First wobble of season for trailblazing tabletoppers Lea And Roses

ON THE ATTACK -- in full flow is batsman John Tittley, who struck a fine 74 for Lea And Roses 2nd in their victory over Teversal 2nd in the Bassetlaw League
ON THE ATTACK -- in full flow is batsman John Tittley, who struck a fine 74 for Lea And Roses 2nd in their victory over Teversal 2nd in the Bassetlaw League

Trailblazing tabletoppers Lea And Roses sank to their first defeat of the season with a disappointing performance on a trip to Nottinghamshire in Division Two of the Bassetlaw League.

Having won five of their opening six games, Lea And Roses paid the penalty for a nightmare sequence in which they lost six wickets for just 14 runs against Notts and Arnold Amateurs 2nd.

Although they recovered to make 183-9 from their allotted 46 overs, Amateurs reached their target with two wickets and eight balls to spare to inflict a reverse that reduced the Gainsborough side’s lead in the division to just two points from Mansfield Hosiery Mills 2nd, whom they take on in a crunch match at home this Saturday.

All seemed to be going smoothly when captain Andrew West won the toss, elected to bat and helped to guide his side to 41 without loss in the opening ten overs. But the departure of his partner Chris Needham for 19 (four fours), caught behind off Kevin Scott, triggered the first big wobble of the campaign. West himself followed in similar fashion four runs later for 26 (four fours), and it wasn’t long before Lea And Roses were 55-6 after a combindation of edges and picking out fielders. All six wickets were shared by the Scotts, with Kevin taking 3-31 from 13 overs and Alex 3-35 from 11 overs.

Thankfully, the visitors were rescued by some sensible batting from numbers seven and eight James Cooper and Richard Keightley, who began to build a partnership that hauled their side back into the game. Cooper made 44, which included five boundaries, while Keightley hit 42 (six fours) and the pair put on 80 before another slide, this time inflicted by Michael Rann (3-30 in six overs), left Lea And Roses hanging by a thread on 155-9.

More tailend resistance was on its way, though, as Scott Woolley added ten and then last men Ben Smith (17no) and Andrew Orton (10no) shared an unbroken stand of 28 for the last wicket that enabled their team to claim a vital fourth batting bonus point.

Lea And Roses then sensed that their total might well be enough because they quickly dislodged both Amateurs’ openers, Nathan Nelson, bowled by Andrew Dewick, and Ameer Kotze, bowled by Smith, when the hosts started their reply.

Some missed catches prevented further early breakthroughs, allowing James Hobson (34) to steady the home ship. But the introduction of slow bowler Andrew Orton offered fresh hope. Not only did he find the edge of Hobson’s bat, he also took three more wickets for final figures of 4-27 from 27 and slowed down the run rate by bowling tight lines.

As the final ten overs began, Amateurs needed 80 to win with only four wickets in hand. They weren’t favourites but they found a matchwinning hero in all-rounder Alex Scott, who decided to free his arms and take the attack to the Lea And Roses bowlers.

Scott’s big hitting produced one six and ten fours in an undefeated knock of 73. But it must be said that he was helpd by some poor fielding and disputed umpiring decisions that caused angry frustration in the Gainsborough side’s ranks. Dewick (3-50 in 9.4 overs) returned for two more more wickets, only for Scott to continued an onslaught that just got Amateurs over the finishing line.

THE batting of John Tittley combined with the bowling of Mickey Newton to earn a victory that sent Lea And Roses 2nd into second place in the Bassetlaw League, Sixth Division table.

Tittley fired a fine 74 as the home side built a total of 194, and then Newton bagged five wickets in as many overs to send Teversal 2nd spinning to 124 all out.

Going in at three, Tittley bossed the innings, with help from captain Mike Overson and Ashley Clay, both of whom made 17, and tailender Levi Hoggard, who added an important 24.

The visitors’ reply recovered from a shaky start and looked to be going well in the hands of Duncan Antony, who cracked 56. But the introduction of second-change Newton transformed the game as he not only removed Antony but also ripped through the middle order and tail inside just 30 deliveries. Dom Bolderson also took 3-25 in seven overs.

A VASTLY more experienced Wiseton 2nd side were too strong for Lea And Roses 3rd in a top-of-the-table clash, for Bassetlaw League, Division Eight points.

The home side totalled 186-7, despite a couple of wickets for Harry Street, before the locals were skittled for just 83 against inspired bowling from Tom Barker, who took six wickets for six runs in seven overs.