a partnership that looked to sap the energy from the opposition, but both were eventually dismissed. The rest of the batsmen failed and it was up to Richard Powell, Rob Yewdall and Harry Wilkinson to make a late bid for a win, but this was ended in the forty-ninth over when the innings ended on 92 all-out.

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Second XI

A midnight telephone call to skipper Mike Williams to inform him that the opposition could not raise a team meant there were eleven disappointed Second XI cricketers who had to fill a sunny Saturday afternoon shopping with their wives and girlfriends, washing the car or mowing the lawn.

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Sunday 26 May 2013 - Montgomery CC v Montgomery CC

In a long awaited game the visiting Montgomery Cricket Club from Southend made the long trip to play us on a glorious Sunday afternoon with Lymore Park looking its best in May sunshine. Stiff from the long journey the visitors decided to bat first and openers Peter Hall and Stubbington started the innings strongly. 'Stubby' stayed there for the majority of the innings amassing 97 runs while the rest of the team chipped-in as the side finished on 146 after their forty overs.

The reply got off to a slow but steady start and needed stabilising by John Barker, playing the game for the first time in nearly a year. His 51 was the core of the reply and the game was eventually won by his partnership with son Andrew Barker.

After the match the two sides retired to the Dragon Hotel and the home Montgomery team presented the visitors with a cap and shirt. Hayley Griffiths was serenaded on her eighteenth birthday and Town Crier Sue Blower and Mayor Mark Michaels also made sure the visitors felt welcome as the cricketers sampled the more unusual offerings on the spirit shelves of the bar. Both teams are now looking forward to another fixture next season!

Pictures of the game and the after match festivities are here.

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25 May 2013 - 1st XI Forton (home), 2nd XI Beacon (away)

First XI

Montgomery secured their first win of the season in a low scoring game against Forton. Knowing the strength of the opposition lay in their bowling, returning skipper Tim Davies asked the visitors to bat and he was well rewarded as his bowlers sharing the wickets while skittling them out for 73.

The Montgomery openers got the side off to a slow start and Rob Bennett was dismissed for a duck after eighteen balls, but Tim Davies and Aaron Ruff-Cock steadied the reply to get the score to thirty seven by the time Tim was caught off the bowling of Steven Cartwright. The rest of the home batsmen struggled in the conditions and it was left to Charlie Clinton to get the side over the line for the loss of eight wickets in the twenty-third over.

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Second XI

The Second XI batting is becoming a real concern as they were skittled out yet another low score away at Frankwell. They were feeling confident after good bowling, particularly from James Corfield and Ieuan Griffiths, had restricted Beacon to 155 after their 45 overs. There were five ducks in the Montgomery innings, including three first ballers and a hat trick by the opener Charles Higgin, and only Ian Fletcher offered significant resistance with fourteen runs. A tenth wicket partnership between Mike Long and son Harry ensured it wasn't the lowest score made by the side in recent years, but considerable improvement is needed if the team are to make an impression in the division.

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18 May 2013 - 1st XI Madeley (away), 2nd XI Madeley (home)

First XI

Montgomery lost a high scoring game they could have won away at Madeley. Rob Bennett won the toss and asked the home side to bat. Opener Stephen Pugh led the scoring with his second century against Montgomery in two years, but the Montgomery bowlers were satisfied with their efforts because the batting never quite cut loose, particularly with the tight slow bowling of Richard Powell and Aaron Ruff-Cock. Skipper Bennett also declared himself pleased with the team's concentration in the field throughout the fifty overs as the innings finished on 220.

The Montgomery innings always kept ahead of the required run rate with Aaron Ruff-Cock on his return to the club leading the way with measured batting and some big hits over the boundary in his 66 runs. Sam Davies supported him well, and Andrew Barker scored a lively fifty coming in at number nine. Key wickets however were lost at critical points and it was this that cost Montgomery the game as they were dismissed for 205.

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Second XI

Losing the toss was critical as the 2nd XI suffered another disappointing loss after being dismissed for 105 with only Brian Corfield and Dave Jones reaching double figures on a damp pitch. Despite James Corfield's two wickets at the start the Madeley number three and four batsmen settled down to their task and took the side past the total in the twenty-third over.

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11 May 2013 - 1st XI Shelton (home), 2nd XI Shelton (away)

First XI

Montgomery suffered their second home defeat to a strong Shelton outfit. Although the batting was determined, the run rate wasn’t quite enough to put the opposition under pressure and it took middle order runs from Charlie Clinton (31 no) and Jonathan Williams (25 no) to give Montgomery something to bowl at.

Tight bowling from all the Montgomery bowlers prevented Shelton from cutting loose and they only overhauled the target in the thirty-seventh over for the loss of four wickets.

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Second XI

The 2nd XI game only lasted nine balls, but James Corfield’s penetrating over of seam and a stunning catch by Ian Fletcher off Mike Long’s bowling meant that the team retired to the pavilion in good spirits to watch the rain and hail fall.

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4 May 2013 - 1st XI Newtown (away), 2nd XI Newtown (home)

First XI

After being asked to bat first, Montgomery feared the worst as they were reduced to thirty-five for the loss of five wickets during the long opening spell of bowlers Craig Davies and Dave Anthony. However, the innings turned when the change bowlers came on and Charlie Clinton and Andrew Barker made the most of their loss of control. Charlie's 43 was his highest innings for the first XI and meant that Montgomery posted a challenging 163-9 at the end of their fifty overs.

Good fortune followed Montgomery at the start of the Newtown innings with Andrew Barker accounting for Newtown lynch-pin Steve Davies in the first over and soon after Ally Laird popped the ball back to him for a caught and bowled. Tom Goodman was caught behind at the other end and Montgomery were well on top. Steadier innings were played by Richard Smout and Sam Cooke, but the reply was always behind the over rate. Nevertheless, a quick 21 by Craig Davies could have made a difference and at one point all three outcomes were still possible with five overs to go. In the end the controlled bowling of Andrew Barker, Charlie Clinton and Rob Kinsey meant Montgomery came away with a very creditable winning draw.

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Second XI

Good bowling by the Montgomery bowlers reduced Newtown to 79 all out. Top of the wicket takers was Keith Griffiths, who conceded only two runs for his four wickets, and he was ably supported by James Corfield and Clive Jones, who took two wickets apiece, and Mike Williams and Ieuan Griffiths who took one each.

Unfortunately the Montgomery reply slumped to 68 all out. For a while, when Stan Davies and Keith Griffiths were together, everything looked under control. If they had spent another five overs together victory would have been secured, but they were both dismissed and the team were defeated in a game they felt they were sure to win.

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27 April 2013 - 1st XI Lilleshall (away), 2nd XI Allscott (home)

First XI

Skipper Tim Davies asked the home side to bat and he was rewarded by quick wickets at one end as Ed Bennett, Harry Wilkinson, Charlie Clinton and Richard Powell all picked up wickets. At the other end Simon Millington was working his way to the game's top score of 63 and other players continued to chip in with quick runs, but the innings was ended in the thirty-ninth over when the team were all out for 189 with wickets shared between all the bowlers.

The reply started well, but the run rate was always behind that required. Top scorer was Sam Davies with 36, but Caspar Mould with 17, Richard Blayney with 18 and Stan Davies also contributed. Eventually the game ended with the score on 152 for the loss of eight wickets.

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Second XI

Montgomery put on a solid 163 runs after being asked to bat, with Dave Thomas and Keith Griffiths the top scorers with 36 and 38 respectively. Keith's innings in particular looked to be putting the side in a winning position and included a massive six clubbed over the pavilion. The rest of the batsmen found the bowling difficult to handle, especially the spin of Awwal Gani who ended up with six wickets.

The Allscott batting was stronger than last year and despite the capture of Tim Clare for a duck strong contributions from numbers 2, 3 and 4 meant that the required runs were knocked off in the thirty-second over.

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20 April 2013 - 1st XI Broseley (home), 2nd XI Knockin (away)

First XI

Stand-in skipper Rob Bennett won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. Despite the awful weather in the weeks leading up to the start of the season the pitch played well and Broseley batted steadily, reaching 171 for the loss of six wickets at the end of fifty overs. Ed Bennett was the best bowler with three wickets.

Montgomery's reply started badly as Caspar Mould and Richard Blayney fell cheaply, but Rob Kinsey made a solid start and this was continued by new-comer Richard Powell. The scoring however was slow and the target looked unreachable until Andrew Barker started taking the fight to the bowlers, knocking 36 undefeated runs. In the end though he was left with too much to do and the innings ended on 138 for the loss of eight wickets.

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Second XI

Mike Williams put the home side in on the first game of the season, and their 216 looked like a daunting total for the Montgomery side. However, the batting of Thomas Corfield, who continued his good form from the end of last season, and Ian Fletcher got the reply off to a reasonable start. Jonathan Williams then came in and was joined by Keith Griffiths and they chased down the target at the end of the forty-fourth over.

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Cricket Round-up 2012

17 November 2012 - Annual Dinner and Awards Night

The cricket club looked back at their season at the annual dinner, and also enjoyed themselves as Montgomery Town Hall turned into a James Bond themed Casino venue courtesy of Hayley Griffiths. On the field both teams faced new challenges in 2012 following re-organisation of the leagues at the end of the previous season. The First XI started strongly with notable victories over Newtown, Knockin and Alberbury, but their early confidence was not sustained as unavailability and weather disruption meant consistency was difficult to maintain. A poor mid season, compunded by controversial and crucial umpiring decisions in the second half of the season, meant that the team had to work hard to avoid relegation towards the end. Outstanding players during the season included Tim Davies, who adapted well to his new captaincy responsibilities, Neil Tuffin who gained a new lease of life after relinquishing the captaincy at the end of last season, and Rob Kinsey who picked up both the batting and the bowling awards. At the other end of the age spectrum Andrew Barker's controlled bowling was perfectly suited to the wet conditions and Jack Williams put in a couple of spells of fierce fast bowling. Rob Bennett won the Fielder of the Year Trophy for the second consecutive season, underlining his emergence as an outstanding keeper, and Neil Tuffin won the Performance of the Year for his 5-15 in the last match of the season. Neil's contributions to the club both on and off the field also meant he secured the Clubman of the Year Award.

The Second XI found themselves in a surprisingly inconsistent league with strong teams such as Wellington and Welshpool alongside much weaker teams such as Allsott and Albrighton. A long mid season break of five weeks caused by the wettest summer anyone could remember meant that consistency was difficult, but the mix of age and experience ensured that the team finished safely in seventh place. Brian Corfield secured the batting trophy after regularly contributing to the team's totals, including the best batting display of the year with his 77 not out against Welshpool, and Tom Wilkinson's 8-49 won the Performance of the Year Trophy and helped him win the bowling trophy. Other players who made notable contributions included Harry Wilkinson, who won the club's Young Player of the Year Award, and Thomas Corfield who showed determination in his batting, particularly in his 41 against accurate pace bowling away at Wellington.

Click here for the photographs.


15 September 2012 - 1st XI Broseley (home), 2nd XI Wellington (away)

First XI

Montgomery still had relegation fears at the start of the game, but a comprehensive win not only sealed their place in Division 1 but also allowed them to start their end of season celebrations early. Neil Tuffin bowled what many believed to be his finest spell, capturing five wickets for fifteen runs with seven maidens in his fifteen overs. Aided by Jack Williams who captured three and Rob Yewdall who had two the innings collapsed to sixty all out with none of the batsmen reaching double figures.

The total was knocked off in the twenty-ninth over with Sam Davies leading the charge to the pub with 42 not out.

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Second XI

Montgomery travelled away to Wellington to face the top of the table team pressing for maximum points to secure the title. The home side batted first and duly piled on the runs, racing to 253 before declaring in the thirty-eighth over. Highlights for Montgomery were the performances of young bowlers James Corfield and Patrick Fletcher, with Fletcher also running out danger batsman Bruce Harris with a smart piece of fielding.

There was another highlight for the youngsters in the Montgomery side as Thomas Corfield stood up to a fast and hostile spell by the pacy opener Ben Keeble. He cut and glanced his way to 41 between ducking below bouncers before he was eventually given out LBW. The other batsmen couldn't stay with him however and he innings ended on 115 all out with spin bowler Koottalai Srinivasan causing the most damage with five wickets.

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8 September 2012 - 1st XI Market Drayton (away), 2nd XI Pontesbury (home)

First XI

This was probably the most important game of the season for Montgomery as they faced the team drectly below them in the race to avoid relegation. Unfortunately the toss was lost and they were asked to bat first, and the batting immediately came under pressure with the loss of two quick wickets and the unfortunate run-out of Tim Davies. Richard Blayeny, Andrew Barker and Jack Williams did their best to steady the innings but it ended on a below par 125 all out.

Neil Tuffin attempted to win the game single handedly with his bowling and his five wickets left the innings struggling on 78-8. Victory looked likely but 36 from number 10 Jack Allman took his side to victory in the forty-fourth over, leaving the Montgomery team bitterly disappointed although the bowling points achieved may be crucial at the end of the season.

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Second XI

Pontesbury batted first on a slow and low bouncing wicket and the Montgomery bowlers took regular wickets to keep on top of the game, but they were unfortunately two bowlers short and this cost them dearly as wides and other extras contributed 41 to Pontesbury's final score of 138.

Montgomery were always behind the required rate in reply, but good contributions from Caspar Mould, Dave Thomas and Charlie Clinton meant they were always in with a chance. However the wickets fell regularly at the other end and the start of the last over left Montgomery with 25 runs to get and one wicket to defend. They failed in the first task but Gareth Grifiths played out the last few balls and the innings ended on 111-9.

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1 September 2012 - 1st XI Frankton (home), 2nd XI Shelton (away)

First XI

Montgomery were looking for a strong performance to ease their relegation worries, but luck was against them as they loss the toss and were asked to bat by the visitors. However, openers Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies made the most of the opportunity to bat together for the first time in several weeks and they put on over fifty for the first wicket. There then followed a mini collapse as Richard Blayney, David Thomas and Tim Davies all fell cheaply but Rob Bennett and Andrew Barker rescued the innings towards the end as they took quick singles and hit bad balls hard. The innings ended on a challenging 176-6 after fifty overs.

The Frankton top order started well against the bowling of Ping Mould and Neil Tuffin and it was left-handers Ian Whitticase and Jason Brookes who led the charge. At one point defeat looked inevitable but then the home bowlers started to change the game, particularly Ping Mould who finished with four wickets. Good boundary catches by Andrew Barker and Dave Thomas removed danger men Brookes and skipper Jordan Parry and the final over began with all to play for. The innings eventually ended on 171-9 and Montgomery came away with a very creditable winning draw.

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Second XI

Montgomery were under pressure from the start of the game as the top three Shelton batsmen scored heavily, with Harry Jones in particular difficult to remove as he raced to 71. Once the top three were removed the bowlers were on top as only one other batsman reached double figures, but the rush of wickets came too late as Shelton finshed on 162-7 off forty overs.

In reply Montgomery batted poorly and none of the batsmen managed to get settled with Tom Wilkinson the best of the bunch with 20. The innings ended on 88 in the thirty-eight over with the team losing by seventy-four runs.

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25 August 2012 - 1st XI Cound (away), 2nd XI Albrighton (home)

First XI

All the players were relieved to get through a match that was constantly threatened by the weather, despite a ten minute break for rain and a half hour break for overhead thunder and lightning. Skipper Tim Davies won the toss and asked the home side to bat and tidy bowling managed to restrict the innings during the first twenty overs. The important wicket of Graham Trow was picked up by Charlie Clinton with a big swinging delivery that bowled him around his legs, but a strong partnership between number 4 Joe Yapp and number 5 Greg Lawrence meant that the Cound skipper had the opportunity to declare in the forty-sixth over when the total was on 200.

The quick loss of opener Sam Davies meant that the top order were under pressure and the innings didn't get going until Rob Bennett joined Tim Davies and they managed to put on nearly fifty runs. Further contributions, including those of Jonathan Williams, Rob Yewdall and Neil Tuffin, meant that the innings finished on 165-8 when the game ended. Tuffin's innings included a remarkable six off Andy Harrison that had to be retrieved from the potato field.

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Second XI

Another match lost to the weather. This time heavy rain on Friday followed by a torrential shower at Saturday lunchtime.



18 August 2012 - 1st XI Madeley (home), 2nd XI Albrighton (away)

First XI

Once again wet conditions led skipper Rob Bennett to ask the visiting team to bat when he won the toss. His decision was justified as his bowlers made in-roads into the Madeley batting line up. At one stage the innings was floundering on 80-8 as Andrew Barker picked up a five wicket haul, but danger batsman Stephen Pugh remained at the crease and turned the innings with a stand of 77 runs for the ninth wicket with Naz Akhtar. The final total of 162-9 was disappointing for the Montgomery team after their good start.

Sam Davies formed the core of the Montgomery reply and his 46 signals a welcome return to form, but few of the other batsmen could stay with him until Jonathan Williams, Andrew Barker and Jack Williams started to fight from the lower middle order. The chance to win the match petered out however and it was left to Ping Mould and Neil Tuffin to hold on for the draw as the innings finished on 127-9.

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Second XI

A ten man Montgomery side came away will an emphatic win, and the game didn't seem in doubt from the time the Albrighton openers were dismissed by skipper Mike Williams. The remaining nine batsmen only managed 11 runs between them as the innings finished on 63-9 after 35 overs, with Ned Hayes picking up a very creditable four wickets.

Thomas Corfield, Harry Wilkinson and Ian Fletcher all contributed runs to the reply which reached the total at the end of the eighteenth over for the loss of three wickets.

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11 August 2012 - 1st XI Welshpool (away), 2nd XI Welshpool (home)

First XI

The Montgomery bowling attack once again performed well at the start of the Welshpool innings and made scoring difficult for the Welshpool batsmen, but found wickets difficult to capture. County opener Joe Birch paced his innings well despite his early difficulties against Andrew Barker's and his 54 laid the foundation for Paul Chapman and Phil Lewis to take control of the game in the middle overs. A good finish though by the Monty bowlers meant that the innings finished on 205-6 when a much bigger figured looked possible at one stage.

The Montgomery reply got off to a reasonable start with the top five all reaching double figures, but it was only Richard Blayney who went on to build a good innings. When he was out the team decided to challenge for a win and promoted big hitters Ed Bennett and Andrew Barker, but the plan failed and the rest of the batting order folded as the Welshpool bowlers took control. The game ended in the last over when Mike Williams was out after a bright nineteen runs and the team's total was on 152.

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Second XI

Stand-in skipper Brian Corfield lost the toss and the visitors decided to bowl, but openers Jake Wilkinson and Corfield himself started strongly with both adding over twenty runs. When they were out however the batting collapsed and the innings ended on 107 for the loss of nine wickets at the end of the forty-fifth over.

The Welshpool reply was build around 51 by opener Matthew Knight, but Dave Jones did his best to turn the game with his three wickets. In the end the total posted by Montgomery was not enough and it was passed at the end of the twenty-seventh over.

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4 August 2012 - 1st XI Allscott (home), 2nd XI Allscott (away)

First XI

Heavy rain before the game tempted skipper Tim Davies to ask the visitors to bat, and he was rewarded by a good bowling performance. Leading the way was Ping Mould who had the dangerous Carl Starling trapped LBW when he was only on nine, and he continued to bowl a tight line. He was aided by Neil Tuffin, Jack Williams and Ed Bennett. When rain interupted the game at the end of the 37th over the Allscott total stood at only 100 and the bowlers were on top. After the break however the nature of the innings changed as Jason Allen and Danny Parton hit the Montgomery bowlers hard and by the end of the fiftieth over the visiting side had made 200 for the loss of only four wickets.

Unfortunately the batting wasn't up to the same standard as the bowling, and for the second time in two weeks the team failed to pass the century mark with only Tim Davies and Jack Williams reaching double figures. The innings ended on 73 all out to condemn Montgomery to the fourth loss in a row and a looming relegation battle.

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Second XI

The Allscott innings of 167 was build around an innings of 76 from veteran performer Tim Clare who opened the batting and was left undefeated on 76 at the end of the innings. Despite this the Montgomery side were pleased with their bowling, particularly the two youngsters James Corfield and the debutant Joe Haycock who picked up two wickets apiece.

In reply Montgomery lost too many wickets at regular intervals despite good knocks by veterans Jonathan Williams, Keith Griffiths and Brian Corfield. A late 24 not out by skipper Mike Williams takes his season average to a remarkable 68, but by the end the team were holding on for a draw which they achieved as the innings finished on 140-7.

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28 July 2012 - 1st XI Newtown (away), 2nd XI Newtown (home)

First XI

Stand-in skipper Rob Bennett lost a crucial toss against local rivals looking to avenge their loss at Lymore earlier in the season. A weakened batting line up was forced to face controlled swing bowling from Craig Davies and lively medium pace from Dave Anthony on a wicket that offered inconsistent bounce. Wickets fell at regular intervals with only Rob Bennett and Tim Davies able to reach double figures. The innings finished after only 30.5 overs on 53 all out.

The Montgomery bowlers achieved some success at the top of the Newtown order, but the meagre total was always going to be under threat and when number six batsman Ally Laird decided to take on the bowling the game finished quickly. One bright point for Montgomery was the bowling of Ping Mould who picked up two wickets.

