HBCC Second XI Finish Season In Style By Brushing Aside Middlewich

HBCC Second XI Finish Season In Style By Brushing Aside Middlewich

Hale Barns Second XI capped off a remarkable 2018 season with another victory as they saw off bottom-club Middlewich CC by 81 runs to register their 15th win from a possible 22.

Jack Wylie claimed five wickets in his first appearance for the Seconds this year as Barns comfortably defended a slightly below-par total to secure a 52-point lead at the top of the Cheshire Cricket League Division A table.

The visitors were put into bat on a damp wicket and were instantly on the back foot when Matt Williams took an excellent catch to dismiss Sujoy Jaiswal for four.

Second XI Player of the Year Tom Saddington was given a life after being dropped at cover point, but James Guest and Jordan Collins were not so lucky as Denton Brock (2-16) was rewarded for an impressive spell with a couple of scalps.

Nick Lathbury was also back in the pavilion for single figures before Barns finally formed a notable partnership as James Fullerton-Batten joined Saddington at the crease to steady the ship.

However, Saddington’s cameo came to an end on 40 off 41 deliveries when one risk too many led to him spooning the ball straight to mid-off, while Chris Colley only lasted four balls to leave the away team struggling at 65-6.

Fullerton-Batten continued to attack and was joined by captain Tom Entwistle, who took a more cautious approach as the pair steered the score towards three hundred mark.

Having hit seven boundaries, Fullerton-Batten finally succumbed to spinner Reece Johnson (2-38) for a run-a-ball 33. Callum Schora (14) provided solid resistance, but Alex Gill (3-22) soon cleaned up the tail, leaving Entwistle stranded on 40 not out as Barns posted 144 all out from 40.3 overs.

In reply, Middlewich openers Brandon Oakes (8) and Regan Johnson (9) got off to a slow start but remained unscathed after the opening 10 overs, although youngster Charles Mills was unfortunate not to get a wicket on his Second Team debut after two simple catches in successive balls were grounded.

However, the hosts suddenly collapsed from 20-0 as Wylie ripped through the top order by claiming four victims in two overs, including a double-wicket maiden.

Fullerton-Batten got in on the act to seal healthy figures of 1-2 off four overs, while an lbw decision gave Wylie (5-12) his fifth wicket to complete his nine-over stint on a high.

And the home side were soon reduced to 30-7 when Colley (2-12) opened his account and he quickly added another to his tally to put Barns on the brink of a comprehensive victory.

With 25 points all but in the bag, the League Champions handed the ball to Lathbury and Entwistle for the first time all season. The duo were less consistent than the other bowlers, allowing Reece Johnson (16 not out) and Will Brock to accumulate some runs, but the recovery was short-lived as Lathbury removed Brock for 11 before Entwistle wrapped things up to bowl Middlewich out for 63.

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