With both teams being rained off the previous weekend, the 1st XI still found themselves rooted to the bottom of the Leicester Everards Premier Division while – after going winless for more than a month – the 2nd XI find themselves being pulled closer and closer towards a relegation dog fight in their respective league.
Writing on the Cricket Club website, Matt Yates reports:
The 1st XI travelled to Kegworth Town in search of their 2nd victory in a troublesome season. After missing the previous 2 fixtures, returning captain Steve Coughlin won the toss and inserted Kegworth on what looked a very green and wet pitch. With conditions in their favour, Enderby made the perfect start with Daly (2-27) bowling Mead with his first ball of his day. Enderby continued to win the opening exchanges, reducing Kegworth to 66-4 in the 21st over, but with the pitch drying, Kegworth started to battle back and took control of the middle overs, with Fletcher running hard and putting away any loose bowling. When Yates (2-36) dismissed Fletcher for 86 in the 41st over, the damage had already been done with the score already on 196-6 and the pitch still looking hard work for the batsmen. Only some superb death bowling from Conway (3-36) restricted Kegworth to 238-9 from their 45 overs, a solid score considering the conditions.
Enderby, not dwelling on what could have been, made a solid start with the bat; Cook (39) and Patel (11) put on 49 for the first wicket in testing conditions. However the introduction of Scotton (4-35) into the attack swung the game in Kegworth’s favour; He reduced Enderby to 103-4, a position Enderby never really recovered from. A brave 45 from Mackey delayed the inevitable but could only hold off Kegworth who romped home to victory, dismissing Enderby’s last 5 batsmen for 13 runs, bringing Enderby’s innings to an end for 152. The fat lady may not be singing on Enderby’s season just yet, but after yet another loss it isn’t far off!
The 2nd XI hosted relegation-strugglers Leicester Banks 2nd XI at Mill Lane that same afternoon with a similarly disappointing result. Captain Ian Turner won the toss and surprisingly chose to bat in what looked like testing conditions. With the environment in the bowlers favour, things got off to a solid yet slow start. After the 1st wicket fell in the 10th over with the score only on 19, Turner decided to promote Haden up the order to try and increase the run rate. With Haden (43) and his partner Hood (42) playing more aggressively, the run rate started to increase, with them both taking the score over 100 within 30 overs. Unfortunately both men fell within an over of each other, leaving Turner to try and rebuild the innings as wickets consistently fell at the other end. Turner scored a run a ball 42, pushing the score up over 160 before he was dismissed with 4 overs left. Some late order hitting from Day (17*) – playing his first game since 2011 – saw Enderby to 195 runs in their 45 overs.
Enderby’s bowlers knew a good start was essential considering their below par score. Even though there was only one early breakthrough, the opening bowlers conceded just 32 from the opening 16 overs, pulling Enderby back into the contest. Coxhead (1-36) continued to bowl tightly but without luck and with the other bowlers haemorrhaging runs to the short boundary, the next 16 overs went for 118 for the loss of only 1 wicket, putting Leicester Banks well in control of the game. Knowing he needed wickets, Turner reintroduced the opening bowlers Cartwright and Blanksby into the attack. This had an almost immediate effect; with 5 wickets falling in the next 6 overs for the cost of just 7 runs. Leicester Banks now needed at least 6 and a half per over, meaning the odds were well and truly in Enderby’s favour. Both Cartwright (1-32) and Blanksby (4-34) had bowled their quota of overs now though, leaving Captain Ian Turner with only his bowlers who had bled runs early in the day to close out the innings. Unfortunately they continued to go the distance, as Leicester Banks got home easily with 2 overs to spare, leaving Enderby dangerously close to the relegation zone.
Enderby know it’s time to dig deep and show what they’re made of, with both teams needing some victories sharpish. The 1st XI host league champions Kibworth Town at Mill Lane this weekend and the 2nd XI are travelling to Quorn, they both know they are going to have to improve drastically to holt this run of results. As ever the bar will be open and the weather is set to be fair, so come on down and enjoy the cricket and have a few drinks!
[Source / photo: Enderby Cricket Club]