1st XI Match Reports

LOCC vs Shepshed Town 2s 17th September

Loughborough Outwoods ended their season on a positive note, beating Shepshed 2XI by 16 runs.

After losing the toss, Outwoods were asked to bat on 22-yard strip of wet moss. Bowles and Taylor dug in against the dramatically moving new ball and the early scoring was slow. Bowles was dismissed with the score on 23. Taylor (36) began to score a little more freely, but played a horrific shot to leave the score at 46-2. The run rate stagnated as Faull found life harder up the top of the order and Sharma showed no interest after conceding the batting trophy the previous week. Both fell quickly after drinks and so did Maini who chopped onto his stumps. Wobbling at 68 for 5, Easton and Seville built a much-needed partnership and when Seville was dismissed for 36 off 27 balls the score looked healthier. Some classy shots from J Taylor and a few extras lifted the score to 143, which was competitive.

In reply, Outwoods were poor. Weighed down by excessive amounts of cake, Seville was uncharacteristically wayward and Shah also struggled to find any consistency. Shepshed flew to 50-0 in the ninth over, aided in part by lackluster fielding. Shah bizarrely throwing the ball over boundary on an attempted flick back, Bowles going for a catch one handed and Maini running underneath the ball. Faull and J. Taylor were bought on early and exerted some control. Faull made the first breakthrough with an excellent slow ball and Taylor dismissed the other opener. However, Shepshed continued to score well above the asking rate and were 92-2 of 19 overs. Then in his first over of his second spell, Shah ripped the heart out of the visitors’ innings taking 3 quick wickets. One being yet another slip catch, this time the safe pair of hands were that of the Chairman. With the door now open, Seville came back into the attack and with the lemon drizzle finally digested he found his pace and radar to take 4 wickets for just 17 runs in his second spell. To complete the comeback Faull took the final wicket, caught in the gully region.

The final match was indicative of the first XI’s season. Fragilities in the batting apparent throughout the year once again surfaced. However, whereas difficult starts to innings in previous seasons would have resulted in a two-figure score, Outwoods have shown more resilience to scrap to a competitive total this year. The team’s strength remains in its ability to restrict oppositions to low totals. Without doubt if it hadn’t have been for forced inconsistencies in selection due to injuries, religious festivals, shady poker tournaments, dissertations, suit fittings and ‘life engagements’ Outwoods could have finished higher. Despite these frustrations, a final league position of 7th reflects a positive season, which can hopefully be built upon next year.

LOCC vs Loughborough Town 3s CC 9th September

Loughborough Outwoods 1st beat Loughborough Town Under 15s convincingly with a 6-wicket win.

The Outwoods opening bowlers applied the pressure early doors and Seville took 2 wickets bowled and one caught behind by the returning and widened Hanzy Kahn. The run rate was kept well down by the slow bowling of Dave Faull (33-1) and Josh Taylor, who produced a Gibbons like spell of 6-4-5-2. Some late hitting boosted the total, but Shah bought things back under control with 2 late wickets. The juniors finished with a modest 134.

In reply, Bowles and Taylor made a healthy start with an opening partnership of 82. Easton produced 12 overs of eventless umpiring. With the game seemingly in the bag, Taylor (48) was caught long-on off a world class left arm leg spinner. Bowles (24) soon followed and then Sharma stood on his bat as Kahn (10) was stranded half way down the wicket. Not content with running Kahn out, Sharma was soon adjudged short of his ground and the traditional Outwoods wobble was in full swing. What was required was a calm and confident captain and a reliable partner. Fortunately, Easton had been emboldened by his earlier umpiring stint and Maini had no other life engagements to attend. So high was Easton’s confidence, he used his feet twice to hit the ball down the ground and in a more remarkable event Maini lofted the second 6 of his career to bring the game home.

The season closes next week with a home match against Shepshed seniors.

LOCC vs Burbage CC 26th August

Loughborough Outwoods earnt the lion’s share of the points against Burbage, bringing them to the verge of mathematical safety.

