Methodists ensure Long Ashton collapse – Midsomer Norton Methodists cc 156–8, Long Ashton Seconds cc 133 all out

By Leah Smith in Cricket

This week, the Methodists entertained Long Ashton Seconds at Norton Hill. The home side were asked to bat first, which looked a good decision by the visitors, as the Methodists quickly lost their top three batsmen to the bowling of Billy Evans (2–24) and Joseph Baines.

The experienced pairing of Alex Nash and Stuart Green were able to halt the collapse though, overcoming the unpredictable pitch to add a valuable 65 runs for the fourth wicket, and guiding the team to the mid-innings drinks break.

As so often happens, the first ball after drinks produced a wicket, Green LBW to Josh Ball, leading to the loss of a further three batsmen in the following five overs, the last of these being Nash for a punchy 57, snared by Nathan Copson (4–19). At 95–8, things looked bleak for the Methodists, with James Sackett (20*) and Daniel Shearn (23*) attempting to nudge the score into three figures and claim a batting point. But over the course of fourteen overs together, much to the visitors’

frustration, they managed to survive the Long Ashton bowling attack and build a handy partnership – their stand eventually producing a vital 61 runs and boosting the total to a useful 156–8 at tea.

After the break, Long Ashton got off to a bit of flyer, with Josh Ball and Ben Taylor (26) enjoying some wayward bowling and racking up 43 runs in just eight overs before a man was lost. But then four wickets fell for just six runs, Shearn (4–18) managing to break through and trigger a mini-collapse, before Jon Ball (24) was able to again provide some stability to Long Ashton’s chase.

Wickets continued to go at regular intervals and the visitors were seven down with 25 more needed as they entered the last ten overs of their innings. A run-out finally opened the door for the Methodists and Captain, Stuart Green (2–24) was able to overcome injury to remove the last two batsmen, leaving the visitors 23 runs short and sealing a first Division Eleven win for the home side.

Daniel Shearn