The 3s came up short against a supercharged Grayswood 2nd XI who reinforced their position at the top of Division 4 and leave us at the foot of the table.
The ‘Shotts skipper won the toss and decided to bat, effectively ruling the draw out of the game but giving us first use of an excellent track at Broxhead. Charles Brayshaw departed early, bringing Barrie Owen to the crease. Owen rode his luck but scored quickly, striking the ball to all parts, while Wheeler remained solid at the other end. Owen eventually fell for 60, caught in the deep, allowing Richard Styles (41) to continue to accumulate with Wheeler and push the score past 100. After the two set batsmen fell, there followed a procession of batsmen walking out from and quickly back to the pavilion, all unable to push the pace against the left arm spin of the opposition skipper. A promising base was wasted as we fell short of 150 on an excellent wicket where 200+ was achievable.
Following a splendid tea (thanks Richard and Ben) we took the field and found the going tough against a left & right hand opening pair. The left-hander showed his Division 1 class with a chanceless, undefeated 100, while Billy Matlock took the only wicket to fall as the opposition moved comfortably past our total. The boys kept their heads high with notable performances from a fired-up Charles Brayshaw and an encouraging spell from Ben Styles, who continues to grow well into adult cricket with bat and ball.
All-in-all a difficult day out but a useful marker for some of our younger players on the standards required to move up the leagues, while the older generation can look forward to some more competitive cricket in weeks to come.