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Second XI

The 2nd XI also lost a crucial toss and had to bat on a Montgomery wicket still recovering from the wet summer. In the end they were dismissed for 96 in the 42nd over with the pick of the batsmen being the three Wilkinson brothers who were the only batsmen to get into double figures. The other batsmen had no answer to the slow bowling of Joe Davies who finished with six wickets.

The Montgomery bowlers got off to a good start, but they were frustrated in the end by Nick Mumby, Joe Davies and Chris Bourne and the total was achieved in the 23rd over.

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21 July 2012 - 1st XI Alberbury (home), 2nd XI Alberbury (away)

First XI

Rob Bennett was denied a last over stumping that would have secured victory in a tense match against Alberbury. Instead, Neil Savage was given not out and he grabbed the winning runs with four balls to spare. The Monty team were bitterly disappointed, as they had battled hard after being put into bat on a wicket that nobody thought was playable until the morning of the match. Rob Kinsey’s steady opening performance was put into the shade by number three Richard Blayney who worked hard for his 63 not out. The final total of 161 after 50 overs also included a contribution of 21 from Andrew Barker, and the team went in for tea thinking they had made the most of difficult conditions.

For Alberbury batting was easier given the drying wicket and a second wicket stand between Michael Crawshaw and Mark Jones looked like taking the game away from Montgomery. However, an unlucky run-out when the ball hit the stumps at the striker’s end after being touched by Rob Yewdall led to the demise of Mark Jones. Thereafter the Alberbury batting subsided, but the game was still in the balance going into the last over. Unfortunately the most controversial of all not out decisions meant that Montgomery didn’t take the final wicket and the game ended in victory for the away side.

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Second XI

The 2nd XI were happy just to get on the park after five weeks of inactivity due to the persistent mid-Wales rain, and they were even happier when skipper Mike Williams won the toss on a wicket that had suffered badly from the preceding week’s weather. Wickets fell quickly from the opening bowling of the Wilkinson brothers, with both picking up three wickets each, and it was only a mid-innings rally from number 7 Rob Owen and number 8 Owain Roberts that saw the team reach a moderately respectable 72 all out.

The pitch improved for the second innings although Montgomery lost Brian Corfield to a low bouncing ball from Alex Hughes and then David Thomas was unluckily run-out when the ball struck the wicket at the non strikers end. Fortunately Adam Bowen kept his head and guided the team almost to the end with an impressive 44 that mixed aggressive intent with watchful defending of straight balls that had the potential to misbehave. The total was finally passed in the twenty-second over.

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14 July 2012 - 1st XI Forton (home), 2nd XI Much Wenlock (away)

Both games were cancelled because of heavy rain. The Lymore pitch was under at least a foot of water and our groundsman Stan Davies thinks it is worse than he has ever seen (and he's been at the club for over 40 years!). Hopefully the ground can recover by next weekend.

Pictures

7 July 2012 - 1st XI Knockin (away), 2nd XI Knockin (home)

First XI

Skipper Tim Davies lost a crucial toss and his team were forced to bat in difficult damp conditions. Wickets fell quickly and it was only the batting of Rob Yewdall and Andrew Barker that looked like improving the team's fortunes. They finished on 134-8 after 40 overs with ex-Montgomery man Aaron Ruff-Cock the best bowler with 4-38.

The Montgomery bowlers felt they may be able to turn the game as wickets also fell at the top of the order for the home side, but a knock of 30 from Ruff-Cock, and a late match winning 39 from Knockin skipper Hugh Morris saw the team home in the thirty-eighth over.

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Second XI

The wettest summer anyone can remember is still taking its toll and Lymore was still under water from the previous day's rain when the game was cancelled on Saturday morning.

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30 June 2012 - 1st XI Broseley (away), 2nd XI Wellington (home)

First XI

The Montgomery batting line-up struggled against the Broseley bowling in wet conditions, only reaching 118 before they were all out. The team looked like they would fall to a heavy defeat until the rain arrived after sixteen overs with the home team on 54-2

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Second XI

The Second XI reduced their game to 35 overs to try and force a result, but the rain came in the thirtieth over. The Wellington batting had started brightly and reached 137 for the loss of six wickets.

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23 June 2012 - 1st XI Market Drayton (home), 2nd XI Pontesbury (away)

The wet summer continues and both games were cancelled before a ball was bowled.



16 June 2012 - 1st XI Frankton (away), 2nd XI Shelton (home)

First XI

Only thirteen overs were possible through the showers and the game was abandoned with Frankton having progressed to 57 without losing a wicket.

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Second XI

Heavy rain meant that the game was abandoned before Shelton travelled.

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9 June 2012 - 1st XI Cound (home), 2nd XI Bomere Heath (away)

First XI

A poor batting display by Montgomery left them twenty-five runs short in a low scoring game against Cound. Having decided to bat first the visitors found scoring heavy work on a drying wicket, although skipper Graham Trow made the most of being dropped early on to post the top score of 32. The spearhead of the Montgomery attack was Robert Kinsey who took five wickets in a miserly fifteen overs that only conceded fourteen runs, and in the end the innings finished on 122 -9 after fifty overs. With the wicket rapidly drying out Montgomery expected to overhaul the target with ease going into tea on the evidence of the previous week’s batting performance at Madeley.

Sam Davies started the Montgomery reply confidently but he lost partner Rob Kinsey and then Adam Bowen cheaply. David Thomas came to the wicket expecting to anchor the reply whilst Sam scored freely at the other end, and this approach seemed to be working as the fifty was reached for the loss of only two wickets. However, a momentary lapse of concentration by Sam saw him stumped of a wide down the leg-side and this began a collapse in the batting that included three ducks and the fall of eight wickets for only 47 runs. The damage was done by a swinging ball mainly from the hand of Andy Harrison who picked up four wickets for 37 runs. When David Thomas was the ninth man for 25 out any hope of a Montgomery win was extinguished and the innings ended on 97 all out.

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Second XI

Montgomery were immediately in trouble after being put in by the home side, with the first four batsmen only contributing thirteen runs between them. The middle and later order rallied the innings with the Wilkinson brothers Harry and Tom making the greatest contribution with 29 and 21 runs respectively. After their 40 overs the side had only posted 110 runs for the loss of 7 wickets with the bowling of Andrew Oliver the most decisive with 4-16 off twelve overs.

Mike Williams picked up both openers for ducks, but Matt Jones settled the home team’s nerves with 48 and with Michael Barlow and Paul Bolland both contributing 20 runs the target was reached in the last over. Miike Williams was the best bowler with 3-15.

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2 June 2012 - 1st XI Madeley (away), 2nd XI Albrighton (home)

First XI

On the club’s first visit to Madeley for many years Tim Davies decided to be cautious and put the home side in despite a good looking wicket. The only batsman to make an impression was Stephen Pugh, but his 111 meant that the Madeley skipper was confident enough to declare at the end of the 46th over when the score stood at 209-7, despite a long spell of controlled bowling by Rob Kinsey who finished on 1-42 after 14 overs.

Given 54 overs to reach the target the Montgomery response was shared between the top and middle order. Adam Bowen top scored for the second week in succession and he was assisted by Rob Kinsey (36), Rob Yewdall (29) and Jonathan Williams (31). An outstanding contribution of 28 by Ian Fletcher took the team past the target at the end of the 53 over to leave the Madeley skipper regretting his decision to declare.

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Second XI

Mike Williams decision to put the opposition looks to have backfired as the Albrighton top order took the attack to the bowlers. When number four batsman Huw Bevan was caught spectacularly in the deep by Ed Bennett the score stood at 94-2 after only 22 overs. Fortunately Tom Wilkinson came to the team’s rescue and his career best 8-49 off 13 overs reduced the visitors to 148 all out.

The Montgomery response stuttered a couple of times but a good base was laid down by openers Dave Thomas and Brian Corfield with a stand of 42. Jake Wilkinson and Dave Mason made contributions in the teens but it was left to veteran Stan Davies to take the side past the finishing post with his quick fire 45.

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26 May 2012 - 1st XI Welshpool (home), 2nd XI Welshpool (away)

First XI

Montgomery battled in a close game against their local rivals, but in the end finished just six runs short. On the first dry day of the summer the visitors took advantage by batting first, and the openers started steadily. Joe Birch and Dave Jones had put on 70 runs when Birch was bowled by Ed Bennett as he started to up the tempo of the innings. Jones and Llyr Thomas followed shortly afterwards, but the innings was given further impetus with a partnership of 82 between Rob Birch and Phil Lewis. Ed Bennett ended up with the best bowling figures of 2-47 with the other wickets shared between Rob Kinsey, Andrew Barker and Jack Williams in Welshpool's challenging total of 181-5 after their fifty overs.

The Montgomery reply started strongly with openers Sam Daves and Rob Kinsey putting on thirty-eight for the first wicket, but Richard Blayney and Jack Williams then followed quickly. The partnership of Tim Davies and Andrew Barker looked to be swinging the match in Montgomery's favour, and with Jonathan Williams and Rob Bennett also contributing the target looked achievable. The match was in the balance with ten runs needed of the last over but in the end the team fell six short on 175-9.

Skipper Tim Davies commented 'This is the first time we've failed to beat local rivals this season, but we came close despite losing our impetus a couple of times in our innings'.

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Second XI

Asked to bat first, Montgomery lost opener Dave Jones in the first over but Dave Thomas joined Brian Corfield to put on seventy three runs for the second wicket. Both looked comfortable against the bowling on a fairly flat wicket until Thomas was bowled for 31 by Damon Preston. This led to the fall of quick wickets as the middle order came and went with only skipper Mike Williams making progress towards the end as he forced sixteen runs off the last few overs. Brian Corfield carried his bat and finished the innings with 77 not out as he held Montgomery's effort of 155-7 together.

Welshpool side's repsonse was confident as both openers Nick Davies and Dave Whitehouse both passed the 50 mark. Skipper Dan Chodecki fell off his second ball and gave Montgomery some hope of a lower order collapse, but an impressive 30 not out by youngster Ryan Preston meant that the home side beat the total in the thirty-eighth over.

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19 May 2012 - 1st XI Allscott (away), 2nd XI Allscott (home)

First XI

Montgomery’s strong start to the season was halted in dramatic fashion away at top of the table Allscott. A weakened Montgomery team was put in, and the innings was soon under pressure as only Dave Mason of the top six reached double figures. It was left to Neil Tuffin (12 not out) and Adam Bowen (30) to scramble the team past the century, with Adam’s innings being the only one of substance in the whole Montgomery performance.

Allscott’s response was overwhelming as they reached the target in only twelve overs without losing a wicket.

Scorecard

Second XI

The Second XI continued their strong progress in Reserve Division Two with another win at a damp Lymore. Asking the visiting Allscott team to bat, skipper Mike Williams thought he was in for a long afternoon as the second wicket pair of Christopher Dean and Ali Raza put on over fifty. After Raza was dismissed the innings subsided quickly and it ended on 145-9 after thirty-five overs, with Rob Yewdall and Clive Jones the pick of the bowlers with three a-piece.

In response the home team lost Jake Wilkinson for nine, but the rest of the upper order performed strongly with Rob Yewdall top scoring with 42 not out. He was supported by Phil Betts with 22, and Ed Bennett, Dave Jones and Andrew Black also contributed to the team’s victory in the thirty-second over.

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12 May 2012 - 1st XI Newtown (home), 2nd XI Newtown (away)

First XI

Montgomery notched up their second successive local derby victory on Saturday, this time edging out Newtown in dramatic fashion. Having won his first toss of the season, skipper Tim Davies backed his bowling attack by electing to put Newtown into bat first.

Opening with Neil Tuffin (2-25) and Andrew Barker (0-12), Davies’s confidence was rewarded when Tuffin gobbled up the wickets of the in-form Dave Laird for 2 and also Newtown’s number 3, Thomas Goodman for 0. Barker’s efforts the other end didn’t produce wickets but his economical display added pressure to the Newtown batting line-up. Steve Davies was the lynchpin of the Newtown batting display whilst the wickets tumbled around him. Charlie Clinton (2-22) saw an end to Ricky Davies’s innings for 11, and then captured the crucial wicket of Tom Foulkes for 5. However, it was the introduction of Robert Kinsey and Rob Yewdall that put the final nails in Newtown’s coffin with Kinsey grabbing 4-22 off his 14 overs, and Yewdall eventually capturing the wicket of Steve Davies (50) to finish on 2-26. This left Newtown all out for 127 in their 50 overs.

Montgomery got off to a reasonable start with Kinsey and Sam Davies opening against the bowling of Craig Davies and Dave Anthony. However, Sam Davies was first to fall, with Craig Davies (1-21) trapping him LBW for only 7. This brought Richard Blayney to the crease, who managed 13 before being bowled by Ally Laird (2-15). Laird then captured the important wicket of Kinsey, caught for 29, and when Jonathan Williams was dismissed for only 2, Newtown sensed victory. Going out into the aggressive environment, Monty skipper Tim Davies played an equally aggressive innings, being excellently supported at the other end by youngster Jack Williams. Davies made a top-scoring quick fire 31 to settle the teams’ nerves and dent Newtown’s hopes of victory before he eventually fell LBW off the bowling of Ricky Davies. Jack Williams kept his head and saw his side home, finishing unbeaten on 18 to give the home side a deserved 20 points to Newtown’s 3.

Commenting after the game, Davies gleamed: “yet again, this was a great team performance where everybody contributed. We bowled well, fielded well and got the job done against good opposition. I’m sure they’ll seek revenge later on in the season but as long as we continue to play for each other, we’ll be hard to beat.”

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Second XI

The 2nd XI came away with a satisfying win at Newtown after an expert bowling display cleared up the Newtown batting for just 40 runs. Wickets were shared between Eddie Bennett and Mahesh Robinson, with three each, Mike Williams with two, and Harry Wilkinson with one from his second expert opening bowler performance in a row.

Earlier the Montgomery batting had struggled with the core of the innings coming from David Thomas and David Mason, who scored 18 and 15 respectively, in a total of 85 all out.

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5 May 2012 - 1st XI Alberbury (away), 2nd XI Alberbury (home)

First XI

Having narrowly lost the previous week, Monty went into Saturday’s match determined to get back to winning ways against local rivals Alberbury.

Losing the toss, Montgomery were put into bat and had the worst of the batting conditions. However, Alberbury’s bowlers were unable to capitalise as Monty’s openers Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies looked in determined mood. James Harrap (3-26) was first to strike, removing Kinsey for 17, before first change bowler A Holloway (3-32) snaffled the vital wicket of Sam Davies for 28. Monty number 3 Richard Blayney got a start before a freak run-out sent him back to the for 14. This brought together the pairing of vice-skipper Rob Bennett with the captain Tim Davies, who set about increasing the run-rate. Davies got off the mark with a six for the second innings in succession which set the tone for his innings, whilst Bennett was rotating the strike at every opportunity. Davies fell next for a quick fire 32 and Bennett went for 18. Pat Davies managed 9 off 3 balls whilst the remaining 5 wickets fell for 1 run after a devastating spell from Neil Savage (3-27), to leave Monty a lower than expected total of 147 off 47 overs to defend.

Alberbury’s batsmen came out confident of winning their first game of the season. However, Monty’s opening bowlers had other ideas, with Neil Tuffin (1-18) capturing Charlie Bourne for 4 and Andrew Barker (1-26) capturing county batsman Mike Crawshaw for 2. Mark Jones came in and, true to form, performed admirably as his side were falling apart around him. Of Alberbury’s remaining batsmen, only 2 managed to make it to double figures, Elliott Brooke (10) and Steve Jarrett (11), with the batting side unable to cope with the pace bowling of Jack Williams (4-13), variety of Pat Davies (1-17) and Rob Yewdall (0-15), and the spin of Rob Kinsey (2-21).

Commenting after the game, Tim Davies gleamed: “Alberbury showed last season what a good side they were so to take maximum points is a great achievement. I think special mention has to go the bowlers today, particularly young Jack, whose second spell really dented Alberbury’s confidence and was certainly the catalyst in us winning the match.”

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Second XI

Spin bowler Mahesh Robinson’s first spell of the season devastated the Alberbury batting and they were dismissed for 94 in the thirty-fifth over. He made the most of the damp wicket by turning the ball prodigiously and ended with figures of 5-18. The other heroes of the bowling were Harry Wilkinson whose six overs went for just one run and Mike Williams whose swing bowling had begun the Alberbury collapse with three wickets at the top of the order.

Some frailty was evident in the Montgomery batting with only three batsmen making it to double figures, but Brian Corfield’s 37 was the outstanding effort, with Jonathan Williams coaxing the lower order across the finishing line for the loss of seven wickets in the thirty-sixth over.

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28 April 2012 - 1st XI Forton (away), 2nd XI Much Wenlock (away)

First XI

Montgomery won the toss and choose to field on a very cold and dark afternoon knowing that quick wickets were key. Jack Williams obliged by removing opener Bushnell for two in his second over and his fellow opening bowler Neil Tuffin removed Henry for a duck in the next. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals with Andrew Barker (1-17), and Rob Kinsey (2-23) bowling economically. Forton’s resistance came from Forton number 3 Barratt, who had scored 62 before he was caught by Mahesh Robinson off the bowling of Rob Yewdall (1-30). Youngster Jack Williams came back into the attack to bowl at the death and made an immediate impact snaring Pudota LBW for a duck and then bowling Hill the very next ball. Captain Chris Sayers faced the hat trick ball and he just survived and Forton finished on 133- 8 with Cartwright unbeaten on 22 and Chris Sayers 1 not out.

Montgomery got off to a solid start to their reply with openers Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies coping well in difficult conditions. Davies was given out LBW for 9 off the bowling of Goulding before Richard Blayney joined Kinsey at the crease and developed a decent partnership. When Cartwright entered the Forton attack the game changed dramatically. He removed both Kinsey (24) and Blayney (13) in quick succession. Jack Williams and Rob Yewdall then increased the run rate with some big hitting until Cartwright again took crucial wickets, removing Williams for 16 and Charlie Clinton for two in quick succession. Goulding then took the wickets of Yewdall (14) and Jonathan Williams (1) to finish with 3-31. There was still fight from Montgomery and captain Rob Bennett and Andrew Barker looked like taking the points back until Barker gave his wicket away cheaply for 5, and when Mahesh Robinson was given leg before for just 1 off the bowling of Anthony (1-9) it was left to Neil Tuffin and Bennett to guide Monty home. Matt Sayers bowled intelligently and after removing Tuffin he bowled Bennett for 10 in the 45th over to snatch the points and take victory.

Commenting after the game, captain Rob Bennett said ‘The win was there for the taking and a poor batting display let us down. I was very happy with the bowling and fielding, especially Mahesh with his two catches. As a team, we will take the positives out of this game and move on to the next, our first local derby, against Alberbury away’.

Scorecard

Second XI

Heavy rain on the previous Friday caused the game to be cancelled.

Scorecard


21 April 2012 - 1st XI Knockin (home), 2nd XI Knockin (away)

First XI

Continuing last season’s theme, Monty lost the toss and were put into bat in the difficult damp conditions. In Robert Kinsey’s absence, Monty opened with Sam and Tim Davies who set about building a solid foundation for the innings. Knockin’s opening bowlers, Hugh Morris (3-23) and Ben Hembrow (0-23) used the conditions well, making runs hard to come by. Sam was first to open his shoulders despatching the ball to the boundary off the bowling of Hembrow whilst at the other end, Tim smashed the first 6 of the season off the bowling of Hugh Morris the other end. However Morris had the last laugh, trapping Tim Davies LBW in the following over. Jack Williams came in at 3 and found scoring difficult at first, mustering 6 runs in the next 20 overs. However, the free scoring Sam had no such trouble until he fell for 40 off the bowling of ex Monty-boy Aaron Rough-Cock (3-39). By that stage, the pairing had put Monty into a good position with wickets in hand to allow the remaining batsmen to significantly increase the run rate going into the last fifteen overs. Jack Williams, having got his eye in, began to get on top of the bowling and effortlessly added 18 quick runs before falling to Tim Cotton (1-42) and no. 4 Rob Bennett (23) made light work of the Knockin attack. Jack eventually fell for 22 off the bowling of Tim Cotton (1-42) and Hugh Morris snagged his second LBW of the day in capturing the sought after wicket of Bennett. Andrew Barker was the only other batsman to make double figures, ending 13 not out at close, with Monty setting a target of 145 from their 50 overs.

Knockin got off to a very slow but assured start with Richard Williams (22) and Bluey Thomas opening for the visitors. Andrew Barker (1-20) and Neil Tuffin (1-16) both impressed with their economical bowling and Tuffin was the first to strike, bowling Bluey Thomas for 13. Replacing Barker for Jack Williams in the 16th over paid dividends with Jack (2-18) capturing no.3 Jak Jones for a duck which brought a determined Steven Gray to the crease who set about making inroads in to the target. With only 2 wickets down at the drinks break, Monty were staring defeat in the face. Vice Captain Rob Bennet called for a team huddle and captain Tim Davies’s inspiration speech spurred life back into the Monty attack, with Jonathan Williams immediately seeing to Steven Gray for 15. Charlie Clinton (3-7) bowled the most devastating spell of the day, capturing the disappointing Ruff-Cock for 7, and both Ben Hembrow and Daniel Evans for ducks. Jonathan Williams (2-29) then added to the list of Knockin ducks, with the capture of Dave Jones. The re-introduction of Andrew Barker saw an end to the Knockin reply, capturing Tim Cotton for another scoreless innings, leaving the visitors all out for 91.