On a slow wicket Bowles and Taylor made a solid start with the bat. Bowles did the bulk of the scoring early doors, with Taylor joining the party with a couple of lusty 6s into the football club. With the partnership on 70, Bowles was dismissed LBW just 2 shy of his half century. Taylor soon followed in the same fashion and the rate dropped dramatically. For the following 15 overs the bowling was slow, the running was slow and the scoring was slow; the only thing accelerating was the frequency of Robson’s arm waving, who recurrently pointed out the vacant space over mid-wicket. A flurry of wickets bought Faull to the crease, who bought some impetus to the innings with some intelligent running. This seemed to free Sharma up and the pair suddenly began to pepper the boundary. Both men batted superbly in a partnership that added 100 runs in just over 10 overs and each ended with unbeaten half centuries. Loughborough Outwoods had set a slightly over par 207 for Burbage to chase.

In reply, the Outwoods opening bowlers were fast and probing. Seville was utterly luckless, passing the bat time and time again without finding the edge. It was Shah who made the first breakthrough with a genuine piece of cricket, caught first slip by Easton. Shah followed this up with another wicket, curtsey of Bowles who floated over the turf to take a solid catch wide of mid-off. O. Williams consolidated the Burbage innings and accelerated the scoring with a series of bottom handed shovels. Easton then turned to his slow bowlers and immediately Faull found the off stump to leave Burbage 3 down. On his return Robson was tidy from the other end, but slowly the dangerous Williams began to wrestle the game away from Outwoods. It was the experience of Robson that eventually bought Williams’ downfall. A lovely bit of bowling which dipped and cramped Williams for room, dragged him out of his crease and Taylor whipped the bails off. This opened the door. Another sharp stumping this time off the bowling of Faull and only 4 wickets were needed for victory. Rennie took a nonchalant catch at long off to bring Faull’s wicket haul to 4 and Robson bought another breakthrough. Despite Seville taking the 9th wicket in the penultimate over, Burbage were able to cling on for the losing draw.

Even though Outwoods were denied the win, they scored 20 valuable points, which makes another season in division 4 almost guaranteed.

LOCC vs Newbold Verdon 12th August 2017

Loughborough Outwoods 1s XI earnt a vital 25 points, beating Newbold Verdon for the second time this season.

Easton won a vital toss and elected to bowl on a carpet of fresh, fluorescent moss. Shah made the early breakthrough, getting a ball to jag back viciously onto the inside edge and onto off stump. At the other end Faull was beating the bat regularly with some fast-away swing bowling. But it was Shah who took the second wicket caught point by Sharma. Runs were extremely hard to come by, especially as Faull intelligently dropped his pace. Faull’s acumen was rewarded by three quick wickets, one ball pitching middle and taking the top of off. Newbold were reeling at 50-5 and realised that cricket was the wrong sport to be playing on the moss. Therefore, the two batsmen went after every ball, attacking with a series of lusty forehands over cow corner and mid-off. Gala and Seville were the unfortunate servers and their figures took a hammering in a blistering 6 overs, which saw the score accelerate rapidly towards 100. Recognising that top of off stump bowling was no longer required, Easton turned to Rennie. He immediately produced an over of 2 wides, a no ball and 2 wickets. The final 3 wickers fell quickly, one to Rennie and 2 for Seville. Taylor flying one handed to his left to finish off the innings. Newbold had been bowled out for 111 within 30 overs.

The chase started poorly as the Outwoods top order failed to learn the lesson of the first innings and Bowles, Easton and Taylor all fell trying to play proper cricket. However, Sharma and Gala were a class above, Sharma unleashing his trademark drives and Gala using his feet to rotate the strike. Just as things started to look comfortable Sharma edged behind. The pattern for following 10 overs was set; Gala taking a single of the first ball of the over and Palmer prodding tentatively forward for survival. Nevertheless, the partnership was effective bringing the total slowly but surely within sight. Once again with the dressing room just about settling down, the vital wicket of Gala fell. Faull soon followed to a moment of madness, brainlessly taking on the mid-off fielder and getting run out. So, with 20 required and 7 wickets down, Crowson walked to the crease. With the frightening knowledge that only Rennie and Shah were left to come, Palmer and Crowson were able to dig out the remaining runs and in the 41st over bought the win home.

LOCC vs Grace Dieu 30th July 2017

In the most remarkable game of the season thus far, Loughborough Outwoods emerged the victors against relegation rivals Grace Dieu CC.

