Denaby & Cadeby – Denaby 151 Mexborough 61 for 8 – Thrills-And Boredom

August 1926

Mexborough & Swinton Times, August 20, 1926

Thrills-And Boredom
Forty Runs An Hour!

Denaby 151 Mexborough 61 for 8

Since Denaby have felt the full weight of responsibility of the 100 per cent they have lost their old attractiveness at the wickets. On Saturday they kept the pitch for nearly three hours to make 151 runs – and nearly 50 of those were made in the last hour-hour of the innings. Then Mexborough played safe and toiled away 110 minutes scoring 61 runs! It was a weary business for people who had gone to Denaby to be entertained. The game moved fast enough for 90 minutes or so. Inside an hour Mexborough got Greenwood, Tibbles and Wainwright back in the pavilion for a mere 32. Pearce bowled beautifully and the ball that got Tibbles seemed to come in an astonishing distance from the off. The 90 per cent which has haunted Denaby’s horizon for the last few weeks loomed more menacing and there was none of the care-free ease about the batting that one expects at Denaby. Pearce repeatedly beat the bat and missed the wickets, and lots of shots cocked up the ball just where no fieldsman happened to be. A slow outfield and keen fielding made the going harder and the rate of scoring kept round about forty an hour. Carlin and Vollans looked good enough to pull Denaby round till Ambler took over from Wadsworth – whose four overs, costing 14 runs, brought about the quickest scoring of the innings to that stage. Carlin hit Ambler’s first ball to the boundary and generally showed an inclination to treat him lightly. But Ambler bowled him in his second over and the procession recommenced. Shootsmith showed too free a bat and got himself caught; Narraway swiped at and missed an accurate delivery. Robinson was bowled too; and Ambler had got four wickets for round about 20 runs.

When Vollans also got out to a queer stroke in Ludlam’s second bowling spell Denaby were on the run. The eighth wicket fell at 96 and Denaby stock was about as low as it could be. But then came the supposed rabbits to prolong the innings for the better part of another hour. The Mexborough bowling appeared to lose its sting. Four men did nearly all the work in attack till the total was 143 and Mexborough’s splendidly-won advantage had practically slipped away. Then Herbert Garner was given a trial and in his second over brought to an end the defiant last-wicket partnership – which added to the total the 25 runs that made Denaby pretty well safe.

Hart was not used at all. The last two wickets cost Mexborough 55 runs and so much time that a win was put of out the question. Ambler (4 for 35) had the best bowling return, but Pearce (3 for 33) deserved better than he got. His first spell of 16 overs gained him 2 wickets for 15 runs.

Ludlam’s 2 wickets cost 50 runs in 28 overs. The fielding was very good.

Though the match seemed foredoomed to indecision, the brisk opening of the Mexborough innings brought hope, for a few minutes, of sport. Kilner and Brown opened briskly, and even when Brown was bowled by Larke, Kilner and Hart went all out for runs. They scored easily from Higgins and were more respectful to Larke. But when Hart fell to the latter Mexborough gave it up. That was natural – but the play for the next 80 minutes or so was dreary. Run-getting became incidental and the moral of the story is that Mexborough lost seven wickets by that method of ”match-saving.” Oh! For the days when the only way to ”save” a match is to win it! We have seen Denaby and Mexborough cricketers score 150 runs well inside two hours – and lose fewer wickets that way.

Under such circumstances the Denaby bowlers’ figures are not to be taken too seriously – though the credit is theirs for the activity in a time of ”masterly inactivity.” Larke took 4 for 21, Shootsmith 3 for 19, and Robinson one for none.