Commenting after the game, new Monty captain Tim Davies said: “A great team performance. I know it was only the first game of the season but to achieve our aim for the season, we targeted this game as one we should be winning. Our bowling was superb today, with the old boys of Tuffin and Williams Snr leading from the front. Last week’s County Times suggested that we were looking to develop some youngsters this season and Charlie Clinton got off to a remarkable start, with Barker taking him under his wing. The fielding was also top-notch, with Mahesh Robinson, Andrew barker and Rob Bennett standing out.”

Scorecard

Second XI

After a slightly delayed start in a game reduced to 35 overs because of rain, Montgomery were asked to bat by the home team. They started poorly with both openers going cheaply. David Thomas supplied some stability, but was finding scoring difficult against the accuracy of the home bowlers Gallimore and Jagger. He was finally dismissed for 25 as he started to try and quicken the scoring rate, and it was only some adventurous hitting by Tom Wilkinson and Dave Jones that enabled Montgomery to scramble past the 100 mark to end on 106 all out.

The Knockin reply was steady with Ed Nicholas getting the majority of the runs with 44 before being run out. One of the highpoints for Montgomery was the accurate bowling performance of youngster James Corfield, who captured the wicket of Michael Gray for 22, but he was unable to stop the home team passing the target in the 32nd over.

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Cricketing Round-up - 2011

15 October 2011 - Annual Dinner and Awards Night

The cricket club looked back at their season at the annual dinner in The Dragon Hotel. Both teams finished in the same position as last year with the First XI placed seventh in Division 1 and the Second XI ninth in Division 4. The First XI batting award was won by Ed Davies, and Dave Thomas edged out John Barker and Jonathan Williams to take the Second XI award. Neil Tuffin won the First XI bowling award for the second time and Aaron Ruff-Cock won the same award for the Second XI. Tim Davies' 78 in the last game of the year, against Knockin, won the First XI Performance of the Year and Adam Bowen's 45 not out to win the game against Hodnet secured the Second XI prize. Wicketkeeper Rob Bennett was once again recognised as the Fielder of the Year and improved batting by Jack Williams won him the Young Player of the Year award. Dave Thomas' work behind the scenes was recognised for the Clubman of the Year award. The Youth Section spent the year re-building sides to match the outstanding achievements of last year, and the Under 13s came close to winning the Shropshire title. The fiercely contested local knock-out was won by Brian Corfield’s Fairfield Flyers who defeated Bunners in the final to regain bragging rights for the year.


24 September 2011 - 1st XI Knockin (away), 2nd XI Knockin (home)

First XI

The home side won the toss and invited Neil Tuffin's side to bat first on a pitch that usually produces a lot of runs. The quick loss of opener Rob Kinsey and number three Ed Davies to the dangerous opening bowler Ben Wixey created some nervousness, but Sam Davies and Aaron Ruff-Cock restored some control as they scored 32 and 25 respectively. The loss of Jack Williams for two brought Tim Davies to the crease. His 78, including one huge six, was an outstanding effort from the vice captain who had struggled for form in the first part of the season. The side eventually finished on 202 for the loss of nine wickets - a reasonable score, but one that the bowlers would neeed to bowl well to defend.

In reply the Knockin top order faired little better that Montgomery's with the loss of opener Bluey Thomas and number three Barry Jones. Jack Williams in particular caused unease with his pace on a bouncy wicket, causing the former Worcestershire batsman Jones to call for a helmet before he was dismissed. Other wickets were shared amongst the bowlers and the last over opened with the home side needing four runs for victory, but Jack Williams proved his skill at bowling at the death and the home side finished on 199-6.

Skipper Tuffin commented ‘This winning draw is important considering the re-organisation of the league next year, but we don't yet know at what level we'll be playing next year’.

Scorecard

Second XI

Stand-in skipper Mike Williams won the toss against Knockin and asked the opposition to bat. A flurry of quick wickets followed as Charlie Clinton and Mike Williams made the most of a swinging ball. Harry Wilkinson was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, but the Knockin total of 172 was built around an outstanding knock of 79 from the hard hitting Boyse.

Montgomery didn't have much in reply and of the top order only Dave Thomas looked comfortable with his 21. The rest fell for single figures and a moderately respectable total of 82 all out was only achieved with the help of Mike Williams and Harry Wilkinson towards the end.

Scorecard

17 September 2011 - 1st XI Wroxeter (home), 2nd XI Wroxeter (away)

First XI

Skipper Neil Tuffin lost another crucial toss against a strong Wroxeter side and were asked to bat on a pitch that had sufered from overnight rain. Sam Davies demonstrated that the pich didn't hold any demons as he built an innings of 36 but at the other wickets were tumbling, particularly when the spinner Ben Pridgeon joined the attack. His six wickets meant that Montgomery had only got 148 runs on the board when the innings closed for the loss of eight wickets in the fortieth over.

Wroxeter's reply started strongly with both openers scoring confidently, and it wasn't until the introduction of Aaron Ruff-Cock's spin that in-roads began to be made. His six wickets meant that Montgomery had a sniff of victory, but in the end the visitors ended the chase in the thirty-eighth over.

Skipper Tuffin commented ‘Once we'd got past the top order we had a sniff of victory, and with another thirty or forty overs we would have had a really good chance of winning.’.

Scorecard

Second XI

In an almost mirror image of last week's victory the Montgomery batting slumped to 95 all out and the home side made easy work of reaching the total in the twentieth over.

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10 September 2011 - 1st XI Condover (away), 2nd XI Church Aston (home)

First XI

Montgomery travelled away to the lowly placed Condover hoping to regain some initiative after losing their previous two games. Skipper Tuffin won an important toss and asked the home team to bat, and he was rewarded by quick wickets from Jack Williams and Andrew Barker. There was a Condover recovery as Ewan Elliot and Jonathan Harris put on 46 and 24 respectively but an up and down pitch along with tight bowling, particularly from Aaron Ruff-Cock (4-39), eventually got the upper hand and the innings finished on 166-9 in the fortieth over.

Montgomery’s reply stuttered at the start with the loss of Ian Bapty for 4 and Sam Davies for 15, but Ed Davies (88 not out) and Aaron Ruff-Cock (44) safely saw the team to the brink of victory which was achieved in the thirty-fifth over for the loss of four wickets. The innings was only marred by a nasty injury to the Condover keeper which led to a delay in the game as an ambulance was called.

Skipper Tuffin commented ‘This game was a good reflection of how we can dominate the weaker sides in the division and we look set to finish in a good position at the end of the season’.

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery reversed their early season defeat at home against Church Aston and are now settled comfortably in mid table away from the relegation zone. The key was a magnificent display of swing bowling from Mike Williams, who picked up six wickets with late moving deliveries that none of the visiting batsmen could cope with and the innings slumped to 92 all out.

John Barker’s assured 44 not out built the foundation for the Montgomery reply and although Brian Corfield and Dave Thomas came and went the innings was finished off by Barker and Charlie Clinton who looked in good form during his innings of 27 not out.

Scorecard

3 September 2011 - 1st XI Frankton (home), 2nd XI Calverhall (away)

First XI

Montgomery fell to their second successive defeat as they scrap for mid table honours going into the last few games of the season. Batting first after losing the toss, they struggled to 149 for nine in an innings reduced to thirty-five overs because of the threat of rain, with only Tim Davies and Aaron Ruffcock showing any defiance.

Frankton reached the meagre total in the twenty-seventh over after a display of powerful hitting from their top order.

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery Second XI travelled away to a rejuvenated Calverhall team who are making a late rise through the table. Skipper Jonathan Williams lost the toss and the strong Calverhall line-up got away to a quick start on a fast pitch with short boundaries. Tom Wilkinson returned the best figures with 3-52, but the key to the home side’s innings was a powerful 123 from opener Ben Oakley and it was his contribution that saw the side well past the 200 mark to finish on 242 for 9.

The Montgomery innings didn’t start well with the loss of openers Brian Corfield and Dave Jones to the fiery opener Bowen, but number three Dave Thomas and number four Charlie Clinton first steadied and then accelerated the reply. With a re-enacted Medieval battle raging just beyond the boundary rope, Clinton and Thomas waged their own Agincourt as a fusillade of arrows from the Calverhall attack was dispatched to the boundary in a partnership of 79. A win as unlikely as that at Crecy looked possible at the half way mark, but Clinton eventually fell for 34 and the loss of a couple of quick wickets brought the younger Corfield to the wicket. His wooden wall resisted the Calverhall charge for a while before he was eventually run out for 6. Thomas lost his castle in the thirty-seventh over when he was on 97, but the last few Montgomery batsmen hung on and when the siege was lifted at the end of the fortieth over, with the score on 180-8, the team had plundered a useful ten points in a losing draw.

Skipper Jonathan Williams commented ‘I feel like Marshall Kutusov after the Battle of Borodino as a fiercely contested losing draw should secure my team’s survival when the landscape of cricket in Shropshire is re-organised next season’.

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27 August 2011 - 1st XI Forton (home), 2nd XI Hodnet and Peplow (away)

First XI

Skipper Neil Tuffin lost a crucial toss that set up a difficult first innings for Montgomery on a damp Lymore wicket. Wickets fell at regular intervals and only Rob Kinsey with 15 survived long enough to reach double figures. There was a belated rescue act by Tim Davies (19) and Rob Yewdall (11), but the innings was eventually over in the thirty-fifth over with Montgomery all out for 83.

Forton made quick work of reaching the total and they did so at the end of the twenty-sixth over, although they lost seven wickets on the way. The pick of the bowlers was Aaron Ruff-Cock whose four wickets for sixteen runs at one point gave the home side a glimmer of hope.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented ‘We just didn’t bat well enough and another thirty runs would have set up a challenging total’.

Scorecard

Second XI

The game got away to a late start following a heavy shower of rain that saw the home side employing squeegees on the wicket when the visitors arrived. Skipper Jonathan Williams won the toss and predictably asked the home side to bat and he was rewarded as wickets fell at regular intervals. Ping Mould’s pacy and accurate bowling provided the cutting edge and he finished with four wickets as the innings ended in the thirty-fifth over with Hodnet on 103 all out.

Montgomery’s reply was built around an accomplished and well paced innings by Adam Bowen. Wickets fell at the other end with the best contributions coming from Caspar Mould and Charlie Clinton, but it was Adam’s 45 not out that saw the team home in the thirty-third over. The victory enables the team to climb out of the relegation zone and in a close division the points will be crucial at the end.

Scorecard

20 August 2011 - 1st XI Pontesbury (away), 2nd XI Hinstock (home)

First XI

Having lost the toss in a 40 over game Montgomery were put into bat and immediately lost opener Ed Davies for a second ball duck off the bowing of Wilson. Sam Davies was then joined by Aaron Ruffcock to form a useful partnership until Davies fell to a spectacular catch on the boundary for 15. Jack Williams then came to the crease to form the most productive partnership of the day adding 63 until Ruffcock was bowled around his legs by the overly aggressive Atkinson for 27. Williams, now scoring freely, was joined by the hard running Rob Bennett for another fruitful partnership until Williams was trapped LBW by Wilson for a fine knock of 40 from 39 balls. Tim Davies, in a welcome return to form, scored 23 before being bowled by Wilson and the rest of the Monty batsmen all chipped in to get to a competitive total of 183 all out in the 40th over. Steve Wilson was the pick of the Pontesbury bowlers with 4 for 50 from 18 overs.

In reply Pontesbury got off to a poor start losing three early wickets, G Pugh for a duck bowled by Monty skipper Neil Tuffin, P Hartshorn caught behind for 9 off the bowling of Jack Williams, and G Oakley, also caught behind, for 9 off the bowling of Tuffin (2 for 33). Peter Atkinson came in looking to hit the Monty bowling before falling to Williams for 14 again caught behind. The Pontesbury batsmen then staged a fight-back with a fine knock of 48 from Alistair Corfield and 22 from R Gardner. This put Pontesbury into a winning position before Corfield was bowled by Ruffcock. The return to the bowling attack of Rob Yewdall, after a long layoff, produced the two vital wickets of Garner and D Simmonds(16) and he finished with figures of 2 for 32 from 7 overs. Pontesbury still looked favourites for victory with skipper Darrell Corfield steadily knocking off the 4 runs per over required until he was removed by a stunning catch by wicket keeper Rob Bennett for 17. Ed Davies (2 for 32 from 5.3 overs) and Jack Williams then combined with a fine example of bowling at the death to remove the remaining batsmen leaving the home side 19 runs short.

A stunning performance from Monty keeper Rob Bennett taking 5 catches and a Man of the match all-round performance from Jack Williams adding 3 for 29 to his 40 runs earlier in the day ensuring Montgomery travelled home with the maximum 24 points in the bag.

Scorecard

Second XI

Sensing a much needed victory skipper Jonathan Williams opted to field first in the game against bottom club Hinstock. He was rewarded by expert displays of attacking swing bowling by Mike Williams and Charlie Clinton. Williams picked up the wicket of opener Geoff Smith and followed it up by capturing the Hinstock skipper Robert Gough. Rupert Sheppard removed number three Liam Middleton with the first ball of his spell and he continued to bowl a straight line to restrict the Hinstock middle order, the pick of whom was A. Rodatra who scored a brisk 28. The last few wickets fell quickly as Ned Hayes entered the attack and his three wickets for eight runs off six overs finished off the innings in the thirty-eighth over with the score on 121.

John Barker produced a masterclass in mature batting to lay the foundation of a Montgomery win with 47 runs. Despite losing opener Rupert Sheppard and number three David Thomas the score ticked along in front of the required run rate and victory was in sight when Ian Fletcher came to the crease to club the ball to the boundary for a comprehensive win.

Scorecard

13 August 2011 - 1st XI Welshpool (home), 2nd XI Wellington IV (away)

First XI

Montgomery 1st XI outplayed Welshpool to secure a winning draw at Lymore. The visitors won the toss and looking at the slightly damp wicket decided to bowl. This proved to an error as the pitch proved to be fairly benign and the Montgomery openers Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies both scored freely with Rob Kinsey notching up yet another half century. Sam Davies made 40 despite retiring hurt for a while after colliding with one of the Welshpool fielders and Aaron Ruff-Cock also looked good for his 34 before he was given out LBW. Jack Williams’ development as a batsman continued and he finished on 32 not out when the innings ended on 192 for the loss of five wickets after 40 overs.

In reply Welshpool lost opener Dave Jones for a duck and Joe Birch was undone by Neil Tuffin’s out-swinging ‘other one’. Llyr Thomas and Phil Lewis then steadied the innings with 41 and 57 respectively but the required run-rate was getting higher and higher. Rob Pengelly added some impetus but steady bowling, particularly by Ping Mould who finished with 2 – 29, meant that the game ended with Welshpool on 170 – 7.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented ‘This result gives us good impetus going into the last quarter of the season and we’ll be looking to secure a few victories before the end’.

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery 2nd XI started well against Wellington with Charlie Clinton’s swing bowling accounting for opener Nigel Holl, but the team were soon under pressure as the rest of the home team’s batsmen scored steadily. The pick of them was Anoop Babu who scored 63 before being bowled by Charlie Clinton in his second spell. The innings finished on 213 – 5 after 45 overs.

Both the Montgomery openers failed but then Jonathan Williams and Charlie Clinton put on over 50 in a partnership that was eventually broken when Clinton was out for 20. The other important contribution was from Gareth Davies who had scored 47 not out when the innings ended on 145 – 7 at the end of the forty-five overs.

Scorecard

6 August 2011 - 1st XI Llanidloes (away), 2nd XI Oswestry III (home)

First XI

Montgomery secured the expected win against local rivals and bottom club Llanidloes. Stand-in skipper Ed Davies won the toss and asked the home side to bat and he was rewarded almost immediately as openers Jack Williams and Andrew Barker picked up four quick wickets. Their progress was halted by good batting between Adrian Foulkes and Mark Hughes, who both put on over sixty runs, but once they were removed Llanidloes’ woes continued as they struggled to reach 142 off their forty overs. Andrew Barker was the pick of the bowlers with 3-31 off his ten overs.

Montgomery’s openers made steady progress towards the target with Ed Davies in particular striking the ball well on his way to 76. He was supported by Rob Kinsey who drew the sting from the bowlers with a steady 48 and although both fell just before the finish line the game ended with an eight wicket victory for Montgomery.

Scorecard

Second XI

The second XI took advantage of a good wicket at home to Oswestry and posted their best score of the season. David Thomas led the way with 65 and big contributions were made by the rest of the top four, with John Barker scoring 28, Brian Corfield 30 and Jonathan Williams 33. Unfortunately the lower order fell away and skipper Williams was disappointed that what looked like being a huge total at one stage subsided to a score that didn’t look defendable given the batting potential of the home side.

This batting potential was fully realised as Aussie opener Andrew Fraser blasted his way to 103 not out accompanied by Dominic Bright who put on 49 before he was run out by good fielding by Mike Williams. The Montgomery bowlers toiled all afternoon until the total was reached at the end of the thirty-ninth over.

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31 July 2011 - Montgomeryshire T20 Finals

A new format saw two semi-finals and a final held on the same day at Welshpool Cricket Club. In the first semi final Newtown sealed a narrow win over Welshpool after chasing down 115 in the last over, while the second semi final was an equally close encounter with Montgomery chasing down Llanidloes’ 119 to secure a place in the final.

In the final Montgomery batted first and lost opener Sam Davies early on for five, but a fruitful partnership between veteran all rounder Rob Kinsey (27) and Aaron Ruff-Cock, who hit a rapid 38, got the innings going. A good performance with the ball from Anthony Laird saw him take 4 for 22 to rip through the middle order and this looked like preventing Montgomery from posting a big score, but the innings was rescued by the veteran stand-in skipper Jonathan Williams, who hit 23 unbeaten runs, and Ed Bennett, who raced to 27 not out including two huge sixes. This meant that Montgomery managed a healthy total of 138 from their 20 overs, with David Anthony (1 for 19) and Rob Davies (1 for 21) the other Newtown wicket takers.

Newtown in reply started promisingly with opener Rob Davies 16 and number 3 Tom Foulkes 14 both striking the ball well. A partnership between Anthony Laird 25 and Sam Cooke 19 then looked like setting up a victory, but the run rate was creeping up as the Monty bowlers kept things tight. The innings closed on 110 for 7, giving Montgomery a 28 run victory. A good collective bowling display from the Monty bowlers saw Andrew Barker take 2 for 16, and Jonathon Williams 2 for 19.

On presenting the trophy to the victorious Montgomery skipper, Montgomeryshire Cricket Club Chairman Ian Crawshaw congratulated all competing teams for the great sportsmanship shown throughout all the matches. He also gave special praise and thanks to Welshpool Cricket Club for hosting the day so efficiently.


30 July 2011 - 1st XI Alberbury (home), 2nd XI Alberbury (away)

First XI

Montgomery 1st XI may have been feeling the effects of a long tour to Newcastle as they slumped to a heavy defeat against local rivals Alberbury. After winning the toss stand-in skipper Ed Davies put the visitors in to bat and all seemed well as the Alberbury innings was restricted to 146-8. Rob Kinsey was the pick of the bowlers, picking up four wickets for 37 runs off his fifteen overs.

In reply the Montgomery batsmen failed to make an impression as the wickets were shared between the Alberbury bowlers. Savage, Davies and Holloway all took three and the only resistance came from Jack Williams who was left on 11 not out when the innings finished on 67 in the thirty-fourth over.

Injured Monty skipper Neil Tuffin commented “a good performance with the ball and in the field was to no avail with a performance with the bat to forget about. We have batted well most of the season and I am confident today is a just a one off bad day.”

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery 2nd XI made short work of a potentially strong Alberbury team. Stand-in skipper Mike Williams won the toss and invited the home side to bat, only revealing his master plan when the first over was bowled by off spinner Aaron Ruff-Cock. His decision bore fruit in the third over as Ruffcock picked up two wickets in his second over, and the unusual tactics seemed to unsettle the other batsmen with danger man Kurt Finnegan being picked up at the other end by Tom Wilkinson. Wilkinson went on to knock over the Alberbury skipper Alex Hughes' stumps whilst at the other end Ruff-Cock was bowling his way to a five wicket haul, helped by Ping Mould who chipped in with two wickets from his accurate and pacy spell. The final act was left to Jake Wilkinson who picked up the final wicket with his first ball, victim of the third catch of the day by keeper Dave Thomas, to end the innings on 60 all-out.

It only took Montgomery seventeen overs to complete the game. After a steady start by openers Caspar Mould and Brian Corfield, and number three Harry Wilkinson, Ruff-Cock came to the crease and bludgeoned thirty-four runs from only ten deliveries leaving Brian Corfield on fifteen not out.

Scorecard

24 - 29 July 2011 - Tour to Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Montgomery’s tour to Newcastle finished with a last ball win over Newton CC on the final day, making it three wins out of four. All the games were evenly contested, with only Tynemouth CC defeating the team in a tense game which went to the last over. The win against Hexham Leazes on Sunday was a welcome reward after a long journey and the game against a young Stocksfield side was played in perfect conditions. The excellent cricket was made even more enjoyable by the warm welcome we received at all the clubs and around our base in Whickham. Thanks to Neil Tuffin and ex-Montgomery player Andrew Jones, who now plays for Newton CC, who set-up the tour - see the photographs.


