Shireshead 3rd XI127-5
TEENAGE bowling sensation Owain Houghton propelled Shireshead third XI to a fine victory over Ibis A.
Shireshead won the toss and inserted Ibis. Martin Wood (17) and Ian Nicholson (17) batted steadily, resisting the efforts of the bowlers.
When the score was 38 in the 15th over, Nicholson lobbed a catch to Sam Hilton off the last over of Graham Rand’s first spell.
Andy Pickering (56) took over and was more positive, scoring freely off the young bowlers.
Together with Wood, a partnership of 23 was put together for the second wicket, but then it was Houghton’s turn to star.
The 13-year-old, in his third over, bowled Wood, then, next ball, forced Bruce Walkom to give a catch to Andrew Burch and then, next ball, bowled Tom Jackson. A hat-trick!
Somewhat fearfully, Matt Houghton (8) came to the wicket, and was prepared to let Pickering have a free hand.
Pickering reached his 50 in 74 minutes off 68 balls, which included three massive sixes into the adjoining tennis courts.
In the 38th over, when the score was 124, Matt Houghton was caught and bowled by Phil Houghton, a partnership of 63 for the fifth wicket.
The next batsman followed his predecessor back to the pavilion in the next ball, and everyone’s breath was held to see if father Phil would have to share the hat-trick ball with son Owain, but it was not to be, as Liam Irvine blocked the ball.
However, no more runs were scored while Rand, in his second spell, removed Pickering, and then also had an attempt at the hat-trick. The final five wickets fell on the same score. So 124 for 4 became 124 all out.
Rand was the most economical of the bowlers, taking 4 for 7 off 10 overs which included six maidens, closely followed by Phil Houghton with 3 for 5 and Owain Houghton with 3 for 10.
In reply, after the early dismissal of skipper Tony Richmond (3), when the score was six, a quickfire 40 from Sam Hilton in 27 minutes off 28 balls, which included three sixes and two fours, put on 50 for the second wicket, when first-change bowler Pickering, in his first over, tempted him into a shot, which flew into the hands of Walkom at slip.
Pickering then removed opener Robert Skipworth (18).
Skipworth had been joined by Burch (15no), who was prepared to wait for his runs, while John Bleasdale hit the ball around in another rapid performance, scoring 24 in 24 minutes off 21 balls, with two fours and six twos before he was bowled by Wood when the score was 103.
Phil Houghton clinched the victory with one six and two fours in the 30th over.
Pickering was the best bowler, taking 2 for 22.