Eastwood Town’s first XI finally got their first victory of the 2011 campaign on Saturday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Long Eaton.
Luke Elderkin was the main man for Eastwood, taking three wickets in an accurate opening spell of bowling which simply took apart Long Eaton’s top order.
At 37 for 3 a massive effort was needed by Long Eaton, but rather than fighting back their middle order just crumbled, with James Longden adding another wicket to his growing collection for the season and the gentle swing of Mark Smith claiming two victims to leave Long Eaton on a desperately poor 54 runs with six wickets down.
Long Eaton’s skipper Mark Harrison wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight, and he rained down an aggressive barrage on Eastwood bowlers.
Luckily for Harrison, his teammates down the bottom of the order were able to show more fight than the others, batting around him as he powered his away to an impressive 75 before being caught by Hitesh Godhainya at long on in the second to last over.
Harrison was Elderkin’s fifth wicket of the day, and the last man out as Long Eaton were dismissed for 171.
Eastwood would have been kicking themselves at the tea interval having let Long Eaton post a reasonable total after having them in such trouble earlier on in the match.
But the hosts enjoyed a 61-run partnership for the first wicket which helped settle the nerves.
Jason Wooliscroft looked at ease at the crease for Eastwood and managed to secure his first half century of the season before he nicked a ball behind to the keeper off the bowling of Andy Edge, but at the time of Wooliscroft’s departure Eastwood only needed 35 runs for victory with seven wickets remaining.
Captain Neil Gregory and new signing Gordon Pearson saw Eastwood home without further loss.
Eastwood still sit last in the Division B table, but they go into next week’s fixture against West Bridgfordians full of confidence.
After a blank week last week, Eastwood seconds continue their hot pursuit of Kinoulton and the Division F championship this weekend with a home tie against Whatton & Aslockton.
Eastwood thirds still sit top of Division P, but only after just edging out bottom of the table Collingham by two wickets.
Eastwood had to endure a long 39-mile journey to Collingham’s satellite ground, but they showed no sign of fatigue as the opening bowling duo of Greg Hatherley and Jake Humphries the hosts’ top order, leaving them four down with just 12 on the board.
Shez Butt (31 runs) and Bradley Russell-Webster (22) helped to repair Collingham’s innings somewhat, but skipper Rob Brentnall simply brought back his openers as Hatherley and Humphries both claimed four wickets each to clean up Collingham for 93.
Eastwood set about chasing their target down quickly to secure maximum points, with Mike Hayward (27) and Bryan Towle (21) taking Eastwood to 48 from the first ten overs without too much fuss.
However Butt took four wickets for 29 to continue his great day and Peter Mason weighed in with three as Eastwood were in grave danger of losing the game.
A steady 15 from Brentnall helped get Eastwood close and a massive six from Dave Oliver sealed the game for the visitors.
Kirkby Portland are next weekend’s opposition.