Prescot & Odyssey frustrated with draw

St Helens Star: Prescot & Odyssey frustrated with draw Prescot & Odyssey frustrated with draw

FOLLOWING nine straight wins Prescot and Odyssey went into this game full of confidence of recording their tenth win in their chase for a third title in five years.

Newburgh CC had been beaten in the opposing fixture earlier in the season and hopes were high of repeat performance.

Skipper Galbraith won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a very good batting track.

Openers Steven Danson and Peter Crookes again got P&O off to a rapid start with 4 boundaries in the opening two overs putting the Newburgh bowlers on the back foot.

Australian Munro had other ideas and struck with the wicket of Danson caught at mid-on.

Kenny Highdale joined Crookes at the crease and the two put on 35 for the 2nd wicket before Crookes was caught at extra cover following a loose shot for 23.

Highdale and Vibhor Jain began making use of the ever improving pitch to put on 59 with some clever batting and expansive shots.

The introduction of Coomber into the attack brought about a middle order wobble with the wicket of Highdale, who looked set for a big score, for 69.

He was followed back to the pavilion 1 ball later by Galbraith who in controversial fashion was also dismissed LBW by Coomber.

Experience batsman Tim groom brought some order to proceedings and he and Jain added 35 before Groom fell disappointingly to a full toss that was scooped to short extra cover with the score on 148.

Adam De Gray Birch added some impetus to the stuttering innings with a quick fire 19 from 8 balls to push the score on close to the magical 175.

When he fell it was left to Holden and Gore to provide some late order entertainment.

They were able to spray the ball to all parts and push the score on to 218 with both remaining unbeaten on 30 and 19 respectively.

With their tails up Prescot began the bowling in impressive fashion with Lawrence Mason leading the line taking his second 5 wicket haul of the season and first 5 wickets of the Newburgh innings with only 42 runs on the board.

Mason ably backed up by Galbraith who took 3 wickets to return figures of 3 for 33 while Mason added a sixth to finish on 6 for 41.

With 20 overs to go and only one wicket remaining the game was surely only heading one way.

Tom Munro and Michael Simpson who had both been demoted down the order to bat out for a draw set their stall out to frustrate the P&O attack, to which they did very successfully.

With the over ticking away and the pitch getting flatter the Prescot attack was rotated with Highdale, Danson, Sodhi and Holden all given short spells to try and bring about a wicket.

Prescot's big chance came via the bowling of Holden.

With numbers around the bat Holden managed to find the one spot on the pitch with any life, bowled a ball which got big on Munro who off the back foot missed the ball, over balanced and some smart work by Gore behind the stumps brought about a huge appeal for a stumping.

To the disbelief of Gore and nearly all the P&O players the umpire declined the appeal and Newburgh managed to hold out for a very negative draw. Prescot did however leave the field with 14 point which allowed them to extend their lead at the top of the table by 5 points due to Hindley St Peters only managing to pick up 9 in their draw with Southport Trinity.

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