Guest Reporter – Adam Hope versus Walsden

With it being a nice looking Sunday morning I put my shorts on and as soon as I stepped outside, I turned around and changed to jeans. The looks of early April weather can certainly be deceiving. I don’t think I talked to anyone on the game on Sunday who said they weren’t cold, needless to say, the Barmy Army spent most of the afternoon in the bar, except BISH BASH BOSH who was his normal loud self, being newcomers to the House, Walsden didn’t know what was ringing in their ears for the first innings. After fulfilling my services of the IT Hepldesk of Lowerhouse fixing TVs, the WiFi in the scorebox and helping people access live scores (even though they were at the ground watching!) play could get underway.

The changing rooms have had even more modifications to the benefit of the players – I’m sure Stan will send a post on this in the future, but it now looks like something out of the County Championship – wood boxes and all. Joe Martin remains the boot man.

If someone had to get a soundbite from Stan on his thoughts on the game, the first words from his mouth would probably be “Catches win matches” (to be fair, Stan says that after every game.. even if you win!)

After Ben Heap won the toss he unusually for him put Walsden into bat, clouds were looming and a April wicket were things to add into the equation.

The game saw the return of Jonathan Finch. Who was been heavily involved with England Ladies in his role at the ECB, recently in India and in South Africa where he met up with ex professional Cobus Pienaar.

Walsden batting first looked a strong outfit, getting off to a steady start, but Joey got the breakthrough getting their opener Hoosen caught by Ocki. The other opener Josh Gale played quite a few lofted drives making boundaries early on. Frankie then got their number 3 with a good catch by Charlie at cover. Gale battled on and took numerous chances and was joined by their number 4 who hurt his back and needed a runner. The runner seemed to be the end of him as he didn’t last long.

Finchs’ return didn’t last long after pulling up in his 6th over, Francois had to finish it off. He is one of the more senior players now after all 😉 – the cold weather looked to have an affect on both sides during the game.

Enter Walsdens proffessional Umesh Karunaratne. This is his 5 year as Walsdens paid man and second ball danced down the track to Ocki and hit a high ball toward wide mid off, Frankie running towards it made a sterling one handed effort, it looked like one of those that just sticks, but unfortunately bobbled out as his elbow hit the floor. Karunaratne settled down and played some great shots and took advantage of some short and wide balls and clicked into gear.

This is where Stans “catches win matches” comes in, House dropped catches that would need two hands for counting which cost them as Walsden built their innings. Karunaratne motored and finished 88* helped with every middle order batter making 15 plus.

Walsden finished on what seemed an above par 230 for 7 after their 50 overs. It was colder than Bacup with looming cloud lingering all day.

Joe Hawke fell early on LBW with the scores at 9. Ben suffered the same fate for the second wicket, although side on he looked to get a big stride in (but what do I know?). We didn’t seem to be able to dig in or kick on early on, being stuck in limbo with both South Africans losing their wickets with the score at 42 for 4. Passing Nick Hopes 232 appearances in todays game Paddy Martin and Charlie dug in as much as they could putting on 48 for the 6th wicket before both of them as with wickets before fell in quick succession and Toxy not long after that.

Blez managed to get a red inker with 18* but Walsden bowled us out for 128. Dubbed as one of the stronger new comers to the league this year, they looked a strong outfit who obviously know their pro very well.

Not the start we wanted for the first game at home, but I’m sure its one that the team will build from. House take on Haslingden in the cup on Saturday and Middleton on Sunday in a double header of home games, where they will be looking to make ammends.

View scorecard here.

The seconds were also beaten at Walsden in the reverse fixture and the Thirds lost at Church on Saturday. We’ll put this wekeend behind us and march on!

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