09 May 2018
Snr 1stXI Vs Wetherby Prep

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Freeman and Towlerton lead Falcons to thrilling tie.

Spectators at the resplendent Old Deer Park ground were treated to a feast of cricketing quality on Wednesday afternoon as all three results were still possible from the final delivery against visitors Wetherby.

Unavailability on the day meant that the coach turned to two of the talented u11 boys to join the first team. That the side now boasted three u11s shows that the side is in a good position for years to come. Captain Dan Freeman cleverly persuaded the coin to fall on a head and then had no hesitation in choosing to bowl first.

This decision quickly looked like a good one as Brooks Norman and Sam Mercer extracted good movement in the air, Mercer (2-15) being rewarded for his trying lines with two wickets. Wetherby captain Ed Jones though looked like a tough nut to crack and he found assistance from his middle order as they negotiated the remainder of the opening spell as well as efforts from Oliver Taylor. Josh Towlerton was introduced in the seventh over and immediately looked a threat, giving the ball plenty of air and getting considerable turn back into the right handers. Towlerton (3-10) formed a miserly partnership with Druan Shah (2-15) who effortlessly nagged away on a testing length. Wetherby were being squeezed and showed signs of panic as they lost three quick wickets, two bowled and one super catch taken by Shah at mid wicket off the bowling of Towlerton. The visitor’s lower middle order wasn’t able to provide the closing fireworks they would have hoped for and so had to settle for, a still competitive, 111.

In response, Shah and opening partner Thomas Welton were initially pinned down by an accurate bowling attack that made Falcons take more risk than they would have liked. Welton unfortunately fell taking said risk but was replaced by Freema, who immediately looked at home, content to block the good balls and dispatch the loose ones. Spin was introduced with mixed success, Freeman depositing one over mid-wicket for six before the bowler undid Shah (for an important 17) and two further wickets fell without the scoreboard being overly troubled. Halfway through the innings and 55 runs were still required. Freeman found capable support in Will Dawson, who played with a lovely straight batting, defending cautiously and looking to get the skipper on strike wherever possible. These two whittled the total down, through 40 off eight overs, down past 32 from six and onto 19 from three and then 7 from the last over. A bye, a run wide and sadly the wicket of Dawson, for an enterprising 10, meant that three were need from the final three. Mercer was the new man and he managed to survive the first and take a single from the second. Freeman, now 41 not out, surveyed the field and made his plan, he assertively turned the ball around the corner and despite his best efforts was run out attempting to come back for the winning run. A marathon innings from Dan but he can be mightily proud of his effort, steering his side from 2-1 all the way up to Wetherby’s total of 111, securing an honourable tie.

With key players missing there was an opportunity for others to show their worth and a handful did this and more. Shah contributed heavily with bat and ball, Mercer and Norman proved dangerous with the new ball and two u11s, Dawson and Towlerton, showed that they are more than capable of cutting it at first team level. Freeman though must take the plaudits for his 19 over vigil. Quite simply, without his contribution the chase would have been insurmountable.

Fixtures come thick and fast from here and the boys should be excited for what can be achieved this term.S