Hopper Hits Unbeaten Half Century In Win For The Seconds

Hopper Hits Unbeaten Half Century In Win For The Seconds

Andrew Hopper led Hale Barns Second XI to a convincing six-wicket victory over Bollington CC by hitting his first half century for the club.

Younas Saeed and Jack Wylie both took three wickets to put Barns on top before Hopper took centre stage with an impressive knock that helped the team cruise to a comfortable win.

Playing in his first game since September, Saeed made an instant impact by producing a double-wicket maiden to start his season, removing both of Bollington’s most dangerous batsmen with magnificent deliveries.

A third breakthrough followed shortly after for Saeed (3-23) to leave the hosts reeling on 17-3 after just eight overs. Wylie toiled at the other end and was finally rewarded for a consistent spell, ending Dave Waters’ 42-ball resistance for 10.

Barns were stopped in their tracks immediately after their latest scalp, being forced off due to a heavy downpour, while a fairly sloppy restart allowed Bollington some respite as they moved from 27-4 to 48-4 until the introduction of Charles Mills (1-13), who struck in his first over to see the back of Dave Paterson (15).

Two more dismissals for Wylie (3-32), including the stubborn Ged McKernan for 12, saw the home side slip to 56-7, although the pairing of Cameron Smail and Nathan Herbert ignited a resurgence, with 42 runs scored in the next 10 overs, without any further damage.

Jake Romer (1-17) found a way through Herbert’s defences for 13 before Dave Saddington got in on the act, but a fine final wicket partnership frustrated the visitors.

Smail and Oli Nolan added 29 until the latter eventually fell for 12 to Saddington (2-28), with the impressive Smail remaining undefeated on 35 as Bollington were bowled out for 130 inside 43 overs.

Barns’ response started well as openers Mike Hunter (21) and Clive Collins (12) put on 40 runs for the opening stand, but Bollington dragged themselves back into contention when Nolan (2-37) ended their stays at the crease.

The away team were stumbling at 50-3, but Hopper and Tom Entwistle steadied the ship, guiding HBCC to within 51 runs of victory with 23 overs remaining.

Despite Entwistle (10) being stumped off the bowling of Smail (2-31), Barns accelerated towards the required target as Hopper racked up boundaries at will, ably assisted by the more cautious Callum Schora (11*).

With 11 fours and a six, Hopper was the star of the show with a terrific unbeaten 58 off 54 balls, which inspired his side to their first win since the opening day of the season.

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