Nailsea defeat Old Down on opening day of season

Cricket equipment lies at the side of the pitch as the 2021 season gets underway

Cricket equipment lies at the side of the pitch as the 2021 season gets underway - Credit: Gavin Ellis

Nailsea got the 2021 Bristol & District Association season off to a winning start after a closely contested game against visiting Old Down at The Grove.

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat first, openers Gary Phippen and Rob Wood got the home side off to an excellent start, rattling along to 49, before Wood fell for 22.

A couple of quick wickets changed the pace of the innings, but gradually Phippen and skipper Pete Hardcastle (34) began to up the tempo.

And despite another cluster of wickets, including Phippen for a well made 61, Nailsea saw out their 40 overs to post a very respectable 178-8, with Ryan Orr making 19.

After the break, Nailsea’s bowlers took wickets at regular intervals, with Jack Smith bowling well to finish with 2-28 from his eight overs.

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It was particularly pleasing to see debutants Ryan Orr (1-15), James Baber (1-24) and Mat Beadle (3-24) make significant contributions with the ball, combined with a miserly spell from Hardcastle.

And a couple of wickets from the ever reliable Steve Lester (2-9) helped dismiss Old Down 11 runs short on 167, as wicketkeeper Rob Wood held four catches, including a diving one-handed effort, and conceded no byes.

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Nailsea travel to Abbots Leigh this weekend.

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