Roses finish season on a high as stalwart bows out

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Roses’ last Bassetlaw Cricket League game of the season took place on a day that put many of the Saturdays in high summer to shame, with the splended setting of Papplewick Hall in the background.

The Gainsborough side won the toss and elected to field on a damp, green pitch.

This decision was immediately vindicated as Graham Clay took a wicket with the second ball of the match.

Following this the Papplewick top order was blown away by tight accurate bowling and one or two balls that misbehaved of the pitch.

Graham Clay took 3-10 off his nine overs ably backed up by Dan Clay who took a further three wickets.

It wasn’t until the eighth wicket partnership between Adam Betteridge (30) and Jonathon Thrower (23) that they added a bit of respectability to the score.

It was the return of Ben Smith that broke this with his second wicket of the afternoon.

Once this resistance had been broken the tail was quickly wrapped up leaving Roses to score 101 to win.

Any thoughts that this was going to be knocked of easily were quickly knocked on the head as Roses suffered a similar poor start to their hosts struggling to 28-4, Papplewick opening bowler James Stokes taking 4-12.

This however brought together Richard Keightley (27) and Ben Smith (31) who steadied the ship and then began to dominate the bowling including a big six from Smith who landed the ball amidst the crowd in a neighbouring property.

Unfortunately neither could see the job through and with the quick loss of two further wickets the final dozen runs became a nail biting struggle. Fortunately the older heads of Graham Clay and Chick Barratt were able to see Roses home to a two wicket win and 20 points.

This was a fitting end to a distinguished career for Barratt who announced his retirement from the game.

The result meant that Roses finished fifth in Division Two which was a very creditable season following their promotion to this level last year.

It has been a very enjoyable season with some very close games played in an excellent spirit.

Roll on April 2016 when it will start all over again.