Stand in captain B. Taylor elected to bowl on a wet, green wicket, confident his bowlers could apply pressure with line and length bowling. However, Dave Faull had damaged his back coming down to the stairs rushing to get his haircut before the game and consequently the leader of the attack was only able to bowl a series of leg side full tosses. Shah was able to threaten more from the other end and had Jones caught mid-wicket and should have had Murlin but for a horrific drop at mid-off. Despite the breakthrough and perfect bowling conditions, the boundaries continued off a conveyor belt of ordinary overs. The flow of runs was helped by the Outwoods fielders refusing to put their bodies on the line. Taylor turned to his second and more erratic of his Afghan bowlers. Yaseen struggled for control, but he produced a snorter to take out Curran’s middle stump. Nevertheless, at drinks Grace Dieu were in an ominous position of 120-2. Following the break the two Outwoods spinners finally began to exert some pressure. Crowson got the crucial wicket of Murlin (89) by pushing a quicker ball through onto the leg stump. Alex Palmer then took his first wicket in 4 months and the Grace Dieu middle order collapsed. The young Zimbabwean was without doubt the pick of bowlers; he bowled with control and subtle variation to pick up 4 wickets and drag the game back into the balance. Gala and J. Taylor wrapped the innings up with a wicket a piece, meaning Outwoods had bowled Grace Dieu out for 182 in the 41st over. Therefore, Outwoods had gained a potentially crucial 3 extra overs to chase down an over par total.

Bowles made a positive start to run chase with a rare, lusty pull over midwicket. The opening partnership was broken with the score on 39 and the scoring rate slowed as Taylor and Gala dug in against some consistent seam bowling. Gala went just before the drinks break, trapped lbw. This bought Seville to the crease, who fuelled on bbq ribs bought some impetus to the chase. Seville struck the ball cleanly and nailed one ball over square leg, which landed somewhere in Shepshed. The score passed 100 in the 27th over and with only 2 wickets down the chase looked to be going well. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Goodwin managed to get a ball to nip back on Seville to bring his inning of 36 to an end. Not long after Palmer was also bowled and Grace Dieu began to believe.

What followed was the most extraordinary and horrific over of cricket in recent memory. In only his second over, Grace Dieu’s young off spinner tossed up a wide half volley. Faull played about 4 shots, but eventually settled on a bizarre back foot cut and managed to drag ball onto his stumps. Josh Taylor walked out, took guard, played back to a full ball and was bowled. Simon Roadley, walked out, took guard, played back to a full ball and was bowled. The wickets had tumbled so quickly that the next batsman was not ready. Fortunately, Yaseen had had his pads on since 8am and so was sent out into the firing line. Taylor ordered the young man to play forward and block and to ensure there was no confusion mimicked the expected technique. However, with no regard for the situation or his captain’s instructions, Yaseen took a wild swipe and squirted the ball through point. He set off for the first run, turned and called for the second, but the young man hesitated and was left short of his ground, despite a desperate dive. Thus, Outwoods had capitulated from 111-2 to 120-8, with 4 wickets falling for 1 run in an over.

Having watched the carnage from the other end, Taylor was utterly shell shocked and the victory seemed impossible. A rebuild job was required and Taylor and Crowson set about getting forward to the spinner. With some nice singles and the occasional boundary, the partnership began to build. Then with 30 runs required Crowson ran himself out to end a mature innings. With a calm, rational batsmen required, Asad Shah walked out to the crease. Although Taylor had total confidence in Shah, he decided to open his shoulders and he began to pepper the boundary. Going into the 45th over Outwoods needed 12, Taylor hit 2 vital 4’s, then strangely he took a single to expose Shah. Rather predictably Shah wafted at a short wide ball; up went a massive appeal for caught behind, but the umpire was not interested. This sparked some unsavoury scenes, with Grace Dieu players using foul language and making accusations of cheating. Taylor found a fleeting moment of bravery to step between the Grace Dieu captain and the umpire and the handbags came out. It was left to Bowles to calm the situation down and Shah saw out the final ball of the over. Taylor was on strike for the next over with Outwoods only needing 3 to win. He punched the ball into the covers; perhaps due to the chaos in the previous over Taylor set off the single to dismay of his teammates. Not to worry though, the next delivery was tossed up and Shah belted the ball over cow corner to finish the game with a 6.

Taylor had carried his bat for 86 not out, anchoring the innings through the carnage, to lead a fantastic win. The victory was somewhat soured by the unpleasant scenes, but ultimately Outwoods took home a crucial 25 points.

