A Day To Forget For HBCC 2nds At Lindow

Hale Barns Second XI suffered a torrid trip to Lindow as they produced a sub-standard display with bat and ball which led to a disastrous 174-run defeat.

Jack Wylie took three wickets, while debutant Ben Croucher chipped in with two, but Barns allowed the home team to post an imposing target and offered little resistance in reply to end an unbeaten run of 11 matches, dating back to June last year.

The day started well for the visitors as they won the toss and then made early inroads, with Dave Saddington making the breakthrough in just the second over of the game.

Wylie soon got in on the act as he claimed two dismissals, but a few close calls went Lindow’s way to shift momentum in their favour, with Saddington (1-17) particularly unlucky not to add to his tally having conceded runs at a rate of less than two an over.

Opening batsman Ian Park showed great patience for his 31, but was undone by a Peter Stubbs (1-52) delivery that kept a little low, but a partnership between Will Beckley and Matthew Hoyle frustrated the Barns bowlers.

Beckley was the first to reach a half century as he made 56 before becoming Croucher’s first victim as a Hale Barns player, while Hoyle (53) hit a couple of lusty blows that cleared the ropes on his way to the same milestone.

Croucher (2-46) did eventually win the battle and youngster Ben Harrison (1-33) then grabbed a wicket of his own to Max Espley back to the pavilion for 19 as Barns threatened to drag themselves back into the game.

However, Mike Bufton capitalised on some loose bowling on his way to becoming the third half centurion of the innings. Wylie (3-58) was reintroduced to the attack and removed Bufton for 56, which signalled the end of Lindow’s batting exploits as they declared on 248-8 with 1.3 overs to spare.

Having fielded a depleted side due to poor availability, Barns were reliant on their top order batsmen and needed a positive start if they were to have any chance of a successful run chase, but hopes were waning after just five overs when Thomas Rae (2-20) removed both openers with 13 runs on the board.

Experienced duo Stubbs and Tom Entwistle tried their best to recover the situation, but the hosts bowled with great control and profited from some uneven bounce as Entwistle faced a straight delivery that kept low and was trapped lbw for 13.

Bufton then contributed with the ball to add to his earlier fifty, grabbing three dismissals in quick succession, while Stubbs was finally sent back by Mark Farrell for 18 to leave Barns reeling on 64-7.

And the game was wrapped up shortly after as Bufton (5-20) added two more to his tally to complete his five-wicket haul before Farrell (3-23) finished the job as HBCC were bowled out for 74 inside 26 overs.

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