23 July 2011 - 1st XI Lilleshall (away), 2nd XI Grove (home)

First XI

Montgomery travelled away to Lilleshall hoping to banish memories of recent disastrous results at the club. Neil Tuffin won an important toss and decided to bowl on a pitch that was still recovering from rain on the previous day. He was rewarded in the second over as his swing bowling removed opener Tempest followed by the other opener Drinkwater. He then took the wicket of danger man Ed Keenan with Caspar Mould taking an important high catch in the swirling wind. The other Lilleshall danger man Bainbridge looked like he was getting settled as he reached twenty runs but he was undone by Andrew Barker who was bowling a very controlled spell. Barker also removed Millington for 8 and when Waters was dismissed for a duck the innings was floundering on 39-6. The batsmen continued to struggle and had only reached 71 when the eighth wicket fell but by this time Dakin had begun to strike the ball well. His 53 not out was the key to the home side’s innings and meant that the innings had recovered to 137 before the last man was dismissed.

Montgomery were confident in their ability to reach the target and despite the early dismissal of Sam Davies for five the experienced Rob Kinsey and Ed Davies looked in control. Ed Davies was then removed for 46 followed next ball by Jack Williams and then by a steady succession of Montgomery batsmen which meant that eighteen runs were still required when last man Gareth Jones came to the crease to join his skipper Neil Tuffin. They managed to negotiate the spin bowling of Millington and the medium pace of Dakin and finished the job in the forty-fourth over.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented ‘We've lost a couple of close finishes this season so it was good to get over the line in this nail biter.'

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery 2nd XI look to be in a bit of trouble as they lost another match, this time against Division 4 top team Grove. The home team won the toss and decided to bowl and openers Tom Wilkinson and Ping Mould established a measure of control over the Grove batsmen but Keith Sambrook took the lead and had scored 42 before being caught by Mike Williams off the bowling of Aaron Ruff-Cock. Aaron Ruffcock and Rob Yewdall led the bowling, taking two wickets each, but with Nick Benwell scoring 53 unbeaten runs and with contributions from Taylor and Newman the Grove innings ended on 186-6 – a good score on the Lymore ground this season.

The Montgomery reply struggled from the start with the dismissal of Aaron Ruff-Cock in the second over. Nick Benwell then went on to take eight of the Montgomery wickets with only Rob Yewdall offering some resistance with his 25. The innings ended in the thirty-fourth over with all ten batsmen dismissed for 112 runs.

Scorecard

16 July 2011 - 1st XI Cound (home), 2nd XI Harcourt (away)

First XI

Cound travelled to Lymore park this weekend for their first return match of the season against Montgomery 1st XI. A match reduced to 35 overs per innings was decided by the captains as rain threatened to disrupt play. Cound put the home side into bat, and soon the devilishly fast Alex Johnson claimed both of the opening wickets; Aaron Ruffcock was trapped LBW for 7 and Sam Davies was bowled for 16. Johnson finished impressively with figures of 3-19.

Wickets came in quick succession as the Bennett brothers both departed cheaply, until Richard Blayney and Jack Williams resisted the bowling of Johnson and Andy Harrison and went on to form a promising partnership. This was unfortunately broken when Jack Williams was run out for a top score of 33, followed shortly afterwards by Blayney for 24. This exposed the tail, which was quickly taken care of by the Cound attack to leave Montgomery 107 all out.

The bowling of Montgomery far outshone its batting as the home side managed to reduce the unnerved Cound to 14 runs for 5 wickets in 8 overs thanks to the disciplined bowling of Andrew Barker and Neil Tuffin, who finished with figures of 3-6 and 2-20 respectively. However, despite the controlled bowling of Jack Williams to claim 3 wickets for a miserly 12 runs, Montgomery were not able to hold back the flow of runs from a big-hitting Johnson and steady Matt Jones who pushed their side over the finishing line with one ball to spare; this was a disappointing loss for Montgomery.

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery sent a weakened team away to Harcourt and paid the price in a game reduced to thirty-five overs because of the threat of rain. Batting first the new opening partnership of John Barker and Harry Wilkinson displayed a mix of experience and youth but they were both removed early and this precipitated a collapse with only Keith Griffiths showing any resistance with his 29. Harcourt couldn't quite remove the entire batting order and the innings ended on 83 -9 after 35 overs.

Montgomery's hopes were lifted with the early removal of both openers by the Wilkinson brothers but Richard Jarrett and Steve Jones saw the team close to the finishing line before Jones was removed by Tom Wilkinson. The job was then finished off in the twenty-third over.

Scorecard

9 July 2011 - 1st XI Knockin (home), 2nd XI Knockin (away)

First XI

The toss was crucial after heavy rain the previous meeting when Montgomery entertained a team sitting a few places higher in their division. Fortunately skipper Neil Tuffin came out on top and asked the visitors to bat, and the Lymore ground was a far cry from the fast and bouncy wicket the Knockin batsmen are used to. They struggled throughout their forty-five overs to bat fluently with Andrew Barker the pick of the bowlers with his miserly fourteen overs going for only 26 runs while he picked up three wickets. Other wickets were spread amongst the bowlers and there were three run outs as the batsmen tried to force the pace towards the end, and they were finally all out on the last ball of the innings for 119.

There was some trepidation at the start of the Montgomery reply because of the absence of the two in form batsmen, Rob Kinsey and Ed Davies, but Sam Davies rose to the occassion with a steady 61 runs. This allowed the other batsmen to work carefully to the target and Ian Bapty in particular took advantage with his 21 not out seeing the team safely home in the 41st over.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented ‘This is the sort of game we need to win this season and Sam Davies' return to form was just what we needed.'

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery 2nd XI had a disastrous afternoon in Knockin. Jonathan Williams' decision to bat first backfired as the top order found it hard to find the pace of the pitch against the expert swing bowling of Julian Gallimore and the pace of Jamie Jagger. Brian Corfield was dismissed for only 7 runs and David Thomas eventually fell for 23 just as he'd begun to force the pace. The middle order also failed and the innings ended on 98 when Mike Williams was bowled.

In reply the Knockin batmen made short work of some uncharacteristicly poor bowling by Mike Williams and the rest of the attack. This was compounded by poor fielding and the team were fairly shame-faced as they left the pich in the twenty-fourth over.

Scorecard

2 July 2011 - 1st XI Wroxeter (away), 2nd XI Wroxeter (home)

First XI

Montgomery 1st XI travelled away to top of the table Wroxeter looking for a good performance after a frustrating few weeks. Put into bat by the home side, they lost opener Sam Davies without scoring but then Ed Davies joined Rob Kinsey and they began to build a partnership. This ended with the fall of Kinsey for 21, but the arrival of Richard Blayney saw the start of the major partnership of the innings as the batsmen started to make the most of a flat pitch. Davies was eventually dismissed for 65 and although Rob Bennet fell for a duck Andrew Barker’s valuable 21 at the end meant that the score passed the 200 mark before Blayney fell off the last ball of the innings for 61 runs.

In reply the Wroxeter batsmen took immediate control and the Montgomery bowlers soon realised they were in for a long afternoon. Bryan Jones led the chase with 101 unbeaten runs and he was assisted by Nick Bevan with 71 and Tom Welti with 16. Of the eight bowlers used only Sam Davies was successful, capturing the wicket of Bevan, caught by Richard Blayney before the Montgomery total was passed in the 37th over.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented ‘We were beaten by a good side this afternoon, but our batting performance showed improvement over the past couple of weeks.

Scorecard

Second XI

Montgomery 2nd XI took fifteen satisfying points away from their game at home against Division 4 high fliers Wroxeter. Seeing a dry pitch skipper Jonathan Williams took the brave decision to bat first and Brian Corfield took advantage, building a steady score of 43. David Thomas and Aaron Ruff-Cock failed to make a mark but Jack Williams, coming in after the fall of the second wicket, began to score fluently and the strong partnership that formed the backbone of the innings developed. When Corfield was dismissed the team looked to the middle order to accelerate, and although this failed to materialise the innings ended on a competitive 195-5 with Jack Williams unbeaten on 72.

The Montgomery bowlers took two quick wickets at the top of the Wroxeter order but then their number three batsman Simon Bushell (55) and their number four Duncan Brearley (40) started to make the target look possible. Their dismissals meant that the run rate started to fall behind that required and the game ended with the visitors on 164-7 with Aaron Ruff-Cock’s bowling (3-41) the most impressive.

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30 June 2011 - Midweek XI Alberbury (away), Montgomeryshire Knock-out Competition

Alberbury won the toss and asked Montgomery to bat first in the contest to see who will join other Montgomeryshire teams on the finals day of the competition on 31 July. The innings started slowly with a good opening spell from the Alberbury bowlers Neil Savage and J Harup. Sam Davies was caught in the second over for two, but this brought Richard Blayney to the crease and he formed a steady partnership with opener Ed Davies. This progressed until Blayney was bowled by Olly Corbett for 8. Off spinner Jamie Brooks then took two wickets in his first two deliveries, having Ed Davies caught for 36 followed by Rob Kinsey bowled for 5. Montgomery now looked to up the run rate and a good partnership developed between Aaron Ruffcock and Rob Bennett, who hit 17 before he was bowled by Alberbury skipper Neil Savage. This brought veteran all rounder Jonathan Williams to the crease to join Ruffcock who was now hitting the boundary regularly on his way to 41 not out. The Montgomery innings closed on 145 for 5, with Jonathan Williams on 17 not out.

In reply Alberbury started slowly with economical bowling from the Monty openers Neil Tuffin and Ed Davies, with Davies forcing an early wicket when he had Andy Wynne caught at slip by Aaron Ruffcock for 8. Mark Jones then came to the crease and looked in positive mood but wickets fell the other end on a regular basis thanks to some good bowling from Andrew Barker, who captured 2 for 20 from his 4 overs, and Rob Kinsey who ended Alberbury hopes of victory when he bowled Mark Jones for 38. He finished with impressive figures of 3 for 18 from his 4 overs. The Alberbury innings closed on 119 for 8.

The Montgomeryshire finals day will be held on Sunday 31st July at Welshpool commencing at 12pm.


25 June 2011 - 1st XI Condover (home), 2nd XI Church Aston (away)

First XI

Neil Tuffin had a frustrating time watching the rain fall at Lymore. The away team agreed to travel, and for a while it looked like play would be possible after tea, but one more burst of rain was too much for the already sodden Lymore pitch.

Second XI

The 2nd XI team left a rain soaked Montgomery ready to enjoy the sunshine in Wellington against Church Aston. Unfortunately Jonathan Williams lost the toss on a pitch that was wet but looked like it would improve as the game went on. Openers Brian Corfield and David Thomas toiled on the wet surface, with Thomas especially only managing one run from the fifteen overs he was at the crease. Meanwhile wickets were tumbling at the other end with Corfield, Clinton and Ruff-Cock all falling in the same over. The arrival of Jonathan Williams added a bit of impetus but it was only the tenth wicket batting of Gareth Griffiths that allowed the team to scrape past the 100 mark to finish on 106 all out.

The Montgomery bowlers got off to the best possible start with Tom Wilkinson capturing a wicket with his first ball. Thereafter the home batsmen took control with Ganesh Kumar in particular making the most of a now dry pitch for his 51. Aaron Ruff-Cock's mixture of spin and seam picked up three wickets before the end, but the meagre Montgomery total was overtaken in the twentieth over.

Scorecard

18 June 2011 - 1st XI Frankton (away), 2nd XI Calverhall (home)

First XI

Crumbling Montgomery batting condemned them to a heavy defeat away at Frankton. Asked to bowl first the openers Neil Tuffin and Jack Williams restricted the dangerous Frankton batting but early wickets were hard to find and it was only with the introduction of Ed Davies’ that progress was made. The dismissal of Sri Lankan Nalaka da Silva for 33 lifted Montgomery’s spirits, but Justin Brookes (66) carried on to provide the major innings and hard hitting at the end by Thomas Wilkie (23) meant that the innings reached 193 at the end of forty overs despite an outstanding bowling performance by Ed Davies (6-68).

Skipper Neil Tuffin’s confidence in a strong batting line-up didn’t last long as Sam Davies, Aaron Ruff-Cock, Ed Davies and Tim Davies all fell in single figures and it was left to Rob Kinsey (22), Richard Blayney (14) and Jack Williams (14) to scrape the innings beyond the 100 mark. When the innings ended on 103 all out at the end of the 34th over the losing margin of 90 runs represented one of the heaviest defeats of Neil Tuffin’s captaincy. He commented ‘We’ll have to bounce back after two defeats in a row, but we are confident of getting a result at home against Condover next week’.

Scorecard

Second XI

The Montgomery bowlers, in particular Charlie Clinton, decimated the Calverhall batting and the batsmen then chased down the total of 95 for the loss of only five wickets with Charlie Clinton underlining his potential as a match winning all-rounder with the main contribution. The game was characterised by huge pressure on the home umpire to make decisions in the away team's favour, but Thomas Corfield stood firm and showed how he is developing into a very level headed decision maker.

Scorecard

11 June 2011 - 1st XI Forton (away), 2nd XI Hodnet and Peplow (home)

First XI

Immediately after skipper Neil Tuffin had won the toss and asked the home side to bat a heavy shower of rain delayed the proceedings for 40 minutes. Once this was out of the way the Montgomery opening bowlers Tuffin (2-30) and Jack Williams (1-42), followed by Ed Davies (0-34), made life difficult for the Forton batsmen and progress was slow for the first twenty-five overs. Opener Adam Bushnell formed the back-bone of the innings with 63 not out and he allowed his colleagues freedom to enjoy hard hitting and take quick singles in the final fifteen overs. Although Ed Bennet (2-17) captured two late wickets, the score ended on 187-6.

In reply Montgomery looked to their top four to make progress but although Ed Davies (25) and Aaron Ruffcock (26) got in and started to play shots they were both dismissed before they could make their mark on the game. Tim Davies returned to form with a sensible 41 but the spin of Mat MacInnes (5-32) exposed an inexperienced lower order and the team were skittled for 143 before the end of the 38th over.

Skipper Tuffin commented ‘We thought we were in with a good chance in this game, particularly after three good performances, but we didn’t quite have the batting to get past the target’.

Scorecard

Second XI

Hodnet won the toss and decided to put the home team in on a damp wicket that looked like improving through the day. The top order had no reply to the speed of Hodnet's John Clayton and Montgomery were soon four wickets down with only ten runs on the board. Wickets kept on falling but skipper Jonathan Williams resolutely batted on and ground out a valuable 53 with Mark Cadwallader (17) and Mike Williams (14) the only two other batsmen to reach double figures.

In reply Montgomery's new opening bowler Mike Long captured two early wickets, but the Hodnet batsmen then steadied and started to make progress towards the target. Thomas Mulholland (33) and Kevin George (41) were the key to the innings and although these two were finally removed the hard work had been done and they passed the target in the thirty-fourth over.

Scorecard

4 June 2011 - 1st XI Pontesbury (home), 2nd XI Hinstock (away)

First XI

Pontesbury skipper Darrel Corfield won the toss and asked Montgomery to bat first. Stand in opener Ed Davies made a magnificent 110 not out to help Montgomery to 194 for 6 from 45 overs. He and regular opener Sam Davies got off to a very good start, helped by some wayward bowling from the Pontesbury opening bowlers, and they scored 40 off the first six overs. The bowlers then found their line and length to slow the run rate, and this eventually brought about the dismissal of Sam Davies for 10 when he chopped onto his stumps to the bowling of Toby Ward. Aaron Ruffcock then came to the crease to join Davies, and was looking like settling himself in for a good knock only to be caught and bowled by Andy Robinson for 16. There were other contributions from Tim Davies (13), Richard Blayney (14), and 10 not out from Rob Bennett. Andy Robinson was the best of the bowlers with 4 for 56 from 18 overs.

In reply Pontesbury in reply got off to a dreadful start, losing opener Graham Oakley in the first over, trapped lbw by Montgomery skipper Neil Tuffin. Things got worse as Pontesbury were reduced to 22 for 4 with Mathew Hartshorn and Alister Corfield both falling to Tuffin (3 for 25 from 9 overs), and the Pontesbury skipper caught by wicket keeper Rob Bennett off the bowling of Jack Williams. Dave Thomas (30) and Mathew Haigh (25) then dug in to build a partnership, followed by Dan Simmons who scored a match-saving 49 before being caught and bowled by Ed Davies (3 for 35 from 8 overs). There were other contibutions from Peter Atkinson (27) and Andy Robinson (17), and towards the end Pontesbury were on the brink of an unlikely win. Eventually though a good closing spell from man of the match Ed Davies left Toby Ward and Will Middleton to survive the last over and the innings finished on 184 for 9.

“We are disappointed not to get the win but credit must go to Pontesbury for their resolve” commented skipper Neil Tuffin.

Scorecard

Second XI

The second XI travelled away expecting to get points against Division 4's bottom club. Skipper Jonathan Williams won the toss and asked the home side to bat. A steady opening stand was broken by the introducion of first change bowler Mike Williams after the openers Charlie Clinton and Tom Wilkinson has failed to make a breakthrough despite some controlled bowling. Thereafter the Hinstock innings fell apart, with spinner Mahesh Robinson the pick of the bowlers with four wickets as the innings collapsed to 95 all out.

The Montgomery reply started quickly with John Barker and David Thomas both finding the short boundaries at either end of the ground. The halfway mark towards the target was achieved with little effort, but then Barker was dismissed for 21 and Thomas followed for 18. There were a few jitters as needless wickets fell but the skipper held his nerve to see the team safely past the target for the loss of six wickets.

Scorecard

28 May 2011 - 1st XI Welshpool (away), 2nd XI Wellington (home)

First XI

In the first Derby match between the two teams to be played at Welshpool for several years, Welshpool skipper Ernie Birch won the toss and elected to bat on a good wicket.

Openers Joe Birch and Dave (Shandy) Jones made a good start by taking advantage of some wayward bowling from the Monty opening bowlers Jack Williams (0 for 30) and Ed Davies. The introduction of Rob Kinsey (0 for 28) and skipper Neil Tuffin to the attack put a halt to the Welshpool run rate, and wickets soon followed when Dave Jones was caught behind for 26, closely followed by Chapman (2), both falling to Tuffin. Joe Birch was now looking to increase the run rate but fell for 46 to a good catch by Sam Davies at mid off from the bowling of Tuffin, who finished with 3 for 30 from 12 overs. Rob Birch smashed a quick 45 to help Welshpool to a competitive 163 for 7 off their 45 overs.

Monty openers Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies made a good start and kept ahead of the run rate until Davies fell to Rupert Shingler for 19. This brought Aaron Ruffcock to join Kinsey and they formed another good partnership. Monty were closing in on victory when Kinsey fell lbw to Shingler (2 for 42) for 52, his third half century in four games. With Ruffcock now in fine form, hitting an unbeaten 57, and with contributions from Ed Davies 14 and Tim Davies 3, Montgomery reached their target in the 36th over. The Welshpool bowlers made Monty work hard for the victory in the closing stages with Shingler (2 for 42) and Ernie Birch (2 for 18) being the pick of the bowling.

“This was a good competitive game giving Montgomery another much needed victory. We are growing in confidence with every game” commented skipper Neil Tuffin.

Scorecard

Second XI

Jonathan Williams won the toss against the Division 4 high-fliers and chose to bowl. He was soon rewarded with the two openers, both captured by Tom Wilkinson (2-49), but the visitor’s numbers three and four then started to settle. The younger of the two, Ben Gould, was striking the ball well and attacked the Monty bowling whilst the more experienced Alan Denver played a well paced innings. Ben Gould eventually fell for 69 and Denver for 70, which opened the flood gates for the Monty bowlers and they picked up the next five wickets for only 19 runs. Ned Hayes captured two for eight and Mark Cadwallader four for fifty, to leave Wellington on 190-9 after 40 overs.

Tight bowling by the opening bowlers restricted the Monty batsmen and John Barker fell for only 5 runs. Jake Wilkinson and David Thomas then struggled to score quickly but the appearance of the change bowlers relaxed the grip and David Thomas in particular started to score quickly. The loss of Wilkinson for 22 saw the appearance of Jonathan Williams and for a while Monty looked capable of overhauling the total, but the needless run out of the skipper for 15 followed by the loss of Thomas for 47 disrupted the innings. Mark Cadwallader added 22 and Adam Bowen (11), Tom Wilkinson (10 not out) and Brian Corfield (5 not out) also contributed, but when the innings ended on 155-6 it was well short of the target of 191.

Scorecard

21 May 2011 - 1st XI Llanidloes (home), 2nd XI Oswestry (away)

First XI

Montgomery secured a much needed win despite fielding a weakened side at home against their local rivals. Stand-in skipper Jonathan Williams lost the toss and was asked to bat, and Llanidloes were immediately rewarded with Sam Davies falling for 5. Ed Davies then stabilised the innings with Aaron Ruffcock (25) and the pair put on 41 before Ed Davies fell for 29. The innings then struggled as Ruffcock was dismissed along with Rob Bennett for a duck and Keith Griffiths for 9, but when father and son Jack and Jonathan Williams came together to put on 63 things started looking better for the home side. The innings ended on 161-6 - a challenging total this season on the Lymore pitch

In reply Llanidloes started steadily with Marc Hughes and Geraint Evans both getting settled, but the introduction of Jonathan Williams shook things up and he captured the wicket of the first three batsmen. This exposed the tail and the openers Jack Williams and Ed Davies returned to finish off the tail in the dying overs.

