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Match Reports 2003

10th August 2003
Shaftesbury v Brodstone
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3

Report awaited.

10th August 2003
Dewlish v Shaftesbury II 
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 8
Shaftesbury 56, Dewlish 57-7

Brilliant bowling and fielding brought Shaftesbury to the brink of victory away at the league leaders  Only Paul Spencer with 26 offerred any real resistance against the Dewlish attack who for the second time this season battered the rockies' batters into submission and a paltry 56.  The game looked dead and buried.  However, Aled Williams really hit the dance floor to produce his best spell of the season, sending back a succession of bewildered Dewlish batsmen to return a brilliant five-fer

The home side hung-on grimly and indeed heroically as Shaftesbury pushed for a famous victory.  However, it was not to be and the home side squeeked home by three nervous wickets.

Man of the Match: Aled Williams.

9th August 2003
Bere Regis v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Saturday Division 2
Bere Regis 233-6, Shaftesbury 234- 5  

On a day where temperatures were more familiar to Brisbane than Bere Regis the team were extremely eager that the skipper would win the toss and spare them from standing in 35C for 45 overs - no such luck and the request for a 'best of three' was laughed off by the Bere Regis captain.

The bowlers coped extremely well in the heat with White, Dawson, Lutrell and Williams all collecting a deserved wicket. Pick of the bowlers was young Jim Down (9-2-39) who demonstrated that Aled is not the only bowler with a bright future ahead of him. The fielding was scattered with dropped catches and miss fields but under the circumstances it can be excused and it was obvious that the errors were not from lack of effort just pure exhaustion. Amongst the mediocraty was however flashes of brilliance with an inspirational direct hit by Toogood for a run out. A safe pair of hands by debutante Ollie Brown at deep square leg to catch their danger man and a caught and bowled by Dec White. At tea Bere Regis were 233-6 and cold showers were taken by most. It could have easily been 260 or 270 if it wasn't for two good spells by Jim Down.

A steady start by Shaftesbury frustrated Bere Regis as they discovered how difficult it was to field in the unrelenting heat. 89 runs were on the board before Rob Selbie was bowled and Toogood and Weir put on 101 to take the score to 190 before Toogood fell for 39. The running between the wickets was faultless and even ex- Dorset sprinter Toogood had to admit afterwards that he just wasn't up to running quick 2's anymore, but the determination allowed the score to keep ticking over. Dec White came in at four and batted brilliantly taking the pressure off with 5 overs to go by hitting 2 big sixes over midwicket's head following Weir successive six and four in the off spinner's previous over. Weir eventually was caught on the boundary in the 43rd over for 111 and Matt Lutrell and White needed one run off the last over for victory. A bye was conceded by the ever self-effacing Curruthers who spent most of the game verbally abusing Weir and Umpire Rowntree. Drivers on the A39 to Weymouth appealed at more appropriate times. For somebody who dropped a catch and missed a stumping he had much to say causing great amusement and motivation for the away team.

It was a superb effort by everyone and will go down as one of the most memorable victories and will no doubt be talked about for many years to come.

Man of the Match: Jim Down

3rd August 2003
Stalbridge v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3 

No report submitted.  I don't even know the result, sorry!

Match of the Match: Unknown

3rd August 2003
Shaftesbury II v Winton
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 8 

No report submitted.  Shaftesbury won the match.  Andy Cole did the teas.  Paul Spencer made 40 odd - so I hear!

Match of the Match: Unknown

2nd August 2003
Sturminster & Hinton v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3 

No report submitted.  Sturminster won the match.

Match of the Match: Unknown

27th July 2003
Sturminster & Hinton v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3 

No report submitted.  Sturminster won the match.

Match of the Match: Unknown

26th July 2003
Bradstone II v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Saturday Division 2 

Match abandoned - Rain.

20th July 2003
Shaftesbury v Old Blandfordians
Nationwide Sun Awnings Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 145-3, Old Blandfordians 144-7

In a close contest, Shaftesbury eventually ran out winners by seven wickets to finally prove they can chase and win.

Old Blandfordians won the toss and decided to bat and skipper for the day T Davies justified his decision by hitting a patient 50 with some fine shots through the covers and point regions. Although the run rate never got over three for the first thirty overs they had only lost a couple of wickets and with wickets in hand they were still looking for a total over 150. Shaftesbury fielded and bowled well throughout the 45 overs and Nick Price finished with 12-4-22-0 a very tidy spell. Martin Crossman picked up 3 wickets for 49 off his 12 overs, Dawson picked up two wickets with Roundtree and Wildbur picking up a wicket apiece. Old Blandfordians total reached 144 with C Holland hitting a quick 35 not out.

Shaftesburys reply got off to a disastrous start when Mike Rawlinson was bowled without scoring and with Toogood and Cruse back in the pavillion with the score only 50, the nerves began to creep in and thoughts of the Sturminster game crept in. Simon Wildbur and Nick Price then went on to hit an unbroken stand of 95 runs with a flutter or two as both were dropped. Simon Wildbur hit an unbeaten 80 not out and Nick Price hit 33 not out. Old Blandfordians had bowled well throughout the innings with S Joyce finishing with 11-4-23-1 and P Meaden 10-2-31-1 being the pick of the bowlers.

This was a good test for the side with a crunch game against the two nearest challengers coming up in the next two weeks.

Man of the Match : Simon Wildbur

20th July 2003
Pimperne II v Shaftesbury II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Sunday Division 8
Shaftesbury II 115, Pimperne II 116-2

Nine-man Shaftesbury put on a brave show at league leaders Pimperne.

Missing skipper Steve Milton and wicket keeper Paul Spencer, Shaftesbury won the toss and elected to bat. Facing the accuracy and pace of De Bique for the second time this year the openers struggled to get going. Stand-in skipper Meirion promoted himself to the opener's slot following a rich vein of recent form. However the move backfired as he was trapped LBW by the useful Barass. There followed a useful partnership between debutant Mal Penn and Mark Cooper the two put on 47 runs for the next wicket. It was dogged stuff against good bowling. Eventually Coops departed for 23 in the 24th over, in the circumstances it was an excellent innings. Aled Williams then joined Mal and another obdurate stand ensued adding 8 runs in the next 8 overs before Mal was bowled by Griffiths. On debute, Mal showed the firm determination that was his trademark at Donhead for many seasons. In this innings he took several painful blows and yet he did not yield and his steady influence at the top of the order should prove a bonus in the second half of the season. The fact that Shaftesbury withstood De Bique's lively opening spell is testimony to the development of the team over the last two years. De Bique finished with figures of 12 overs, 7 maidens, 0 wickets for 17 runs. Shaftesbury's middle order flourished briefly with Jimmer and Martyn Down playing with agression. Jimmer's 15 showed promise and Martyn top scored for the Rockies with an unbeaten 26. Only in the 41st over were Shaftesbury finally dismissed, as Andy Cole - called through for an easy single - was caught napping and did not go. The result - both batsmen at the bowlers end A Cole run out without facing a ball! It is a good job Andy is fluent in the languauge of Dragons otherwise I am sure young Marty would have been quite upset by the raging torrent of abuse that burned his ear as the two trudeged disconsolately from the field.

In reply Pimperne played with murderous agression, the opeing pair of Griffiths and Williams carted the bowling for 47 off only 5 overs before Griffiths was bowled by Cooper for 32 that included 8 boundaries. Williams went on to top score with 59 before he was bowled by Meirion. And that was it, all done and dusted in the 15th over. Still, on reflection the Shaftesbury side came here expecting little and performed with a gritty determination that frustrated the league leaders for long periods. Winton II are next up and with a full squad available for selection things should turn out somewhat better.

