22 May 2024

A perfect end to 2022 for the Firsts

A Bob Eldon-Smith unbeaten century and a Danny Collinson five-for (including a hat-trick) rounded off a fine finish to the 2022 season as Patrington defeated Brandesburton by 132 runs.

It was a wonderful day at Southside as the season came to a close with Patrington finishing top of the pile, 26 points ahead of Woodhouse Grange, registering 19 wins from 22 games.

As per usual, first-team captain Ashley McKinley lost yet another toss, making it roughly 16 lost tosses for the season! But surprisingly the away side opted to bowl first on a warm, muggy day at Southside. Despite plenty of midweek and overnight rain the pitch was dry, although the square and outfield was slightly softer than it has been this unbelievably dry summer.

The Brandesburton opening bowlers made it tough for Patrington’s top order. Dan Broumpton and Henry Brown made early in-roads, and the introduction of spin early into the attack saw the home side reduced to 57-4, as slow left-armer Sam Morris (4-47) provided a constant threat in his 13 overs.

As has been a feature of the season, the Patrington middle order showed great resolve and led a recovery, epitomised once again by left-hander Bob Eldon-Smith. Going under the radar in the early part of the season, Bob has progressed up the order from starting the season at number eight to now finding himself number five on the back of some key contributions.

Today would be no different – described as nuggetty and gritty, the batsman showed all of his determination in a fine innings. Eldon-Smith was provided excellent support, firstly from Ben Butler (32) as the pair added 78 for the fifth wicket, before Curtis McElwee (25) dominated a partnership of 34 as he hit three maximums in his 25-ball stay at the crease.

Billy Ineson added a quickfire 12, as Patrington reached 193-7 and still not home and hosed in terms of setting a formidable first innings total. Eldon- Smith, having moved into the 70s, was now joined by number nine Grant Van Es (30*) as the pair added a match-defining 64 from the final 10 overs for the eight wicket, Van Es hitting three fours and one six in his 41-ball knock.

But the Patrington innings revolved around the resilient Eldon-Smith. Facing 121 balls he finished 103 not out, hitting 15 fours and the one six in a chanceless knock and an excellent well-deserved century reached as Patrington finished 257 for 7 from their 50 overs.

Happy with their efforts, the home side felt they had enough runs on the board to claim a victory as the wicket had offered assistance for the bowlers if they bowled in the right areas. With the away side having the league’s leading run scorer Dan Broumpton in their ranks it certainly wasn’t a done deal. Patrington made an early breakthrough thanks to Billy Ineson (1-26), but this brought Broumpton to the crease and he was soon into his stride punishing anything remotely loose as the away side flew out of the blocks.

Ian Buss (2-27) was introduced into the attack and struck immediately. He was then joined by Grant Van Es and he too should have had a wicket first ball as he had Broumpton dropped from a simple chance at point. Broumpton (52) reached a quickfire half-century but Van Es removed him shortly after as Connor McKinley claimed his 13th stumping of the season (the highest throughout the leagues) and his 28th victim of the season, finishing second in the league.

Added to this, his 747 runs ensured he finished as the team’s leading run scorer for 2022 in an excellent season for the keeper/batsman. Having found himself at number seven at the start of the season, he too provided numerous telling contributions with the bat as he finished the season in the number four slot.

A second wicket for Van Es (2-43) reduced Brandes to 73-5 and took the left-arm spinner to 47 wickets for the season (second in the division) as he completed another fine season with the ball, taking his wickets at an average of just 14.55, effectively taking the game away from the visitors. Number seven, though, Max Donnell-Ford, was not giving up for his side – some lusty blows and clean striking saw him race to 44 as McKinley now introduced off-spinner Danny Collinson into the attack. He struck with his third ball and fourth to make it 131-7.

With him on a hat-trick, the fielders surrounded the bat in anticipation. Usually, a hat-trick ball is a pretty tame affair. The batsman defends and everybody resumes their usual positions… but sometimes a piece of magic happens.

Delivering a ball that bounced and turned a little, Collinson found the edge of the bat and played into the safe hands of Ian Buss, who claimed a beauty of a catch in short gully, sparking jubilant scenes for the home side. Not quite content with the three wickets, Collinson then took two more without conceding a run to finish with the remarkable figures of 5 for 0 as he wrapped up the game in an instant, and with it he finished as the league’s leading wicket taker with 48 wickets at 15.83 apiece.

It was a great end to what has been one of the greatest seasons in the first team’s history. Five batsmen scoring more than 400 runs, with all-rounder Curtis McElwee not far behind them, hitting 377 runs to go with his 22 wickets, with six bowlers taking more than 19 wickets.

With Jacob Duffill scoring 360 runs and taking an astonishing 25 catches (the highest for any outfielder throughout the divisions), it really has been a team effort that has seen the first XI claim the Division One East title.

McKinley’s men will now take a well-earned rest throughout the winter before they begin their preparations for a 2023 season that will see them ply their trade in the Championship East for the first time in the club’s history – just one league below the top league of the YPLN pyramid.

The first XI would like to say huge thank you to Trinity Jackson, who provided us with excellent teas throughout the season, and to Jacqui for her countless efforts on a matchday in the tearoom and in the shop. Everybody is truly grateful and appreciative for all your hard work throughout 2022._