Beaten by one wicket after spirited bowling fightback

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Langholm suffered an agonising third defeat in a row as they were beaten by one wicket at Wigton last Saturday.

Langholm won the toss and batted first against a young and more athletic Wigton 2nd XI.

The first wicket fell with only 4 on the board when Duncan Elliott was clean-bowled by Ward for 4.

This brought Gregor Park to the crease and the chaos continued from the first ball as he called captain Tony Steele through for a quick single.

With no chance of Steele making his ground, he was given run out by the square leg umpire, only for the wicketkeeper, Ray, to overrule the umpire's incorrect decision by calling Steele back.

In The Spirit of Cricket he admitted to knocking off the bails without having the ball in his hands. Langholm's relief was short-lived when Gregor Park was given out LBW for 5.

Andrew Bell came in and started to rebuild with Steele Snr. This pair added 40 for the third wicket before Steele missed a looping full toss which struck him on the pads, LBW for 26.

This brought in Nicky Piszczykiewicz and it wasn't long before he, too, was the victim of a looping full toss and he was caught for only 4.

Chris Stewart joined Bell and, with some smart running and big hitting, these two pushed the Langholm total to respectability.

Bell eventually holed out on the boundary for 37 bringing, Dave Steele into the fray. Stewart and Steele Jnr continued to push up the score, with Steele to the fore.

Stewart was eventually out for 15 and was quickly followed by Stevie Johnstone. Davie Gordon provided some support for Steele as the pair pushed the score nearer 150 before Gordon Snr played round a straight one from Ward for 8.

Jack Pool was sacrificed by a run-out in an attempt to keep Steele on strike. Jay Gordon, 15, making his debut for the 1st XI came in at No 11 and as many No11s before him, he succumbed first ball to an absolute beauty of a ball which swung late and moved off the seam.

Langholm finished on 148 all out from 39 overs.

Langholm struck early on in the fourth over when Duncan Elliott had Reed caught behind by Gregor Park.

This brought the very honest Billy Ray to join Fleming who was going along very well, consistently picking off the bad ball.

A change of end for Tony Steele brought the reward of Ray’s wicket. Once again, it was Ray’s honesty and good sportsmanship which was evident as the ball appeared to loop up off his boot and into the safe hands of Jay Gordon.

The Langholm team appealed ambitiously for LBW but Ray was already walking after telling the umpire he had hit it.

For any youngsters watching this was a great example to set, the game of cricket being played in the spirit it is supposed to.

Veteran bowler Stevie Johnstone, bowling for the first time in about two months, proved to be Langholm’s most dangerous bowler.

His mix of slow swing bowling and little off-breaks had the home side in knots. Bowling his first victim with a peach of an off-break started a small collapse in the Wigton ranks as another two wickets fell in quick succession.

The dangerous Luke Williams came in surprisingly at No7 and began to push the score along with the help of Fleming who, by now, had passed his half century.

Drinks were taken and, as they often do, appeared to affect the batsmen’s concentration. One over later Fleming danced up the wicket to Johnstone who deceived him and Gregor Park whipped off the bails for a stumping.

Fleming had made an invaluable 77, batting really well. Another three wickets fell as the wheels appeared to come off the Wigton innings.

Skipper Stuart Ward came in at No11 and, despite a few scares, helped Williams to guide Wigton to victory by one wicket.

After the match, Langholm were dejected at missing out by the narrowest of margins but at 20 overs into the Wigton innings they were dead and buried.

Only a fantastic team effort produced the fight-back which gave the Muckle Toon men even a sniff of victory.

Langholm will look for some bounce-back-ability this weekend as they travel to Lanercost.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 4:02PM
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