MILLERS EDGE HOME IN TENSE THRILLER
The 1sts went down to a very tense defeat at home against an East Lancs side that's now won 6 in a row. With a host of players again missing, the omens weren't good for the boys, particularly when inserted on what appeared to be a very damp and seaming wicket. The fact that we got a game on at all was thanks in no small part to heroic work from Kieran and Dasher to turn the morning "lake" into something resembling a cricket pitch!
It proved to be a boon for KC in particular - after weeks away on hols our stoic opener showed the rest of us what a straight bat is with some dogged defiance over 90 minutes as wickets tumbled. Actually the innings started quite well, with the CDO and Danny solid enough early on, and Danny hitting one lovely straight six. Ry Stoney also played a couple of good shots, but when Doc P fell with the score on 70-3, the innings capitulated. Only Kieran's determined batting and some wild hitting from the beautifully bushy Mike Watts got the score up to 95; for the visitors, the nibbly seam of Joe Shiels has picked up 5-10 on what was proving to be a bit of a tricky wicket with variable bounce.
Spirits remained buoyant at tea, despite the low score, and when Asif removed danger man Daly in the 2nd over, Totts sensed an unlikely victory. This intensified further as Doc P, in the midst of another excellent spell, whipped out 4 wickets, including the key dismissals of Matt Partington and Kiwi (beautifully caught at slip off a snorter by the beautifully bearded Mike Watts). At 29-5 the visitors were rocking and another wicket then could well have been game over. Wicket keeper Phil and Shiels then dug in for 15 overs of dogged resistance, the duo mixing some confident shots with an array of playing and missing, particularly against Doc, who was moving the ball all over. Asif put in a fine spell at the other end, but was unlucky not to pick up more wickets.
The introduction of skipper Nelly B brought instant reward, with Shiels holing out to Nick Marsh at cover, but Ste Dalton then came in and played an assured knock to take the visitors to the brink of victory. With just a handful needed, Asif then produced a stunning caught and bowled to get rid of keeper Phil, but it was just too late, and the ELPM boys clung on to record a hard fought win.
Plaudits to the Totty bowlers and fielders for putting in a supreme effort, and well done the visitors who cemented 3rd place in the table.