Eastwood so close but Gedling edge it

STRIKING OUT: Eastwood Town first XI batsman Ryan Elliott plays a shot during his side's match against Gedling Colliery on Saturday.
STRIKING OUT: Eastwood Town first XI batsman Ryan Elliott plays a shot during his side's match against Gedling Colliery on Saturday.

Eastwood Town’s first XI came close to recording their first win of their 2011 campaign but were edged out by Gedling Colliery in a thriller at The Breach last Saturday.

The hosts were made to bat first by Gedling and again failed to put on a significant opening partnership, losing the first wicket having scored ten and being three down with just 45 on the board.

The middle order revival got Eastwood out of trouble again, with Neil Gregory and Steven Leese both looking at ease at the crease.

The pair both looked set to make big scores before Gregory was surprisingly run out for 44 thanks to a direct hit from Shane Pidgeon.

With the score 127 for 4 and still 15 overs left in the innings Eastwood still had an opportunity to go and set a competitive total.

However Gedling, and Steve Burton in particular, had other ideas, with Burton claiming his third, fourth and fifth wickets of the day, including Leese for 55, to leave Eastwood in trouble, seven men down and with only 158 on the table.

Ryan Elliott and Dean Blake batted well in the final few overs to push up to 188 before the innings closed.

Pidgeon scored 98 for Gedling against Eastwood two weeks previously, so when James Longden dismissed him for just nine in the seventh over, Eastwood had a real hope of claiming their first win of the season.

Graham Burton was sent back to the pavilion the very next over to further add to Eastwood’s delight.

Gedling faced an uphill struggle, but Rhys Hayes and Geoff Burton were well up for the fight.

The duo put on a wonderful 103-run partnership for the third wicket before Hayes was deceived by the spin of Adam Leigh, having contributed a vital 44.

Gedling’s middle order wobbled afterwards in a similar vein to Eastwood’s, but the critical difference was that GEoff Burton stayed at the crease until almost the end of the innings, adding a match winning knock of 83 before being surprisingly caught at close mid-wicket.

A tight couple of overs after Burton’s dimissal meant that Gedling needed eight runs in the final over, and Eastwood had a sniff of getting a winning draw.

But Steve Burton kept a cool head and hit a big six to see Gedling home with three balls to spare.

Second XI

Eastwood’s seconds had a far easier Saturday as they produced a dominant display to completely destroy Chilwell.

The Summers’s both had good days with the ball for Eastwood, with Paul and Dave both picking up three wickets which helped skittle out Chilwell for just 65 runs.

Jake Humphries had opened Eastwood’s bowling attack and also claimed three wickets.

Eastwood knocked off their target inside ten overs thanks mainly to a brisk 30 from Shaun Stocks.

Third XI

The thirds also continued their great start to their 2011 campaign with a 102-run victory over Gedling Colliery 4ths.

Eastwood batted first and lost Nick Grainger the first over and two more batsmen before the end of the tenth to leave them 33 for 3.

However Jack Hatton (41) and Ben Grainger (21) forged a solid partnership to help Eastwood pass the halfway mark with 100 onboard, before a composed 18 on his debut by Jared Bird and an unbeaten 56 from skipper Rob Brentnall helped Eastwood post a challenging 198.

Niall Scott claimed seven wickets at a cost of 51, but received little help from his team-mates hence the large total.

Gedling started their chase well, passing 50 with the loss of just one wicket, but Ben Grainger continued his excellent day, following up his runs with the bat with a five-wicket haul which tore apart Gedling’s middle order.

Nick Grainger chipped in with two tail-end wickets and Gedling only managed 96.