TRCC vs. Earley - July 27th 2013

TRCC won the toss and fielded.
 
Earley 281-6 G Shacklady 99, R Casey 63, V Aduri 59*
TRCC: Ken Cochrane 3-43
 
TRCC: 243 ao Ken Cochrane 73*, Stuart Barrable 47
Earley:  R Lean 3-37, D Luis 2-69
 
Earleys visit to Stanlake Meadow came with a weather forecast of rain all day, however as TRCC won the toss there was no sign of rain at all and a pleasant warm day say Earley surprisingly into bat on what looked like a belter of a pitch and a hard fast outfield. TRCC a little concerned about their bowling attack and sure enough too many loose balls from the TRCC openers coupled with the lighting outfield and Earley were off to a flyer. Casey riding his luck with several loose cuts to third man racing for four whilst the typically assured Shacklady was comfortably pushing the ball round. Cochrane and Nichols on for Beamish and Schofield whilst both Earley openers went to fifty. It wasn't until Cochrane swapped ends that the first breakthrough came when he bowled Casey behind his legs for 63 and the first wicket fell with the score on a daunting 145! Pinch hitter Howard was pushed up the order but fell 2 balls later for a duck when he lofted Cochrane straight to Hogarth in his favoured mid off position for a comfortable catch. Shacklady and Aduri kept the score ticking along though as TRCC struggled to find bowlers who could put some pressure on Earley, not helped by some poor groundwork by the fielders at times. Shacklady eventually fell to Barrables off spin and a fine catch to Teal for 99 with the score on 202 and plenty pf time left. Cochrane picked up a third wicket when he bowled Lean for 36 and a wicket for Nichols and a run out saw Earley post a total of 281-6
 
Certainly a huge score to chase down but TRCC had the batting lineup to make it happen if they batted well. Alas that was not to be with the one success from the Hawley game Pringle run out for 4. Lunnon fell not long after c&b and when Higgins was out LBW, TRCC were reeling on 43-3. Barrable and Cochrane steadied the ship a little and when Barrable hit opener Luis for 4 boundaries there was a faint glimmer of hope. However replacement bowler Lean had other ideas. A full length ball saw Barrable bowled trying to play an ambitious cut. Hogarth desperately in need of runs was bowled first ball followed minutes later by Teal also bowled playing another cut shot of the stumps and Lean had 3 wickets all bowled in 11 balls! By the time the rain came, Schofield and Farrar had departed for 11 and 19 respectively and the match was effectively over. The rain was certainly heavy enough to call it a day but Cochrane being somewhat stubborn and maybe harking back to his youth and days of playing cricket in the rain in Belfast was determined to bat on. Earleys quicks were none too happy but to their credit stayed out in what was becoming a full on downpour. Nichols chipped out for 19 with the score on 187-9 and last man Beamish walked reluctantly out to the wicket. Time passed slowly in the rain and puddles formed on the pitch with bowlers landing short of the crease and batters way outside the line to avoid the mud bath. However TRCCs score kept edging along with some fine boundaries from Beamish leg side. A simple dropped catch and a confident LBW turned down and Beamish was on 25 and TRCC had managed to get to 243 with 16 balls remaining. Maybe just maybe some miracle might just occur. Then Cochrane had a moment of madness and Beamish was unhappily departing have been run out with the third direct hit this season against TRCC. A record equalling stand of 56 for the 10th wicket and no doubt the wettest partnership in TRCC history too.
 
Unlikely as victory was at least TRCC had put up fight. 500+ runs on the wicket but ultimately TRCC had lost their third game in the last four and Earley were up to third place in the league. A disappointing day as despite the poor batting at times TRCC had managed to post their highest score by far of the year, just a pity some key bats had missed out early for sure. Still, TRCC has a 2.6 average over Earley in third place so  all to play for in the remaining 5 games with second place still within TRCCs own destiny if they are brave enough to grab the opportunity!

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