Man of the Match : Mal Penn

20th July 2003
Shaftesbury v Dorchester 2nds
Division 2 Saturday 19th July
Shaftesbury 200- 5, Dorchester 145- 9

Shaftesbury won the toss and elected to bat. Skipper Duncan Weir went for experience in the opening partnership with Rawlinson and Lowton and dropped himself to 3 to fill the gap left by Hayward who is away on some much needed high altitude fitness training in Scotland. The new opening partnership proved highly successful. Lowton was the first to go with 23 but Rawlinson, after being dropped very early on, was the back bone of the Shaftesbury innings with a magnificent 94 before a lapse of concentration saw him play a loose square cut straight into Point's hands. It was a real dissapointed for Rawlinson, evidenced by the language in the pavilion, and for the rest of the side as it was an innings that deserved three figures. Weir (6), Toogood (17) and Dunn (5) all chipped in but none left a mark on the memory. A total of 200 plus was looking in doubt as Rawlinson went through more partners than legendary 'leg-over Lee Coley' on a Saturday night. Thanks to a quick 21n.o. by Aussie Matt Luttrell and another not out for the recently christened Micheal Bevan of the Shaftesbury Saturday team Rob Selbie, a total of 200 exactly was reached.

Dorchester's innings started well, and like Shaftesbury's it was dominated by Ross who hit 96 and was looking extremely comfortable only for young Aled Williams to use his genius bowling mind and deliver a full toss outside leg stump knowing that Ross would play it on to his stumps. Before his wicket the game was very much in the balance. Dorchester needed just under 7 an over. Difficult but definitely possible, particularly with Toogood's form in the field which has landed him with the Inzimam-ul-Huq fielder of the month award for July after being involved in two more dropped catches. However the high standard of fielding that has been on show all season continued with good catches in the outfield from Weir, Luttrell and Dunn. Eddows was as good as ever behind the sticks preferring to where a helmet incase any further heading was needed. (Heading the ball on to the stumps is a unique skill owned by Ted and is a stunt not to be attempted or recreated at home).

After Ross trundled back to the pavilion disapointed that the ball hadnt been given a no ball Dorchester put up very little resistance and Williams cashed in with 10-27-4. Other bowlers included Gillie Dawson (12-38- 1), Dec White (11-29-1) and Lowton (12- 50-3) leaving Dorchester on 145-9. Shaftesbury continue their promotion challenge with 19 points! Well done lads.

Man of the Match: Mike Rawlinson

13th July 2003
Cheselbourne v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset Sunday League Division Three

On a stifling day with temperatures climbing into the eighties, Shaftesbury skipper Phil Rose won the toss and elected to bat first. Rob Selbie and Michael Rawlinson opened the innings and both started very brightly, pushing the score along at 5 an over. With the score about to reach fifty Selbie was undone for 14. Dave Toogood was next at the crease on a pair for the weekend and it showed. From the moment Rawlinson sent him back for a single the nervous Toogood scratched around, hitting his bat against his pads in disgust numerous times before finally getting a boundary away. Toogood's luck didn't hold out and was eventually caught behind playing that trademark cut-shot for only 8. Rawlinson, playing with a fluent swagger, was joined by Simon Cruse and a useful partnership ensued. With Rawlinson well-set on 45, a bowling change brought immediate success for the home side. Presented with a juicy full toss first-up, Rawlinson advanced nimbly down the wicket and pulled the ball straight into the hand of a shocked mid-wicket Team mates held their heads in disbelief.

Price then joined Cruse and before long Cruse who played some nice pulls and drives was caught behind for 35. The skipper walked out to the crease at number six with 150 runs on the board in the 31st over, Price went onto score 25 before being stumped but had shared in more than a run a ball partnership with Rose who was looking really comfortable at the crease. Rose went on to top-score with 54 not out while wickets fell at the other end as the total was hoisted to an intimidating 239 for 9 in 45 overs.

A mention must go to Cheselbourne's Tony Kellaway who returned excellent figures of 12 Overs 5 maidens 1 wicket for 23 runs in the face of some excellent Shaftesbury batting.

Shaftesbury, buoyed by their total came out to field in very hot and humid conditions. However, the bowlers were soon about their work with the Home side openers struggle against Crossman and Dawson from the very first ball. It was not long before both had a victim each. Croosman finishing with 12 overs 4 maidens 2 wickets for 22 runs and Dawson finishing with 12 overs 5 maidens 2 wickets for 33 runs.

Tony Kellaway, riding some early luck was finding the rope with regularity and looked in dangerous form. 18 coming off one Price over (although 14 slid from the edge of his bat to the frustration of the fielders).

In the 24th, Rose made a suprising bowling choice and bought on the experienced guile of Rawlinson. To everyones surprise, there followed a superb spell of flighted slow right arm bowling that led to figures of 9 overs 2 maidens 4 wickets for 24 runs. The innings came to an end with Price and Rawlinson combining to run-out the last batsmen.

A mention must go out to two people in this game: Kellaway for returning bravely to the crease after retiring hurt from a Price bouncer that injured his left arm and going onto top score with 71 while in obvious pain; and Nick Price who turned out for Shaftesbury even though his Grandmother had died earlier that morning.

Man of the Match: Mike Rawlinson (although the skipper ran him quite close)

12th July 2003
Blandford v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset Saturday League Division Two

Those with a keen sense of historic perspective would have taken a keen interest in the framed league table housed in the Blandford pavilion documenting their success in winning the 1973 Dorset Premier League title. Congratulations are obviously in order, but of greater interest to the Shaftesbury squad should have been the lofty sixth place achieved by our forbears. It appears that Shaftesbury were once a force to be reckoned with, and no doubt Jonty could wax lyrical about the whole moustachioed, flare wearing, side-burned squad that appeared in the team photo that year. Since that season, Shaftesbury have suffered a downturn of fortune, but lock up your daughters and check your household insurance; with a new ground, enthusiastic management, young captains and three winning teams, the giant of the North is awakening from it's slumber.

That said, on Saturday we played pants!

On another sweltering day Weir eventually managed to call correctly and despite some severe reservations regarding the quality of the strip, which could only be identified thanks to the white crease markings, it was universally decided that batting was the only real option. Duncan Weir (4) currently resembles a blind man with a metal detector when he bats on a Saturday - desperately waving around outside of off-stump with no real prospect of success. By the third over he was back in the hutch having been caught behind, and two overs later he had been joined by Hayward who played an irresponsible shot (6) and David Toogood (0) who didn't play any meaningful shot and is again eligible for the 'Primary Club'. At 13-3 things looked as bleak for the team as they did for the absent Lowton who apparently was fighting a losing battle to be allowed to watch the one day international on television at a family function.

What followed was a valiant rear-guard action. Rawlinson played a couple of resplendent drives and began to look similar in style to the ageing WG. Selby joined him, and despite the Blandford skipper's assertion that he could 'smell the fear' also played solidly to steady the creaking ship. Selby was eventually caught behind sweeping down the leg side to a ball that would have been a wide several times over and Rawlinson fell soon afterwards for a top score of 25.

Another mini rear-guard was fought by the lower middle order with all of Williams (Snr), the debutant Dec White (playing his first game for three years - 22) and Aled Williams (22) playing sensibly, but with no shortage of flair. Dawson, batted with no shortage of hair. The highlight of the innings though was saved, as ever, to the end when the crowd were also treated to the other debutant Ed Clark (playing only the fourth game of cricket in his life) who batted with little (and reducing) hair (0). No doubt, as he lazed triumphantly in the bath later that evening he will have regretted taking coaching tips on his forward defence from the skipper.

Blandford hosted a delightful tea, (with raw onion featuring rather too heavily for those with Saturday PM social obligations), and the Shaftesbury team were on the pitch early for the rousing Churchillian speech delivered by our great leader, Weir. He marshalled his troops superbly in the tense affair that followed. The Blandford skipper had earlier been identified as the man to watch, but that proved quite impossible as he holed out second ball to White at extra-cover from the bowling of the aptly named Gillie (Dawson). Yet again, he bowled superbly (4-36 from 12) and at one stage Blandford mirrored our own performance as they stumbled to 3-3. Selby, cutting a dashing figure under the lid (and only lacked the tan to look like a young Gus Logie)held a good catch at short-leg. Later, he just failed to hold a chance that would undoubtedly have replaced any of Lasbuschagne's (who?) efforts from earlier in the campaign. Young Aled Williams bowled a controlled opening spell from the top end and was unlucky not to end up with better figures that the 1-20 that appear in the book. Clearly for example, the other opener was well caught down the leg-side by Eddows before scoring, despite the umpire's denial of the concerted appeal. As a general note to any youngsters reading this column, if you survive an appeal such as that, it is not advisable to vigorously shake your hand afterwards.

