Eastwood Town’s dismal start to the 2011 campaign continued last weekend with another disappointing losing draw, this time at the hands of Gedling Colliery.
Town skipper Neil Gregory won the toss and had no hesitation in asking Gedling to bat first.
Eastwood’s woeful form in the field continued, with early dropped catches thwarting their effort, which meant Shane Pidgeon and Graham Burton were able to make hay, putting on 91 for Gedling’s first wicket before Burton was outdone by the deceptive spin of Adam Leigh and found himself back in the pavilion for 37.
Eastwood hoped to make inroads into Gedling’s middle order, however the new batsman was Notts Under-15 whizzkid Rhys Hayes who he had other ideas, and along with Pidgeon continued the progress with the bat, cruising to the 40 over mark virtually unchallenged helping the team total past 170 in the process.
From this point until the end of the innings Gedling threw the bat at everything in order to post as high a total as possible.
These actions accounted for several wickets, including Hayes who added a fluent 32, and Pidgeon who fell just short of his century on an agonising 98.
Tom Coffey hit a quickfire 20 right at the death to steer Gedling to a formidable 239 for the loss of seven wickets.
Eastwood’s reply started brightly, with Jason Wooliscroft and Adam Smith adding 40 together without encountering too many significant obstacles.
However, Eastwood quickly hit the self-destruct button, losing five wickets for just 17 runs in six catastrophic overs.
These included two wickets for Adam Burton, two ducks and yet another alarming run out.
With the chance of victory gone for Eastwood, attentions drew towards salvaging vital points from the losing draw, and the aim of batting their entire innings without being bowled out.
After stopping the rot, Leigh (62) and Gregory (42) formed a vital 114 run unbeaten partnership to make sure Eastwood finished their innings without any further heartache, closing on 171 for 5.
The result sees Eastwood drop into the relegation places in Division B, and their form needs to improve quickly to make sure the season isn’t spent fighting against the drop.
The return fixture at home against Gedling Colliery this weekend is shaping up to be a very important match.