The Bassetlaw season kicked off yesterday, with Lea & Roses in action in three matches.
The firsts were away to Glapwell II, a team who had struggled to maintain their Division Two status last season.
Skipper West headed out for the toss, which he lost and the home side chose to bowl.
Needham and West opened the account for Lea, and swiftly put 25 on the board before Needham pushed across the line at a straight one and was LBW for 7.
Lane entered the fray, looking in good touch, to join West who was already starting look a problem for the home side.
Using a mixture of touch and power, he and Lane moved the score onto 53 before Lane attempted to turn a ball down to long leg and was somewhat harshly adjudged out LBW.
This turned out to be a pivotal moment in the innings, as it brought Matt Snee to the crease.
After a cagey start, Snee emulated his already set skipper, and the pair laid waste to the Glapwell attack.
The boundaries flowed along with some astute running, and the molehill soon became a mountain for home side, with first West and then Snee reaching flawless half centuries.
With the score progressing nicely, it came as somewhat of a shock, when West finally gave up a chance to keeper Drabble who removed the bails with the skipper stranded out his crease. This closed a quality knock well appreciated by the squad as he returned to the pavillion.
With the Lea & Roses score now on 166, the situation was tailor made for the power brigade to assist Snee in turning a good score, into a formidable one. Keightley joined him first, but sadly it wasn’t to be his day as Wijensinge trapped him LBW with what looked like another borderline decision.
A visibly flu addled Titley joined Snee and got the charge beck on track with positive hitting accompanying Snee’s guile and craft as he engineered his way towards a debut century.
But it was not to be as once again Drabble moved smartly on a leg side delivery to stump Snee just five runs short of three figures. This had been an innings of high quality.
Smith was next out the hutch, but was largely a bystander as the ailing Titley smacked the ball around the ground at will, ending with a well deserved 39.
Lea & Roses innings was brought to a close with the score on 247 for 5.
Lea & Roses headed into the field to begin the defence of their total. The skies were looking leaden, and with the threat of rain, it was clear the visitors needed to get on quickly with the task ahead.
Dewick opened the bowling with Smith, and despite conceding a couple of boundaries were quickly into the Glapwell openers, with Smith finding the edge of Wijesinghe to keeper Mardle, before Dewick produced his legendary away seam to remove Bircumshaws off stump. Mardle was quickly in the action again, snaffling Land to give Dewick his second, and shortly after the Lea & Roses vice took his third victim when he disturbed the stumps once more to remove Drabble.
Glapwell’s one shining light in a sea of darkness, Trusswell was next to go when Snee picked up at extra cover and threw the stumps down from 30 feet away to move the dangerous left hander.
What was looking like a rout, quickly became one as, with the score on a meager 26 for 5, Dewick struck for the fourth time, trapping yet another Drabble in front, and 11 runs later Topham edged a sharp delivery from first change bowler Cooper which was taken by Keeper Mardle to take a catch in front of a thankful Keightley at first slip.
The writing was now on the wall as Cooper decimated the stumps of Pykett and the young seamer Woolley did the same to Hawkins.
The proceedings were wrapped up when Cooper produced a fine in swinging yorker to remove last man Pearson.
The seconds started their campaign at home to Papplewick and Linby III. In similar fashion to the First team, skipper Michael Overson lost the toss, and Lea & Roses were put into bat.
Overson and Dom Bolderson opened the batting and the pair looked to be getting settled in quite nicely, until a rather unfortunate stumping left Bolderson walking back to the pavilion on five.
This brought Andrew Orton to the crease, who looked comfortable from the start, and went on to build a good partnership with Overson before the latter was bowled on 26.
Daniel Clay was next in, but was dismissed shortly after a quick fire 12 and Nick Ward-Lowery then added six to the total before being caught.
With Orton still in at one end the total had stacked up before he was eventually dismissed for 51.
Good contributions from young Jake Hutchinson, who made 18, and Andrew Slater, who made 27, helped bolster the score towards the end with Lea & Roses finishing on a very defendable 178 all out.
After tea Lea & Roses opened up the bowling with Clay and Bolderson. The pair got into their strides early, not allowing the Papplewick openers to settle into any sort of rhythm early on, but somehow a wicket was illusive.
The first wicket did come early on though, in the form of a run out, with Clay throwing to Hutchinson behind the stumps, who took the bails off to remove one opener.
With one end now opened up, the first change came, with Slater replacing Bolderson (4-16-0), and then Orton replacing Clay.
Orton took the next wicket early into his spell, dismissing Papplewicks number 3, and then Slater (6-21-1) got into his rhythm to dismiss the number four.
With wickets falling from one end, Lea & Roses were on top at this stage, however Papplewicks opener was still proving hard to get, and going along quite nicely.
This soon changed when Mickey Newton came on to bowl, bagging the remaining opener stumped, after making 45.
This left Papplewick there for the taking. Orton added one more wicket to his tally to finish with 2 wickets for 30 from his 11 overs.
It was Newton who did the damage though, taking five wickets for 7 runs from seven overs.
A magnificent spell, which took Lea & Roses to the brink of victory.
Clay (6.2-17-1) came back to take the final wicket, leaving Papplewick all out for 96 with more than 10 overs to spare.