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Rich James  Tuesday, May 14, 2002  16:18 GMT

An excellent victory for Matt Petty's 1st XI ensured that this weekend was not an unmitigated disaster following narrow defeats for the 2nds and Martyn's Sunday side.


Reigning Cotswold Hills Premier champions Bidford were given a smart lesson at Alscot Park on Saturday as the Bards recorded their second successive 6 wicket victory.
Bidford won the toss and elected to have a bat, a decision which looked to have paid diividends as Macer Nash and Simpson rattled up a 50 partnership before Simpson was bowled by Bards skipper Matt Petty. Wilson quickly followed as Petty claimed his second wicket. Tony Slatter claimed a crucial wiclket as he clean bowled the dangerous Richard Layton for 25. Tim Evans promptly became Slatter's second victim. When Petty had Nash snaffled by Pete Dawson for 36, Bidford were wobbling at 113 for 5. However they recovered as Edkins and Nason added a quick 50 partnership. Ian Horton, Bards recent signing from Bearley claimed his first wicket for the club having Edkins caught in the deep but Bidford pressed towards the finish and  recovered well to post a challenging target of 218 for 9.
The Bards wobbled early on, Dawson caught by Layton off Nason and Julian Marcus falling to Richie Nicholls. However the ever resilient Rich Pozzi and Eddie Dixon steadied the ship. They added a marvellous 91 to the Bards score before Pozzi was caught behind off Dave Bant leaving the Bards at 114 for 3. Pozzi's wicket brought the destructive Dave Currall to the crease, and as last week he and Dixon laid into the opposition attack. They took the score onto 175, highlight of which was Currall despatching a quick ball off Layton straight over his head for a huge six. Layton accounted for Dixon caught for 67, but Currall and James Bishton guided the Bards home with 6 overs to spare, Currall scoring a chanceless 52 not out.


Bards' Second XI took part in an enthralling contest at Ebrington's new ground on Saturday, eventually falling to a one wicket defeat.
Bards' skipper Paul Rathkey continued with tradition and lost the toss, being asked to bat. After 10 overs things were looking dreadful. Tight bowling from former Bard Jem Morriss had seen them reduced to 11 for 4. However a composed partnership between Phil Dixon and the returning Pete Davies gradually brought the Bards back into the game. As they got settled, they began to attack the home attack with vigour. The pair added over 100 for the fifth wicket before Davies was caught for 19. Dixon however was in the mood for runs and with the assistance of youngster Ian Parkes he reached a deserved century. Parkes was caught at long on for 21 before Dixon was snared at point for a marvellous 105. The Bards eventually limped to the end, reaching a defendable 177 for 8.
Cue Harry Jolly. The young quickie launched into an incredible spell, single handedly removing the Ebrington top order to claim 4 for 29 off his 10 overs. Chris Heath and Ron Douglas chipped in with wickets and thanks to the safe hands of keeper Tony Ackerman, taking four catches in only his second game behind the stumps, the home side were heading for defeat at 53 for 7. They never gave up though, and a wonderful stand between the agressive Mark Evans and youngster Will Green took them well back into contention, Evans smashing boundaries all round the ground. Despite two in two for Rathkey, they held firm to claim victory, Green fittingly hitting the winning runs to finish on 39 not out. Evans claiming 67. Amazingly Yubbie had won with more than 4 overs to spare.
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