DIVISION One cricket was back again at The Bob Park Cricket Ground following promotion last season for Lydney, writes Phil Lewis.
The ground was looking in good shape given the poor weather in the week leading up to the game as both Lydney and Westbury sought to get their campaigns off to a winning start following last week’s washout.
Dan Hockaday won the toss for Westbury and without hesitation invited Lydney to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions.
Tom Legge and Jonathon Kear opened for Lydney but any thought of a solid start for the home team quickly went out the window as Kear was dismissed for a golden duck as he faced his first delivery in the first over.
This was to be the start of a fine spell of bowling for Kade Clowes, Westbury’s Australian.
Indeed, Clowes then swiftly bowled Lydney’s Australian, Dan Brown, for zero and Lydney were languishing on 7-2.
Daffyd Nicholas came in at number four and instantly looked comfortable and swiftly moved to 16 courtesy of some fine boundaries.
However he was soon walking back to the pavilion after being run out by Dan Jarvis after a mix up with Tom Legge for 29-3.
Rebuilding was now required and the middle order, along with Tom Legge provided some resistance.
Alex Gooding and Legge put on 45 for the fourth wicket before Gooding was bowled by Ed Edginton for 21.
Lydney stalwart Ed Jones came in at five and continued provide recovery, batting well until he was undone by a dipping full toss from Hockaday for 20 and Lydney were 120-5.
Legge reached his half century off 101 balls, a fine fighting innings and now was the time to try and accelerate with overs running out. However, he fell two balls later for 50 off the bowling of Edginton for 125-6.
A tricky period ensued as Lydney had to balance between increasing the run rate and batting the overs.
However, Lydney then lost regular further wickets with Clowes grabbing two more wickets and Edginton another.
Devin Rogers also claimed a wicket as Lydney finished all out for 148 with Clowes the pick of the bowlers with 4-25 off 8.4 overs and Edginton taking 3-28.
Buoyed by a fine bowling display, Westbury opened with Dan Andersen and Alex Wyman. Lydney looking to keep things tight and apply pressure.
Lydney’s opening bowlers of Dan Brown and Ellis Boughton initially struggled to find their line and length but they soon found their range and Aussie Brown claimed the wickets in his opening spell. Andersen and Rogers being dismissed for zero and Francis Stirrup for seven to make it 24-3
Jake Bonser came and went for one, Gooding taking the wicket and Westbury were struggling on 26-4.
This soon became 33-5 as Greg Artus was trapped lbw by Boughton for 5.
Wyman was standing firm and he required some one to stay with him to form a partnership and this duly arrived with Dan Jarvis.
Westbury began to reclaim some initiative and were well above the required run rate.
The score reached 70-5 when Jarvis skied a shot to Brown off the bowling of Gooding for 23 and the game was again tilting towards Lydney.
Wyman was stoic and denying Lydney but he fell for 19, another victim for Brown, leaving Westbury on 72-6.
The eighth wicket followed soon after as Hockaday was out, caught for four by Brown. At 75-8, you would be forgiven for thinking the game looked to be reaching an inevitable conclusion.
However, some good lower order batting and hitting from Clowes and Edginton meant that Lydney could not relax.with taking Westbury up to 99 when Clowes was out lbw for 17 off James Legge.
One wicket to win for Lydney and 50 needed for a Westbury victory.
Edginton threw caution to the wind and started to strike the ball with aggression, hitting a six off Callum Miller and 4 off James Legge as he looked to single handedly get Westbury up to the target.
It proved was too much of a target to reach when Legge had another lbw decision to remove Walkley-Cox and Westbury were all out for 115 with Edginton stranded on 19 not out. Frustration for Westbury who had 15 overs left to bat with run rate not an issue.
Lydney won by 33 runs to claim 18pts while Westbury earned six. Brown the pick of the Lydney bowlers with 4-27 in nine overs while Gooding took 3-33.
A low-scoring affair but a good competitive game played in good spirit.