Williams was replaced by White who quickly got into his stride from the bottom end and bowled tidily to return figures of 3-30 from his 11.4 overs, the highlight of which was the amazingly mis-judged catch held by Clark at long leg. However, the partnership breaker was Meirion Williams (2-27) who despatched the two batsmen that were in full flow and looked until that point as though they would win the game for Blandford. Shaftesbury had fielded very well with one or two exceptions (Dave, you know who you are) until the final pairing of Joe (aged 11) and Coco The Clown came to the crease. How they managed to add 23 for the last wicket is anyone's guess, but there is no doubt that panic had set in. Eddows appeal before he had caught the ball can be put down to his attempts to head the ball onto the stumps earlier in the innings. Finally the ball looped invitingly to the skipper to pouch the winning catch. Surely our luck for the season will run out soon, but in the meantime, the lager never tasted so sweet or cold!

Man of the Match: Dec White for a good all-round contribution.

6th July 2003
Shaftesbury v Fontmell Magna
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset Sunday League Division Three
Fontmell Magna 169-9, Shaftesbury 170- 5

In the absence of both the Sunday Skipper and his trusty vice (Toogie missing a game.... almost unheard of!), it became the responsibility of the vice, vice skipper, to return from three and a half years in the blissful sanctity of just being a player, to try and continue the winning habit of the juggernaut that is the Sunday 1st XI.

True to form, Selbs joined Fontmell captain Phil Cheverton in the middle, and on possibly the hottest day of the year thus far, promptly lost the toss! The return to the boundary was met with the customery calls to a captain who must have a worse run of form on the coin toss than Nasser Hussain.... because, yes..... we were fielding!

The usual strike pairing of Crossman and Price worked their magic, and Fontmell were soon 17-3. However sensible batting from Sam Godseth (48) and lower down the order Mark Cheverton (33) and R. Dominey (29) meant that the fragile looking score of 90ish for 6 soon became 169-9. The fielding display was forgettable (that's not to say it was bad....... just 10 days later when I came to write this report..... I had forgotten anything outstanding!!) The nine wickets were shared between the six bowlers. Even the wiley captaincy of rotating his options couldn't result in bowling out the opposition...... that and his opening bowler refusing to come back, because of "sore feet"...... although he was observed practicing his 'kicking from hand' after tea!

Martin Crossman finished with 4 of the 9 wickets, Ian Dawson, Nick Price, Simon Wildbur, Merrion Williams and Rob Dunning all getting one each.

Well a number of us had played the previous day chasing 168, so we knew it could be done, however if ever there were to be two different ways of winning getting the same score this was it. In an opening partnership of 36, Skipper Selbie scored his usual sedate 7, bringing to the wicket the 'Wildboar' whose usual free flowing style was put in the shade as his 2nd wicket partnership of 80, produced only 15 runs for himself. Next was Rob Dunning whose decision to leave a ball pitching just outside off stump looked a bad one as the ball turned and promptly knocked out the the off-bail for 15. Matt Luttrell, taking his lead from Dunning also decided to pad up to a turning ball and was given out without troubling the scorer....... who suddenly found he was up. Step forward Mr Quinnell. Kept off strike for his first 3 overs at bat (as anyone who has batted with the Man of the Match, will note is not an unusual state to find yourself in) he pulled his second ball to mid-wicket, and off he departed....... again without troubling the scorer. "Fischer" then walked to the wicket and showed everyone the way to get off the mark as he hit his only scoring shot back over the bowlers head and into the field of cows for 6. So thats it then. Shaftesbury win by 5 wickets and its all over inside 30 overs. Easy!

Hang on a second, scores of 7, 15, 15, 0, 0, 6 ........ they don't add up to 168. No, because at the other end in a blurr of cover drives, pulls and cuts, Duncan Weir, playing his first Sunday game of the season, had been a wirrling dervish scoring 117 not out, including 22 from one over.

Man Of Match: Duncan Weir.

5th July 2003
Shaftesbury v Shroton
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset Saturday League Division Two

Skipper Duncan Weir was faced with every captain's nightmare on a Friday night, a phone call informing him that one of his overseas players had gone AWOL and returned to his native South Africa with no immediate plans to return. There was no panic though as 'Jonty' Warder was the perfect replacement as he is another player with his own very high standards of fielding which was proved once again with a great catch made to look as easy as picking an apple from a tree.

After losing the toss, again, Shroton elected to bat. Good opening spells from Jason Gillespie lookalike Ian Dawson and Aled Williams meant that the runs did not flow early for Shroton. Special mention must be given to Aled Williams whose first 6 overs were more restrictive than one of Hayward's tight fitting jockstraps. Although only 14, once again Aled bowled with the maturity of a bowler whos been knocking around the Dorset Leagues for 20 odd years. Ian and Aled set the tone for the rest of the innings with Shroton feeling the pressure, Lowton and Shean continued to contain the batsman and the wickets fell steadily throughout including a great stumping by Ted Eddows and the predictable dropped catch by Rob Selbie off Lowton's bowling. Selbie continues to ensure a season never passes without allowing himself to juggle with Lowton's dollies. Only Tom Morrisey managed to build an innings scoring 42 before being comfortable caught by senior pro Mike Rawlinson on the long off boundary. Not to be outdone Shean also held a great catch at deep mid wicket. Shroton ended their innings 168 - 8.

There is no question that the batting line up looked weaker on paper without Jamie Weir, Charl Lasbuschagne and inform Sam Hayward. On a positive note Hayward's absence did allow the pitch to remain dog free and the tea was half the price but maintained the delicously high standard set by Weir at the beginning of the season and proving once and for all that the vicious rumours that his sandwiches were made the previous Saturday were completely untrue.

A steady start by Lowton and Weir left Shroton frustrated particularly as opening bowler Simon Marsh bowled a good line to the right hander Weir who consistantly flashed and missed outside the off stump. Lowton was first to go and would have top scored with 43 if it wasn't for the exras column, dispatching anything short to the square leg boundary with his trademark pull shot. Rawlinson came to the crease and showed Weir exactly how to play the cover drive, with a thunderous shot off only the third ball he had faced from the steady Marsh - unquestionably shot of the day. Unfortunately none of the Shaftesbury batsman settled for long and it was left to Selbie and Shean batting 8 and 9 to reach 169 in the penultimate over in what turned out to be a very tense and uncomfortable finish that had Lowton figitting in his seat more than a child who is desperate for the loo during a school assembly. It was another good win and a great alround team performance.

Man of the Match: Aled Williams

29th June 2003
Shaftesbury v Bounemouth and Old Bournmouthians II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3

Bournemouth won the toss and with a couple of players still trying to find the ground decided to bat first. Shaftesbury opened up with Crossman and Price and they bowled a very hostile opening spell that blew the visitors away. Crossman bowling 12 overs 3 maidens 6 wickets for 24 runs was the pick of the bowlers especially as every victim had their sumps removed from the ground. The back up team of Price 8 overs 2 maidens 2 wickets for 14 runs and Dawson 9.4 overs 2 maidens 2 wickets for 17 runs enabled Shaftesbury to bowl out the opposition for a miserly 77 runs.

In previous encounters Shaftesbury have really struggled to chase low totals and yet again this proved to be the case as two wickets fell in a very tense 10 over spell before tea and a wicket fell just shortly after the resumption. Phil Rose scored 25 and Price scored 27 not out to take the score into the 70s before Rose departed bowled. Shaftesbury went onto win by six wickets but really chasing 77 should never have struggled.

