Vital win lifts first XI out of drop zone

Eastwood Town’s First XI finally pulled out of the Division B relegation zone following a vital 82 run victory over fellow strugglers Gotham last weekend.

Eastwood batted first and continued their recent purple patch with the bat.

After a steady first half of the innings which left Eastwood 85 for 2, they pressed on in the sunny conditions, with Jason Wooliscroft and Neil Gregory putting on a quick 56 run partnership for the third wicket before Gregory was caught by Brad Moore having scored 36.

Wooliscroft continued on, passing the 50 mark for the fourth time in the last seven innings, and looked to be on for his first century for Eastwood, totally at ease at the crease and receiving good support from Steven Leese.

However Wooliscroft fell agonisingly short of his ton as he was run out backing up at the non-strikers end for 96.

Wooliscroft may have been upset falling just short of the landmark, but at his point of departure he had helped Eastwood to 217 for 5 with just under five overs left.

Leese upped the ante, smacking his way to 56 as Eastwood closed their innings 260 for 6.

Gotham may have thought they had a chance of knocking off the total at tea, but just one hour into their innings their chances had been destroyed.

A fine display of fast bowling by James Longden and first XI debutant Jake Humphries completely obliterated Gotham’s top and middle order.

From 50 for 6 it was just a matter of time before Eastwood claimed victory, and despite some spirited runs down the order from Thomas Cooper (40 runs) and Paul Blatherwick (33) Longden returned to wrap up the tail, claiming his first five wicket haul for the firsts in the process.

Second XI

The seconds kept their Division F championship hopes going after a slightly weakened side came out on top in a tough encounter against Ravenshead.

Eastwood batted first, with their prolific top order not completely firing on this occasion, and despite 28 from Stuart Hill and 35 from Tony Coupe, Eastwood looked in a bit of trouble as Julian Tadd took three quick wickets.

At 95 for 5 Eastwood could have been shot out for a low score, but a 65-run partnership between Steve Dockrell (36) and Bryan Towle (34) helped Eastwood back on track and a couple of lofty blows at the end from skipper Dave Summers got Eastwood to 183 from their 45 overs.

Ravenshead suffered early strife, but Dan Fellows fought back with 34 and with Numan Shafiq getting to 50 with ease, Ravenshead looked to be set for a surprise victory.

Eastwood fought back through the guise of Shaun Stocks, as he removed the dangerous Shafiq for 52 and Andy Tadd the very next ball.

This caused the undoing of Ravenshead as they collapsed from 103 for 3 to 160 all out, as Stocks picked up four wickets.

Third XI

Eastwood’s third team’s championship hopes suffered a severe blow as they were comprehensively beaten by title rivals Kinoulton.

Eastwood batted first and could only manage 90 runs, as five batsmen were dismissed for ducks.

Skipper Rob Brentnall top scored with 39.

Kinoulton cruised to victory in the 23rd over thanks to 52 from Tim Davies.

The thirds have a blank week next weekend and will need to recharge their batteries and come out fighting in the final few games of the season.