Walton cling on despite Ireland ton and Brewis five
By Antony Ireland
By Steve Cross
The Llamas welcomed Walton on Thames to St Albans Road on Saturday, with both teams in the lower half of the league and needing a win to get their season back on track during the timed games. It was Walton that won the toss and immediately inserted Reigate to bat first on what looked a green wicket following all the rain that had been around for most of the week.
Srikanth Vuppala & chris mallows opened the batting for Reigate, and got the team off to a quick start with Srikanth in particular playing in his typical aggressive way looking to cut any wide deliveries and hit the Walton skipper Ed Hougasian back over his head for a boundary. Unfortunately, Vuppala (19) looked to play the same shot the following over and it proved his downfall and as he was caught at mid-off which gave Walton there first wicket and left Reigate 25-1.
This brought Simon Brewis to the crease who managed to start to build a partnership with Mallows (8) before he was caught and bowled by the Walton captain. After the fall of second wicket leaving Reigate 45-2, enter the llama skipper Antony Ireland with still plenty to do to get Reigate to any reasonable total, he knew he would have to bat long and get this tricky period. After the loss of a couple of quick wickets S Brewis (18) trapped LBW and Cross (1) bowled, all the pressure was now on the skipper who played brilliantly initially getting through a tough period, and then looking to up the run rate with shots all-around the wicket including a couple of trade mark extra-cover drives.
The Llamas finally declared on 218-8, after 51 overs with skipper Ireland seeing it through to end with a fabulous 107*, well supported with some excellent contributions from William Brewis (27), Jake Pearce (8) and Craig Johnson (8) getting them through to very competitive score and leaving themselves 49 overs to try to bowl Walton out, or so they thought….
After a good performance with the bat lead by the skipper, it was James Brickley and Elliott Lodge that opened the bowling for Reigate as they looked to try and bowl out Walton, and hopefully secure a much needed 24 points! But it was hard going for a large part of the Walton Innings with both openers valuing there wickets and showing little signs they were intending to chase this total down.
Both Brickley (11-0-16-0) and Lodge (14-0-27-2) bowled well in their opening spell but just couldn’t get the break through. They were well supported by Vuppala, Craig Johnson and Wilbur Tiley, but it wasn’t until Reigate introduced Will Brewis that Reigate finally got the break through with Jon Greet out for a well-played 43 caught at cover. There were further contributions from some of Walton top order, but Will Brewis (8-0-36-5) continued to take wickets finally finishing with his first 5 -wicket hall for Reigate 3s and suddenly the llamas thought they might have a chance, especially with both sides getting through there overs quickly.
Walton had gone from being 116-2, to suddenly being 133-5 and with the re-introduction of Lodge who quickly accounted for Matt Bailey & Daniel O’Connell both for ducks it was just a question of whether there was enough time. Then there was a run-out with Walton captain keen to keep the strike, Lodge was quick to gather the ball and return it to the keepers end for Jake Pearce to do the rest. Then with W Tiley coming back, he quickly removed Edward Thorn and with none of the last 4 batsman scoring a run Reigate required one final wicket for victory.
Unfortunately, the last man Clarke supported the Walton skipper Hougasian (20*) well and between them they were negotiate the remaining overs, with Reigate finally getting through 63 overs in return but were unable to get the final wicket they deserved. There were man of match performances from Captain Antony Ireland with his unbeaten hundred and Will Brewis with his 5-wicket Hall. Walton finishing on 171-9, which meant 10 points for Reigate who will play Weybridge next week hoping to continue this good form….