Harry leads Seasiders to victory at Frocester
PUBLISHED: 10:26 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:26 25 July 2018
A sublime century by Harry Ellison helped Clevedon to a fine victory against Frocester, who included former Clevedon favourite Andy Solomons in their team.
Piers McBride enjoys a feisty afternoon
I now regret the fact that only a couple of weeks ago I used the headline ‘I’m just wild about Harry’ for it means that I cannot use it now in order to pay homage to as eloquent a display of the batsman’s art as you are every likely to see.
That is why I have had to head this piece with the rather tenuous ‘When Harry met Solly’ which isn’t that bad.
Harry Ellison, for it is he, guided Clevedon to victory with an undefeated 112, 14 fours and three sixes illuminating an absolutely sublime innings, easy on the eye yet clinically severe on a Frocester attack led by former Clevedon favourite Andy ‘Solly’ Solomons.
Frocester’s batsmen made an excellent start and with Andy Solomons on song at number four, eight fours in a 30-minute 40, the hosts were odds on to reach 300 at 164-3.
Skipper Jake Lintott then had Solly brilliantly caught in the deep by Cameron Harding and the impetus began to shift as the run rate started to stall.
Danny Williams and Harding shared two wickers for 69 from 19 overs and though for once Clevedon’s much vaunted quartet of left-arm spinners found wickets few and far between, it did combine to claim six wickets with skipper Lintott snaring 3-60 from his 10 overs.
Clevedon’s out cricket was exemplary with catches by Jake Rowe, who else, Cam Harding and Nick Carpenter verging on the impossible.
Despite their best efforts with the ball, Clevedon found themselves chasing a huge total and when Max Curtis and Connor Crane fell victim to a fired-up Solomons in quick succession, the storm cones were hoisted at 25-2.
Harry Ellison joined forces with Masoor Khan and he wasted little time in introducing himself to Solomons with successive hooked sixes thereby negating any further attempt to threaten him with short-pitched bowling.
A third-wicket partnership of 81 ensued before Mas was adjudged lbw for 43 and at this point skipper Jake Lintott strode into the middle with death or glory his only intention after apparently being goaded by his former teammate.
Four successive pulls for four by the Clevedon skipper did nothing to placate Solomons and verbal exchanges between the two high-octane cricketers continued to provide further spice to an already enthralling contest.
While Jake was doing his best to decapitate the Frocester fielders with a savage attack, 82 runs from 63 deliveries with 16 boundaries, a composed Harry was holding a batting masterclass at the other end.
Sumptuous cover drives, the latest of late cuts and princely straight drives on either side of the wicket by the eloquent Ellison contrasted perfectly with the crash bang wallop approach being provided by Lintott and the pair added 130 in next to no time before captain Jake finally fell to Solomons for a hectic, yet most entertaining 82.
Still stroking the ball around with polished precision, Harry reached a leisurely three figures with a clip off his toes over mid-wicket and he brought the show to a close with a powerful pull for six.
What appeared to be a languid century was in fact anything but, as Harry included 14 fours and three sixes in his undefeated 112 from just 100 deliveries, an innings long to be remembered by those of us fortunate enough to witness it.
So a priceless victory for table topping Clevedon, but with just six matches remaining every single point could be crucial. Now 20 points ahead of Bath, Jake and his squad will never have a better chance of lifting the league title and this Saturday’s match at home to Taunton St Andrews will be crucial as the season begins to wind down.
Current league standings, all played 12: Clevedon 214 pts; Bath 192; 3 Downend 180; Bristol 173; Potterne 154; Bedminster 148; Taunton St Andrews 137; Bridgwater 123; Frocester; Goatacre 102.
As if that match isn’t enough to demand total concentration and effort, there is Sunday’s really high-profile Royal London National Knockout quarter-final against Stanmore, Middlesex to be considered.
Already among the top eight teams in the country, Clevedon will be looking to make further progress against one of the most successful teams in England but they will have to do it by winning this in the heart of London.