Dramatic start to the season
Sensational bowling by Ollie Webster sent St John’s crashing to defeat on the first day of the Standard Bank Premiership. Last year’s champions were rocked by the Ramsey captain who had the great figures of six wickets for only eleven runs.
Put into bat, the Saints had an early setback when star batsman Daniel Dickinson was dismissed by Charlie Whipp. Then, with only twelve runs on the board, Greg Hawke became Webster’s first victim.
The northern all-rounder proceeded to tear through St John’s middle-order, aided by some excellent fielding and catching. Opener Paul Nicholson stood firm, but quickly began to run out of partners. When he fell for a defiant 25, Jamie Moffatt finished off the innings, aided by a startling one handed catch in the deep by Ken Harding.
The Saints total was only 35 and the Ramsey bowlers had done its work in just over an hour. However, any thoughts that their batsmen would have an easy stroll were soon dashed.
Greg and Nick Hawke opened the St John’s attack and soon had four of their opponents back in the pavilion. The situation was tense, but Eddie Cleator broke the spell with a pull for six. Aided by Webster, he steered his side home for a fine victory by six wickets.
A determined Greg Hawke took 3 -25, while Nick Hawke’s six overs cost only six runs. This was a blow to the Saint’s hopes of retaining the Premiership title, but the season has only just started.
Cronkbourne and Castletown battled out a close game at Tromode. Matt Ansell, just back from a week’s training at the ICC Centre of Excellence in Spain, quickly dismissed both of the Town’s openers.
This brought skipper Mark Williams and Wicus Wessels together for a splendid stand of 71 runs. They looked on course for a good total when Phil Richardson came on to bowl.
The Tromode veteran seamer was soon amongst the wickets and turned the match with 4 -15 from eight overs. The southerners fell from a comfortable 93 for 2 to 127 all out. Wessels looked in top form with 56 and Williams made an important 39.
Cronkbourne’s batting last season had major problems and all the old fears soon resurfaced. An aggressive opening spell from Andy Sewell put the home team in deep trouble at 14 for three.
Carl Wagstaffe and Will Wood then hit back and took the total to seventy before Wagstaffe went lbw to Peel Taggart for 28. Wood was deceived by Guyan Dissenyakke for 28 as well and home supporters became very nervous.
Ryan Burns and Adam Killey calmed their fears and, with only eight runs to win and four wickets left, all seemed well. But Burns was dismissed for 16 and another batsman was caught, resulting in a tense cliff-hanger finish.
Killey kept his head and cracked the winning runs to finish with 22 not out. This was a tight game and a morale boosting win for Cronkbourne. Castletown at times were very good and will play a lot worse in the future and still win.
Standard Bank Premiership
St John’s 36 (Paul Nicholson 25 : Ollie Webster 6 -11, Jamie Moffatt 1 -9, Charlie Whipp 1 -14); Ramsey 37 for 4 (Eddie Cleator 15no, Ollie Webster 7no : Greg Hawke 3 -25, Nick Hawk3 1 -6). Ramsey won by six wickets.
Castletown 127 (Wicus Wessels 56, Mark Williams 39 : Phil Richardson 4 -15, Matt Ansell 2 -14), Cronkbourne 130 for 8 (Carl Wagstaff 28, Will Wood 28 : Andy Sewell 3 -18, Peel Taggart 1 -17). Cronkbourne won by two wickets,
St Mary’s (Chester) v Crosby : Match Abandoned (Rain)
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