Scorecard

Second XI

A weakened Second XI performed well away against Oswestry IIIs. Stand-in skipper Andrew Black put the opposition in and was immediately rewarded by the wicket of Luke Jones in the first over, but the other opener Andrew Fraser and number three bat Dave Shaw made the most of a good pitch despite the good bowling of Charlie Clinton and Tom Wilkinson. The bowlers secured wickets at regular intervals, including returning swing bowler Clive Jones, but couldn't prevent the home side reaching 221-8.

John Barker's 50 in his first game of the season was the highlight of the innings, and while Dave Thomas was at the crease it was possible that the target could be overtaken. Thomas' dismissal exposed an inexperienced batting line-up, but they managed to hang on to finish on 156-9.

Scorecard

14 May 2011 - 1st XI Alberbury (away), 2nd XI Alberbury (home)

First XI

In a game reduced to 40 overs because of the threat of rain, the Alberbury skipper Neil Savage won an important toss and put Montgomery in to bat. The openers made a good start with Rob Kinsey and Sam Davies sharing an opening stand of 73 before Sam Davies was bowled by Miles Thomas for 35. Andy Holloway then bowled Aaron Ruffcock for 5 which brought Ed Davies to the crease. He made steady progress with Kinsey, who eventually fell for 59, and he was closely followed by Davies himself for 26, bowled by skipper Savage (2-24). Tim Davies (12) and Richard Blayney (16) scampered a partnership towards the end of the innings to leave Montgomery 177 for 7 off 40 overs.

Alberbury in reply accumulated the total steadily with former skipper Mike Crawshaw carrying his bat with 81 not out. The only wicket to fall was Charles Bourne, who was run out by Aaron Ruffcock for 26. This brought Mark Jones to the crease, and he steered Alberbury to victory in the final over with an impressive 46 not out.

Neil Tufin commented 'It was a good game of cricket, and Alberbury were obviously determined to beat their local rivals for the first time in several years'.

Scorecard

Second XI

The Second XI also had a tough game against the local rivals and couldn't get the visitor's star batsman Kurt Finnigan out, despite him offering chances. His 88 was the highlight of the day, although Jonathan Williams' last over quadruple wicket maiden meant that the batting side failed to reach the 200 mark.

The Montgomery openers got off to a steadier start than in recent weeks, but a heavy shower interrupted progress and when the batsmen returned the pitch and outfield had slowed up considerably. The introduction of Preston Fletcher further cramped the openers and Brian Corfield was dismissed for 12 after the opening partnership had added 41. David Thomas' frustration was manifested in a silly run out after he had scored 26, and Adam Bowen again failed to trouble the scorers. The innings was envigorated by a quick 46 from Keith Griffiths, but by then a winning total seemed a long way away and the game ended with the team on 133-7.

Scorecard

7 May 2011 - 1st XI Lilleshall (home), 2nd XI Grove (away)

First XI

On a stormy and damp day a shortened game of 35 overs was agreed by both teams. Lilleshall won a very important toss and asked Montgomery to bat first to take advantage of the difficult conditions.

Montgomery were soon in trouble and lost early wickets, with only the watchful Rob Kinsey (27) making any significant contribution from the top five. A much needed partnership between Richard Blayney (27) and wicket keeper Rob Bennett (20) helped push Monty up over 100, and it was then left to Jack Williams to make a late charge with 17 not out to enable the side to reach a decent total of 131 for 9. The pick of the away side's bowlers were Will Askin (3-23) and George Millington (3-21).

In reply Lilleshall worked hard for their victory, but reached the target with five overs to spare and seven wickets in hand. The star was E. Keenan who had scored 79 when he was trapped lbw by Rob Kinsey, who took 3 late wickets and was the only Monty Bowler to get any success.

Scorecard

2nd XI

The Second XI lost a tight and high scoring game away at Grove. Put into bat there was a familiar feel to the start of the innings as the first three batsmen fell for 15 runs. Again it was up to skipper Jonathan Williams (32) and Jake Wilkinson to steady the innings (31) and they eventually got the feel of the wicket and started scoring freely. When Williams was out Keith Griffiths came to the crease and he quickly found that the pace of the pitch was to his liking, scoring a hard hitting 43. The innings subsided a little towards the end, but a score of 187-9 off 35 overs looked like a competitive effort.

In reply Grove got of to a steady start and always managed to stay in touch with the run rate, and when opener Keith Sambrook started to find some big hits Montgomery sensed the game was going away from them. Although Sambrook was finally dismissed for 93 Grove were by then in sight of the end and the match was finished in the 33rd over.

Scorecard

30 April 2011 - 1st XI Cound (away), 2nd XI Harcourt (home)

First XI

The First XI began the season in a high scoring contest on a dry and fast track at Cound. Cound's Graham Trow got the home side off to a flying start and scored 102 off only 90 balls as the Montgomery opening bowlers Tuffin (0-39) and Jack Williams (0-38) struggled to make an impact. The introduction of Aaron Ruff-Cock (3-72) and Andrew Barker (1-72) brought some level of control and although Matt Jones (65) and Dave Langton (44) continued to provide support for Trow the innings ended on 277 for four, the chase of more than 300 that looked likely at one point did not materialise.

The highlight of the Montgmery reply was a maiden century of 103 by Sam Davies. With Rob Kinsey (52) and then Aaron Ruff-Cock (32) in support the game looked like going Montgomery's way for the first half of the innings, but once these three were dismissed the innings subsided disappointedly. It was then left to Jack Williams and Magesh Robinson to fend off a fiery few overs at the end to finish the innings on 243-9 to secure a draw.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented 'Unfortunately we couldn't quite sustain the momentum in this match, but it was great to get runs on the board and Sam Davies' innings was magnificent'.

Scorecard

2nd XI

Montgomery came away with an unlikely win as they twice recovered from the prospect of heavy defeat in a low scoring game against Harcourt. Montgomery batted first and were soon three wickets down before managing to get the score into double figures. Skipper Jonathan Williams (28) then steadied the ship and sensible batting by Jake Wilkinson (10) meant the the basis of a reasonable innings was established. It was then left to Mark Cadwallader (28 n.o.) and Tom Wilkinson (24 n.o.) to push on to post a score of 133 - 7.

Harcourt's reply began confidently as openers Roger Davies (27) and Steve Owen (11) looked to have mastered a difficult pitch, but the introduction Mark Cadwallader (4-37) and Jonathan Williams (4-35) swung the game back in Montgomery's favour. All three results were still possible as the skipper turned to his fifth bowler in the closing overs, but Ned Hayes' killer instincts emerged as he took 2-8 to clean up the tail and achieve an important win in the first game of the season.

Scorecard

Cricketing Round-up - 2010

16 October 2010 - Annual Dinner and Awards Night

The club celebrated a successful season at their Annual Dinner in the Dragon Hotel. Chairman John Barker praised the players, tea ladies and other members of the club for all their work, and added that the new facilities had added much to the ground and the enjoyment of playing and watching cricket at Lymore. Notable events had included the President's Day, the hosting of the finals of the Montgomeryshire T20 competition, and the return of county fixtures to the ground after a gap of several years. Once again the Junior Section had dominated local cricket in their age groups, with all three squads making it to the finals days.

Neil Tuffin reported on a slightly frustrating year for the 1st XI. Although the team had maintained their mid-table standing they had failed to build on victories over two of the top teams in the league - Wroxeter and Cound. Losses against lowly placed opposition seemed to be a feature of a mid season slump, but the team had bounced back by the end of the season and four victories in a row demonstrated their real potential. The batting award was won by Aaron Ruff-Cock, the bowler's Eaton Trophy by Ed Davies, and the performance of the season by Rob Bennett for his match-saving 50 not out against Forton.

Jonathan Williams began his speech by thanking all the other captains who had led the 2nd XI through the season. This reflected inconsistency of availability through the club and meant that at times the team struggled to put out a strong enough team on their return to Division 4. However, in the end he was pleased the team had maintained their position in an extremely tight division and expects the players to build on this next year. He was particularly satisfied that other batsmen had emerged to help John Barker build and chase challenging totals, and that his bowlers had continued the good work of last season. John Barker then awarded both the batting and bowling trophies to Jonathan and the performance of the season to Dave Thomas for his 67 not out against Hinstock.

Ed Davies thanked all those who had turned out for the Sunday XI. The team had played good cricket, but had also enjoyed themselves thoroughly. He awarded the batting trophy to Adam Bowen and the bowling trophy (after its retrieval after ten years in Rob Yewdall's attic) to Gareth Griffiths.

John Barker then concluded the speeches by awarding the Young Player of the Year trophy to Sam Davies and the Clubman of the Year trophy to Colin Davies. He thanked Colin for all his work on the ground over the winter and for the quality of his umpiring for the 1st XI. John also awarded a special trophy to Thomas Corfield to mark his achievement in gaining an umpiring qualification at the young age of 15. He commented that Thomas had done a fantastic job for the 2nd XI and had gained the respect of both home and away players.



Click here for photographs of the event.


25 September 2010 - 1st XI Llanidloes (away), 2nd XI Newport (home)

First XI

Despite their bow ties making them the best dressed team, the First XI didn't really seem interested for parts of the game against Llanidloes and lost by seven wickets.

Put into to bat by the home side, the openers were dismissed quickly with Tim Davies making only five and Sam Davies four. Aaron Ruff-Cock (19) and Ed Davies (26) steadied the ship for a while, but the fall of Ruff-Cock saw Andrew Barker come to the wicket and he was dismissed for only seven. Rob Bennett made a valuable contribution of 17, and with Jack Williams (21) and Adam Bowen (11) ensured that the side passed the hundred mark and finished on 133-8.

The Llanidloes reply was dominated by Andrew 'Butch' Evans, who once again proved to be the thorn in Montgomery's side. Butch was unbeaten on 54 when the game ended with Nicky George (44 not out) at the other end. Aaron Ruff-Cock was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets and Andrew Barker was the only other to take a wicket.

Skipper Tuffin commented 'There wasn't much riding on the game with both sides finishing mid table, but it was frustrating to lose to one of our local rivals. However, we've had a good season and continued progress from last year'.

Scorecard

2nd XI

Montgomery skipper Jonathan Williams decided to bat first and was rewarded with good batting and bowling performances as his team cruised away from the relegation zone. Despite losing only four wickets the Newport innings was restricted to 142 even though three of the batsmen (Anderson, Fowler and Board) looked like cutting loose. Good catches and tight bowling however pegged them back and the 2nd XI was well on the way to survival in Division 4 by tea.

A steady start by the Monty openers Barker (34) and Thomas (19) paved the way for a winning innings from Richard Blayney, who finished the game on 47 not out. He was accompanied over the last hurdles by Brian Corfield who finished on 19 not out. The win was completed in less than 35 overs for the loss of only four wickets and the team were ready to celebrate their achievement during their post-match refreshments.

Scorecard

18 September 2010 - 1st XI Wroxeter (home), 2nd XI Pontesbury (away)

First XI

The team produced one of the best performances of the year with an eight wicket win over Wroxeter, securing a comfortable mid-table position and ruining the visitor's title aspirations.

Sensing movement in the wicket and despite the good weather, the skipper put the opposition in to bat and was rewarded with an outstanding bowling performance. Ed Davies found movement off the pitch and created havoc. His dismissal of five of the top seven batsmen, including danger man Nick Bevan, was a tremendous performance and meant that the visitors were always struggling. With two wickets each from Rob Kinsey and Jack Williams, who was also the architect of a sharp run-out, the innings finished on a disappointing 140 all out.

In reply Montgomery cruised their way to the target with the openers Sam Davies and Rob Kinsey making a good start. Sam was dismissed for 10, but Rob Kinsey continued batting in partnership with Aaron Ruff-Cock. Kinsey was out for 32, but Ruff-Cock continued, accompanied by Andrew Barker. The innings ended after thirty-nine overs with Ruff-Cock on an impressive 63 not out and Barker on 25.

Skipper Tuffin commented 'We are finishing the season very strongly and this win against Wroxeter is the cherry on top of the cake. It was a great all round performance and proves that we can beat anyone in this league when we are performing well.'

Scorecard

2nd XI

Montgomery batted first having to secure points to ease their relegation worries. John Barker's outstanding 83 formed the core of the innings after the dismissal of Phil Betts for a duck at the top of the order. Number 3 Dave Thomas wasn't quite on form for his 17, but did manage to steady the innings and paved the way for strong middle order batting from Richard blayney (27) and Jonathan Williams (40). A rush for late runs led to the dismissal of the lower order, but the innings ended on 216 all out with the dismissal of Tom Wilkinson off the last ball.

An early wicket for Charlie Clinton and a tight spell from Mike Williams meant that the Pontesbury innings struggled to get going. A great effort by Mark Cadwallader (5-45), after a rusty first over, meant that the lower order had to hold on for a draw. They achieved this, largely due to Owen Morris who finished on 25 not out, and Montgomery had to settle for a frustrating draw that means they still have work to do to avoid relegation on the last day of the season.

Scorecard

11 September 2010 - 1st XI Condover (away), 2nd XI Harcourt (home)

First XI

Montgomery secured their survival on Saturday with a convincing 8 wicket victory away to Condover.

Winning the toss, Montgomery’s captain for the day Tim Davies put the hosts into bat. His decision was rewarded with a sublime bowling and fielding performance. Opening with the economical bowlers of Jack Williams (0-13) and Andrew Barker (0-22), Montgomery were quickly on top, starving the Condover batsmen of easy runs. However, it was the introduction of Rob Yewdall (2-27) and Rob Kinsey (7-22) to the bowling attack that inflicted the damage to Condover’s innings, with Yewdall picking up both opening batsmen and Kinsey seeing to the next 6 with relative ease. With the damage inflicted, Ed Davies (1-0) mopped up the tail-end without conceding a run, and left Condover all out for only 90.

In reply, Montgomery opened with a new pairing of Phil Betts (4) and Sam Davies (1), a decision which backfired when both were dismissed cheaply. Condover could have put the game on a knife edge, though crucial dropped catches cost them further quick wickets. Aaron Ruff-cock (44no) and Ed Davies (36no) punished Condover’s mistakes and saw the visitors home with 8 wickets remaining, ensuring maximum points.

Commenting after the game, captain Tim Davies said: “This was another impressive performance, and I was particularly pleased with our attitude in the field. Kinsey continues to roll back the years and that has to be one of the most damage inflicting bowling spells I’ve seen since I’ve been playing.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

Batting first, Montgomery struggled on a wet pitch, but the new opening duo of John Barker and Dave Thomas looked to have hung on just enough to get the innings going. The pair put on 36 for the first wicket against the accurate swing bowling of the Harcourt openers, but the dismissal of Barker precipitated the kind of collapse that is becoming all too familiar to the 2nd XI. Number three Gareth Davies departed without adding a run and was followed soon afer by Jonathan Williams for a single run. When Dave Thomas departed for 28 the innings soon fell apart with only Jake Wilkinson showing any sort of resistance. When Jake was out, unluckily hit-wicket, the team had only managed 99 runs.

Harcourt's reply was completed in 26 overs as they reached the target easily for the loss of two wickets. Adam Bowen contributed to both with a catch and an outswinging delivery snapped up by keeper Gareth Davies, but with only two points from the fixture the team now have a struggle to avoid relegation.

Scorecard

4 September 2010 - 1st XI Alberbury (home), 2nd XI Alberbury (away)

First XI

Going into the game only a few points above the drop zone, Montgomery started Saturday’s match against local rivals Alberbury knowing a victory was needed to avoid becoming embroiled in the relegation dogfight.

Alberbury won the toss and confidently elected to bat first. Opening with M Crawshaw and M Thomas, Alberbury got off to a solid but slow start before Andrew Barker (1-19) removed Thomas for 12. Ed Davies (3-27) wreaked havoc on Alberbury’s middle order, gaining the wickets of Bourne (19), Wyne (0), and Dale (5) in quick succession. At the other end, the economical bowling of Tuffin (3-24) captured the key wicket of Crawshaw for 18 and further added to the demise of Alberbury’s lower order with a further two wickets. Keith Griffiths (1-24) and Jack Wiliams (1-23) polished off the Alberbury innings with a wicket apiece to leave Montgomery requiring a target of 135 for victory.

In reply, Montgomery opened with the experience of Rob Kinsey and his understudy Sam Davies. Boundaries came quickly in the first few overs, before Alberbury’s B Davies (1-35) dismissed Davies for 9. This brought a free-scoring Ruff-Cock to the crease who quickly hit 21 before falling LBW to A Little (1-16). Ed Davies was Monty’s number 4, and with Kinsey looking assured at the other end, he echo Ruff-cock’s free-scoring approach, reaching 22 before being bowled off the bowling of T Preston (1-20). Alberbury hoped this would kick-start a batting collapse but the big-hitting Tim Davies, who scored 49no in their previous match, ended their hopes with a crowd pleasing and jaw dropping 30 not out. With Kinsey 32 not out at the other end, Montgomery took the spoils, winning the match by 7 wickets.

Commenting after the game, captain Tuffin said: “we knew how important a win today was, and I think our attitude today reflected that. I think it was our best performance of the season and to win by such a margin was just reward. With teams being so close together in the table, we need another big performance next week against Condover and know a victory there will assure us of safety.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

Batting first, Montgomery were satisfield with their total of 219, especially as all the top four batsmen contributed valuable runs. Brian Corfield (33) and John Barker (27) put on over 50 for the opening stand, and David Thomas made a strong contribution of 26 at number 3. The arrival of Caspar Mould changed the tempo of the innings and he played a host of attractive and aggressive shots on his way to 68.

In reply the Alberbury batsmen got off to a flying start with opener Kurt Finnegan leading from the front. When he was joined by the skipper, Hughes, the small ground made Montgomery's 219 look very vulnerable. Despite a late flurry of wickets the home side triumphed in the 35th over.

Scorecard

28 August 2010 - 1st XI Forton (home), 2nd XI Hodnet and Peplow (away)

First XI

Skipper Neil Tuffin was furious after a series of dropped catches against Forton which did little to ease his relegation worries.

Asked to bat by the visitors the home team got off to a solid start against the hostile opening bowling of the Sayers brothers. Sam Davies was the first to fall when he had 11 to his name, but Aaron Ruff-Cock carried on the work with a dependable 14. The acceleration in the innings was provided by Phil Betts who put on 31, including a huge six, but the core of the innings was provided by Rob Kinsey who made his way to a very solid 63 after three weeks absence from the team. The final total of 164 was just about par with a slow outfield and damp wicket.

The Forton reply started confidently and the opening bowlers, Jack Williams and Neil Tuffin, were frustrated and finished the day with no wickets. It was a similar story for the first change, Andrew Barker, and it was only with the introduction of Rob Kinsey that progress was made. His four wickets (4-47), backed up by two from Keith Griffiths (2-19), put the pressure back on Forton, but they were eventually able to hold out for an easy draw.

Skipper Tuffin was scathing in his criticism of the fielding performance "If we continue to drop catches like today we deserve to be a Division Two side".

Scorecard

2nd XI

Tom Wilkinson and Mark Cadwallader were the only players to come away with some credit after the 2nd XI came up against an unexpectedly strong Hodnet and Peplow side. Tom's 4-38 helped restrict the home side to 141 off their 45 overs, but the Montgomery reply got off to the worst possible start against a pace bowler returning from injury and playing well below his usual level. Following the loss of five wickets for a single run the innings was only saved from disaster by a strong rearguard action from Mark Cadwallader aided by Caspar Mould. The innings eventually ended on 66 all out.

Scorecard

21 August 2010 - 1st XI Cound (away), 2nd XI Hinstock (home)

First XI

The First XI struggled against one of the stronger sides in Division 1 but held on for a draw to salvage something from the match.

Batting first Cound made the most of their small ground and raced to 208-7 in their thirty-five overs. Pick of the batsmen was their regular run scorer Graham Trow with 81, but more damage was inflicted by Zimbabwean import Craig Heath who hit a quick-fire 55. The only Montgomery bowler to pose any problems was the skipper Neil Tuffin who ended with 4-32.

The Monty reply was a stuttering affair with only one of the top six batsmen reaching double figures. The lower order fared a little better but the experienced Neil Tuffin (6) and Jonathan Williams (12) held on for a tense draw as the innings ended on 114-9.

Skipper Tuffin praised his side commenting "It was important not to lose today because we are entering a tough fight for survival in Division 1 in the coming weeks".

Scorecard

2nd XI

Hinstock sent a weak team to Montgomery in dismal weather and were immediately under pressure from Monty openers Ian Bapty (49) and John Barker (44). Number three David Thomas missed out on the run-fest, and his real triumph of the day was his first place in the 'Most Attractive Allotment' competition at Montgomery Show. The run-spree was continued by Jake Wilkinson who scored the runs he has threatened all season with a 44 that included two sixes. The innings finished on 201-6 after 35 overs.

Hinstock immediately played for the draw which made for a long afternoon, and the home side used nine bowlers in a vain attempt to make progress. The innings ended on 96-2 and although the 2nd XI failed to win the game they came away with the majority of the points.

Scorecard

14 August 2010 - 1st XI Welshpool (home), 2nd XI Corvedale (away)

First XI

The season's most anticipated games were the first league fixtures against local rivals Welshpool after their relegation from the premiership last year. Unfortunately the away fixture in May was cancelled before a ball was bowled, and the home fixture fared little better, being abandoned after only eight overs of the second innings.

