The Sentinel Newspaper

Norton-in-Hales CC 1st XI made headlines in The Sentinel newspaper after the excellent win at the weekend – Please see extract/report below…

NSSCL Division Three Cricket: Gritty Norton-in-Hales beat Meakins Fenton to set new standard

North Staffs and South Cheshire League Division Two: Meakins / Fenton v Norton in Hales Pictured: Norton in Hales Captain Ben Furnival

North Staffs and South Cheshire League Division Two: Meakins / Fenton v Norton in Hales
Pictured: Norton in Hales Captain Ben Furnival

NORTON-in-Hales skipper Ben Furnival says his side had to curb their attacking instincts to beat Meakins Fenton in their Division Three meeting. Furnival’s side ran out 60-run winners to secure a third victory in five matches to send them top of the table. It maintained their momentum after they cruised to the Stone and District League Premier Division title to bounce back into the NSSCL at the first attempt. Norton-in-Hales was forced to show their powers of recovery on Saturday, though, after being reduced to 27-4. Zafar Iqbal (56) and Luke Claydon (53) came to the fore to add 79 for the fifth wicket to enable the visitors to post 162 all out, in which highly-rated Australian spinner Molly Strano took 4-34. Meakins Fenton also had top-order trouble, slipping to 35-6, and although Kiran Savardekar provided some resistance with 36, they were eventually dismissed for 102. Iqbal, not for the first time this season, was the star man with the ball, finishing with 5-31, while Michael Dyer lent support with 3-43.

North Staffs and South Cheshire League Division Two: Meakins / Fenton v Norton in Hales Pictured: Norton in Hales Luke Claydon

North Staffs and South Cheshire League Division Two: Meakins / Fenton v Norton in Hales
Pictured: Norton in Hales Luke Claydon

“We made a bad start, which wasn’t helped when Luke Claydon ran out Simon Belfield off the first ball,” said Furnival.”Luke made amends with some runs and Zafar came to the rescue with bat and ball for us. “It wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on and we do have players in the side who like to get on the front foot and drive through the covers.”But Saturday was all about gritty batting and we ground our way to 162, which was pleasing. “Iqbal and Dyer made light work of the Meakins Fenton top order, before the home side offered belated resistance in the closing stages. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Norton in Hales from running out comfortable winners on the day. Once we got Paul Farmer and Matt Cope out to leave them 35-6 it was pretty much game over,” added Furnival. “Zafar didn’t bowl flat out, but he was too quick for some of their batsmen. “It’s been a decent start for us and we’re riding high. It’s important that we enjoy it because I’m sure there will be the odd blip along the way.” Meakins Fenton captain Farmer conceded that their poor start with the bat had proved to be costly.

However, he was pleased with the contribution made by Strano, who was making her debut after joining J & G Meakin Women as their overseas player. “We took a few early wickets with the ball, and managed to peg them back at the end as well,” explained Farmer. “But at 35-6 it was a case of trying to pick up as many points as we could and keep them out in the field for as long as possible. “There were a few poor shots and some good bowling, but Kiran and Molly added some respectability to the innings. “Molly was very impressive on her debut, although I’m not sure she’s too keen on the temperatures! “She looked very assured with the bat and bowled very well, so she should be a good acquisition for us. “We were beaten by the better team on the day, but we’ll look to put that right next weekend.”

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