Bobby with runs and wickets in what turned out to be a tense finish.
To bat or not to bat that is always the question at Chester as the wicket is so good to bat on and wickets can be hard to get. No captain really wants to lose the toss but when Dan did and Upton chose to bowl, it seemed like a good opportunity to stock up on runs, declare and bowl the opposition out. Bobby and Griff returned to the side along with Sam Mallows to increase the average age and add no little quality. Dil and Luke resumed their opening partnership which proved successful at Marple. Both players have been in good touch but Dil hasn't round his running shoes yet and their 58 run opening stand could have been more with some actual running. The bowling change for Upton worked as last week's batting hero Luke went caught behind for a solid 20. Nice to see Doug Ramsay watching on from the bar too. Noah came in and struck the ball cleanly and looked solid with a couple of particularly wrists shots to the fence but he went for 27 then Dil departed for 63. The experienced middle order of Matt Griffiths, Bobby Evans and Wiggy looking to get in and accelerate the scoreboard. But the opposite happened with only 20 runs added in 8 overs when the accelerator needed pressing. Griff got out for 10 playing on off his foot. Could Tom Wyatt and Bobby do the job of posting an imposing total and providing Dan with a declaration headache? Absolutely. The pair tipped the game upside down adding 101 in ten overs with firstly Bobby then Tom finding the fence with seeming ease. Bobby only ever middles the ball an sent two enormous sixes down the ground then driving and pulling belligerently regardless of the bowler. Tom drove and hit over mid wicket to reach his first half century of the season - fine innings. Bobby too completed his second half century to go beyond 150 runs for the season and allowed Dan to declare on 45 overs with the score on 256. Great partnership to set things up but with only 5 wickets falling, the Chester bowlers knew they'd have to hit their straps. Although Upton had some youngsters, they certainly had enough experience in Warburton, Teacher, McGowan and Maguire to make things tricky for the Chester attack. Griff had promised Bobby he'd do a lap of honour in the altogether should Bobby snare six wickets. Hmmm. Matt Brayne and Wiggy got things going and bowled accurately. Tom Wyatt's keeping a threat as he stood up and looked to tip off the bails given glimmer of an opportunity. Bothe openers bowled well, conceding little and asking questions but the one (difficult) chance created was shelled at first slip. With the 3s back and victorious and the 4s looking red hot favourites, the pressure was on to provide the win. Sam and Noah cam on to try to eek out more chances and with the batters emerging slightly from their shells, a wicket seemed to be just around the corner. The ball was in the air a lot but flew to the fence to move the score to 73 in 18 overs before the decisive change came. Dan's been in fine form this season and Bobby - the genuine all-rounder - is always a threat with his teasing twirlers. Bobby caught and bowled Talbot immediately then Dan removed McGowan LBW with his first ball - game on. Darren Warburton in: good player and a key wicket which Bobby snapped up. His slow looping spinner induced 3 shots in one single ball, the last of which chopped the ball on to the stumps. Wickets fell regularly until the score got to 127 for 8 in the 39th over and Andy Beacher entered the fray. Wiggy tried again to blast out skipper Maguire and Bobby finished his superb 15 over spell so Brayno returned. Then Dan opened the door again as he snared Maguire in front for his third of the game leaving 12 overs to get one more wicket. After ten of those overs though and with only 3 of the 55 remaining, it wasn't looking good. Beacher held firm and Keeno blocked stoically. Big Sam back from the Fleet end and he did the trick, crashing the ball in to off stump to seal the win. As the youngsters would say...scenes! A top team effort with bat and ball with only one (tricky) chance missed. Solid start from the openers, Tom Wyatt's wicket keeping excellent and his fine innings helped the brilliant Bobby to set the platform for what was a perfect declaration whilst entertaining the gathering crowd. Dan and Bobby did the business with the ball. Marvellous.
MotM - Bobby Evans 62 not out and 6 for 41. Match winning performance. DotD - Matthew Griffiths for having a paddy at batting below Bobby at 6.
Upton CC, Cheshire - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to field