XI (242-8) v Oulton (243-6) Oulton win by 1 run
Report by Tom Chapman
Cunningham, Atkinson, Naylor, Chapman, Cannings, Blackbrow, Young, Spinks, Wilkinson, Storey.
A game which took some arranging! East Leeds played with ten and ran promotion contenders Oulton extremely close. East Leeds lost the toss and were asked to field first. Good opening spells and early wickets from Willy Storey (1-29 off 10) and Ben Wilkinson (1-23 off 7) got East Leeds off to a good start, on a pitch that was already exhibiting uneven bounce and turn. Most of the Oulton batsmen got starts, but Tom Chapman (3-37 off 10) kept chipping away and ensuring the starts weren’t converted bar from Gardiner, who’s 103 not out (along with some late hitting from Healey) saw Oulton through to a more than competitive total of 243-6. Young picked up the sixth wicket with a smart caught and bowled. The ten men performed admirably in the field, despite the late onslaught, but that total would be too much on a warn wicket surely?
The chase got off to the perfect start with the opening pair putting on 59 before the fluent Dean Atkinson was run out for 40. Brad was out 10 runs later for 20 thanks to a fantastic catch, which left Tom and Jacob ‘Snakey’ Naylor to rebuild the innings. They played well and put on 89 between them without taking many risks against the turning ball, until Tom ran past one which gripped and was stumped for 37. Snakey looked at his best, batting beautifully putting on another 70 with the young buck Chris Cannings (30). The pairs running was a particular highlight, with the pair really putting the pressure on the Oulton fielders. For the first time in the game East Leeds were favourites, needing less than a run a ball with 6 wickets in hand for the last 6 overs. Snakey played a beautiful knock and got us extremely close as things got very tense and nervy. He was on strike in the final over with us needing just four to win. He hit it high and long, as everyone in the ground fell silent. Would the ball get to the boundary to secure a famous East Leeds win? Unfortunately not, it came up just short, and was held by the Oulton fieldsman running back from Mid Off, taking a catch as spectacular as it was important. East Leeds were still favourites, needing four runs off five balls with four wickets left. David Young, nicked a single…3 off 4. WICKET, Ben was out first ball…3 off 3. WICKET, Tim Spinks was out first ball too…3 off 2. Willy was next in, to face the hat-trick ball. DOT…Willy connects but there’s no chance of a run…3 off 1. The final ball could have a paragraph to itself. Willy played a lovely shot, to smash it straight down the ground. When he hit it we all though that’s four, only for the bowler to somehow stick out a hand and palm it into a gap in the leg side. The pair ran, and came back for a second, with Youngy, unfortunately coming up just short to leave East Leeds one run short. A brilliant last over from the bowler, and a great effort by ten man East Leeds to come so close against a strong Oulton team.
Well done boys, not the result we hoped for, but very proud of our performance!!