Mention the words ‘Aldridge hatrick’ to Newport County or Liverpool fans of a certain age and see them bask in the memories. This spelt disaster writ large for Elstow yesterday though. Henry Hunt, Michael Dickson and the skipper, Ed Wisson, were all castled three overs in chasing 211, by the North Crawley seamer’s spitting, swinging deliveries. Tearing in from the Abbeyfields End and with the prevailing wind proving useful assistance, Aldridge’s devastating opening salvo meant Elstow were staring defeat and an early finish full in the face.
The early finish did indeed materialise, though not in the manner expected when the home team were stranded at five for three. Displaying remarkable sang froid against this onslaught; Rob Leddy firstly with Nick Lewis, then more pertinently Hani Thiarra, orchestrated the most unlikely of repair jobs eventually leading Elstow to a valuable three wicket victory. His 95 treated the windswept onlookers to the full range of his stroke play; cutting, driving, deflecting, pulling and smashing the beleaguered Crawley attack to all parts. Thiarra got in the act too, his muscular hitting contributing to the 101 run 4th wicket partnership. After a late scare, with Crawley’s Esh hoping to emulate his teammate’s earlier feat by claiming a hatrick, Thiarra calmly saw his team home with nineteen overs to spare by guiding the winning runs through the vacant slip area to finish unbeaten with 64 classily constructed runs to his name.
North Crawley posted a formidable 210-8 from their overs, Goss was the pick of their batsmen with a terrific 110, and his 92 run partnership with Esh set the mood for this batsman dominated encounter. Steve Russell was the pick of the Elstow bowlers and it was he broke the opening stand aided greatly by Rob Leddy at short extra cover. Russell also picked up the wicket of the Crawley captain Singh to register a good day for the Elstow left arm seamers union; Will Wisson having looked good with the new ball. Ainsley Jones also finished with two scalps; the prize wicket of Goss with a slower ball and big hitting Sri via a catch from Lee Gauntlett at fly slip while part time offie Leddy put in a full shift to take three wickets.
Horner Shearing Player of Substance of the Day: Harriet Wisson, a splendid effort on debut, ably assisted by Grandma Wiss. The scones were top notch, the sausages scrummy, the dough nuts welcome, the sandwiches no-nonsense. Fleetingly, the prevalent Union flag napkins, as well as being a nice touch, were somehow reminiscent of the climax to the opening sequence of The Spy Who Loved Me. Thank you very much H, good job!
Clag nut of the Day: Cricket.