Walcote visited Long Itchington for the first time and were very impressed with the surroundings and facilities on offer.
Due to Jake Butler having a hair appointment, James Clarke skippered the side for the first time this year and Itchington elected to bat on a slightly damp wicket. This was a decision Clarke was regretting for the first half an hour as he entered the wicket after Steve Franks was caught off a leading edge for 0. As it was the end of the over Clarke stood up the other end and watched another 3 wickets tumble leaving Itchington 6-4. Debutant Patrick Mills showed promise but was caught superbly in the deep and Pete McKenna was clean bowled by Weston.
Fan’s favourite Josh Thompson (15) steadied the ship with Clarke and the two of them played sensible cricket whilst keeping the score board ticking over. With overs running out both Clarke (19) and Thompson tried to up the rate but were both bowled. Saturday first team skipper Chapman put his weekend duck behind him and batted sensibly but aggressively to reach 29 not out and promising junior Finn Peacocke showed he’s not just a bowler by chipping in with some lovely shots to reach 14 not out.
Itchington closed on 100-7 and Clarkes team talk at the interval was positive as from 6-4 a hard thought comeback had put a defendable total on the board.
Joel Bennett and Henry Steele once again proved why they are Itchington’s opening bowlers by setting the tone by bowling a good line. Experienced batsman Chapman and Grewcock looked very unsettled with the two of them bowling a lovely length. Steele bowled Grewcock and unfortunately Clarke dropped a really hard chance (others will say different) to dismiss Chapman.
Due to a tight start Itchington were really in the game and Walcote were behind the rate. Something had to give and spinners Haywood and Chapman bowled well under pressure to try and keep the runs down, Chapman bowling Walcotes opener with his first ball to make the game very interesting. Sadly some excellent stroke play saw Walcott home with two overs to spare.
Itchington will gain a lot from this experience and it was great to see every single Itchington player support one another and work hard until the end. Due to Walcotes older heads and experience it’s a great learning curve for Itchington that you don’t have to smash the ball out of the park to put runs on the board. Clarke has banned all players from watching the IPL over the next couple of weeks. Although a loss is a loss, there were once again some top performances from Itchington’s men and a lot of positives to take from the game
Long Itchington lost by 8 wickets
Chapman – 29 not out
Clarke – 19
Finn Peacocke – 15 not out
Dan Jones – Scorebook
Paddy Mills – Itchington debut
Joel Bennett – 4-0-17-0
Henry Steele – 4-0-17-1
Wed 27th May– Away V West Haddon