Man of the Match: Martin Crossman

29th June 2003
Avon Social Club v Shaftesbury II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 8
Avon Social Club 131 all out, Shaftesbury 135 - 5

This was the Meirion Williams show, and a fine show it was too! Skipper Milton lost his third consequtive toss (prompting the usual taunts from the dressing room wags)and Shaftesbury found themselves bowling on a dry pitch. The sun was beating down, the Kings Park outfield was like glass and with only 10 men Shaftesbury the skipper expected a long hot afternoon chasing the leather. However, he reckoned without the guile of Meirion Williams. Runs came sporadically for Avon, flurries of boundaries sprinkled with wickets and dropped catches. Meirion plying his deadly trade from the Pavilion end was soon into the action knocking back the first four batsmen in short time. Avon Skipper G Lockyer responded in spirited fashion with a big hitting 58 before losing his middle stump to debutant, Damien Moody in his very first over. With Lockyer gone, Avon struggled to 131 off 35 overs before Aled Williams removed last man Morrow with the first ball of his second spell. Meirion finished with the fantastic return of 5 - 37 from his 12 and Moody chipped in with 2 - 28. The main worry for skipper Milton was the Shaftesbury fielding. Normally excellent in the field, the Hilltoppers managed to ground 6 regulation chances.

Chasing a modest total on a good pitch with plenty of overs available Shaftesbury were confident at Tea. Things didn't quite go to plan after the resumption and Shaftesbury were soon reduced to 4-3 with A Robinson, M Down and the dangerous M Cooper all back in the Pavilion. Meirion Williams and Paul Spencer then steadied the ship with a partnership of 39 before Spencer was caught behind for 11. Jim Down soon followed, out to a dubious LBW that looked high and the bruising on his thigh would suggest that the ball would have passed over the stumps. At 44-5 it looked grim for the visitors. Then Merion was then joined at the crease by his son Aled. Aled's batting is improving with every knock and his technique is now showing signs of real class. Getting into line early and offering the full face of the bat, the 14 year-old showed no sign of nerves. As he gained in confidence his strokes assumed a confident authority - a volley of back foot off-drives particularly caught the eye. At the other end Meirion was ruthless on anything wayward rattling 8 fours into the boundary boards and sending one short ball sailing over midwicket for a massive six. The pair batted superbly, adding an unbroken stand of 88 that swung the match back when defeat seemed the only likely outcome. Meirion finshed on 67 not out (his first 50 for the Club) and Aled was undefeated on 22.

This really was an enjoyable game on a good ground against a very sporting team and after Meirion's jug had been drained we all repaired to the Avon Social Club and a BBQ. This is how cricket should be played at all levels - a keen contest played fairly in the right spirit - two players even walked! Superb!

Man of the Match: Meirion Williams

28th June 2003
Shaftesbury v Pimperne
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Saturday Division 2
Shaftesbury 268 - 5, Pimperne 83 all out

It just gets easier and easier to write these match reports as I receive inspiration in equal measure from the substance of an excellent performance and the barbed and unprovoked attack from our eminent skipper last week. It would normally be tempting to suggest that he should do his talking on the pitch, but after a lame weekend performance, perhaps not. On another sweltering day, it was with some surprise that after losing the toss (again), we were inserted by top of the table Pimperne, who had previously only been beaten by the impressive Swanage outfit and were comfortably top of the table.

Duncan Weir departed early to a loose flick to square leg; certainly the empty days ahead this week will allow plenty of time for reflection - such is the life of the unemployed. Lowton, looking very solid and avoiding any danger of a run out, settled with Hayward to stabilise the innings against some very tight opening bowling. By the time the bowling changed after fourteen overs the score had dallied to 45-1, which goes to show how a rate can accelerate when the better bowlers are seen off and wickets are left in hand.

The change bowlers were of a different quality entirely, and by the time the openers returned, the heat had made a material difference to their performance. The young lad bowling from the pavilion end had the look of Sean Pollock about him, although all comparisons ended about there. He bowled more full tosses in his spell than Pollock has bowled in his career. Lowton would have kicked himself all the way back to the pavilion (if he were more dextrous), having put a longhop straight into the hands of point. After doing all of the hard work, it was a shame, but his knock of 23 really enabled the middle order to step on the gas and may have saved us several early wickets.

In my humble opinion, David Toogood is in the form of his life. You can always tell when the little maestro is on top of his game as anything even remotely short, and even a couple of inches outside his off stump rockets through the covers like an exocet. Amazingly, Pimperne didn't post a sweeper all afternoon, and with Hayward beginning to find his range for the first time this season, the tempo increased rapidly with a flurry of boundaries and rather too many threes. Hayward fell in the 25th over for a well crafted 73 (76 balls), to be replaced by Lubesquane who immediately demonstrated some his trademark hitting over mid-on. Just as he was getting going there was a loud appeal behind the wicket and he looked up to see one of trigger- Lowton's bruised digits pointing to the sky. Lubesquane was adamant that his only contact had been with the corner of the strip, Lowton could only comment that 'foreigners never walk;' although it was interesting that he stayed out umpiring for several overs beyond his quota to allow the rhino-esque Lubesquane to cool down suitably. An arm-wrestle we'd all like to see.

Jamie Weir now joined the party and played a significant role in an excellent partnership with Toogood as the ball was tonked to all parts. The weary Pimperney over rate fell to about seven overs an hour - a great deal of which can be apportioned to ball searching. Weir bravely took a sickening blow on the chin, which enabled him to display a very good Elephant Man impression in the pub afterwards. He batted on manfully and fell in the 43rd over for a breezy 45. It was left to Rawlinson and Toogood (bringing up his 50 in the process) to play the big shots that got us up over a run-a-ball at the close.

After feasting on one of the finest teas anyone at the club could remember, and delivered at a bargain budget (one does have to pay for quality), Shaftesbury entered the field in fine fettle. Regrettably the presence of Rawlinson (with a bad back) and Jonty Warder meant that Lowton was despatched to the outfield where he was able to display his nimble footwork in kicking a ball over the boundary at fine leg. His ability to find fielding positions that cannot be found in Tom Graveney's Cricket manual is uncanny and cannot be explained away as 'innovative'as was attempted in the Mitre. Ian opened the bowling magnificently at the bottom end and managed to locate the corridor of uncertainty outside off stump, resulting in two catches for the unflappable Eddows who was having a tidy game behind the sticks. With absolutely no disrespect to those that have opened the bowling this season, it is good to see some genuine pace and penetration. The star of the bowling show though was Jamie Weir, who was undoubtedly benefiting from the pressure being applied at the other end and by the scoreboard. Showing great guile and mixing his flight impressively, Weir was well backed by impressive Shaftesbury fielding. 'Jonty' pouched a smart catch early on at backward square leg and Duncan Weir justified his existence with a superlative effort at deep mid on.

Yet again though, the plaudits land at the feet of Lubesquane. One catch diving forward caused the batsman and all participants to shake their collective heads in awe. Momentum builds, and this season may yet have a happy ending if we play to our potential in the second half of the season. There were several candidates for man of the match including Hayward, Toogood, and Ian but the deserving winner is Jamie Weir for a fine all- round contribution - come back soon big fella!

Man of the Match: Jamie Weir

22nd June 2003
Swanage v Shaftesbury
Nationwid e Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 177-5, Swanage 134 all out

After a morning struggling to get a team out yet again on a Sunday thanks must go to Steve Milton who managed to release two of his players to the 1st team and even then they had to travel with only nine men for the second time in three weeks. We arrived at Swanage and as expected the wicket was found to be damp and offering a lot of help to the bowlers. After Swanage won the toss they elected to field, this was no surprise to Shaftesbury.

