St Austell rue missed chance as champions ease to victory

St Austell rue missed chance as champions ease to victory

Penzance batsman Greg Smith (left) watches St Austell bowler Adam Snowdon (right) deliver the next ball. PICTURE: PAUL WILLIAMS

By Gareth Davies

26th May 2021

Tom Wells proved to be the match winner as his magnificent century led Penzance to a 91-run victory over St Austell at St Clare on Saturday.

Although the margin of defeat for the visitors was sizeable, they performed well, especially in the field, but were left to rue letting Penzance off the hook after the hosts fell to 113-8.

With both teams enjoying fine wins on the opening day, Penzance skipper Greg Smith called correctly at the toss and he opted to bat first. The home innings had reached 16 before Giles Lawrence became the first man to fall for just 10. This brought Jack Paull to the crease and he lasted just three balls before being trapped in front by Liam Watson.

St Austell’s dream start continued with the wicket of Antony Angove to leave Penzance 38-3 and it got even better for Gary Bone’s men with a fourth, rather fortuitous dismissal following shortly after.

With Gary Bone into the attack himself, Wells drove the ball back at the St Austell skipper with a slight deflection sending the ball into the stumps of non-striker Dan Lello. Strong visiting appeals for a run-out saw both umpires confer before the finger was raised and Lello was on his way back to the pavilion.

With St Austell well on top, Smith joined Wells in the middle and they looked to steady a heavily listing Penzance ship. They led a recovery to 85-4 but two quick wickets put St Austell back in control. In the space of two overs, both Smith (21) and Charlie Goldsworthy (0) had been pinned leg before by Lloyd and Adam Snowden respectively, to leave Penzance rocking at 87-6.

Penzance crept over the 100 mark but St Austell soon started to rip into the tail with Jonathan Ludlam the seventh man out – clean bowled by a Snowden delivery that left the home man trapped on his crease. Everything appeared to be going St Austell’s way with Tom Dinnis’ wicket evidence of exactly that as his cut shot, off the bowling of Lloyd, was snared by a stunning low one-handed catch by point fielder Nick Matthews.

The hopes of Penzance posting a competitive total now rested with Wells as the home side were back in trouble at 113-8. Wells, along with Glyn Furnival, then started repairing the earlier damage by keeping the scoreboard ticking over, as St Austell failed to make any further inroads.

The pair passed 150 and Wells himself the half-century mark as St Austell grew frustrated at the inability to take Penzance’s two final wickets. As the overs ticked down, Wells put his foot to the floor, and he brought up a magnificent century which seemed to have swung all the momentum towards Penzance. The final over was also decisive for the hosts as Wells smashed 27, which included three huge sixes, off the bowling of Curtis Dalby, to leave Penzance on 224-8 off their allocation of 50 overs.

The St Austell reply started positively enough with Hugh Parkinson taking six off Dinnis’ first over. However, after just two balls into the second, Lawrence picked up the first Penzance wicket when Parkinson was hit on the pad in front and given out.

The visitors then shot themselves in the foot when Dalby set off for a quick single only to be sent back by David Munn. Sharp fielding saw the ball quickly thrown to wicket-keeper Goldsworthy, who whipped off the bails to leave St Austell struggling at 8-2.

The progress was slow for St Austell and in the 14th over, with just 26 on the scoreboard, Munn appeared to feather a leg-side strangler from Furnival and despite strong home appeals, the St Austell man survived. His let off was only temporary, though, as just two balls later, he was trudging off – bowled by Furnival for just 11.

The St Austell chase then started to fall apart when Matt Ellison horribly miscued a Lawrence delivery to leave the away side at 30-4 after 20 overs. Gary Bone was next man in and along with brother Alex, the pair stopped the flow of St Austell wickets and made it through to 56-4 at drinks. The mid-innings break appeared to come at the wrong time for St Austell as Penzance claimed a fifth visiting wicket off the final ball of the 25th over, when Alex Bone was out for 23 – Ludlam the bowler with Smith taking his second catch of the innings.

Penzance turned the screw with Lloyd lasting just three balls before he was bowled by Ludlam and Lello then entered the attack and took care of Snowden, who also failed to trouble the scorers. Watson came and went for just nine after he looped a catch to Wells at mid-off with Lello picking up his second wicket.

St Austell appeared in danger of failing to reach three figures, but Gary Bone and Matthews put on 39 until the latter chipped the ball to Ludlam to hand Smith a wicket.

The former South African under-19 World Cup star then wrapped up the match when he clean bowled Gus Fosten for just one.