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OGCC 1ST XI vs NEWTON (Home, Bissenden Cup, Sunday 16th May) by James Wright

The first eleven welcomed Newton to Manor Park Road on Sunday for an eagerly anticipated Bissenden Cup first round clash.

Following Saturday's wash out at Hollingworth, the boys were looking forward to the opportunity to play some cricket. The weather gods did not disappoint, as overnight rain gave way to warm sunshine.

Spirits were lifted further when Lenny Allsopp announced that his new kit had finally arrived, and he proudly showed off his new attire to his teammates in a pre-game fashion show.

Skipper Rob Adderley met opposite number Weston in the middle for the coin toss, and was finally able to emerge victorious. He wasted no time in inviting the visitors to bat on the damp track, which had been expertly prepared by head groundsman Andy King despite incessant rain…

Adderley shared the new ball with young gun Ellis Walsh, and both found their form immediately, testing the Newton openers with nagging length. Walsh struck an early blow, with Adderley taking a regulation catch at mid-off.

This was countered by young Charlie Barnard, as shorter pitched deliveries were dispatched to the boundary. He finally succumbed to the impressive Walsh for a well made 16, vice captain McGrail taking the catch.

Allsopp and James Wright were introduced with the score on 35 for 2, and the old stagers worked hard to maintain the pressure which the openers had created. The visiting batsmen were watchful in difficult batting conditions, with boundaries coming only when bowlers strayed from full length.

Spin king Allsopp bowled his usual tidy spell and was finally rewarded with a wicket, as young Jake Donnelly took a well judged catch out on the square leg boundary.

Curtis was batting well and had nudged his way beyond 40, but the steady pressure led him to take on Adderley at mid off, and the home skipper seized his opportunity, his throw cannoning into the stumps for a clear run out. Wright then dismissed Weston with the next delivery, Chris Joy taking the catch at point.

Scoreboard pressure was now beginning to tell for the visitors, and there was no let up from Old Glossop as the fiery Littlewood entered the fray. He worked well in tandem with wicketkeeper Whitehouse to deliver two excellent stumpings.

The score limped into triple figures, but Littlewood and the returning Adderley made light work of the Newton tail, as their innings closed with the score on 118 all out.

Littlewood returned excellent figures of 4 for 28, with Walsh taking 2 for 16. Adderley, Allsopp and Wright contributed a wicket each. This had been a good all round bowling display from the OG boys.

Following a brief break for refreshments, openers Joy and Jehrome Sagar strode out to the crease to begin the Old Glossop reply. Joy punished wayward early deliveries in a great start, before Sagar perished for 1.

Whitehouse joined Joy and continued the onslaught, before he too fell for 13. By this point OG had moved beyond 60 and seemed to be cantering towards victory. However, Newton had other ideas, and subtle bowling changes saw them take the pace off the ball, which began to exert considerable pressure on the home batters. Joy had raced on to 31, but a loose shot saw him depart with the OG total on 64.

The sober Cannon arrived at the crease, and mounted some resistance, but a series of well timed drives could only find fielders. However, he could only watch as first McGrail and then Adderley offered up quick wickets to the increasingly vocal visitors. The pressure was beginning to mount on the home team, and the excitement on the field was matched outside the pavilion, as the OG tail began to pad up.

Young Jake Donnelly joined Cannon in the middle, and looked on in horror as the veteran was next to fall. With Littlewood next man in, it would now be up to Donnelly and the bowlers to see this one through. Fortunately for the home team, Donnelly was more than a match for the visiting attack, batting with a determination reminiscent of his father. Littlewood added 5 before he succumbed, whilst Donnelly played some fine shots before he too fell for 10.

With the score on 97 for 8, Allsopp and Walsh strode out to take their turns in the middle. Allsopp added some quick singles before Walsh nicked a rising delivery into the gloves of the waiting wicketkeeper.

Old Glossop required 20 runs to win as last man Wright joined Allsopp at the crease. The loyal fans began to check weather apps, contemplating a quick getaway as the OG boys appeared destined to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory. However, the old warhorses had other ideas, as both offered steely resistance, ignoring the constant stream of vocal encouragement offered by the Newton lads. A combination of welcome wides and well timed boundaries from Allsopp saw the lads home, much to the delight of the home crowd who had gathered under an array of umbrellas to cheer their boys to victory. Allsopp finished unbeaten on 16, whilst Wright had contributed a solitary single.

All present agreed that this had been a fantastic game played in good spirits, and it was nice to see the visiting team remain for a (socially distanced) drink after the match.

Further tough tests will await OG in the next round, but this was definitely a victory to savour.

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