Rawlinson back after injury opened the innings with Selbie and both set about the task of making sure of a steady start. This they did and with the ball moving in the air and off the pitch they gave Shaston a nice start. Rawlinson was the first wicket to fall after scoring 23 runs. This bought to the crease last weeks hero Toogood, first ball edge to slip surely not a golden duck no dropped at slip. This turned out to be Swanages biggest mistake of the afternoon as Selbie and Toogood pushed the score along without attacking too much, Selbie after a very patient innings finally fell for 16. Simon Cruse strode to the wicket to join Toogood with the score at 71 for 2. Then came a partnership of 58 runs that pushed the score into the points without to much alarm although both men were dropped during this period. Toogie had passed 50 for the second week running and looked in control on 62 when a very dubious LBW decision ended his innings. The score 129-3 off 39 overs, Cruse then departed to an excellent catch down leg side by the wicket-keeper who was outstanding all game. With the score at 133 for 4 in the 41st over two new batsmen Rose and Luttrell were at the wicket. Both batsmen missed a couple of balls before launching a late attack on the bowlers Rose scoring 20 including a six over point and Luttrell 17 not out with some big hitting fours over the bowlers head. Rose was eventually out in the knowledge that the 170 was attained and the innings finally ended on 177 for 5 with Roundtree 5 not out.

At 177 for 5, this was a good competitive total but with only nine men it was going to be tough in the field. Crossman and Roundtree opened the bowling with accuracy and immediately put pressure on the openers. The first wicket eventually arrived in the 11th over with Crossman picking up the wicket. Wagner at the other end was looking increasingly dangerous Luttrell was asked to enter the attack and bowl some leg spin. This bought immediate dividends with Wagner being caught behind for 21 runs. Edgar was at this time at the crease and looking to block out the straight deliveries and attack the bad ball, this he did but couldn't prevent wickets falling at the other end. Shaftesburys nine men were fielding excellently and creating pressure this bought about two run outs by Luttrell and Jim Down. The 25th Over had been reached and with the dark clouds gathering again, Swanage were ahead on run rate and still increasing the tempo. In desperation the skipper turned to his two opening bowlers knowing that they would be finished by the 37th over. Roundtree had switched ends and was bowling down the hill, there followed a devastating spell by the youngster. In a six over spell he turned the game completely round taking five wickets including the dangerous Edgar for 52 runs and Ross for 29 runs. This left Swanage needing 49 runs off the last eight overs with the back up bowlers bought back on and they obviously fancied their chances. Four runs had been added and with the score on 134 the last batsmen connected with a ball from Rose that went in the air very quickly back towards him with the batsmen thinking four runs Rose managed to stick out his right hand and grasp onto the catch. Shaftesbury had won by 45 runs, Crossman finished with the figure 12 overs 5 maidens One wicket for 14 runs and Roundtree finished with 12 overs 2 maidens 5 wickets for 41 runs.

I have to give great credit to all nine players as they showed yet again the fighting spirit that is needed to win leagues and I must congratulate them all on a fine performance. Swanage to their credit also played well and the game was played in the correct spirit.

Well done to the second team who won by 8 wickets against Swanage 2nds and enabled a double on the day.

Man of the Match: Richie Roundtree with Five Wickets that changed the game.

22nd June 2003
Shaftesbury II v Swanage II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 8
Swanage II 152, Shaftesbury II 99- 2 in 27 overs (rain affected match)

As forked lightning flashed around St James, Swanage II set about compiling a total to challenge the Shaftesbury batting. J Davis was the mainstay of the visitors innings with a well crafted knock of 49. He was supported by useful contributions from T Buck (20) and S McLenney (21). Tight bowling by Meirion Williams (12-1-23-3) and Mark Cooper (11-0-37-3) made the going tough, but in the end the total of 152 looked competitive. However because of rain interruptions, the target for the home side was reduced to an achievable 131 from 43 overs.

Shaftesbury's reply got off to a good start, despite losing rising star Aled Williams cheaply, Cooper and Milton added 63 for the 2nd wicket before Milton was bowled by King for 27. A further spell of torrential rain reduced Shaftesbury's target to 99 off 31 overs which they reached in the 27th over without further loss. Mark Cooper, mixing class and agression in equal measure, finished unbeaten on 57.

This was Shaftesbury II first win in Division VIII this season and shows that the team can be competitive. It must be mentioned that this game was played in a fantastic spirit by two sides packed with talented youngsters in very difficult conditions that eventually robbed the visitors of any real chance.

Man of the Match: Mark Cooper

21 June 2003
Shaftesbury v Cattistock
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Saturday Division 2

I was beginning to wonder if Sam is as busy as he actually makes out at work after reading his very impressive match report that obviously had many hours of preparation work, sleepness nights and no doubt several draught copies before he was finally pleased with the result. Having said that i'm sure the paper clip and staple department that he takes care of was fully operational all week and all desks were fully stocked up with no complaints despite the distractraction of having to write the booker prize award winning cricket match report. His descriptive brilliance allowed his readers to imagine the scenes throughout the day such guy lowton eating copius amounts of lardy cake at tea, at sight many readers have witnessed for themselves. I will not attempt to better or even level with his high standards of creative writing particular as i have also forgotten many of the statistics from saturday.

Cattistock won the toss and elected to bat scoring 215 for 9. It was a fine effort by Shaftesbury to contain them to 215 on a hot afternoon with a limited bowling attack and only 10 fielders for some of their innings. Young Aled Williams bowled two excellent spells that evidenced his continual improvement throughout the season picking up three wickets. Charl Labuschagne bowled an excellent second spell mopping up the tail taking three wickets in one over to add to some oustanding fielding and another memorable catch. He is no doubt the best fielder Shaftesbury Cricket Club have had for a long time if not the best ever and must be one of the best in the the Dorset Leagues.

In a rain effected second innings Shaftesbury were left with 191 to win off 40 overs. A fine knock by Dave Toogood of 48 and steady innings by Matt Luttrell left Shaftesbury in a good position for Charl Labuschagne to club his way to another crowd pleasing, match winning innings with some impressive boundaries. With 68 needed off 8 overs and then 48 off 4 overs Matt Luttrell steered Shaftesbury to victory hitting the winnings runs after needing only 2 off the last over.

Man of the Match: Charl Labushagne for his alround contribution despite carrying an injury (which, other than a shortened bowling run up appeared completely unidentifiable)

15th June 2003
Shaftesbury v Winterbourne Kingston
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 177-7, Winterbourne Kingston 171 all out

On a hot and humid day down at St James, Shaftesbury and Winterbourne Kinsgston fought out a thrilling contest in one of the best and tightest games that has yet been witnessed at the new ground. On winning the toss, Shaftesbury decided to bat first on a very hot afternoon. Rob Selbie for the second week running was dismissed early on bringing Dave Toogood to the crease in the fifth over of the innings. Thereafter for the next 20 overs Toogood played an obdurate innings in the face of some good bowling on an uneven and occasionally spiteful pitch. During this stint Simon Wildbur and Rob Dunning had perished and Nick Price was at the other end trying to encourage Toogood through the sweltering heat. This seemed to work and Toogood and Price put together a big stand before Price was bowled for 51 in the 35th over. The last ten overs saw Shaftesbury try to up the tempo With Rose run out and Williams (M) bowled. Toogood meanwhile had overcome his early dehydration problems and discovered that the pitch had eased as the ball aged. The innings closed with Toogood not out on 67, a very fine battling effort and considering the conditions how he batted in a helmet for 41 overs was beyond several of his teammates.

Winterbourne Kingston had bowled and fielded superbly and now came the opportunity to bat and win the game. Unlike previous weeks Price failed to make any impact and ended up wicketless from his 12 overs. In a innings that ebbed and flowed Winterbourne were 92 for 3 off 20 overs and were looking very dangerous, the 3 wickets to fall were snapped up by Matty Burton in an opening spell that was a huge improvement on the previous week at Broadstone. The skipper needing to slow the run rate decided for a Williams double change bringing on 14 year old Aled and his dad Merion, both these players who turn out regularly for the second team showed that they could handle the pressure really well and in a bowling partnership completely slowed down the run rate. They both picked up a vital wicket apiece. After finishing his five over spell Aled was replaced by Wildbur who for the second week running showed that he can take wickets with a mixture of suprising bounce and the odd mystery ball. The game still hung in the balance with Winterbourne needing 50 runs off the last ten overs with four wickets intact. The game turned on a crucial run out with Wildbur showing some good fielding and with a throw straight over the stumps for Toogood to take the bails off. The game went into the last over Winterbourne needing 14 runs to win, Shaftesbury needing 1 wicket for the twenty points they wanted. Eight runs came off the first five balls, Winterbourne needed six runs off the final ball, fielders were deployed on all parts of the boundary, Burton ran in and bowled a perfect yorker length delivery that clean bowled the last man.