LOCC vs Long Whatton 22nd July 2017

For the second time this season, Loughborough Outwoods were frustrated by the weather against opponents Long Whatton.

Despite heavy rain the previous night, Davey’s hard work had ensured a dry wicket and a pristine outfield, which the away team hoped to exploit batting first. Faull and Shah were spot on with their lengths early doors, beating the edge repeatedly. The inevitable breakthrough was made when Shah got a ball to nip back off the seam to bowl Goodman for 5. Lester and Scoffman consolidated after the early breakthrough, putting together a slow 50 partnership. Due to the dry surface, Taylor opted to bring Crowson into the attack early. The young leg spinner found immediate turn and looked threatening. In the first over after the drinks break, Crowson induced a top edge and Taylor took a simple catch. Crowson then took two more quick wickets, removing the opposition captain with a rare slip catch to finish with impressive figures of 10-3-44-3. From the other end Gala was extremely accurate and took 2 quick wickets. With the clouds beginning to loom, Taylor bought Faull back in to the attack and he immediately trapped Woolley lbw. Sure enough the heavens opened and play was halted with Long Whatton 130-8. After the rains passed, Outwoods took to the field looking to wrap up the innings, however M Lester struck a couple of lusty blows to bring up his 50. Not long after Gala removed Lester, caught long off by Brooks. In the penultimate over, Shah took the final wicket to leave Long Whatton with an under par 151 all out.

Unfortunately, as the players left the field the heavy rains returned and play was eventually abandoned. Outwoods were therefore left frustrated as a good opportunity for win against Long Whatton was once again squandered by the weather. However, due to an excellent bowling performance Outwoods were able to score maximum bowling points, which could prove to be vital come the end of the season.

Stoke Golding vs LOCC 18th July 2017

LOCC were defeated by 3rd placed Stoke Golding in controversial circumstances.

Having conceded the toss, Outwoods were asked to field in perfect bowling conditions. Two words could be used to describe the visitors bowling performance- ‘short’ and ‘wide’. Golding made a solid start, but were fortunate as the umpires denied Gala a close lbw and Brooks a clear stumping. The run rate was very healthy, maintained mostly by cut and pull shots. The first breakthrough was made by the debutant Yaseen, who’s erratic run up and awkward action made life uncomfortable for the Golding batsmen. Palmer offered little threat from the other end, but was able to prevent the run rate from getting away. Josh Taylor took his first wicket for the first team with a sharp one handed caught and bowled and followed the dismissal with a Flintoff style celebration. However, with wickets in hand the final 10 overs bought a flurry of runs and an imposing target of 223 was set.

The reply started poorly as Bowles top edged the ball onto the shoulder of the wicket keeper and it ballooned up to slip. Taylor (56) and Gala (16) counter attacked, scoring freely and putting the opening bowlers under pressure, but Gala’s classy innings was bought to a premature end. Davey (25) played nicely and with Taylor produced a valuable 50 partnership, bringing up the 100 in only the 18th over. Shortly after reaching his 50, Taylor top edged the ball and was caught in the deep, consequently the scoring rate slowed down. Brookes wafted haplessly for 10 overs and could not connect with his trademark cut shot and Davey fell the wrong side of a dubious lbw. Easton (32) and J Taylor (10) played with assurance, but the asking rate was too much. Rennie squandered his promotion to 9, playing a horrendous shot first bowl to get bowled. Morris showed a lot of maturity and calmness on his debut to provide excellent support to Easton. With the draw looking certain disaster struck; a half-muted appeal for lbw prompted the umpire to inexplicably raise his finger and Easton had to be dragged from the field with his team 9 down and just over 3 overs to survive. Unfortunately, no one had explained the draw system to Yaseen and he carelessly swung his bat with youthful exuberance and he scored 14 of the penultimate over. Finally, Morris was bowled at the start of the final over and his brave innings was bought to a cruel end and Stoke Golding took the 30 points.

Ultimately this was a result decided by poor umpiring decisions. Nevertheless, Outwoods produced a gutsy performance with the bat, which didn’t yield many points, but gives hope for the remainder of the season.

Burbage vs LOCC 24th June 2017

LOCC 1st XI fell to a second consecutive disappointing defeat, this time at the hands of Burbage.

