Bloody Lads beat high-flying Clapton & Oval to claim first league win

The Camel's Matt Hoslin

The Camel's Matt Hoslin - Credit: Archant

It took five attempts – but Bloody Lads are finally up and running after success against Clapton & Oval gave them their first North East London League win of the season.

At a sunny Springfield Park, on a dry and flat wicket, Bloody Lads captain Caius Pawson won the toss and elected to bat.

But unexpectedly, the bowlers were on top for most of the afternoon, as Clapton & Oval’s left-arm seamer Jim O’Reilly claimed the opening wicket with just 30 on the board, trapping Anthony Wilcox lbw for 13.

But Pawson continued his fluent form with the bat, hitting sweet shots to the boundary on both sides of the wicket and building a promising partnership with Australian all-rounder James Grindrod, when he too was adjudged leg before for 26.

Grindrod fell soon after for 29, so it was left to the middle order to produce a challenging target. Sam Pitcher (23) and Jack Ensor (17) made good contributions but the innings always stuttered, with Clapton & Oval claiming wickets at regular intervals.

Debutant Eliott Goss hit an unbeaten 18 in an entertaining cameo at the tail of the innings but the Lads were eventually bowled out for 199, with Kerry Tyrrell (3-24) the pick of the bowlers.

It was their lowest league total of the season and, after four defeats in four, it should have been a daunting prospect for their bowlers.

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But after a rousing team talk from the captain, Grindrod struck with just the third ball of the innings. Kaspar Pedersen went forward to a full-length ball that did just enough to find the edge of the bat and carried for a smartly-taken catch by wicketkeeper Minesh Patel.

That set the tone for the rest of the innings as Bloody Lads bowled and fielded with skill and intensity. Goss (1-19) and Grindrod (2-18) were the star bowlers, applying pressure and frequently beating the bat with a consistent line and length.

They were more than ably supported by Ensor (1-25) and Pitcher (3-40), while Dave Nottingham and Ben Di Georgio chipped in with crucial wickets as the Lads made a mockery of the league standings.

Meanwhile, London Fields won their first game on home soil as they chased down The Camel’s total inside 22 overs to go top of the league.

The Camel won the toss, chose to bat and their openers were watchful against some accurate bowling from the Fields’ new-ball pair.

Tom Goodwin in particular was a handful, going for only 12 runs off his eight overs, including two edged fours, while Phin Glover bowled with aggression to peg the openers back.

An excellent pick-up and throw from Dave Miller was well gathered by Robin Friend to run out the settled opener before Goodwin removed the rest of the top order.

The Camel’s middle order set about rebuilding, with Matt Hoslin and Brendon Cleaver both reaching 30 before they were removed by leg-spinner Dave Krohn in the same over.

Miller bowled a probing spell, threatening to hit the stumps on every ball and finishing with excellent figures of 4-15 off his eight overs. The Camel did well to see out the rest of the overs and finish on 175 – but Friend and Dave Lane were in no mood to hang around in the chase and punished anything loose to reach an unbeaten 100 in 10 overs.

The free-flowing openers fell for 54 and 41 respectively, with Max Sedgley and Akeema Jeffers tightening things up with the ball.

However, the Fields still had some gas in the tank, with James Gingell and Alec McCrindle powering them to the target inside 22 overs.

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