Shaftesbury had clinched victory in the last over in a very enjoyable game set on a nice sunny day at a venue with great potential to be one of the very best in Dorset.

Man of the Match: Dave Toogood

15th June 2003
Bridport II v Shaftesbury II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Sunday Division 8
Shaftesbury scratched

Skipper Steve Milton was forced to scratch this game following a request from the Sunday 1st Team for four players late on Friday evening. Steve had only 11 players available, of which only two were drivers. Reluctantly the game was called off. This is the first time fixture the new 2nd XI have been unable to fulfill since its launch in 2002, and this was due to the unavailability of more senior players in the 1st Team. It is frustrating for the skipper and the players looking forward to a day's cricket that a game has to be called off at such short notice. Luckily Merion and Aled Williams and Jimma and Martyn Down played for the firsts and so got some cricket.

Man of the Match: Steve Milton for not packing the whole thing in!

14th June
Sahftesbury v
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Saturday Division 2

Report awaited

8th June 2003
Shaftesbury v Broadstone
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 222-5, Broadstone 200 all out

In an entertaining game at the Delph, Shaftesbury, having beaten Stalbridge the previous week were on a high and expecting a tough test - they were not to be disappointed. The team eventually found the ground and then had a half mile trek to the Pavilion to test their fitness. On arriving, Shaftesbury soon realised that they may have to play with only nine men - a good test for the team and one they eventually passed. After losing the toss and being put into bat, Shaftesbury soon lost Rob Selbie bowled by Benedict. Then Toogood and Wildbur set out to forge a partnership and eighty runs later were still there until Toogood was tempted down the track and was stumped. Rob Dunning came in at number four and immediately looked to up the tempo and this he did scoring a quickfire 33 that include three sixes before playing on to his stumps. Nick Price then made a very useful contribution of 30 runs before holing out to an excellent catch by third man. While this was happening Wildbur was steadily accumulating runs at the other end and by the fortieth over he had reached a patient 75, sensing a first century he tried to up his tempo but eventually mistimed a drive and was caught at mid off. This bought Phil Rose to the crease and with 15 not out bought the innings to 222-5.

With only nine men fielding the contest was always going to be tight but with the bowling now at Shaftesbury's disposal it was still going to be hard work for Broadstone. Nick Price immediately got into the action by trapping the opener LBW without troubling the scoring. Broadstone's captain John Stone made a useful 47 runs for the genial hosts although he was dropped by Quinnell and was bowled by Burton off a no ball! The bowling was tight early on and Price ended up with excellent figures of 12-1- 32-4. At the other end Wildbur had come on and with the Skipper taking a leaf out of Nasser Hussain's strategy by urging his bowlers to pitch the ball on a fuller length. This had its reward with Wildbur bowling 12-1-41-3 and finally fulfilling his all rounder status. With Smith and Benedict at the crease the game was still very much in the balance. Smith went on to make 42 before being bowled by Burton who finished with 7-0-43-2. Shaftesbury skipper, Phil Rose decided that he would bowl his first spell of the season at the death and eventually bowled Benedict for 40 runs, Rose finishing with 4-0-18-1. In the end Broadstone fell 22 runs short of their target runs and Shaftesbury had earned a well deserved victory. A mention must be made of Luke Clarke who, snatched from the 2nd XI at very late notice, was tireless in the field and never once let his head go down even when fielding long-on to long-on!

Man of the Match: Simon Wildbur

Sunday 8th June
Shaftesbury v Dewlish
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset league Division 8
Dewlish 251-3 Shaftesbury 34

In Division 8, Shaftesbury were totally annihilated by a powerful Dewlish side at St James. Shaftesbury fielded 6 promising youngsters and it may be hard to pick them up from such a depressing experience. Losing the toss, Shaftesbury found themselves fielding under threatening skies. Intermittent showers were endured without any disruption in play. The bowling did not quite reach the standard of the previous two matches as Shaftesbury struggled to get any joy from the new ball. Meirion Williams had to wait until the 13th over before trapping opener Kellaway LBW for 24. The next wicket was not to fall until the 30th over with Dewlish on 114. At 114-2 Shaftesbury were not totally out of the match but there followed a brutal assualt on the bowling by A Ross. Ross smashed 118 (n.o.) including 4 sixes and 12 fours. This onslaught brought Dewlish to a formidable total of 251- 3.

There were no such problems for the Dewlish opening bowlers. J Miller and J Hill rapidly carved a destructive swathe through the Shaftesbury top order. The home batsmen stuggled to cope with a combination of hostile pace and persistent drizzle. By the tenth over Shaftesbury were 5 wickets down with just 24 runs on the board only 12 of which had come from the bat. The oppostition then sportingly changed the attack but even this generosity could not be exploited by a demoralised and despirited home side who eventually sunk to a humiliating defeat dismissed for 32 with only two players making more than one scoring shot.

This game made a mockery of the Dorset League. Dewlish have previously played friendly cricket on a Sunday, but with more and more teams now opting for regular competitive cricket within a league structure they had little option but to apply to join the league as fixtures started to dry up. Under current league rules, they were required to enter in Division 8, but clearly they would compete at a much higher level. Surely, a better approach would be to assess new teams and to feed the better sides into say, Division 6. This would allow teams to find their position - either up or down. Division 8 would then accomodate teams of a similar standard and be really useful for clubs wanting to develop their talented young players. Teams wishing to progress from Division's 7 or 8 could then elect or apply for promotion should they feel the team is ready for a higher standard of cricket. This is not just the bleatings of a bad loser as the Dewlish side also acknowledge the problem. It will take Dewlish another four or five years before they are playing genuinely competitive cricket.

So Shaftesbury II have now endured three consequtive defeats and in Pimperne and Dewlish have faced teams of a very high standard. However, with Bridport II and Avon Social Club coming up the players are looking forward to more competitive games with the prospect of putting some points on the board.

Man of the Match: Rich Rowntree for some good bowling in his first 5 overs that conceded only 12 runs.

7th June 2003
Shaftesbury v Bere Regis
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League Saturday Division 2
Bere Regis 202-5, Shaftesbury 124- 9

Shaftesbury's recent run of good results came to an end against Bere Regis on Saturday. Missing both in- form opening batsmen Lowton and Weir and with Sam Hayward also unavailable, Shaftesbury fielded a somewhat makeshift team that included some older stalwarts and some up-and-coming youngsters. Derek Rowntree and Matty Burton restricted the Bere Regis top order with some controlled new-ball bowling on a wicket offering some assistance. However, the breakthrough never really came and Regis cantered to 202-5 in reasonable comfort.

The Shaftesbury reply never got going with wickets tumbling at regular intervals. Dave Toogood (32) and James Shean (25) got starts but could not press on with the chase. In the end the home side had to settle for just two batting points. This was a disappointing result in a fixture Shaftesbury expected to win, injuries and absences were crucial and the Club will be expecting more commitment from key players over the next few weeks.

Man of the Match: Dave Toogood for getting a team on the pitch at all and also top scoring.

1st June 2003
Shaftesbury v Stalbridge
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 185-9, Stalbridge 95 all out

After a disappointing defeat to Sturminster the week before Shaftesbury produced a display that has come to be expected from them. After winning the toss and deciding this week to bat first Mike Rawlinson and Simon Wildbur produced an opening stand of 50 before both players were out in the space of a couple of overs, one a very dubious LBW decision against Rawlinson. With the two new batsmen at the crease both playing their first games of the season, the ROBs (Dunning and Selbie) batted like they have never being away Rob Dunning scoring 57 and Rob Selbie 39 in a partnership worth almost 100 runs. Wickets fell as the innings ended as 200 was the target but eventually Shaftesbury fell 15 runs short.