Losing the toss, LOCC were put into bat by the hosts who had several of their key players returning for a crucial game. LOCC's innings got off to an excellent start, with positive shotplay from Bowles and Taylor. The visitors were in the healthy position of 72-2 before Taylor (36) chipped to mid off. The incoming batsmen struggled to get going and numbers 5-11 scored a feeble 20 between them. Only Sharma displayed any intent during his patient 42. LOCC limped to a seriously below par 127 all out.

LOCC's bowlers struggled to build any pressure as the visitors batted aggressively. Faull bowled brilliantly from his 9 overs with figures of 2-29 and offered LOCC a glimmer of hope but it was ultimately false hope as Burbage cruised to the total for the loss of 2 wickets inside 23 overs.

LOCC host Loughborough Greenfields next week at NSG

Newbold Verdon 2 vs LOCC 1 10th June 2017

Despite being reduced to 10 men, Loughborough Outwoods 1st XI secured a crucial away win at Newbold Verdon.

Easton chose to bowl first, but was dealt a cruel blow when Seville tore is calf in the third over and was unable to continue. However, Shah (8-0-24-2) picked up the baton and made 2 early breakthroughs with the new ball. At the other end, Faull exploited the cross breeze to swing the ball away and made scoring very difficult. Fighting a bout of Benidorm food poisoning, Rennie produced a miserly spell of bowling and was rewarded with figures of 12-2-17-2. A heart racing moment occurred, when Whyte ballooned a ball up in the air off Rennie’s bowling; Taylor did everything right calling for the ball early, but disregarding the keeper’s call Faull raced across the turf and a nasty collision was imminent. Fortunately, Taylor was alert enough to recognise that Faull was in no mood to give up the catch and pulled away at the last second. Sinh (6-1-18-1) looked threatening, bowling quickly with inswing and picked up his first wicket for the first team. Only Kirby (50) provided any resistance. Faull was bought back into the attack and Kirby attempted to chip him over mid-off, but Palmer moved sharply to his right and was able to use his unnaturally long celery fingers to grasp the ball at full stretch. The South African medium pacer, then finished off the innings with three quick wickets, all bowled, to finish with a deserved five wicket haul. Newbold’s had posted a modest total of 107.

The reply was initially slow on the poor wicket. Taylor was able to pick up the scoring with a flurry of boundaries, but Kahn looked frenetic struggling to come to terms with English village conditions. Wickets fell at regular intervals, some due to poor shot selection others to low bounce. However, Taylor (71 not out) was able to reign in the temptation to go after some indifferent spin bowling and played sensibly to slowly bring the total into view. Eventually, the chase was complete with the loss of 6 wickets.

Ashby Hastings 1 vs LOCC 1 3rd June 2017

Following their convincing win last weekend, LOCC 1sts faced an altogether more difficult task in high-flyers Ashby Hastings who have a 100% win record this year aside from their rain-affected fixture. After winning the toss, Hastings skipper Yates put LOCC into bat.

After losing the early wicket of Khan, Outwoods mounted a pugnacious response with B Taylor (19) and Davey (33) showing little respect to the bowling. However some excellent bowling from openers Davis and Lewis saw Outwoods fall from a promising 69-3 to 104-9 with only the enterprising shot-play of Sinh to celebrate. A steady 12-over partnership from Palmer and Easton frustrated the home side but did little more than that and after some questionable shot selection from the captain, LOCC were bowled out for 120 from 43 overs.

Having only lost 9 wickets in the entirety of their season, LOCC's task in the field was a mountainous one. Otherwise used to mountainous environments from his time in the Swiss Under-19 squad, Sinh struggled to find rhythm as did Faull from the other end and the visitors milked the runs with ease. A brief cameo from Easton broke the deadlock before an incisive spell (7.4-1-35-2) from Palmer, and some sharp fielding from J Taylor gave a glimmer of hope to an otherwise lost Outwoods cause. LOCC stuck at their task manfully however and refused to give up without a fight with a mature spell of bowling from J Taylor showing the future is bright.

Ultimately however, LOCC came up against an all-round better side and come away from an arduous day with 3 points to their name. LOCC are still sitting in mid-table ahead of their away trip to Newbold Verdon next week.

LOCC 1 vs Grace Dieu Park 27th May 2017

After the weather frustrated a winning charge last week, LOCC 1st team were eager to put some points on the board against Grace Dieu. Easton won the toss and with the threat of rain later in the day, opted to send the visitors into bat on a flat but mossy track.

