Parsons sees Parkend home
n Parkend: (left to right, back row) Sam Horton, Lee Ayres, Mark Moodie, Scott Ayres (vice-captain), Ryan Burris (vice-captain), Timmy Andrew; Josh Middlecote, Charlie Thomas, Luke Aldridge (captain), Arran Parsons and Matthew Aldridge.
Cheltenham/Gloucester/Forest of Dean League Premier Division
Parkend CC 87-8 (38.3 overs) v Forest Exiles CC 85 all out (34.2 overs)
HOSTS Parkend squeezed home with two wickets to spare in a low-scoring derby clash with Lydney’s Forest Exiles.
Three bursts of three quick wickets – for two runs, three runs and one run – saw the visitors skittled out for 84, with four batsman going for a duck.
But Parkend’s path to victory proved perilous, as the Exiles had them teetering at 37-5, and they still needed 12 runs to win with eight wickets down.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man, though, as new batsman Arran Parsons strode in to hit two fours in a swashbuckling 10 to take them through to victory with Charlie Thomas, who finished unbeaten on 17.
Exiles opener Ross Keddle was an early victim in their innings, bowled for a duck by Scott Ayres with only three runs on the board.
Skipper Ross Barnett went next, caught by wicketkeeper Matt Aldridge off the bowling of Tim Andrew for five, before both Curtis Russell (caught Mark Moody, bowled Sam Horton) and Ed Aldridge (bowled Andrew) departed without scoring as the score slipped from 20-1 to 22-4.
Joe Worgan and opener Ben Howells then steadied the ship with a 30-run stand before the former holed out to Aldridge off Andrew for 21.
Cue another rush of wickets as Howells followed for 20 without addition to the score (caught by Parsons off Horton), and Grant Keddle joined him in the pavilion with just three more on the board, caught by Ayres off Moody’s bowling.
Harry Barnett joined Connor Brackpool at the crease to stop the rot with a 26-run stand before the latter was stumped by Aldridge for 15.
But just one more run was added after that, new batsman Reuben Elliott following for a duck, bowled by Lee Ayres, and Brackpool falling to Scott Ayres for 11, leaving Dan Keddle high and dry and the total on 85 all out.
Andrew returned figures of 3-27 off five overs, with Scott Ayres taking 2-10 off 6.2 overs, Horton 2-16 off nine overs, and Luke Ayres 2-13 off three overs, while Moody chipped in with 1-13 off six overs.
Parkend seemingly just needed a steady start to reel in the Exiles’ total, but were two wickets down for just nine runs as Worgan knocked over skipper Luke Aldridge for eight and fellow opener Ryan Burris followed a run later, run out for one.
Keddle then bowled Luke’s brother Matt Aldridge for seven and Brackpool dismissed Andrew for 13 to leave the hosts on 34-4, and they were in deeper trouble with just three more runs on the board as new batsman Josh Middlecote went for two to Keddle.
Lee Ayres and Charlie Thomas slowly brought victory into sight by inching the score on to 69 before the former was run out.
But when new batsman Moody then went for a duck, caught by Barnett off the bowling of Dan Keddle, hosts’ hearts were racing again at 69-7.
There were even more nerves as Scott Ayres then went for four off the bowling of Russell before Parsons and Thomas inched Parkend over the line, the former hitting the winning runs as the hosts finished on 87-8.
Grant Keddle was the pick of the Exiles’ bowlers, taking 2-8 off nine overs.
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