Welshpool batted first and posted a challenging total of 150, with Phil Lewis (41), and the Birch brothers Joe (32) and Rob (31) the pick of the batsmen. The stand-out bowler was Keith Griffiths, who now claims he is back to full pace after a long standing shoulder injury. His figures of 3-37 are easily his best figures for some time. He was supported in a good spell by Jack Williams (2-39), with Andrew Barker (1-24) taking the only other wicket.

The Monty reply lasted only eight overs before the game was abandoned, but not before the loss of Sam Davies wicket for 7. Skipper Tuffin commented 'this was a frustrating game, and one in which we had expected to pick up points."

Scorecard

2nd XI

The Second XI got the difficult game they expected away at top of the table Corvedale. Batting first Corvedale quickly notched up 196 in their 35 overs, with Ian Simmons (74) and Johnny Hill (54) the most destructive batsmen. Tom Wilkinson was the only bowler to come away with something creditabe after his three wickets for 59 runs.

The Montgomery replied started well with John Barker and Brian Corfield sharing an opening stand of over 50 runs, but the innings soon turned into a rearguard action after a middle order collapse. Tom Wilkinson, Ned Hayes and Gareth Griffiths all stood up well to a hostile atmosphere to secure an honourable draw in a game disrupted by six delays due to bad weather.

Scorecard

7 August 2010 - 1st XI Ellesmere (away), 2nd XI Knockin (home)

First XI

Montgomery demolished the Ellesmere XI with Andrew Barker and Jack Williams the heroes capturing eight wickets between them.

The extra's total of twelve was the highest score in the Ellemere team's disappointing 39 all out. Opening bowlers Andrew Barker (5-14) and Jack Williams (3-14) were seemingly unplayable although a number of the batsmen contributed to their own downfall with outrageously rash shots. When Jonathan Williams (2-8) came on to bowl the innings was effectively over, but he carried on where his son had left off and finished with two wickets.

The Monty innings lasted less than eight overs and despite the loss of Rob Kinsey it was somewhat of a cruise to victory with Sam Davies scoring eight and Aaron Ruff-Cock sixteen.

Commenting after the game, Tuffin said “It was important to win this weekend, but nobody quite realised how easy it would be. There are sterner tests to come and some of those are also must win games if we are to be secure by the end of the season.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

Openers Brian Corfield and Caspar Mould had their pads on after stand-in skipper Stan Davies had lost the toss, but on cue at 2pm the first of three torrential showers in less than an hour hit the ground. By 3pm the ground was unplayable and the match was called off.


31 July 2010 - 1st XI Worfield (home), 2nd XI Calverhall (away)

First XI

Montgomery endured another disappointing week, losing at home to top of the table Worfield, leaving them languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Having lost the toss, the hosts were put into bat. Monty’s openers, Tim and Sam Davies found the scoring difficult against the impressive pace attack of M Singh and G Breakwell. Singh (3-18) accounted for Monty’s top order, taking the wickets of Sam Davies (16), Ruffcock (4) and then the stubborn Tim Davies, who ended up being Montgomery’s top scorer with 20. Worfield’s captain replaced Breakwell with Arnold (2-25) and Singh with Plank (3-26) who accounted for Monty’s next four batsmen, who mustered only 25 between them. Fortunately for Montgomery, the experience of Tuffin (17), Jonathan Williams (11) and Rob Bennett (17no) managed to get the team’s total into three figures, with Monty all out for 122.

With a strong batting line-up, Worfield came out confident of victory in the bag. Their openers found things difficult, with Andrew Barker (1-21) and Jack Williams (1-16) dismissing T Pickerill (10) and T Perry (8) respectively. Any hopes of a batting collapse were soon dashed when A Saunders and M Turner came to the crease, with Turner smashing a very quick 19 before falling to Rob Yewdall (2-41) and Saunders providing the assured innings his captain requested. He finishing on 44 not out to see the visitors to their target with only 5 wickets down.

Commenting after the game, Tuffin said “against the top of the table, we needed to post a bigger total. Our bowlers made things reasonably difficult for the opposition batsmen but until we start giving the opposition larger targets, we’re likely to continue coming up short.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

The few old heads in a 2nd XI team dominated by youth were left wondering whether their measly total of 38 was the lowest ever posted by the team since they started playing league gricket in 1997. Arriving at the ground to see a very damp pitch all hopes were on stand-in skipper Mike Williams winning the toss. Unfortunately, his calling skills this season have been poor and the top order batsmen were soon up against it as the Calverhall opening bowlers Shane Guildford and Simon Parker made the most of the conditions. The only batsman to reach double figures was Ian Bapty with 10 and four of the other batsmen fell for ducks. The innings lasted for only 28 overs and the team were dismissed for 38.

The Monty bowlers showed some signs of life in the Calverhall reply and Mike Williams captured the wicket of opener Sumner, but R.Parker finished off the game with a bold 25 after only 10 overs.

Scorecard

24 July 2010 - 1st XI Lilleshall (away), 2nd XI Grove (home)

First XI

Montgomery paid the price for an under par batting performance, reaching 101 on an unpredictable batting surface at Lilleshall.

Having lost the toss, Monty were put into bat and it was Lilleshall that got the better start, with aggressive bowling from Askin (2-21) and Russell (1-7) snaring the early scalps of Tim Davies (2), Ruff-cock (5), and Gareth Davies (1). It was only Sam Davies providing resistance, adopting a successful play-making strategy that saw him quickly accumulate runs. The replacement of Russell by Millington (4-28) provided little respite, with Millington quickly sending Babty (1) back to the pavilion. Tuffin was then run out without facing a ball to add to Monty’s woes. Davies’ innings came to an end on 31, when bowled by David Bicknell (1-19), and the tail end were removed quickly, with only Andrew Barker (20) and Rob Bennett (11no) troubling the scoreboard.

Lilleshall made hard work of chasing down the total but it was quickly evident in their style of play that they were more used to batting on the uneven surface. Tuffin (4-25) opened with Andrew Barker, and it was Tuffin that took the first wicket, removing opener Dave Marshall for 5. Fellow opener Tempest (21) and number three Bainbridge (29) developed what turned out to be a match winning partnership before Tuffin removed Bainbridge and Yewdall (3-18) removed Tempest. Yewdall then captured Lilleshall’s Lloyd (8) and Airey (5) cheaply, which seemed to give Monty some belief that a win was possible. It was then Tuffin’s turn to strike, bowling Askin for 5 and removing Russell for a duck. With Monty sniffing victory, Lilleshall kept their heads to reach their total with three wickets remaining to send the Montgomery team home disappointed.

Commenting after the game, Monty captain Tuffin said: “That was a very difficult pitch to bat on and I’m not surprised it has seen many small totals this season. However, it wasn’t a 101 run wicket and we knew we were probably 30 runs short of a defendable total. I was pleased with the majority of our bowling which turned it into a reasonably close match. That said, we fell short again this week and need to sort it out, otherwise we may get dragged into the wrong end of the table.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

The Second XI looked to be in a winning situation at home to Grove, but in the end were defeated by strong middle order batting. Batting first Montgomery reached 150-9 thanks to a steady knock of 50 by Brian Corfield and a hard hitting 40 by Keith Griffiths, but the rest of the batting was under pressure from tight bowling, particularly by Nick Benwell who finished on 3-13 off 8 overs.

The Monty openers Mike Williams and Keith Griffiths ripped through the Grove top order and the top four batsmen could only manage 5 runs between them. The arrival of Tom Mosley turned the game and his 80, aided by 33 from Benwell, finished off the game in Grove's favour.

Scorecard

10 July 2010 - 1st XI Frankton (home), 2nd XI Chelmarsh (away)

First XI

It was pretty much honours even at Lymore on Saturday, in a hard fought and high scoring match between Monty and Frankton.

Reducing the game to 40 overs, Montgomery won the toss and elected to field first, hoping the overcast conditions would be conducive to Monty’s swing bowlers. However, opening with Andrew Barker (0-49) and Jack Williams (0-25), Monty were unable to capture an early wicket, with Frankton’s batsmen De Silva and Chappell scoring with relative ease. It was the introduction of Ed Davies (2-40) that captured the first wicket with Chappell falling for 27. Frankton’s number 3 and 4 batsmen came and went with quick succession, falling to paceman Ed Davies and the experienced Rob Yewdall (2-56) who looks to be getting back to his best following long-term injury. Parry-Jones came to the crease and after looking edgy early on, managed to settle himself and open his shoulders, scoring a quick fire 46 before veteran Jonathan Williams (2-33) snared his victim. De Silva eventually fell for 70 off the bowling of Yewdall, but this only introduced Parry (44) who’s rapid scoring left Monty requiring a challenging 218 to get off their 40 overs.

Monty opened with the in-form Tim Davies and the emerging talent of Sam Davies. The pair kept up with the required run rate before Sam was dubiously given LBW of the bowling of Parry-Jones (3-42) for 9. Ruff-cock was next in and looked in aggressive mood dispatching Frankton’s bowlers to all parts of the field. Davies (18) went about his business with precision before being caught off the bowling of R Edwards (1-22). Ed Davies was Monty’s number 4 who alongside Ruffcock (87), looked to be taking the game away from Frankton. However, Ruffcock was eventually dismissed, again to a dubious LBW decision off Parry-Jones, and then looking to increase the run-rate, Ed Davies was caught for 45. This more or less ended Monty’s hopes of a victory but they finished on a spirited 201, 17 short of the required total.

Stand-in captin Tim Davies said after the game, “it was a great game and I think a draw is a fair result on the whole. That said, I was disappointed with our fielding which I feel gave them ten to fifteen runs. It’s been a common theme this season and in this particular case, may have been the difference between winning and drawing.”

Scorecard

10 July 2010 - 1st XI Llanidloes (home), 2nd XI Newport III (away)

First XI

The First XI are experiencing a mid-season slump and their defeat to Llanidloes on Saturday mean they are in the bottom half of the table halfway through the season.

Put into bat by the visitors Tim Davies and Sam Davies looked confident at the start, but when Sam fell for 22 the innings started to stumble. Great things were expected of Aaron Ruffcock after his big century for the Second XI the previous weekend, but he was soon dismissed LBW for a single off the bowling of Rob Davies. Ed Davies started brightly but Dave Mason, in what may be his last game for the club, had a short stay at the crease before being LBW, again to Rob Davies. David Thomas started to play some confident shots on his arrival at the crease, but the partnership with Ed Davies ended when Ed was out for 18. Thomas was then dismissed for 12 and despite the good efforts of father and son John (14) and Jack Williams (12) the innings ended on 153-8 after 45 overs.

Llanidloes started confidently and the Montgomery bowlers strove in vain for the first breakthrough. Batting fluently Andrew Evans was the core of the innings with 80 and it wasn't until Jack Williams came back for his second spell that Montgomery's luck began to change. He eventually ended with figures of 2-29, but by then the damage had been done and Llanidloes ended up winning the game in the 39th over by seven wickets.

Scorecard

2nd XI

The Second XI experienced a comprehensive defeat away at Newport. Bowling first they conceded 291 runs with Mike Williams the only bowler to come away with credit after two quick wickets at the start of the innings. He eventually ended with 3-86 after a marathon spell of 14 overs, but the rest of the bowlers appeared to be cannon fodder for the fluent batting of Robert Anderson (79) and Ian Fowler (98).

In reply the Montgomery innings didn't get going even though the top four batsmen reached double figures. A middle order collapse finished any hopes for retrieving something from the match, but resolute batting from stand-in skipper Mike Williams (17) and a promising looking effort from Tom Wilkinson (20) meant that the score eventually reached 150 before the last man fell.

Scorecard

3 July 2010 - 1st XI Wroxeter (away), 2nd XI Pontesbury (home)

First XI

The Montgomery 1st XI that travelled away to Wroxeter faced a a strong side that are competing for the championship. The hosts won the toss and decided to bat, and then signalled their intent with their first ball being dispatched to the boundary. However, tight Montgomery bowling and tidy fielding meant that the home side were somewhat restricted in their run making. Despite this, the first three batsmen passed the fifty mark and it was not until Rob Kinsey started to exercise a bit of control that wickets began to fall. He ended the innings with figures of 4-86, with Craig Pearce the only other bowler to pick up a wicket with 2-52 as Wroxeter ended their innings on 245-6.

In reply the Montgomery batsmen got off to a shaky start with Rob Kinsey, Ian Bapty, Ed Davies and Rob Bennett all failing to get into double figures. Some resistance was offered by David Mason (24) and David Thomas (14), but it wasn't until the arrival of Jonathan Williams (44) that anyone looked confident enough to score runs, and with Andrew Barker (23) it looked possible that the team would salvage something from the game. However when these two fell the team capitulated and were finally all out in the forty-third over for 175.

Skipper Neil Tuffin commented 'We need to up our game to improve on our mid table position, but the return of Rob Yewdall next week will give the bowling a much needed edge”.

Scorecard

2nd XI

A strong 2nd XI side overwhelmed Pontesbury 2nd XI at home, with a powerful batting and bowling display. Batting first the home side powered to 234 – 4 with John Barker (41) providing the anchor role for a remarkable innings of 131 not out from Aaron Ruffcock.

The star in the bowling line-up was Rob Yewdall as he returned from injuries sustained in a car accident earlier this year. It looked like he had never been away as his first ball took its customary late in-swing to knock the bail off the off stump. He went on to claim 5-49 and helped the Monty side to reduce Pontesbury to 166 all out.

Scorecard

26 June 2010 - 1st XI Condover (home), 2nd XI Harcourt (away)

First XI

Saturday was a day to forget for Montgomery, being outplayed by bottom of the table Condover. On a sunny day at Lymore, Monty won the toss and elected to bat first with Tuffin knowing a good score would heap the pressure on the opposition, who had failed to reach 100 in previous weeks.

However, Condover’s opening bowlers dismantled Monty’s innings with M Farr (3-11) being the first to strike dismissing the in-form Tim Davies for 1, and later going on to claim the scalps of Kinsey (13) and Rob Bennett (0). Meanwhile fellow opening bowler Mansell (4-34) saw off the challenge of Ruffcock (6), Lee Davies (8), Gareth Davies (0) and Ed Davies (17), who was one of only two Monty batsmen to get into double figures. With the damage inflicted, Condovers remaining two bowlers, Haylett (1-17) and D Farr (2-10) saw off the tail, leaving Monty on a paltry 89 all out after only 35 overs.

With Condover’s batting line-up looking suspect in recent weeks, captain Tuffin (2-15) set an aggressive field early on and was soon rewarded when the captain himself dismissed both their openers, Upton and Elliott for 4 and 0 respectively. Barker (0-5) was bowling economically but unable to make any break through in Condover’s attack and with wickets needed, was replaced by paceman Ed Davies. Davies (1-18) got the wicket of Haylett for 18, leaving Condover on the brink of a collapse. However, luck didn’t go Monty’s way and with the opposition’s unsure shots producing runs and not chances. This allowed Condover to make quick work on closing in on their target and with Monty’s head dropping, Harris (19n) and Phillips (29no) saw the opposition home with 7 wickets remaining.

Scorecard

2nd XI

The 2nd XI came away with a very creditable 19 points from their visit to Harcourt. Put in to bat, the openers struggled and Brian Corfield was the first to fall for just two runs. The other opener John Barker fared a little better, and the innings began to get some stability as he and David Thomas began to get the feel of a pitch that was a little tricky. When John Barker fell for 29 the Montgomery innings took on a different complexion with the arrival of Dave Mason. He and Thomas had put on exactly a hundred runs when the latter was dismissed for 46. Mason went on to score 66 runs in quick time and by the time he was dismissed the score had reached 180. With the lower order chipping in the Montgomery innings finished on an impressive 236 - 6

The Harcourt reply began confidently with the openers seeing off the first spells of Jack Williams and Mike Williams. With a hard-hitting line-up to come Montgomery's total looked achievable. The arrival of Tom Wilkinson saw the first Monty break through and he eventually claimed both openers. Wickets continued to fall regularly, with Mark Cadwallader's mix-up bowling not allowing any of the batsmen to settle and a remarkable catch by Brian Corfield to dismiss Harcourt's danger batsman Richard Jarrett was the highlight of the fielding display. Cadwallader finished with 4-41, and with Jack Williams claiming two wickets on his return an important away win looked likely when the last Harcourt batsman came to the wicket. Unfortunately the last few overs were negotiated and Montgomery left with a good haul of points but no win.

Scorecard

19 June 2010 - 1st XI Alberbury (home), 2nd XI Alberbury (away)

First XI

Montgomery headed to Alberbury in confident mood, with a couple of their key players returning to the side. It got off to a good start with Tuffin winning the toss and electing to field first, demonstrating confidence in the Monty attack.

Monty opened with the pace bowling of Tuffin and Andrew Barker who have been the team’s most potent bowlers in recent weeks. Tuffin was first to strike, bowling Daniel Morris (2) in his second over, the beginning of a tireless 18 over spell. Mark Jones came to the crease and with opener Crawshaw started to build a solid partnership forcing Tuffin into switching Barker with Ed Davies. Unexpectedly, Jones retired hurt whilst in the twenties, which seemed to boost Monty who then proceeded to quickly obtain the wickets of Finnighan (10), Crawshaw (11) and Brookes (0) through the bowling of Tuffin (3-38) and Ed Davies (1-33). Mark Jones returned to the crease towards the latter part of the innings but fell shortly afterwards, being bowled by Jonathan Williams (2-48). Alberbury’s Kneale (39) looked dangerous until bowled by Craig Pearce (1-13) and Wynne (32 not out) boosted Alberbury’s total late on leaving them on 154 off their 45 overs.

Monty opened with Sam Davies and Tim Davies, both full of confidence from recent knocks. Both looking assured at the crease but it was Sam (11) who was first to depart chipping the ball to mid-on off the bowling of Jarrett (1-28). Ruffcock who was strategically switched to number 3 from opening came out to bat in an aggressive mood, smashing the ball to all parts of the field. This had a positive effect on Tim Davies, who joined in the run fest demonstrating an exquisite timing of the ball. The pair put on Monty’s second century partnership of the season before the impressive Ruffcock fell for 67 when stumped off the bowling of Fletcher (1-28). The only blight on the Monty scorecard was the dismissal of Ed Davies without scoring as Monty eased to their total. Tim Davies finished unbeaten on 49 with Lee Davies on 7.

Commenting after the match, Tuffin said: “That was a terrific all round performance. Our bowling was aggressive and reducing Alberbury to only 154 was a terrific effort. Our batsmen seem to be finding form at the right time and there is now more competition for places that we’ve had in the past. I think we’ve demonstrated today that we can beat most teams in this league on our day.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

The 2nd XI lost a high scoring game against Alberbury, but still maintain their second place in Division 4. Put in by the opposition Monty scored steadily with Brian Corfield (47), Stan Davies (27) and Dave Mason (24) all contributing to a score of 188 all out. In reply Alberbury started shakily with Jack Williams and Charlie Clinton taking the quick wickets of Finnegan and Bourton, but when the keeper Lewis came in the Alberbury team took control of the game. He was finally out for 66, bowled by Stan Davies, but by then the visitors were in easy reach of the target. Once again the pick of the Monty bowlers was Mike Williams with his 3-61.

Scorecard

12 June 2010 - 1st XI Forton (away), 2nd XI Hodnet and Peplow (home)

First XI

A maiden half century for keeper Rob Bennett was just about the only positive as a weak 1st XI travelled away to lowly Forton.

After winning the toss skipper Neil Tuffin decided to put the home team in, but they immediately made the most of home advantage and a hard track to rack up 148 for the first wicket. It was only with the unlikely introduction of rookie bowler Craig Pearce (2- 29) that Montgomery made any headway at all as he captured the wickets of both openers. But the runs kept on flowing despite Andrew Barker's (3-89) three wickets as he returned after a barren opening spell and Forton finished their innings on a formidable 280-5.

Montgomery's reply was a stuttering affair as Aaron Ruff-Cock, Andrew Black and Ian Bapty all fell cheaply. John Barker kept Montgomery's hopes alive with a solid 34 and the innings was further stabilised by Lee Davies (40), but when the fifth wicket went down at 74 Montgomery were not hopeful of salvaging anything from the game. However, Rob Bennett (50 not out) came to the crease and along with the skipper Neil Tuffin (24 not out) frustrated the Forton bowlers to scramble a draw.

Skipper Tuffin commented 'Rob Bennett's first 50 came just at the right time and allowed us to salvage points from the game. Next week we'll be back to strength at Alberbury and we'll be hoping to continue our winning run against our local rivals since we came back to Division 1 last year'.”

Scorecard

2nd XI

The 2nd XI outplayed Hodnet and Peplow in a low scoring game at Lymore that sees them rise to second place in Division 4.

Batting first the Montgomery side thought they were in trouble as wickets fell quickly, with only Phil Betts (19), Keith Griffiths (17), Brian Corfield (10) and Mike Williams (13) getting to double figures. With a total score of 107 all out the team looked like thy were destined for a heavy defeat.

But the Hodnet reply failed to get going as the wise old Montgomery bowlers Mark Cadwallader, Mike Williams and Jonathan Williams decimated the innings and they were all out for 68.

Scorecard


5 June 2010 - 1st XI Cound (home), 2nd XI Hinstock (away)

First XI

Montgomery claimed their second win in succession at home on Saturday, taking full points against promoting chasing Cound in a highly charged match at Lymore.

