Half way through the season and there’s no getting away from the dominant statistic. ‘Cancelled’ is the word writ large across the scorebooks up and down the county. For Elstow’s senior teams half of their ten fixtures have been lost to the weather. While for the first team it’s won three, lost two, for the seconds it’s the other way round.
Despite a fairly routine win over New Bradwell, Elstow were found wanting against fellow title chasers Milton Keynes City. Runs have been flowing freely this season at The Warren (not just for the home team, sadly) and when Matt Stevens’s charges struggled to 154 all out, it never looked enough on a decent surface. After a devastating spell of quick bowling from MK’s Shayan Naseem left Elstow’s top order all at sea (That’s enough water references, thanks. Ed.) the home team were struggling and although Rob Tebbutt claimed his first five-for of the season, it wasn’t enough as the Buckinghamshire side clung on to win by four wickets. Newlywed Thomas Wisson compiled a useful 38 while Rob Leddy’s fine form continued with another half century in the four wicket win over struggling New Bradwell. Six wickets rather flattered the opposition but some of Elstow’s batsmen showed their altruistic side, carelessly gifting their wickets in chasing down the victory target of 171. This win keeps the 1st XI in the chasing pack of teams at the top of Division One. What’s needed now is a decent August allied to a bit of luck.
Despite the early season expectation, the 2nd XI haven’t made the start to the season captain Ed Wisson would have liked. The inability to field a settled team has had an effect on the current league standing, however some of the leading players have been found wanting when the pressure’s been on and this also explains the current malaise. This was certainly evident in the home loss to Milton Bryan by 70 runs. Chasing 210, Elstow slumped to 140 all out with only Gary Flower (45) and Cain Hamilton-Boyle emerging with any credit in the ill-fated reply. At Linslade Public Baths, the 2nd XI went down by 58 runs to Great Brickhill in a low scoring, moody, rain affected encounter. James Smith’s 4.4-1-10-5 on debut was the only highlight for Elstow. The 2nd XI need more results like the one over North Crawley earlier in the month- a handsome, if somewhat tainted, three wicket win- if they are to get themselves back in the promotion running.
In this, the soggiest of summers, spare a thought for the Development XI who, at the time of writing, are still undefeated in the league. Most of this is to down to the intemperate and, by now, frankly rather tedious weather. The rain accounted for two of their fixtures while the opposition conceded the remaining fixture.