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Hanley claim triumph in a grandstand finish
12:20pm Tuesday 13th August 2013 in Sport
HANLEY Castle and Upton’s bowling attack fired them to a thrilling one-run victory over Barnt Green thirds in Worcestershire League Division Five.
Barnt Green captain Adam Brownhill won the toss and elected to bowl first — a decision that paid off with three quick wickets as Ollie Price, Steve Grange and Grant Mathews all perished cheaply.
Will Chambers soon followed and, although Rory Mathews made an impressive 48, his wicket left Hanley five down and struggling.
Barton Mathews and Rich Foley tried to steady the sinking ship, but Mathews was bowled for seven.
Jonny Bywater lasted just three balls, before the fourth Mathews in the team, Todd, joined Foley and the pair batted sensibly.
Foley was removed and captain Chris Duckworth was trapped lbw for one, which brought veteran Tony Hutchings, playing his last game for Hanley, to the crease.
When Todd Mathews was lbw for 17, Hanley were all out for 174. Hanley came out all guns blazing and Duckworth started the collapse, removing Stuart Cullen lbw for nought.
Price came on for Duckworth in the eighth over and struck immediately, having Edward Owen caught behind by Grange.
In the same over, Samuel Brownhill was run out by Chambers after slipping in the middle of the pitch.
Next, Miles Garratt took a huge swipe at a ball from Barton Mathews and offered a skier back to the grateful bowler. At 31-4, the Green were in big trouble but bowling hero Leo Moncreife and Adam Brownhill consolidated and nudged their side up to the drinks break.
Tony Hutchings had Adam Brownhill caught by Rory Mathews at mid-off and Todd Mathews bowled Seb Moncreife to swing the momentum back in Hanley’s favour.
Some hard hitting wrestled the initiative back Barnt Green’s way, but when Price was re-introduced into the attack, he fired out both Nicholls for 17 and, two balls later, William Neale.
Yet Barnt Green refused to give in and when Ben Dunn edged Hutchings for four for 172-8, it seemed Hanley’s efforts would be in vain.
However, with his last ball for Hanley, Hutchings produced an effort ball and the resulting edge flewly straight to Foley at deep third man.
Moncreife took a single off the first ball of Barton Mathews’ last over but, as the pressure mounted, the bowler rocked back last man Matthew Bevan’s middle stump to secure the most dramatic of victories, with Moncreife on 68 not out.