This was quite a good total but Stalbridge were still very much in the game at the halfway point. In the end they subsided to 95 all out in the 29th over thanks mainly to a hostile spell of bowling from the two openers Nick Price and Matty Burton who took the game immediately away from Stalbridge. Nick Price finishing with Superb figures of 12 overs 7 Maidens 3 wickets for 15 Runs. Matty Burton finsihing with 8 Overs 1 Maiden 4 Wickets for 31 runs and supported by Simon Wildbur 7 overs 1 Maiden 3 wickets for 28 runs.

Man of the Match: Rob Dunning

1st June 2003
Winton II v Shaftesbury II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 8
Shaftesbury II 127, Winton 130-4

Skipper Steve Milton lost the toss and Shaftesbury found themselves put into bat on a grassy green wicket under cloudy skies at Merryck Park. Predictlably the ball was seaming and swinging right from the start. Milton edged his second ball to slip before the scorer had even opened the book, Barclay and Jimma Down soon followed for ducks and Shaston were reeling on 1- 3. There then followed an excellent half century partnership between Paul Spencer and Merion Williams as they carried the attack back to the bowling side. However, just after drinks in the 18th over Merion played down the wrong line and was adjudged LBW. Spencer followed 4 overs later, deceived by a ball that popped off a good length, he was caught at point off the shoulder of the bat.

Aled Williams batted sensibly with a straight bat and good footwork and at the other end Martyn Down crashed the bowling for a quickfire 28 that included 5 consecutive fours off the opposition skipper, T Patten. With the departure of Down the Shaftesbury innings came to a close on 127. At tea the score looked like it may be competitive on wicket that provided exaggerated movement throughout the innings.

Sure enough, Shaftesbury's opening duo of Merion and Aled Williams soon had the Winton batsmen under pressure. Merion in particular exploited the conditions to return superb figures of 12-5-3-12. Aled's opening 5 over spell was also tight, going for only 15 runs and sending back Winton's No.3 bat Hayter for 1. At 52- 4 Winton looked in trouble. However the sun then decided to come out and conditions improved considerably as the shine vanished from the ball. The experienced fith wicket pairing of M Spares (51 no) and K Moore (38 no) snatched the game away from the visitors bringing Winton home safely in the 33rd over.

In the end it was a disappointing defeat for Shaftesbury who never looked outclassed in this match until the final 10 overs. In hindsight it was a bad toss to lose and fielding only 10 players left too many gaps in the field. Shaftesbury too are in desparate need of runs from the top order bats if they are going to compete for promotion this year. Having said that, again for long periods of the game Shaftesbury were extremely competitive showing continued improvment in all aspects of the game.

Man of the Match: Meirion Williams

31st May 2003
Swanage v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Saturday Division 2

Report submitted by Sam (The Bard) Hayward

It is with great pleasure that I am able to submit a match report for one of the best overall and enjoyable team performances I can remember from a Shaftesbury Saturday XI. Much of the pre-match debate took place contemplating the correct course of action to take if we should win the toss, largely as a result of the armpit- drenching temperatures and the renowned strength of the opposition batting line up. It could be said that Lowton (Snr) went a little too far when suggesting that we offer Swanage's star man Craig Wells 50 runs not to bat at all, but arguments were terminated and sun cream applied liberally when Hayward called incorrectly and Swanage decided, understandably, to bat.

With limited options in the bowling department, a great deal of praise must be afforded to the four Trojans that bowled all of Shaftesbury's overs. Burton made the early inroads, dismissing Swanage's other dangerous opener Anton in the second over with a beautiful off-cutter. Over the course of the innings he bowled manfully and picked up a couple of other wickets, perhaps the only valid criticism coming with regard to the liberal amount of no- balls that were sent down, not for over- stepping I might add, but as a result of a back foot that was closer to deep square leg than the wicket.

Charl bowled well from the top end with very little luck, and perhaps might have got at least a couple of wickets on another day. His increasing pace will also be more fully rewarded if the ball could be another half a yard further pitched up, but there was no doubt that the Swanage number three was uncomfortable facing him. Lowton Snr bowled a very tidy spell and was rewarded with the wicket of Wells for a classy and chanceless 51, which also ably demonstrated Lowton's Nostradamus abilities - lottery numbers for Wednesday Guy? Perhaps the pick of the bowlers though was Aled Williams who can now call himself a first team bowler when conversing with his mates in the pub (or behind the bike sheds). For a fourteen year old to bowl with that maturity was a very positive sign for both the club and the for the young man himself and I look forward very much in the years to come to watching him bowl a great deal more. The first wicket was delayed when the Swanage number three was clean bowled with Aled's only no- ball, but it did eventually arrive and was quickly followed with a second prized scalp as well. Perhaps most commendable was the way that he was able to respond well to any loose deliveries that were punished with a subsequent sequence of dot balls.

The long and the short of the Swanage innings was that they managed 212 for six in their allotted 45 overs, and As Guy Lowton commented at tea between liberal mouthfuls of lardy cake, they really never 'got away'. This was largely due to an excellent fielding effort from the whole team, and this report would not be complete without some further mention of this. On a very hot day, when wickets are not necessarily falling at regular intervals, it is very easy for a fielding team to lose their collective concentration and to go 'quiet' in the field, but neither of these traits were in evidence on Saturday. David Woodhouse (making his debut for Shaftesbury) fielded well, including one remarkable stop in the covers. Charl's superb athleticism allowed him to cover acres in his role as the sweeper on the bottom side of the ground, which was remarkable given his twelve overs as well. Tom Lowton gave glimpses of his impressive arm on several occasions, David Toogood fielded well and Ted enjoyed a good afternoon behind the stumps. Julian Shirley amazingly showed so much commitment that he 'threw' his shoulder out. There was also a young man called Terry Warder patrolling the covers who bore a very close resemblance to Johnty Rhodes.

With immense amounts of respect to the lower-order batsmen, I think it would be fair to say that we were not boasting the strongest batting line up that the club has put out in its 150 year history and so it was essential to get off to a steady start. This was achieved to an extent, although Hayward departed cheaply for 9 with the score on 35, perhaps he was distracted by seeing Burton looking for the eighth time at his van's rear window which had been majestically smashed by a Hayward square drive in the pre-innings throw- downs.

Woodhouse joined 'old man' Lowton who was anything but fresh from a large century for the Dorset over 90's on the previous Thursday. At the start of the innings he announced that 'running wasn't going to be his thing'. He was however hitting the ball well and the pair continued to accumulate at a very respectable 3.5 an over for a sustained period. Woodhouse batted very well for his 40, but was beginning to attract the interest of the cardiac unit at nearby Poole Hospital when he perished in the 32nd over. Sadly, Lowton followed very quickly afterwards for an excellent 70 and the side faced a mini crisis at 135-3 with twelve overs remaining. What followed was one of the most brutal assaults on a cricket ball that I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing from Charl who was very ably supported by David Toogood. Toogood not only spanked a couple of impressive boundaries of his own, but managed to farm the strike to his partner and ran well between the wickets to achieve that. Charl removed all of the Swanage bowlers from the attack in succession, one on-drive was mis-timed but still went for six over mid-on which was soon followed by one of the biggest sixes anyone could remember seeing over the mature oak on the long side of the ground. His winning boundary came in the forty third over and brought up his fifty, probably from about 30 balls. This was truly a spectacular match winning knock that did not contain a single 'slog' or false shot.

Overall, a very pleasurable game against one of the more socialable sides in our division. It was great to win, but this was cricket played by two sides on a lovely English summer's day, and, as it should be, the result was secondary to the event. Steve Milton would certainly have commented (if anyone could be bothered to listen) that 'Cricket had been the winner'.

Every player that represented Shaftesbury deserved to be part of a winning team, but overall, my man of the match was Charl for a truly all-round performance.