Cound won the toss and elected to bat first, opening with the experienced Trow and M Jones. Showing continuity Monty again opened with Jack Williams and Tuffin, and they didn’t disappoint with Jack Williams (1-12) effortlessly despatching captain Trow (0), caught behind by the excellent Rob Bennett. Though without wickets, Tuffin (0-13) bowled economically at the other end as both openers successfully implemented Monty’s pre-match strategy of frustrating the Cound batsmen early on. Jack Williams was replaced by his father Jonathan (2-15), who rolled back the years by claiming the important scalps of danger man Younger-Waters (15) and Langton (0). However, it was the introduction of Andrew Barker that inflicted the most damage on Cound’s batsmen. He took 4-33, including the key wicket of opener M Jones, who made a dogged 23. Keith Griffiths (2-20) again took wickets and looked to be getting back to his best, whilst Ruffcock (1-12) also impressed towards the end. Monty wrapped up the Cound innings in the 41st over, with Cound being dismissed for only 117.

In reply, Tuffin decided on the new opening pairing of Ruffcock and Tim Davies, who set about making inroads into the target. Runs came quickly early on as Cound’s bowlers tried to find their rhythm, and prompted a verbally hostile batting environment. Harrison (3-31) was the first to strike taking the wicket of Ruffcock for 15, which appeared to kick-start a mini batting collapse when he then captured Blayney LBW for zero and fellow bowler Alex Johnson saw an end to Jonathan Williams (5). Lee Davies and Tim Davies provided some resolve during a period of over exuberant appeals before Lee (16) was caught off the bowling of Hamer (1-11), and Tim (16) fell to the slow bowling of Alan Williams. Cound sensed victory when Sam Davies, Keith Griffiths, and Andrew Barker were cheaply dismissed, which set up a tense finale. However, the cool heads of Tuffin and Rob Bennett saw Monty home with both wickets and overs to spare, and meant Monty captured the full 24 points on offer.

Commenting after the game, Tuffin said: “that was a terrific result for us and was fully deserved. We usually have close games against Cound and so came up with a game plan prior to the start, which was executed well. Our bowlers were again very good and they were backed up by a near perfect fielding display. Our batting looked a little suspect at times but we made it over the finishing line which was all I asked for. We won’t get complacent and realise we need to work to keep this momentum going.”

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2nd XI

Montgomery 2nd XI always look forward to the trip to Hinstock and the young team that travelled this weekend came back with a hard earned win.

Stand-in Montgomery skipper John Barker decided to bowl first and the contrast between the raw pace and hostility of Tom Wilkinson (1-63) at one end and the classic swing bowling of Charlie Clinton (2-30) at the other meant the openers had no time to settle. Wickets fell at regular intervals, the majority of which were taken behind the wicket, but the short boundaries and quick outfield meant that runs were accumulating at a steady rate. Further wickets were captured by Ian Bapty (1-15) and Ping Mould (2-27) and Hinstock finished their innings on 214 for 6 - a gettable total in the conditions although a fielding injury to opening batsman Caspar Mould meant that Montgomery would be a batsman down when it was their turn.

The Montgomery openers resisted an early barrage of pace bowling as the Hinstock bowlers benefitted from the fiery pitch, but both batsmen were scoring quickly. Ian Bapty was the first to fall for 8, but John Barker continued until he too fell for 48. The rest of innings was built around a marathon effort by Dave Thomas. Coming to the crease when the score was only 30 he left the pitch at the end of the match with the job well done and 67 unbeaten runs to his name. At the other end batsmen came and went with Charlie Clinton (17), and Theo Mould (11) both looking like they were starting to settle before being undone by the Hinstock bowlers. It was Ping Mould's smashed four in what proved to be the penultimate over of the game that settled the matter and meant that the game was won with eight wickets down as Dave Thomas fittingly hit the winning run.

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29 May 2010 - 1st XI Welshpool (away), 2nd XI Corvedale (home), T20 XI Welshpool (home)

First XI

Following their mid-week win over their local rivals the Montgomery team were looking forward to their trip to resume league cricket for the first time in several years. Unfortunately the game was cancelled before the team travelled due to bad weather.


2nd XI

The Second XI'x game looked in doubt after heavy morning rain at Lymore, but Corvedale insisted on travelling and by 2.30 the ground had dried out sufficiently for play to start. Batting first the home team faced nineteen overs before a very heavy shower finished off the day's cricket. Significantly though the limited proceedings saw the return to form of the team's leading batsman John Barker who notched up an unbeaten 40.

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T20

The mid week T20 team defeated local rivals at home in what proved to be an easy win. The visitors batted first with O. Davies (27) the pick of the batsmen, but the final score of 87 looked well below par as Neil Tuffin earned himself four wickets. In return Montgomery settled after losing opener Dave Mason for a duck and it was Ed Davies's 47 that guided the team to victory for the loss of seven wickets in the seventeenth over.

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22 May 2010 - 1st XI Ellesmere (home), 2nd XI Knockin and Kinnerley (away) and Youth Fixtures

First XI

On Saturday, Montgomery took on a young looking Ellesmere side at Lymore Park, knowing they needed a win to build some momentum for next week’s local derby against Welshpool.

Ellesmere won the toss and surprisingly put Montgomery into bat first considering the high temperatures. However they were soon rewarded when Huxley (3-41) took the quick wickets of Kinsey (2), Ruffcock (7) and Ed Davies (4), leaving Monty on 25 for 3. This bought the pair of Tim and Lee Davies to the crease, and they successfully set about rebuilding the innings. Working well in tandem, Tim Davies showed maturity by keeping the scoreboard moving through ones and twos, whilst Lee Davies took the more aggressive role, frequently sending the ball over the boundary ropes. Demoralising the opposition bowlers, the duo put on a partnership of 115 until Bennett (2-44) eventually took the scalps of Lee (75) and Tim (33) only two overs later. However, with wickets now in hand, Monty were in a position to swing the bat. Captain Tuffin sent in specialist quick scorer Keith Griffiths to open his shoulders and he didn’t disappoint, smashing a quick fire 39. This left Montgomery on 203 for 8 after their 45 overs.

Montgomery opened the bowling with Neil Tuffin and Jack Williams. Though wicket-less, Jack again impressed with the ball with an economical spell, conceding only 2 runs from his 5 overs. However, an experienced Tuffin tore through the top order with a fine display of pace and swing bowling, seeing to the top 4 batsmen in quick succession and finishing with a 5 wicket haul whilst only conceding 12 runs. Replacing Williams with Ed Davies provided no respite for Ellesmere with his bodyline approach earning him a deserved 4-22. K Griffiths (1-6) took the remaining wicket to leave Ellesmere 47 all out off only 23 overs.

Commenting after the game, Tuffin said: “Today we put in a good all round performance. We looked in trouble early on, but we showed great maturity to rebuild the innings and get a very defendable total. The bowling display was aggressive and on the money, excellently supported by the fielders. This has filled us with a lot of confidence going into next week’s game against Welshpool.”

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2nd XI

Last year's rivals for the Division 5 top spot produced a fantastic display of cricket in a high scoring game, and Montgomery came away with a creditable result. Knockin batted first and piled on the runs in near perfect conditions with blue sky, a hard pitch and a fast outfield, but Montgomery kept taking wickets at regular intervals to prevent Knockin from really cutting loose. Stand-in skipper Mike Williams was the pick of the bowlers and he picked up an impressive five wicket haul as the opposition were bowled out for 248.

The Montgomery batsmen thought the total was gettable in the conditions, but suffered an early setback with the loss of John Barker for only three runs. Another two quick wickets were lost, but the arrival of David Thomas at the crease increased the run rate and a rapid 39 in a partnership of 68 with Brian Corfield suggested that the tide was turning in Montgomery's favour. After Thomas' dismissal Corfield continued to form the back bone of the innings while parners came and went at the other end until Charlie Clinton steadied the innings with a classy 29 not-out. Corfield was finally dismissed for a hugely impressive 51 and it was his contribution that ensured the 2nd XI came away with a bagful of points as they ended on 228 for 8.

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Youth Round Up

The youth season is now underway and has started with three wins out of three.

The under 11's featured in a very high scoring game on Sunday 23rd against Alberbury. The opposition piled on the runs and finished with well over 200 runs, but the Montgomery team was up to the task and eased past Alberbury's efforts in great conditions for attacking cricket.

Montgomery Under 13's played Welshpool on Friday 21st and surprised the opposition with a convincing win. Montgomery batted first and scored 94 – 2, with Harry Wilkinson and Joe Haycock both retiring after scoring 30. The pick of the Welshpool bowlers were Tom Anderson (1-3 off four overs) and Joe Monk (1-12 after four overs). In reply Welshpool were 64 all out, with Jake Evans top-scoring as he was left on 14 not out. James Corfield, stepping up to this level after impressing for the Under 11s last year, finished with three wickets for 15 runs after his four overs, and Ieuan Griffiths also ended with three wickets for six runs off only two overs.

This year's Under 15 side is much changed from last years as a number of youngsters have moved on to the senior teams. Their first game was against Alberbury on the 18th. Montgomery batted first and scored 117-3 with Charlie Clinton the outstanding batsman as he notched up 53 before retiring. In reply Alberbury were 60 All Out with Charlie Clinton, James Corfield and Jay Bishop taking two wickets each.


Worfield (away), 15 May 2010

The first XI travelled away to Worfield and put up a good fight against the favourites for the Division 1 title. Batting first they put on a creditable 202, the first score above 200 of the season. The opening partnership of 31 between Aaron Ruff-Cock (25) and Rob Kinsey (15) set a good foundation and paved the way for Ed Davies, who continued to look comfortable at the crease as he notched up a good looking 43 before being bowled by Gareth Lanchbury. A strong lower middle order display characterised by Sam Davies' 27 and Andrew Barker's 29 not out showed that the side have increasing depth to their batting.

The Worfield reply got off to a nervous start as Jack Williams took the early wickets of Tom Pickerill and Shaun Randall, but the arrival of Manny Singh and Matt Turner saw the game turned on its head. With Singh making 99 not out and Turner 92 not out the hard hitting batsmen created an uncomfortable afternoon for the Montgomery bowlers.

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Lilleshall (home), 8 May 2010

Weather again had its say this week, with the conditions forcing the captain’s to reduce the game to 35 overs per side.

Montgomery’s captain Tuffin won the toss and elected to put the opposition into bat. Hoping to take advantage of the overcast conditions, Tuffin opened himself and Jack Williams, the team’s specialist swingers. Williams (2-19) was first to strike, bowling Todd for 15. Tuffin (0-24) was unable to replicate his pre-season form and soon replaced himself with Ed Davies after only having a 3 over stint. Davies (2-37) took the key wickets of Tempest (6) and number 4 batsman Dakin (16). There were more smiles with the return to bowling for paceman Keith Griffiths (1-22) after a troublesome shoulder kept him out last season. However, that was the end of the day’s jubilation as Lilleshall’s middle order batsmen Bainbridge and Lloyd put on 41 and 33 respectively. Opening their shoulders towards the end of the innings, they guided Lillishall to 177 of their 35 overs, aided by a woeful fielding display from Montgomery.

In reply, Montgomery got off to the worst possible start with Robert Kinsey getting the team’s first duck of the season when he was caught behind of the bowling of Paxton (3-24). Paxton then saw off the challenge of Ruff-Cock, the second Monty batsman to not trouble the scorers. Montgomery were never able to get back on track from there with Tim Davies (8) the next to fall. Ed Davies (29) and Lee Davies (26) were the highlight of the Monty innings, and on this display will be the likely lads battling it out for the end-of-season batting trophy. When they fell to Dakin (3-33) and Askin (3-22), Monty were short of answers with Dave Mason (14) and Sam Davies (12) the only other batsmen getting into double figures. Monty ended up with a disappointing 126 all out, gifting Lilleshall full scoring points.

After the game, Tuffin commented “we’ve now lost 3 from 3 against Lilleshall and this was the most disappointing. There are clearly areas we need to work on and improve, particularly our fielding. However, there are some positives we can take and the glimpses I saw in both our bowling attack and batting line-up suggest to me that we can beat anyone in this league on our day. I’m confident that we’ll get it right and bounce back next week.”

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Frankton (away), 1 May 2010

Montgomery travelled away for the first game of the season despite a worsening weather report. Neil Tuffin won the toss and, looking at the damp conditions, decided to bowl. The opening pair for Frankton got away to a good start despite the tight bowling of Tuffin himself and Jack Williams, with Jonathan Chappell adding 38 and Ian Whitticase 53. The introduction of Rob Kinsey and Ed Davies in deteriorating weather conditions brought the first breakthrough and Frankton soon found themselves four wickets down. By tea they had reached 163 for 5 in their thirty-five overs. Unfortunately the weather then got the better of both teams and the match was abandoned.

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1st XI Match Reports - 2009 Season

Cound (home), 19 September 2009

Montgomery went into the final game of the season hopeful of doing well against in-form Cound and started well by winning the toss and putting the away team in to face the experimental opening partnership of Sam Davies (3 for 29 off 8 overs) and Tim Davies (1 for 26 from 6 overs). Cound also experimented by mixing up their batting order around, but it was Monty who took the early advantage as the early batting was swept aside. Monty expected the fun and games to stop when the impressive Younger Farrell-Walters came to the crease but he was soon sent back for 10 after a stunning catch from Lee Davies off the bowling of Sam Davies. Rob Mcintosh (17) and Dave Langton (18) then steadied the fall of wickets with a good partnership before they were both removed by Ed Davies (3 for37 off 7 overs). This brought Graham Trow and Rob Lawrence to the crease and they enjoyed a solid partnership, clawing Cound to a more respectable score before Trow was removed for 33 by Rob Kinsey (1 for15 off 9 overs) and Lawrence fell to Neil Tuffin (1 for28) with the Cound innings closing on 167 for 9 from 40 overs.

Montgomery made a good start with openers Rob Kinsey and Aaron Ruffcock putting the home team in a strong position before Ruffcock fell to Kevin Hamer for 41. The introduction of Alex Johnson changed the game as he removed Kinsey for 32, Rob Yewdall for three and Andrew Barker for a golden duck. Ed Davies came to the crease facing a hat trick ball but he managed to negotiate it and when he was joined by Lee Davies a steady partnership developed before Ed was removed for 14 by Johnson, who finished with 4 for 29. Tim Davies and Keith Griffiths both fell cheaply to create a close finish leaving skipper Neil Tuffin (7 not out) to join Lee Davies at the crease. Davies using his experience to accumulate a vital 28 not out, hitting a four to see his side to victory with 2 balls to spare.

Skipper Neil Tuffin was in buoyant mood after the game commenting “This was another good victory against a strong Cound side to complete a great season. With the second team also winning to secure promotion as champions from division 4 things are looking good for the future at Montgomery”.

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Worfield (away), 12 September 2009

Montgomery went into Saturday’s match against a promotion chasing Worfield team, determined to bounce back from last week’s disappointment. Having won the toss, Monty’s captain Neil Tuffin elected to field first, hopeful of tearing through the opposition’s batting line up. Monty opened the attack with pace bowlers Andrew Barker and Ed Davies, who both impressed with economical spells on a high-scoring wicket. Ed Davies picked up the wicket of Pickering for 7, returning figures of 1 for 31 off 10 overs, whilst Barker’s 1 for 56 off 14 overs was unjustly scant reward from his impressive spell. However, with wickets in hand, Worfield were able to open their shoulders soon after the first drinks spell.

Other Monty bowlers came and went as the Worfield pairing of Seedhouse and Singh, who both went on to get centuries, dispatched the ball to all parts of the field with relative ease. Sam Davies generated a chance for the prize scalp of Worfield overseas professional Manny Singh (114not out), only to see him dropped on the boundary ropes. Monty struggled to recover and it wasn’t until late in the innings that Monty picked up their next wicket when a brilliant price of fielding from Tim Davies eventually removed Seedhouse for 110. By then, Worfield had amassed a total of 258 for 3 for Monty to chase from their 45 overs.

With Kinsey missing through injury, Tuffin turned to the new opening pairing of Tim Davies and Ruff-Cock. Monty started well, scoring at a higher rate than their Worfield counterparts managed over the first ten overs. Ruff-Cock played aggressively, scoring the majority of his runs with boundaries whilst Davies (5) simply played the ball into the gaps left by a disappointingly defensive field setting. When Davies fell to Singh, who returned figures of 1 for 31, Ian Bapty entered the fray, keeping the run rate high through the bludgeoning of easy boundaries. His departure for 20 signalled the end to Monty’s challenge as Ed Davies was caught and bowled by Weir for just 2, and Ruff-Cock (59) departed soon after when looking set for a century. Keith Griffiths (14) scored fluently until holing out to the boundary fielder. Lee Davies (30) played positively and looked impressive, but didn’t learn from Griffiths’ mistakes, also being caught by the same fielder on the boundary. Tuffin (4) looked confused as he was bowled by 13 year old Harris making his 1st team debut. Yewdall and Barker steadied the ship, picking up singles as the Worfield captain still refused to bring the field in to claim the vital last few wickets they needed to challenge for the title. Yewdall (10) fell in the latter stages but Barker (17) and Sam Davies saw out the overs for Monty to finish on 177 for 8 and obtain a deserved draw. After the game, Tuffin commented: “It was a good batting track so we needed to take all of our chances in the field when they came. I’m disappointed that we didn’t achieve that and let them off the hook. They had a couple of class batsmen who punished us for our dropped catches so it’s another case of ‘what if’ for us. We’ll work hard to rectify it this week and hopefully finish the season on a high next week with another tough game at home to the inform 3rd placed Cound.”

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Lilleshall (home), 5 September 2009

Montgomery went into Saturday’s game against Lilleshall full of confidence, but things didn’t go to plan for the Monty side with Tuffin admitting ‘it was a bad day at the office and one to forget.’ Having lost the toss, Montgomery were put into bat, opening with the exciting pairing of experienced Kinsey and enthusiastic Casper, many years his junior. However, some poor running soon saw Kinsey return to the pavilion without troubling the scoreboard, with Casper Mould soon following for 1 after being bamboozled by the bowling of Chris Airey. Stroke-maker Ed Davies managed to provide the sternest opposition to the Lilleshall bowling attack before being outfoxed by Dave Bicknell and bowled for 20. Lee Davies (10) demonstrated his potential, but was again the architect of his own downfall when showing a lack of patience and spooning the ball to square leg. Lilleshall picked up the crucial wicket of Tim Davies (4), who still appeared to be on Canadian Time when missing a straight ball. Keith Griffiths hit a determined 19, and Tuffin plodded his way effortlessly to 10 before their respective departures. Others came and went without providing much resistance, leaving Montgomery with an under-par total of 89 to defend.

Needing quick wickets, captain Tuffin correctly set an aggressive field but Lilleshall opening pair was up to the challenge. Andrew Barker and Neil Tuffin opened the attack, bowling with pace and precision but found wickets hard to come by. Ed Davies, Kinsey, and Sam Davies were also unable to unlock the opening partnership. Only Lee Davies, with a Shane Warne like delivery, managed to capture the scalp of a Lilleshall batsman, bowling Chris Airey for 18. Dave Marshall eventually saw Lilleshall home with 9 wickets to spare, hitting an impressive unbeaten 55 not out to complete an over all fantastic performance by Lilleshall to safeguard their status in this division. Asked what he could take out of the game, captain Tuffin replied ‘Not much. Today we simply didn’t turn up and that happens occasionally. That said, I’m very confident that we will bounce back next week at Worfield.’

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Alberbury (away), 29 August 2009

Montgomery’s impressive form continued at the weekend with a comfortable victory over local rivals Alberbury.

The opening bowling of Jack Williams and Neil Tuffin swept aside the top order of the Alberbury team, with Tuffin bowling Mike Crawshaw and forcing a catch from Mark Jones. At the other end Jack Williams accounted for Dan Morris and Elliot Brookes, both bowled. The change bowlers continued where the openers had left off with Rob Yewdall and Ed Davies bagging two wickets each. Only Angus Little resisted, but he couldn’t prevent his side slumping to 107 all out.

In reply the Monty innings got off to a steady start, with Caspar Mould impressing his team mates as he opened the batting for the first time. He was eventually out for 16 and joined Rob Kinsey in the pavilion, who had been dismissed for 11. It was up to the rest of the top order to bring the team close to victory with Rob Yewdall’s 21 accompanied by a fluent 36 from Ed Davies who looked like he was batting on a completely different pitch to the rest of the players. A couple of jitters towards the end saw the loss of a couple more wickets until Keith Griffiths knocked the winning runs in the twenty-eighth over.

Neil Tuffin commented “Our double over Alberbury illustrates our form in the first division this year and we’re approaching the last few games of the season in a very strong position”.

Trysull and Seisdon (home), 22 August 2009

Montgomery met their match against a strong Trysull and Seisdon side at Lymore this weekend. The Wolverhampton club are well ahead of the rest of the field in Division 1 but a fairly makeshift Montgomery team made them work for their points.

Neil Tuffin lost the toss and the away side decided to bat first. An early breakthrough for the skipper raised the fielding sides hopes but a strong partnership between Eceolaza and Fullwood meant that Trysull looked like taking firm control of the game. This changed with the introduction of Sam Davies, and a spectacular catch by Keith Griffiths to remove the danger man Eceolaza set him on his way to a career best 6-53. With regular wickets falling at one end and with tight bowling from the other, supported by an energetic fielding display, none of Trysull’s batsmen settled and the innings ended on a gettable 234-8 declared.