Runs were extremely hard to come by as Seville (into the gale force wind) and Shah bowled good opening spells. Shah (6-1-11-1) made the inevitable breakthrough trapping Bowley LBW. The early pressure began to bear fruit and the second wicket came from Faull, who produced an uncharacteristically alert piece of work to affect a run out. Bowling from his preferred end, the South African medium paced bowler produced 2 unplayable knee-high Yorkers and a LBW to end with figures of (7-3-9-3). Rennie served up a half volley first ball of his spell and it was duly hit straight to Palmer who atoned for his earlier drop. He continued to bowl accurately and finished with 3 wickets (8-4-8-3). Easton showed his killer instinct, bringing Seville back into the attack. With his trousers flapping in the wind like tents, Seville delivered two unplayable balls to wrap up the Grace Dieu innings, all out for 51.

Outwoods made a solid start to the modest run chase, until the unfortunate Kahn was caught down the leg side. Davey struck a few nice boundaries, which raced over his freshly mown outfield, but he fell to a misbehaving ball. Seville was visibly dismayed having being dubiously given LBW a few overs later and Bowles was yorked the very next ball. At the other end, Taylor was content to remove all risk from his play and finish not out, allowing extras to do the scoring. The skipper fell with the total in sight, leaving Faull to finish the job with a boundary.

Although the chase was far from fluent, Outwoods were delighted with their excellent bowling display. Their bowling unit is looking ever more cohesive and threatening and is being backed up well by the fielding, which will continue to improve with regular training. Stiffer tests are sure to come, but a crucial 25 points were won.

LOCC 1 vs Stoke Golding 13th May 2017

Yesterday, saw the arrival of newly promoted Stoke Golding to the NSG. Stoke won the toss and elected to bat.

Seville (11-14-17-3) and Shah (11-2-50-1) made an aggressive and probing start, keeping runs down and making life hard for the openers. Both deserved more from their opening spells, but Shah made the eventual breakthrough trapping the opener plum in front, leaving the umpire no choice but to raise his finger. However, as the innings progressed runs began flow. Faull struggled with his length bowling into the wind, but wickets at crucial times from Rennie (11-1-43-3) at the other end kept the total from running away. Nevertheless, entering the last 15 overs an imposing score in excess of 200 looked highly likely. A short burst of pace from Shah bought Easton some control. Then swapping ends and bowing with the wind at his back, Faull produced a master class in death bowling, targeting the base of the stumps with deadly accuracy and devastating late in swing he finished with figures of 12-4-46-3. Seville was equally skilful from the other end and picked up 3 late wickets, which his earlier spell had deserved. With the flurry of late wickets and tight ground fielding, LOCC had come back strongly to restrict the visitors to 170 all out.

The reply with the bat started in the worst possible way, as Khan was dismissed with a leading edge in the first over. The top order struggled against fast inswing and sharp spin and were reduced to 32-4. Taylor (38) provided some resistance, haplessly flailing at wide half volleys and stubbornly refusing to use the middle of his bat. He was assisted with some clean strikes from Davey (16) and Faull (20), but every time a partnership threatened a wicket fell. With the game finely poised at 102 for 6 with 11 overs remaining, just as he was remembering how to use a bat, Taylor top edge the ball and his long stay was over. Faull was bowled the very next ball. With the impressive Ryder on a hat-trick, what was needed was a batsmen with a cool head and solid technique. Rennie strode to the crease. First slip took the catch. The game was all but over. Seville and Shah put on a determined last stand with some powerful hitting, but the final wicket came with the score at 136.

Although the final result was disappointing, LOCC will be heartened by their improved display in the field. Wickets at crucial times, on what was in fairness a difficult wicket to bat on second, was ultimately the difference between the two sides.

The game was played in an excellent spirit and LOCC look forward to the return fixture against Stoke Golding later in the season.

Twycross CC vs LOCC 1sts 6th May 2017

It was very much a case of one man being greater than the LOCC sum of its parts on Saturday, as Twycross's Anthony Ward put in a Man of the Match performance to confine LOCC to a losing draw.

