Claverham still lose despite much-improved performance

PUBLISHED: 09:18 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:19 09 August 2017

Ryan Thorpe.

Ryan Thorpe.

Archant

Claverham fell short in their run chase against Taunton in a much-improved performance.

Taunton Deane 194-9

Claverham 170-9

In a match restricted to 35 overs because of a wet outfield, Claverham put in a much-improved performance against a strong Taunton side.

Again missing key players, Claverham struggled to contain the free-scoring Taunton openers as they raced to a 100 inside 20 overs. The introduction of youngster Adam Hadfield (2-33) finally opened the door with the score on 131.

It seemed to instantly breath life into the visiting side and they began to claw their way back into the game with some outstanding outfield cricket. Mitch Bench (2-37) bowled beautifully to maintain the pressure and the old guard of Roger Hooper (2-36) and particularly Pete Sanderson (3-16) with over 60 years of senior cricket experience between them, closed out the innings leaving Taunton frustrated on just 194 when they perhaps should have got nearer 250.

Boosted by the way they finished the first innings, Copeland and Bench set about the home side attack. Things started positively, but when Copeland drove straight to extra cover and Bench played round a straight one it left Claverham struggling at 35-2.

Dominic Hooper is not easily flustered by any situation and so it was again as the young all-rounder set about the Taunton Deane attack. He welcomed leg spinner Harrison to the crease by launching him for back to back sixes and suddenly the match was in the balance again.

Hooper, who had been joined by Ryan Thorpe, have batted well together a number of times now and once again it was the key partnership. Thorpe sensibly rotated the strike while Hooper attacked, but just as the visitors were getting on top, Hooper was caught and bowled for 48.

Thorpe took on the innings and accelerated, but he was losing partners as Mat Croker and Sam Jukes fell cheaply. Pete Sanderson managed to hang about with Thorpe and with 10 overs to go, Claverham were back in it needing 74 with five wickets left.

Eleven from the 26th over put Claverham in the driving seat and after eight from the 27th, they had their noses in front, but then disaster struck as Sanderson (13), Cutler (8) and Miles (1) perished leaving Claverham wobbling.

Thorpe thumped 12 from the 31st over, but was finally bowled for a fine 71 with 28 still required and although the visitors batted out the innings, they fell short by 24 runs in yet another case of what might have been.

Victory for Lansdown leaves Claverham in a perilous position, but as they say it ain’t over til the fat lady sings and the boys from Henley Lane will go again at Ilminster this Saturday and who knows three wins from the last four games may yet see them safe.

Claverham 2nd XI 75

Barrow Gurney 76-1

Missing a number of key players, an inexperienced but enthusiastic 2nd XI were soundly beaten by Barrow Gurney at Henley Lane.

Only skipper Steve Caffrey (24) made any sort of meaningful contribution as Claverham were dismantled by the visiting attack.

Sean Cutler (1-11) bowled with great heart but it was always going to be a difficult ask and so it was as Gurney romped home by nine wickets.

Claverham now find themselves in a relegation battle but the bugles have sounded, the calvary are coming and a much-changed side will most likely go into battle with Frenchay at home this Saturday.

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