Man of the Match: Charl Lubesquane

25th May 2003
Shaftesbury v Sturminster & Hinton
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 3
Sturminster 143 all out, Shaftesbury 140 all out

In a very close contest in a game, Shaftesbury lost by 3 runs in a game they should have won after being set a modest total. Sturminster & Hinton having being put into bat never really looked comfortable on the artificial and only had two batsmen (Stockley 24 & Beale 23) that really got themselves in. Some good bowling by Crossman 12-3-23-1, Charl 11- 3-35-3, Price 7-2-19-1 and Burton 12-0- 50-3 meant that Surminster struggled to 143 for 9 wickets at the end of their allotted overs.

In reply to a modest target Shaftesbury also stuttered and in the emd failed by 3 runs to achieve their target. Shaftesbury had several batsmen who got themselves in but none went on to make a big score. Rawlinson, Wildbur and Charl all scoring 18, Nick Price batted to 24 runs and Martin Crossman ended up scoring 12 not out. It was a disappointing end to a game where at the halfway point there should have been only one team in it.

Man of the Match: Martin Crossman

24th May 2003
Shaftesbury v Broadstone II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Saturday Division 2

Shaftesbury clinched their second 20 point victory of the season with a comprehensive victory over Broadstone 2nds. Broadstone were weakened because of Bournemouth AFC reaching the playoff final but it was another good bowling performance in a rain affected match that resulted in Shaftesbury needing to chase 85 to win. Jamie Weir bowled a very steady spell picking up a deserved wicket in his twelth over. Other good performances were by Mark Cooper who took 3-18 and Guy Lowton with 2-17. The good bowling was helped by in-form keeper Ted Eddows, who took 2 stumpings and a catch.

Openers Duncan Weir (53 n.o.) and Guy Lowton (21 n.o.) for the second match running, finished the game without losing a wicket.

Man of the Match: Ted Eddows.

18th May 2003
Shaftesbury v Pimperne
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 8
Pimperne 163-8, Shaftesbury 90- all out

An opening stand of 77 from S Ridley and S Griffiths got Pimperne off to a slow but solid start under leaden skies at St James. Tight bowling from Meirion and Aled Williams and a slow outfield made it tough work for the Pimperne batsmen. The first bowling change brought rewards as first Martyn Down and then Steve Milton struck to remove the openers. Down had Ridley caught at the wicket by keeper Paul Spencer for 38 and Milton nipped one back to bowl Griffiths for 33. Shaftesbury then began to exert some pressure on the new batsmen with excellent ground fielding and tight bowling. Steve Milton's 'liquorice allsorts' brought a miraculous return of 4-2-28-4, although all Shaftesbury bowlers returned tidy figures. Meirion Williams was particulary unlucky not to pick up a wicket from 12 excellent overs that cost only 24 runs. Pimperne's J Truswell with 34 helped his side to a respectable total of 163- 8 at the close.

Shaftesbury's reply got off to a disasterous start with both openers Jimma Down and Steve Milton both dismissed for ducks. However, Paul Spencer and Meirion Williams took the attack back to the bowlers adding 50 for the fourth wicket. Spencer looked in good form making 41 before playing round a swinging full-toss from Ridley. With the dismissal of Williams for 23 the Shaftesbury innings faltered in the face of some excellent bowling from S Ridley and R De-Bique. Ridley did the damage with 5 wickets for only 14 runs from 12 quality overs. Shaftesbury eventually subsided for 90.

The scores do not tell the full story and Shaftesbury were competitive throughout most of this game. In the end, fine Pimperne bowling and poor shot selection from the Shaftesbury batsmen made the difference. A good game in freezing overcast conditions.

Man of the Match: Paul Spencer 41 runs, two catches at the wicket and a stumping.

11th May 2003
Shaftesbury v Cheselbourne
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 3
Cheselbourne 43 all out, Shaftesbury 44-3

The Shaftesbury Sunday Ist XI, not to be outdone by their Saturday counterparts, enjoyed a fine win over Cheselbourne at St James'.

Both teams were weakened by late withdrawals and Shaftesbury took to the field with ten men after Cheselbourne won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening bowlers Matty Burton and Charl immediately put the batsmen under pressure and wickets started to fall regularly with Matt finishing unlucky only to have taken one wicket and Charl finishing with three. A double change saw Simon Wildbur and Nick Price quickly into the wickets with Simon taking two and Pricey three. Matt Luttrell came onto bowl and with his second ball promptly picked up the final wicket.

It was an outstanding fielding display with Simon Cruse taking three outstanding catches, Charl also took two and Matt Luttrell picked up one. David Toogood also had an outstanding game with the gloves picking up a couple of catches at the wicket.

The run chase got off to a stuttering start with Simon Wildbur, Matt Luttrell and Jim Down back in the pavillion with only 9 runs scored. Simon Cruse (23 not out) and Phil Rose (10 not out) then took Shaftesbury to victory with a scare or two after some fine opening bowling by the Cheselbourne attack.

This was a fine result as we played the game with ten men. Thanks to Jimma and Martyn Down for helping out at the last minute.

Man of the Match: Simon Cruse for three outstanding catches and 23 not out.

10th May 2003
Shaftesbury v Blandford II
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Saturday Division 2
Blandford II 75 All out, Shaftesbury 76- 0.

Shaftesbury won the toss and put Blandford into bat. Scoring came hard for Blandford with Matty Burton and Martin Crossman bowling a good line. Their efforts were rewarded with 4 wickets apiece as the visitors batsman became frustrated. Lee Russell came on to bowl after the openers made the most of their 12 alotted overs each and took the last 2 wickets in his first over. The fielding was of the highest quality with catches from Michael Rawlinson, C.Labushagne and Duncan Weir.

Shaftesbury were chasing 76 which they achieved without losing a wicket with Duncan Weir hitting 46 n.o. and Guy Lowton 26 n.o.

Man of the Match : Matty Burton.

4th May 2003
Fontmell Magna v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Sunday Division 3
Shaftesbury 204-8, Fontmell Magna 90.

After being put into bat on a damp but drying wicket Simon Wildbur promoted to the Openers position in the absence of Duncan Weir produced a solid innings of 58 runs before leaving a straight delivery. The Shaftesbury innings was solid all the way through with the loss of only two wickets at the 30 over stage. Nick Price (37) and Phil Rose (26) shared in seven over partnership that pushed Shaftesbury passed maximum batting points before a late flourish from Matt Lupprell (14) and Martin Crossman (13 n.o.) took the score to 204-8.

In reply Fontmell Magna started solidly without ever looking to go after the total. Crossman and Cooper bowled tidily but only one wicket fell to Crossman in the first 14 overs. With a double change Charl (2-31 off 8 overs) and Matt Burton (2-16 off 9 overs) were brought into the action and bought instant success with all four batsmen bowled. The last bowling change was to bring Nick Price into action who promptly mopped up the tail with a spell of 2 overs 2 Maidens 3 Wickets for no runs.

Man of the Match : Nick Price.

3rd May 2003
Shroton v Shaftesbury
Nationwide Sun Awnings Dorset League: Saturday Division 2
Shaftesbury 120, Shroton 125-2

Local rivals Shroton put Shaftesbury into bat on a typical wet Spring wicket and bowled very tightly with T. Elms taking 3-10 off 7.4 overs. Only Guy Lowton got himself in reaching 57. Sam Hayward looked good for his 27 before succumbing to the slow wicket playing too early on a shot and getting caught. Shaftesbury were all out for 120 giving Shroton 50 overs in which to reach the target.

In reply Shroton took less than 19 overs to reach the total and the game was over before the pub opened. D. Ball was not out on 71 and T. Elms hit 52 before being caught behind by Ted Eddowes off Jamie Weir. The Shaftesbury bowlers did not bowl badly with Matty Burton bowling well and Jamie Weir and Guy Lowton both picking up a wicket each but 120 was not enough runs on a small ground which dried out as the afternoon went on.

Man of the Match : Guy Lowton.

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