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Match Day 31st August 2003


By Gerry Wolstenholme
Netherfield 152-9, Morecambe 153-6

In front of a good crowd at Woodhill Lane Morecambe won the thwaites Smooth Beer Cup by four wickets having restricted Netherfield to 152-9 in their 40 overs and then having knocked off the runs at 153-6 within 38 overs.

Netherfield won the toss and elected to bat and only Gareth White of the top order flourished as he battled away for a hardworking 30, made from 72 balls with four fours, before he was undone by one that stopped on him and he returned a catch to the competitive Andy Bird and that left Netherfield at a perilous 78-5.

Prior to White's dismissal Netherfield had lost Craig Walmsley, nine, edging Peter Stephens to Andy Mashiter, Grahame Clarke, 16, caught in the gully by Phil Dennison off Tommy Clough, Pieter Strydom, eight, leg before wicket to Bird and Rishi Girdhari, seven, bowled by Bird. Tommy Pride, nought, was run out at 83-6 in the 25th over and only a good stand of 40 runs in 11 overs by Chris Parry, 16, and Graeme Dodds, 23, helped Netherfield to their final total. Substitute professional Robin Morris returned to the attack and bowled Dodds, Clement and Parry while Ryan Wilson with the aid of one fortuitous four off the edge and two authentic boundaries made 16 not out from 21 balls and with Marc Hadwin five not out, Netherfield's innings closed on 152-9. Bird, in an excellent spell, took 3-23, Morris had 3-36, Stephens 1-16 and Clough 1-19 in a Morecambe performance in the field that was first-rate from start to finish.

Mark Woodhead set Morecambe's reply off in typical fashion and he quickly had 10 to his name before Clement had him caught in the gully by Strydom and it was 16-1 in the fourth over. The prolific Dennison and Morris then added 86 runs in 23 overs before Clement returned to the attack and had Morris leg before wicket for 30 made from 36 balls with one six and four fours. That was 102-2 and it was quickly 102-3 as Strydom trapped Dennison leg before wicket for a fine 59 made from 87 balls with 10 fours. Phil Thornton and Bryson Little both made 12, Thornton pulling Strydom to backward square leg where Wilson held the catch and Little run out by a fine throw by Clement and an even finer gather in and break of the wickets by Strydom and Morecambe were 130-5.

Clough made six and was then caught by Prime at mid-off from the bowling of Hadwin but Gareth Pedder, 18 not out, made speedily from 13 balls with a match-winning six and two fours and with Bird, nought not out were there at the end as Morecambe won by four wickets at 153-6 with two overs remaining.

In presenting the trophy in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the League's vice-chairman Norman Poole said, "The weather has been kind. We have had a close game and it has been a super show from both sides. Morecambe are deserved winners of the trophy and I have great pleasure in being here to present it." The spectators had also enjoyed being there for, although a low scoring game, it was entertaining from start to finish.

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