Winning the toss and electing to field, LOCC struggled to make a breakthrough. Seville (12-5-19-1) put in a highly skillful opening spell and engaged in a dogged battle with Ward, whose aggressive shot-play was quelled brilliantly. It was not the same story for the rest of the Outwoods bowlers however as Ward picked them apart to coast to his 120. Partners for Ward were few and far between however, with extras second-top scoring and no other contribution above 25. By the time Ward eventually fell to some sharp stump-work from Khan, the damage was done. Outwoods were set a tricky 225 to win.

Their innings got off to the worst possible start with Butt falling second ball. The wickets of Easton and Khan (who got an unplayable 3-in-100 ball) fell shortly after and LOCC found themselves in the sticky position of 65-4. This brought brethrens Gala and Sharma together at the crease. Some excellent counter-attacking batting from both men especially off the metronomic Machin saw them develop a much-needed partnership of 80. With only 7 an over and with wickets to spare, Outwoods stood a chance. But eventually Gala fell foul of his otherwise faultless strokeplay as he was caught trying to clear mid-off. A supporting cameo role from Seville helped Sharma to 81 before he selflessly fell trying to push LOCC to the 200 mark. Outwoods then had to bat out the remaining 3 overs for a respectable 193-7 and a deserved losing draw.

What was a long day for Outwoods saw them come out of the game with 10 points to Twycross's 18 and leaves them mid-table in Division 4 West.

Thanks to our hosts Twycross CC, they were very welcoming as always and the game was played in good spirit.

LOCC 1sts vs Loughborough Town 3rds 29th April 2017

LOCC 1sts earned a well-deserved victory over Loughborough Town 3rds with an excellent all-round team display.

Losing the toss and being sent out to field, Outwoods made the best possible start with an early breakthrough from Seville. Not to be outdone, Shah responded with two wickets of his own in a display of aggressive fast bowling. A sharp piece of fielding from Palmer to run out Town’s number 3 amidst some chaotic running helped bolster Outwoods’ position with 4 cheap wickets. From their commanding position, Outwoods were then frustrated by a solid partnership which took Town to 98-4. Palmer and Faull toiled with the ball and despite a fantastic spell of attritional bowling from Palmer, Outwoods struggled to make the breakthrough their performance deserved.

However LOCC breathed a sigh of relief when the set batsmen both fell in quick succession bringing a new partnership to the crease. Fenn produced a classy 56 given the circumstances but was removed by Rennie as he looked to push on the scoring. Some miserly death bowling from Easton backed up by consistently high quality fielding helped Outwoods contain the visitors to 131 for 6 from their 45 overs.

Outwoods’ batting display was stuttering but inexorable as they gradually knocked off the runs. A solid 25 from Butt supported by Sharma later (44) got the lion’s share of the runs and some erratic bowling from a young Town side helped the lower order to accelerate to victory with 12 overs to spare.

The disappointment of last week’s result was erased by a good team display with everyone contributing for LOCC, who travel to Twycross next week for a clash which has always proven sticky for them.

Shepshed Town CC 2nds vs LOCC 1sts 22nd April 2017

Loughborough Outwoods CC faught bravely in defeat yesterday away to Shepshed Town 2nds. With several new players playing Outwoods showed the future is bright in their opening fixture.

After being put into bat, Outwoods made a steady start and looked unflustered. The opening stand of 39 included some assured batsmanship and exciting strokeplay from Khan. However, a run out and controversial decision saw Khan and Butt fall in quick succesion. A poor collapse from the middle order thanks to some questionable shot choices saw Faull and Bowles come together at 65-6. A fantastic partnership of 67 between the pair got Outwoods back in it before Faull eventually fell trying to push the score on. Bowles continued to bat aggressively and a helpful contribution from Palmer helped Outwoods to a below-par but defendable total of 164-8 from their 45 overs.

Outwoods’ bowling display showed similar steel. Shah and Seville bowled with pace and quality ending with 2 wickets apiece however Shepshed opener Clapton batted steadily to prove a constant thorn in the Outwoods’ side. His partnership with Pitts took Shepshed to 132-3 and the game looked over. However a wonderful bowling performance from Palmer under pressure gave Outwoods a chance for victory. A flurry of wickets put Shepshed in an awkward position at 148-8 but it was to no avail, as their 9th wicket partnership saw them home with 2 overs to spare.

A resilient and valiant performance from LOCC saw them come close but the travelling side only walked away with 7 points from a game which could have easily gone either way.

John Bowles – 58*

Alex Palmer – 4 wickets

A big thanks to Shepshed Town CC for being welcoming hosts.