By John Wainwright - 16th July 2020 6:08am
Audlem's long wait to take to the field finally came to an end last weekend with the reintroduction of recreational cricket in England after the enforced delayed start to the 2020 season. Neighbours Woore were the first visitors to The Gorse Croft on Saturday followed by Lichfield Nomads in Sunday's fixture.
Saturday match v Woore
Saturday's team was captained by the returning Chris Shenton who missed the whole 2019 season recovering from surgery. In the home team's line-up were two debutantes in Howard Jones and Steve Blackhurst with Woore featuring some of their promising youngsters nurtured through their impressive junior section led by a core of experienced seniors.
The highlight of Audlem's innings of 179 for 8 was a belligerent knock of 33 from Steve Blackhurst ably supported by useful contributions from Luke Harding, Chris Shenton, Simon Swift, Dan Butler and Dave Parkinson. Woore's reply finished 34 runs short of the required total with their young opening batsman, Tom Sadji the star performer very unlucky not to attain his half century after being dismissed on 49 . Allrounder Simon Swift was Audlem's most successful bowler on the day with impressive figures of 3 for 18
Sunday match v Lichfield Nomads
Sunday's game against visitors Lichfield Nomads was sponsored by Warmund House Carpets and Flooring from Bridgemere (www.warmundhouse.co.uk, Warmundhouse@hotmail.co.uk).
Audlem's Sunday skipper had the advantage of playing the previous day and after winning the toss had no hesitation in deciding to bat on a docile track but after a wayward spell of bowling from Lichfield's opening attack the change bowlers took control and soon started to make inroads into the home team's batting line up. However opener Paddy Leese stood tall as wickets tumbled all around him but when he was finally dismissed for a well crafted 42 the score was a perilous 86 for 6 with Audlem in all sorts of trouble.
This proved to be the defining moment of the game as Staffordshire over50s allrounder Andy Kenvyn (102 no) proceeded to blast the ball to all parts of the ground to complete a magnificent unbeaten century ably supported by young Luke Harding (22 no) displaying both maturity and style in an unbeaten stand of 116 for the innings to close on 202 for 6.
Lichfield were coasting along in their reply with a trouble free opening partnership between skipper Ian Terry (36) and R. Garner (21) but a fine diving catch by the cat-like Steve Ellsmore off the bowling of John Lea turned the game back in the favour of the hosts. With four catches taken by wicket keeper Paddy Leese off the bowling of Luke Harding and Simon Swift in a remarkable two overs. The result became inevitable as the tail end batsmen couldn't cope with the introduction into the attack of slow bowler Dave Slack who clean bowled both his victims (2 for 18) and the returning opening bowler Lauren Kenvyn (1 for 20) and subsided to 123 all out in the 31st over.
Next weekend Audlem start their delayed league season when they visit near neighbours' Crewe Vagrants ( 1:00pm ) and the Sunday X1 make the journey to Chester to play Burton CC ( 1:00pm )
The full scorecards & contact details can be viewed on the club's website on audlem.play-cricket.com
Any local businesses who stated an interest in sponsoring a game prior to the lockdown if you are still able and willing to get involved the club would be delighted to hear from you.
Audlem Cricket Club
Sunday 2nd Aug
Saturday 1st Aug
Methodist Meeting Rooms