The Monty reply got off to a poor start with the loss of Thomas for a duck, but at the other end Rob Kinsey flourished and scored freely against an extremely attacking field. Rob Yewdall also notched up a number of boundaries and the home side looked like they were mounting a strong challenge. But the introduction of spin created problems for the Monty batsmen. Rob Kinsey fell LBW to Nightingale for 33, but it was Willder (6-34) at the other end that caused the biggest problem. With the exception of Steve Gibbs, who scored an assured 15, and contributions from Keith Griffiths (25) and Neil Tuffin (18), the Monty batting fell away and the innings ended on 146 all out.

“We played well against a strong side and with more of our regular batsmen available we would have come close to overhauling a gettable total” commented Neil Tuffin after the game.

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Ellesmere (away), 15 August 2009

Montgomery secured a second away win in as many weeks at Ellesmere, and are well positioned in the Division One table as the season enters its final quarter.

Monty skipper Tuffin was chuffed at winning the toss for the second week running and put Ellesmere into bat in a 35 over game. He opened the bowling in the absence of Andrew Barker and was immediately rewarded with the prize wicket of South African professional Curtis Fourie, who fell to a spectacular catch by Ed Davies for one. Youngster Jack Williams set the tone for the other bowlers with an economical opening spell of five overs without reward and he was replaced by Ed Davies who took 1 for 55 off 12 overs. But it was skipper Tuffin who used all his experience to take two more wickets to put Monty in control. The game then changed with the appearance of the unusually arrogant Australian Mochan who decided to swing the bat and put Ellesmere into a challenging position with an aggressive 76 not out, leaving a run chase of 164 off 35 overs.

Monty got off to a poor start in reply and lost influential opener Richard Blayney for a duck, but his partner, the evergreen Rob Kinsey, returned from a mid season Caribbean break to record another half century to set up a close finish. He was accompanied by Ed Davies who put in a man of the match performance to notch up 59 and put Monty on the brink of consecutive victories. However, for the second week running, it was left to skipper Neil Tuffin to take his side past the winning post as his 10 not out secured victory with four balls to spare.

“Another fantastic result showing the potential we have to challenge in this division. Next week we host top of the table Trysul with several first team regulars missing and this will be a test of resources”.

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Llanidloes (away), 8 August 2009

Monty faced a difficult trip to Llanidloes with a team decimated by mid-Summer absences, but it was smiles all round after a miserly bowling performance was followed by well measured batting and a last over victory with the captain smashing the winning run.

Neil Tuffin’s decision to put Llani in was well rewarded with tight bowling from all the bowlers. Jack Williams again proved that stepping up to the firsts is something the fifteen year-old takes in his stride, and he was the pick of the bowlers with 3-19. At the other end Andrew Barker (2-38) bowled a tight line to restrict the batsmen and he was joined by Ed Davies 0-27 who bowled a similar spell when Jack had completed his first spell of five overs. With the ball continuing to swing the introduction of Neil Tufin (1-27) and Sam Davies (0-28) meant that the Llani batsmen continued to have difficulty getting the bowlers away and the innings ended on 144-6.

In reply the Monty batting was solid and efficient. Ian Bapty drew the sting from the opening bowlers and although he was out for a solitary run his start enabled the Monty batsmen to attack the second string bowlers. David Thomas knocked up 18 runs before being bowled and his contribution was followed by Ed Davies, whose quick-fire 31 meant that Monty always had the target in their sights. John Barker carried his second team form into the firsts and top-scored with runs flowing from all parts of the bat in his 44. First team debutant Gareth Davies’ shot making gave the innings the necessary impetus just when it was most needed and when he fell for 20 Andrew Barker’s assured batting saw the team to the edge of victory. He would have scored the winning run if Neil Tuffin hadn’t refused an easy third to ensure he took the final over and the glory of striking the final blow with a perfectly timed on-drive that left the Llani fielders clutching at air.

Neil Tuffin commented ‘This was a hugely satisfying victory - even more so because it reflects the strength of the club at the moment. Our top order batting only included one regular first team player but we still managed to dominate a strong bowling attack. The key to the victory though was a fantastic bowling performance that never gave the opposition the freedom to play shots’.

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Wroxeter and Uppington (home), 25 July 2009

Heavy rain in the days and hours running up to the game made play impossible at Lymore and the game was abandoned before Wroxeter travelled

Market Drayton (away), 25 July 2009

Bottom club, Market Drayton, held mid-table Montgomery, but only after the final pair held firm for the last five overs of the match to earn two valuable points. Monty were asked to bat first and scored 124, Tim Davies scoring 28, Richard Blaney 19 and Neil Tuffin 19 not out. Drayton skipper Richard Davies took 5 for 37 and Jesse Thompstone 2 for 31. Despite 30 from Laurence Sidwell, Rob Yewdall dominated the Drayton reply, taking 6 for 15 from 8 overs. Drayton finished well off the mark on 87 for 9, but did enough to record 7 points for their losing draw against Monty’s 13 points.

Pontesbury (home), 18 July 2009

A spectacular collapse by Pontesbury led to an overwhelming win for Monty firsts in a game that lasted less than thirty overs.

Neil Tuffin won the toss and put the opposition in on a damp wicket and the Monty opening bowlers Neil Tuffin and Andrew Barker lost no time in making inroads into the batting. In a spectacular 19 overs they reduced the visitors to 27 all out with Tuffin picking up six and Barker four.

Rob Kinsey and Richard Blayney set about the total in a confident way and found none of the demons experienced by the visiting batsmen. Blayney eventually fell for 10 and the remaining run was knocked off by Tim Davies in the tenth over.

Neil Tuffin commented “We were lucky to win the toss on what was a difficult, but not bad, wicket. The Pontesbury batsmen didn't apply themselves at all once we started getting wickets and their collapse was more due to bad batting than the wicket.”

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Frankton (away), 11 July 2009

Tim Davies starred as Monty notched up 186 - 8 in a rain threatened thirty-five over game at Frankton - but it wasn’t quite enough, and for the second week running the game was decided in the last over as the home team knocked off the final runs with three balls to spare.

Neil Tuffin lost the crucial toss and Monty had the difficult job of batting first on a damp pitch in an abbreviated game. However hopes were high that Frankton were there for the taking without their injured professional. Tim Davies stepped in as the hero after early losses and he raced to 65, ably supported by the lower order, but the Frankton bowling was always difficult to get away, particularly that of Tom Wilkie who finished on 5-43.

The Monty openers kept things tight at the start of the Frankton reply but didn’t manage to put the game beyond the home side. With Dave Powell (51) leading the chase they always managed to keep in touch, despite the wickets taken by some fine bowling. The climax came as Frankton reached the last over still needing runs, but they held their nerve to secure the win with three balls to spare.

Neil Tuffin commented “This was always going to be a tricky game because of the reduced overs and we were missing two or three in-form players . We batted well but were a bit below par on 186, and Frankton did well to overhaul us in the last over. We’ll be looking to pick up maximum points in the next two games against weaker opposition.”

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Cound (away), 4 July 2009

It was all decided in a thrilling last over in Monty’s game away to Cound, with Monty falling just two short of a challenging Cound total.

Neil Tuffin was back to his usual luck with the coin and Cound decided to bat first. The home side made the most of the conditions on the small ground and their opening partnership made a strong start against the bowling of Neil Tuffin and Ed Davies, both of whom finished wicket-less at the end of the innings. It was only the introduction of Rob Kinsey (3-13) in the eighteenth over that saw the game tip back slightly towards Monty. He was assisted by Andrew Barker (1-58), but a dominant unbeaten innings of 84 by Younger-Walters meant that Cound were able to post a challenging 234 for five at the end, aided by a massive 22 off the last over bowled by Rob Yewdall (1-58).

Although the total offered a stern test for the Monty batsmen, it was by no means insurmountable in the conditions and the opening partnership started strongly until Richard Blayney fell for 22. He was replaced by Ed Davies and while he and Kinsey were together Monty kept in touch with the run rate. Davies eventually fell for 33, but runs continued to be piled on by Lee Davies (12) and Mark Jones (21) who supported Kinsey until he eventually fell for 65. With a handful of overs left Monty were slightly behind the rate but Keith Griffiths quick runs and Neil Tuffin’s four followed by a six put them right back in touch. The last over scramble didn’t quite work out, and Monty finished a thrilling game two runs short of the total on 232-9.

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Worfield (home), 27 June 2009

Monty were unlucky to lose the toss against Worfield and despite the first five batsmen reaching double figures they struggled to an unconvincing 128 on a damp wicket.

Rob Kinsey and Aaron Ruffcock got off to a steady start and although Kinsey ended up as the top scorer on 24 he had trouble getting the ball away on a wicket still damp from overnight rain. The middle order continued to chip in with runs but none of them managed to establish themselves against an accurate bowling attack and eventually the efforts of Lanchbury and McMahon paid off and they ended with four wickets each. A late highpoint was provided by the batting of Craig Pearce and Jack Williams who ended not out on 9 and 10 respectively when the innings finished on 128 for 9.

Worfield wasted little time in chasing the score and despite the early loss of Pickerill to the bowling of Andrew Barker and the loss of Perry to the bowling of Jack Williams they raced to the required total in thirty two overs.

Captain Neil Tuffin commented “Losing the toss on the drying wicket was crucial and Worfield had the best of the conditions. They are a strong batting side and we simply didn’t put enough runs on the board.”

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Lilleshall (away), 20 June 2009

Montgomery fought their way to losing draw at Lilleshall thanks to a battling innings from veteran Rob Kinsey, who returned to galvanize the lower order once he had shaken off the effects of a blow to the head.

Neil Tuffin won the toss for the second Saturday running and put the home side in to bat. His team got off to a good start and restricted Lilleshall to less than three an over for the first twenty overs, as Neil Tuffin and Rob Yewdall kept things tight. Andrew Barker (2-22) and Edward Davies (1-40) took over to maintain pressure, with Barker accounting for both openers. After Davies took the third wicket, Monty strove to keep Lilleshall to less than 150 for the 45 overs and took cheap wickets regularly at one end, with Neil Tuffin the pick of the bowlers with 5-53 supported by Rob Kinsey with 2-14. But the other end was a different story with the Lilleshall captain Nick Clewley swinging the bat and racing to 94 before he was eventually out. This enabled the home side to reach 190 before they were all out.

The Monty batsmen found the going difficult on a lively pitch as the Lilleshall bowlers made full use of some variable bounce. They were under pressure from the start, and had it not been for several dropped catches the innings would have been over a lot sooner. Aaron Ruff Cock (2) Ed Davies (2) and Rob Yewdall (9) all lost their wickets cheaply, and Rob Kinsey had to leave the pich after taking a blow to the head. When he returned he started to take the fight to the Lilleshall bowlers before eventually falling for 55. After Stan Davies (1) lost his wicket in a farcical run out that owed more to the Keystone Cops than the world of cricket, Monty were rocking at 100 for 6 in the 28th over. A stubborn innings from Andrew Black (13) ably supported by Sam Davies (8), Rob Bennett (10 no) and Neil Tuffin (4 no) finally saw Montgomery end on a creditable 137 to earn the draw.

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Alberbury (home), 13 June 2009

For the first time this season Neil Tuffin won the toss and his team made the most of his decision to put the opposition in on a drying wicket.

The Monty opening bowlers started well, with the skipper getting two early wickets, including opposing captain Mike Crawshaw who was caught at short midwicket for 7. Mark Jones came to the crease and stood firm against the impressive Rob Yewdall (2 for 40), but regular wickets at the other end meant that the innings failed to get going. The opposition rallied when Morris came to join Jones and they enjoyed a fruitful fifth wicket stand and looked like posting a good total until the introduction of veteran fast bowler Jonathan Williams brought the game back under Monty control. His four wickets for 24 from five overs meant that Alberbury finished on 136 all-out.

The Monty innings got off to the worst possible start with a duck for dependable opener Rob Kinsey in the first over. This brought all rounder Ed Davies to the crease to join Aaron Ruffcock, and the two youngsters set about building a partnership against good opening spells from Neil Savage and Miles Thomas. Just as they were beginning to take control Ed Davies (17) fell to a run out with a direct hit from deep extra cover, but by now Aaron Ruffcock looked well set and began to hit boundaries at will, including two big sixes on his way to a match winning 75 not out. He was joined by Lee Davies (16) for a stand that took Monty to the brink of victory before McKay took three quick wickets, but it was not enough to stop Ruffcock taking Monty to victory in the 32nd over.

The skipper commented “This was a fantastic win that takes us up to third in the table. Winning the toss was crucial on a drying pitch but ultimately the difference between two evenly matched teams was Aaron’s impressive 75 not out”

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Trysull and Seisdon (away), 6 June 2009

Montgomery were all set to travel to high-flying Trysull for what may have proved one of their most difficult games of the season. But heavy rain right across the region on Friday night and Saturday morning meant that the game was cancelled before the team had even travelled.

Ellesmere (home), 30 May 2009

Montgomery 1st XI gained their first victory of the season with a well taken win with three balls to spare at home to Ellesmere.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat in bright sunshine, but their innings got off to a slow start due to a tight opening spell from the Monty bowlers. Montgomery found it hard to take wickets and it took a run out from Lee Davies to force the first wicket and bring the in-form South African Curtis Fourie to the crease. Although struggling initially, he eventually got into his stride with some fine stroke play that looked to endanger hopes of a Monty win. But the introduction of pace through Ed Davies saw Montgomery regain control and Fourie’s wicket fell for 31. He was followed by the hard-hitting Mochan and his innings of 31 and a late cameo from Edwards (26) meant that Ellesmere finished on 179 for 8. The wickets were shared by the Monty bowlers with Rob Kinsey taking 2 for 39, Ed Davies 1 for 33 and Jonathan Williams 1 for 27.

Monty’s reply got off to a flyer with openers Ruff-Cock and Kinsey in sparkling form before Ruff-Cock was trapped LBW for 22. This brought Blayney to the wicket and he formed another promising partnership with Kinsey before departing for 27, LBW to the spin of Fourie. Monty’s innings then dropped behind the run rate with tight bowling from the impressive Fourie, assisted by Bennett. Eventually the match was turned by Rob Kinsey who carried his bat for a man of the match 73, assisted by Ed Davies who departed for 22.

Neil Tuffin commented “This first win of the season against a good Ellesmere side shows what we are capable of and many of our players are in good form. Next week’s trip to pace setting Trysull in Wolverhamton will be a stern test, but with confidence spreading through the team we are looking forward to the challenge.”

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Twenty/20 Cup, Llanidloes (home), 27 May 2009

Montgomery won the toss and elected to bat first in damp conditions at Lymore Park. Despite losing opener Ruffcock for one the home side posted a challenging total thanks to good knocks from Richard Blayney (38), Ed Davies (15) and a tanned Lee Davies who stroked 42 not out on his return from holiday.

In reply, Llanidloes started aggressively with skipper Neil Tuffin taking punishment from openers Rob Davies (30) and Simon Jones (9). Jones was bowled by young Jack Williams, making his first team debut with an impressive 3 for 25. Rob Davies looked like he could win it for Llani with another impressive display with the bat before he skied Rob Yewdall’s (1-17) first delivery. From then on Llani struggled to impose themselves on Yewdall and the veteran performer Jonathan Williams. Williams, who is enjoying an Indian Summer in his career, finished with an impressive 6 for 16 from his 5 overs.

Neil Tuffin commented, “A very pleasing win that carries on our good form from last season in the 20 over game. The toss was crucial on a dark and damp evening as batting became difficult in the ever fading light. Although Llani had a weakened team we played good cricket and deserved the win”

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Llanidloes (home), 23 May 2009

Montgomery once again dominated a game only to fail to win at the final hurdle. This time it was against local rivals Llanidloes who had travelled to Lymore in confident mood after a strong start to the season.

Neil Tuffin’s lack of luck with the coin continued as Monty were put into bat on a wicket still drying out from the week’s rain. But Aaron Ruff-Cock and Richard Blayney got the team off to a steady start with a strong opening partnership against a strong bowling attack that included the ever dangerous Simon Jones. The fall of Ruff-Cock for 30 brought the out-of-form Dave Thomas to the crease and despite a couple of promising shots he once again fell cheaply. It was then the veteran’s turn to roll the years back as Jonathan Williams replaced Thomas and Keith Griffiths replaced Richard Blayney, who was bowled by Jones for 19. Released from the shackles of years toiling with the ball in hand, the pair‘s new found role with the bat was characterised by a combination of cheeky singles and lusty blows to the boundary that surprised the young Llani team. When Griffiths finally fell for 34 the pair had put on 94 runs, a shade above their combined age. Williams was eventually out for 53 and the innings eventually ended on a very competitive 199 for 9 after quick runs from the lower order.

Llanidloes made a shaky start after tea, losing Simon Jones for 17, followed by Rhys Jones who also scored 17. However Rob Davies, coming in at number four, started to score runs quickly and while he was at the crease an unlikely Llani victory still looked possible. At the other end the wickets fell easily with Rob Yewdall and Sam Davies the pick of the bowlers. When Davies eventually fell for 69 Monty scented victory and crowded the number 11 batsman for the vital last wicket. Despite intense pressure Llani’s innings lasted the full 45 overs and ended on 153 for 9.

Although Neil Tuffin was disappointed with the result he congratulated the team on another strong performance. But he added that the team need to be on top form for the difficult games to come in the middle of the season.

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Wroxeter and Uppington (away), 16 May 2009

Montgomery lost the toss away at Wroxeter and were put into bat in a 40 over game. The innings started well with the openers making the most of a surprisingly dry wicket, but the fall of Rob Kinsey for 14 led to a few shaky overs and the loss of two more cheap wickets. The arrival of Tim Davies steadied the batting and his partnership with Aaron Ruff-Cock was the most productive of the innings. Ruff-Cock finally edged behind for 32 when he looked to be going on for a large total, and Tim Davies finally succumbed for 22. The lower order scraped a few more runs to make a final total 119, which offered an outside chance of victory.

Wroxeter set about the total carefully and gradually wore down the Monty bowlers until the threat of rain caused a late rush. Montgomery’s total was overhauled in the 30th over for the loss of three wickets.

Captain Neil Tuffin commented, “Although this was a disappointing defeat, losing the toss was absolutely crucial. We were put into bat in difficult conditions and ultimately didn’t score enough runs. Although we bowled well, things may have been different if we hadn’t dropped several catches. Looking ahead to next week, I am looking for a big performance from the team when we welcome Llanidloes back to Lymore.”

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Market Drayton (home), 9 May 2009

Montgomery lost the toss and were put into bat in a game reduced to 40 overs because of the threat of rain. The innings started poorly with the loss of two early wickets, but the innings was steadied by the arrival of the in-form Lee Davies (27) in a partnership with the ever-reliable Rob Kinsey (39). This was built on with good contributions from the middle order of Keith Griffiths (32), Tim Davies (19 not out), and Rob Bennett (15 not out). The innings eventually ended on a competitive 175 for 7.

In reply, Drayton struggled to get their innings going in the face of a fine Monty bowling and fielding performance. They appeared to decide to play for draw points very early in the innings, eventually finishing on 119 for 7. The bowling impressive bowling marked a return to form for the Rob Yewdall ( 3 for 31) and Neil Tuffin (4 for 17).

Captain Neil Tuffin commented, “I am very pleased with this performance. We played good cricket throughout the game and totally dominated from start to finish. We looked composed with the bat, lively in the field, and penetrating with the ball. The soon to return Andrew Barker will add a bit of pace to the bowling attack later on in the season, but next week we have a tricky trip to Wroxeter where we will be without Lee Davies and David Mason. On the plus side our in-form all-rounder Ed Davies is returning after a week’s absence.”

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Pontesbury (away), 2 May 2009

With Montgomery Cricket Club looking to make their mark on early season’s encounters in the first division, Ed Davies’ performance with both bat and ball away at Pontesbury was just what the team needed. Although the last Pontesbury batsman defied the bowlers to prevent a win, the dominance of the Monty side throughout the game provides a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.

Despite a stronger batting line-up than in the opening game, stand-in captain Rob Yewdall’s decision to bat first looked to have backfired early-on when three wickets fell cheaply. But everything changed when Ed Davies and Lee Davies, returning to the club after a few seasons with Newtown, started to build a useful partnership. When Lee Davies was out for 27 the two had put on 47 runs, and with Keith Griffiths’ quick-fire 24 the middle order had taken the score to 133. With Ed Davies becoming increasingly confident in his strokes, his 59 not out on a difficult pitch was the crucial performance that allowed Monty to post 143-9 in the first innings despite Pete Atkinson’s impressive bowling for a haul of 5-32.

Monty wasted no time in taking the game to Pontesbury in the second innings, with Rob Yewdall and Ed Davies taking two apiece to reduce the opposition to 17-4 in the early overs. The main resistance came from Darrell Corfield and his 35 not out allowed Pontesbury to survive despite Rob Kinsey continuing the damage with a crafty spell of spin that resulted in figures of 4-16. When the ninth wicket fell with the score on 83 Pontesbury still had seven overs to survive and Monty sensed victory but the solid batting of Corfield and Tim Robinson meant that the hoped for victory couldn’t quite be grasped.

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