A tale of two catches at the Wood this weekend. A superb catch from Tom Carr to inspire the rest of the Saltwood fielders on Saturday, and a dropped catch on Sunday that proved to be painful not just for the fielder who dropped it.
Saturday’s match against Elham Valley CC was the second of a four match series this year, with Saltwood winning the game and drawing level with two to play. Saltwood batted first, losing two wickets early on before Dan Cowell (61) and Jack Woods (30) steadied the ship. Three quick wickets had the pavilion in turmoil as 70-2 turned to 72-5 but Arthur Leaver (24) and Dan dug in and took the total up to 140. The tail wagged this week, with Brice Dempster, Tom Been, Jack Gooding and Matt Parrett all contributing. Tight bowling from Elham bowlers Max Wren (29-3) and Daniel Bland (37-3) kept the total down to 208 from 43 overs.
The Elham innings got off to a decent start with hard hitting opener Matt Davis (35) scoring runs freely before being caught by Tom Carr off the bowling of Barry Wire. A superb diving catch taken inches from the ground at mid-off and a contender for catch of the season. With Davis gone at 45-3, Elham’s batsmen succumbed to the beguiling spin bowling of Barry Wire who ended up with seven wickets and a well deserved place on the honours board.
Sunday’s KVL match against Woodchurch CC was a must win for Saltwood to keep them in touch with the league leaders. Woodchurch opener Mark Paine has a reputation as a hard hitting batsmen, averaging over 50 in the last 10 years so it was encouraging to see some mistimed shots early on. Paine quickly obliged, smashing the ball to deep point where he was unfortunately dropped. Some tight bowling by Ian Oakes, Shaun Carey and Shah Rajput kept the total to around 80 runs at the half way point but the next 20 overs went to all parts of the ground, and beyond. Paine ended up with 145 and a quick fire 65 from Tom Richards left Woodchurch with 300 runs to defend.
With makeshift opening batsmen Ian Oakes having to leave after a couple of overs, the start of the Saltwood innings was never going to be a solid and patient start. A few sighters, a six, a miss and middle stump being hit put paid to Oakes, with fellow opener Jeremy Russell retiring hurt soon after. Arthur Leaver (17) continued his good form, Teddy Easthope (55 no) made up for some of his dropped catch and a skippers inning from Shah Rajput (45 no) got Saltwood up to 179 and the batting point. A well deserved victory for Woodchurch and some fine batting from both teams.