On yet another Blyth Beauty of a track for today’s 1st XI match, visitors Swansea understandably elected to bat first in the final of this truncated season’s series of friendly fixtures.

And it was to the credit of MCC Captain Ryan Aingworth’s bowlers and fielders that Swansea were restricted to less than 5 runs an over from their 40 overs..190-5 at the interval. Ryan was pleased with the combined effort in the field – at tea, he said of his men “They were very good again. Everyone worked really hard in the field”.

Swansea enjoyed two meaningful partnerships – 82 for the 3rd wicket to take them from 42-2 to 124-3, and then one of 58 for the next wicket. Ryan himself was the most economical home bowler today with 1-22 from his 8 overs, whilst 16 year old Adam Lewis-Williams (2-38) and off-spinner Max Phillips (2-37) shared the other scalps taken.

In reply, opener James Palmer notched a quick fire 23 (4 fours) before being first out with the board reading 35. 

Wicketkeeper/batsman Chris Matthews, a very welcome addition to MCC ranks this term, continued his recent fine form as he raced to 76 (6 fours & 3 sixes!) from just 53 balls faced. Unfortunately, however, he was not well supported today as wickets were now tumbling at the other end..69-1 rapidly became 121-6 when opening bat Chris departed.

There remained plenty of time,however, to still take the spoils on a lovely day at Marespool. (A shame therefore that Swansea had called off today’s scheduled match v our 2nd XI at St Helen’s at lunchtime yesterday (4th), because that traditionally quick-drying ground was too wet..then!)

The 1st XI’s 7th wicket fell soon after..still 62 runs required. What could Aneurin Norman pull out of his hat this week? Well, an early six & four kept his teammates interested, particularly as Adam was batting sensibly at the other end. Sadly, though, it was not to last on this occasion. Having put on 20 with ALW, “Noddy” was given out lbw for 19..149-8. Any possible tail-wagging after that was, alas, not to happen as MCC were finally dismissed for 165 in the 38th over..26 runs short. Adam was stranded on 16 not out, having tried hard.

So, no league cricket this year BUT Ryan’s Men played some excellent cricket during the six matches played since 1st August. 19 players, including some very promising youngsters, were given the opportunity to gain further valuable experience in his 1st XI.

A few months ago, the likely scenario for this year was zero cricket at all…when the belated chance to play did come, some very hard work was put in behind the scenes to produce the excellent quality of ground that many have taken for granted over the years and, more importantly this year, to ensure that the Club was as safe a place as possible for our loyal members, coaches and Senior & Junior players alike to have a lot of fun late in the season. Many thanks to those stalwarts..they know who they are.


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