Itchington arrived at Whitehall Farm not having felt that winning feeling for over a month and after the previous week’s debacle at Bidford looked to set the record straight against an out of form Ashton under Hill side propping up the league.
The toss came down and the visitors were invited to have first use of a remarkably dry track given some of the weather that’s been around in the week.
Andy Wood and Mitch Lowe opened up proceedings bowling tight lines and lengths that didn’t allow the Ashton openers to get away.
The first wicket fell in the 7th over as Cooper fell foul of some indecisive running and some sharp work from skipper Nick Brooks in the field. Hawed soon followed after being adjudged LBW to Wood soon after. The innings then stagnated as only 44 runs were added in the following 20 overs as spinners Mat Cox (2-20) and Martin Clark went about their business.
After 33 overs Harris joined Porter at the crease and the two soon set about building what was a game changing partnership with some belligerent blows to all parts of the ground. In the space of 10 overs 88 runs had been added to more than double the Ashton total before Porter (42) and Harris (48) were removed by Lowe and Brooks respectively. These two bowled out the remaining overs effectively as numbers 8 to 11 didn’t trouble the scorers between them leaving Ashton all out for 155 in the 44th over – giving the Itch one extra over for their chase. Lowe ended up with 2-32 and Brooks 2-31.
A special mention must go to tea lady Angela Cox and her young helpers who managed to combine moving house with providing a wonderful spread that was wolfed down by both parties – note to Mr. Cox: negotiate a more appropriate week for next season!
Aaron Jones and Roger Eadon started off the Itch reply in fairly circumspect fashion as the new ball was effectively seen off. Jones perished for 21 in the 20th over being caught on the fence but at 48-1 the home side felt well in the game.
Off spinner Cope (3-23) was keeping things tight from the top end and causing the Itch some problems as only Eadon (39) and a lusty knock from Lowe (27) put the visitors under huge pressure as the Itch middle order contrived to get themselves in and out.
Itchington finally reached their target with 8 balls to spare courtesy of the cool Cox (14*) to win by two wickets and take 19 points back to the Green Man with them.
Next week is the second part of the season’s turnaround double-header as Itchington visit Ashton who will no doubt be out to avenge this result!