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Metro hold on for brave draw in Warwickshire

7th May 2013

The second week of the BCEW National League season saw the two early season table toppers face each other in a true all star clash.

Report by Luke Sugg

Warwickshire CCVI vs London Metro
Saturday 4th May 2013
Myton School, Leamington

Over the years – Warwickshire and Metro have dominated cup success and league titles between them – often putting up great matches, and very close run games. This was no exception.

The weather, like the match, was full of mixed emotions – one minute it was Sunny, the next it was raining. The match was the first time Metro and Warwickshire had faced each other, since the tragic death of former Metro star – Heindrich Swanepoel.

The match was scheduled to begin 45 minutes earlier than usual – to allow Metro’s players to get back home at a reasonable time. Metro won the toss, on a slightly overcast lunch time – and elected to field first – Warwickshire were sent in to set a score.

Warwickshire’s opening pair – Aiden Reilly and Justin Hollingsworth, were asked to take their time, to see off Metro’s potentially dangerous opening bowlers in captain Rory Field, and new recruit Howard Greenhill. The batsmen kept the score ticking slowly, for the first three overs, before Rory made a masterful bowling change. With the pitch a little wet from the rain, Rory turned to Mark Bond to deliver his line and length bowling – picking up Aiden Reilly, caught behind by Metro Keeper – Theresa Roberts – to leave the bears one down.

Nathan Foy was called in at number three – Metro high off an early strike – looked to press on. However, Howard was unable to break through the defences of both Justin and Nathan, and Warwickshire soon got settled into their stride, arriving at the ten over mark 79-1. No further problems were encountered by the Warwickshire batsmen, as they entered drinks still one down – with Foy bringing up his first fifty of the season, and Hollingsworth steadily going along on 35 not out.

The batsmen, after the interval were told to push on with the scoring – and the first over back after drinks, Hollingsworth soon pressed the claim for his opening spot for the season – quickly moving his score from 35 – to 49 not out. As Hollingsworth bought up his first fifty of the season as well – Foy went on to score a superb hundred – which he dedicated to the late Heindrich – and to help set up a solid base for the bears to push on.

Hollingsworth perished shortly after passing his fifty, which bought Andy Powers to the crease to push on. Wickets slowly began to fall, and with 33 overs gone, and the score on 306 for six, Warwickshire captain Sugg – decided enough was enough, and enforced the declaration. Metro required 307 in 27 overs to secure a second successive victory in the BCEW League.

Metro – who came off the back of an excellent 3 wicket win over Sussex last weekend – had hoped that openers Rory Field and Matt Dean would be able to see off the opening bowlers – Luke Sugg and Andy Powers. However, it was the combination of Sugg and Powers, that was the downfall for Matt Dean, as he skied a low full toss, straight down the throat of Andy Powers, who took an excellent catch – through the strong winds. Steve Humphries now joined his team captain at the crease, but perished in Sugg’s second over, this time being caught by Andy’s father – Paul Powers. Metro were now on the back foot, and their hopes laid with Rory and Simon Butler, to try and set up an unlikely victory, or to secure the draw – but when Rory lost his wicket – the Metro boys were fully on the back foot.

Warwickshire, leaving themselves just 27 overs to try and push a result, picked up wickets at regular intervals, with 12 overs remaining the bears found themselves still requiring 6 wickets and Metro were now fully looking to secure the draw. Every dot ball being cheered, every run – meant no wickets lost for Metro.

Wickets fell, and with each scalp – the bears looked hungry for more, and gave their all to force themselves over the line – but excellent rearguard batting from Metro’s tail – pushed the bears back and they entered the last over with two wickets in hand. The bears were unable to take the final two wickets – and the match ended in a very well contested draw – with metro 75 for 8 in 27 overs.

The match will go down in memory of Heindrich – and for an excellent batting display from Nathan Foy. Both teams now look forward to reigniting their excellent rivalry in the quarter finals of the BBS Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Memorial Cup, in which they have met each other at this stage – for the last two seasons. The match is due to take place on Saturday 8th June.

Man of the Match: Nathan Foy