New Ash Green v Minster - More typically chilly April weather had returned for the club's first home match of the season, a friendly against Minster. Skipper J Nash, once again keen to let all club bowlers stretch their arm, led from the front taking the 1st wicket (caught G Wale). New recruit C Payne (3-9) was eager to make his mark taking the next three wickets and 2 catches including one off his own bowling. A Gleeson also showed early season form (3-23) and F Quantrill & Wale (caught & bowled) picked up a wicket each. A final run out from a direct shot from F Quantrill left the visitors all out for 141. The home side added to their confidence with 7 catches being taken during the innings: M Ives, M Bushe & E Quantrill taking the other three.
After tea Wale (11) put a few runs under his belt whilst initially watching his partners struggle, bringing D Freeman (66*) to the crease at No5. He continued his show of early form and, when Wale was caught, he and Gleeson (32*) took New Ash Green to a 52 run home win in just 26.3 overs, Freeman notching up his second 50 in 2 games. An optimistic start to the season and fingers are crossed to see whether the club can take this early success into their league campaigns which start next week.
New Ash Green v Minster
Friendly Match - 40 Overs. Minster 141 all out (36.1 overs); New Ash Green 142-4 (26.3 overs); New Ash Green won by 6 wickets.
New Ash Green continued their pre-season campaign with a second friendly, this time at home against Minster CC. With player availability shifting, the team saw changes from the victory over Faversham CC the previous weekend allowing five more club members to get pre-league match practise. The weather was also a marked change from the previous weekend, warmth and sunshine being replaced with strong winds, overcast skies and very low temperatures. James Nash was once again captaining the side but was spared the trauma of losing another toss when it was agreed with the Minster stand-in skipper that they would take to the field. However, confusion reigned as the New Ash Green opening pair were padding up as the visitors realised they were still three light of an eleven so would much prefer to bat first. Nash agreed to the switch and New Ash Green took to the field instead.
With limited bowling opportunity in the first weekend, Nash took the new ball this week with Ian Mellor. Both bowled solidly on a receptive early season pitch, but with the gusting winds and cold temperatures it was difficult to get a rhythm. A couple of early catches went to ground and Minster were able to see off the opening pair for the loss of just one wicket. Nash (1-13) was replaced by Chris Payne, who immediately took a wicket with his first ball, going on to finish with great figures of 3-9 from his 5 overs. Felix Quantrill, replacing Mellor (0-29), again benefited from getting overs under his belt, once into his rhythm he finished with some accurate deliveries, deservedly picked up a wicket to end with figures of 1-24. Edward Quantrill and Gary Wale were next to get an opportunity to take the ball, both bowling economically to finish with 0-20 and 1-17, respectively. Finally, Adam Gleeson and Matthew Bushe (0-2) were afforded the last few overs, but with Gleeson (3-23) snaring three quick wickets and a last wicket run out following a direct hit by Felix Quantrill, Minster CC were all out for 141 with almost 4 overs still remaining from their allotted 40.
Gareth Jones and Wale were the New Ash Green opening pair, donning the pads for the second time of the day. Unfortunately Jones would not keep them on for much longer than he did the first time, falling LBW in the first over of the innings. Martin Ives & Bushe came and went with New Ash Green looking vunerable at 13-3. Wale was joined by Dean Freeman, fresh from his unbeaten half century the previous weekend and they began to rebuild the innings. Wale fell for 11 with the score on 25, but by this time Freeman had been able to play himself in and get used to the conditions. Freeman was joined by Gleeson and the two put together a formidable partnership. Both punished poor deliveries, by helping themselves to boundaries, and with 32 extras given away by Minster CC, they wrapped up the win in just 26.3 overs. New Ash Green ending on 142-4, Freeman 66* with his second 50 from two games and Gleeson a healthy 32*, contributing to an unbeaten partnership of 117.
So two weeks, two wins - a great start to New Ash Green's 2019 season, particularly with the encouraging show of availability. And plenty of work already for the stats collator & record keeper. In particular Dean Freeman continues to grow his early season lead in the PPOTY† and MVP† competitions and New Ash Green will be hopeful that he carries this early season form into the 1st XI's League Season beginning next week away at Sheppey CC.
†That would be Players' Player of the Year & Most Valued Player [NAG&HCC Fantasy League]
Scorecard at Play-Cricket Our playcricket pages also provides team & league statistics.