Week 1 Round Up
The first league game of the season was played in glorious sunshine with the 1st XI at home to Painswick and the 2nd XI away at Quedgeley and Hardwicke.
ACC 1st XI
Having lost the toss Apperley 1st XI were asked to bowl. There was an early breakthrough for Jeremy Yearsley but Painswick made a solid start, scoring at 5 per over. That was until Sam Fitzmaurice came on with a very consistent and tight spell. There were murmurs he even got one ball to move, but when the umpire was asked to clarify he firmly denied any such claim.
Painswick struggled to get Fitzmaurice away though and his second maiden from 2 overs ended with wicket number two for Apperley. His first spell culminated in 8 overs 1-24 which helped Apperley peg Painswick back, now scoring at only 4 per over on 107-3 from 27 – the other wicket picked up by Lloyd Griffiths.
Means’ Bruised Beans
There was a sore moment for captain Dave Means in the middle overs when he decided to use one of his his own balls to help stop any runs being scored through cover. Carrying the extra swelling he still managed to take a smart catch on the boundary late on.
Mixed Blessings Between Church and Chapel
Elliot Hayward followed Fitzmaurice at the Chapel End and found similar consistency with an excellent spell of 1-32 from nine overs. With the Chapel end tied up Painswick found more success off the bowling from the Church End, closing their innings with what seemed a par score of 250-8 from their 50 overs. Four wickets in the final eight overs helped Apperley to two late bonus points.
One Cake Too Many?
With vice-captain Matty Williams yet to return from the rugby season it was Andy O’Conner who took the gloves for the first time in many years, doing a fine job on a warm day. Those 50 overs in the sun followed by the welcome return of teas (thanks Lis) for the first time since the pandemic may have been just too much though as ‘Tef’ didn’t manage to stick around for long, opening the batting alongside Adi Mayes.
Mayes continued his good pre-season form with another 50 before being given out caught behind off a wide one. By that point we’d also lost Sol Dark who batted well for his 39 and Curtis Oldroyd for 12. The wickets kept coming for Painswick and by the time we’d lost Yearsley (7), Will Storey (19) and Means (9) the game was all but over with Apperley on 150-7 with just 9 overs remaining. Fitzmaurice hit 26 from as many balls to help us to a second batting point but at 187 all out with 10 balls remaining we ended up losing by 63 runs, claiming 7 points in defeat.
ACC 2nd XI
Apperley lost the toss and were inserted on a very good batting deck with a very short boundary on one side. Openers Dave Steinham (17) and Steve Best (29) got starts without managing to fully capitalise but it was Hugh ‘Pugsy’ Leeke who was left to really rue his luck.
Eager as ever to back up, Pugsy hadn’t yet faced a delivery when the ball was struck back towards the bowler who managed to get the faintest of flicks on the ball from one of his spikes before it clattered the wickets at the non-striker’s end. Out of his crease, out of luck and out for a diamond duck our England international was walking back to the pavilion only moments after having come to the crease. That dismissal did however pave the way for Apperley’s star of the day.
(In) Form Hayward While the Sun Shines.
Tom Hayward came in at number four and smashed 19 fours and eight sixes in a pulsating 149* from just 94 balls under the Gloucestershire sun. Not just his career best score this was Hayward’s first league century, with clear sign that there will be more to come. Srini Kamath, Neil Meredith and Isaac Bate-Williams all fell for four runs apiece before Ed Burrows joined Hayward. The two of them put on the biggest partnership of the innings (85*) as Burrows (38*) finished the innings in perfect style with a six. Apperley’s 266-6 from 40 overs looked a formidable score.
Not content with just a batting contribution, Hayward went on to take 3-51, but not before a lot of ground had been made up by the Q&H openers. Burrows also took a wicket but it was his two catches, particularly the second off the bowling of Steinham, which drew a collective gasp from all who saw it. With Mr Ed positioned on the boundary the ball was coming directly out of the sun. Burrows literally turned away so as not to be blinded, threw out his hands and somehow claimed the stunning catch.
Despite the heroics of Burrows and Hayward, Quedgeley & Hardwicke managed to reach the target with five wickets in hand and four balls to spare. Apperley took 9 points in the defeat.