South Notts Cricket League: Balderton retain top spot after win over Gedling Colliery
Balderton remain top of the South Notts A with just two games to play, but their captain Tim Clipsham has warned his team mates that it is still all to play for.
Balderton’s first team sit one point ahead of second place Gedling & Sherwood and three points ahead of third place Collingham after their full points win over Gedling Colliery on Saturday.
But Clipsham said you only had to look at the table to realise how close the battle for the title — and promotion — is.
“We have a big game this weekend against Notts Unity,” he said.
“We all know they are bottom of the league but they are not a bad side at all.
“You only have to look at the league to see how close it is.
“There are 16 points between first and sixth and then three points from first to third, so we can only worry about what we are doing and try our best to continue the run we are on.
“Over the last few weeks we have really hit form and we want to keep it going into the final two matches.
“Of course (there was excitement after Saturday’s win), when we found out the others sides around us didn’t match us on points there was a buzz in the dressing room, but like I said, we are taking it one game at a time.
“We will see where we are next week because everybody is beating everybody.”
Balderton won the toss and elected to bat against Gedling, setting a target of 298 for eight from their full 50 overs.
“It was only a little ground and we spoke about 300 runs as a target before we went out to bat because we knew our bowlers would perform,” said Clipsham.
“We set a great total with Ben Ryder at the top who batted exceptionally well and never gave them a chance to take him until he was out.
“He got 100 against them in the first game so it was some effort to do it again.
“He had been scratching around the 20s in previous games but he stepped up when we needed him, especially because Shalith Fernando was out on his second ball.
“That (Fernando’s dismissal) was a bit of a worry because we have batted around him and, at times, he has been the backbone of the side.
“It is never ideal to lose somebody of his quality but we showed that the team doesn’t rely on him and we backed ourselves.
“Me and Ben put on 100, which was a great partnership to get us going, and that really gave Chris Dobbie momentum to go in for the last 15 overs and support from the other end.”
Opener Ben Ryder hit 134 from 164 balls before he was caught by Caleb Mierkalns with most of the hard work done as Balderton sat at 268 for five.
Dobbie continued to build on Ben Ryder’s total and hit 42 from 41 balls, before final efforts from Steven Ryder (14), Alfie Morley (1) and Aaron Charlesworth (9).
There was a wobble early on however, when Chris Morris and Fernando fell with Balderton at 50 for three, but Clipsham (59 from 45 balls) and Ben Ryder put up a partnership of 114.
In reply, Clipsham said it was never in doubt after opener Mierkalns was taken on his 15th ball by Scott Barnsdale.
“When Scott got Caleb (Mierkalns) out it was never in doubt because he is a top Premier League player who had dropped down to help them get into the top five,” he said.
Clipsham praised Ryan Charlesworth (who conceded 45 runs for his two wickets in 12 overs) and his younger sibling Aaron Charlesworth (who conceded 69 runs but took four wickets in 9.5 overs).
“Aaron hadn’t had a wicket for a few weeks, but he came on and got four wickets, which is a credit to him,” said Clipsham.
“He needed a big performance because he showed us what we was all about at the start of the year, but then he had a quiet spell in the middle, so it was a big shout from myself to chuck him in, but I believed in him and he produced the goods so that was a nice feeling.
“Aaron is a very chilled out lad and he doesn’t get fazed by much so I knew he would be ready.
“He bowls quick and he was the man we needed to do something different after the spinners — he was brilliant.”
Tom Shephard also took a wicket for Balderton, while Barnsdale followed up his good start by taking number three James Wade for his second and final wicket of the day.