AC Valves travelled to Newton Regis for their annual fixture with Austrey & Newton Regis on Sunday 6th August in a confident mood. Pre-match training had gone well and there was an air of optimism in the AC camp after last years’ historic victory.
It was a was fine day, slightly overcast, and with a green wicket that was always going to offer assistance to the bowlers. Captain Bev Johncock won the toss and elected to put the home side into bat.
After last years’ defeat, Austrey & Newton Regis had put together a strong batting line up and it was clear from the start that they were intent on regaining the coveted ‘Johncock Trophy’. They finished on 225 – 9 from their allotted overs.
Nathan Conway 2-10, Drew Prescott 2-23 & Luke Beasley 2-28 were the pick of the bowlers. Stefan Stringer took a superb caught & bowled to dismiss the Austrey opener. Dean Findell bowled for a fine spell and was unlucky not to take a wicket.
What followed was a spirited batting performance from AC finishing on 132 all out. Michael Conway top scored with a quick fire 32, ably supported by Josh Straw 18, Mark Conway 15, Harry Flint 13, Drew Prescott 13 and Bev Johncock 10. It was all to no avail, Austrey eventually running out clear winners by 95 runs. Tom Harvey, the Austrey captain was pleased to accept the trophy on behalf of his team.
Special mention should go to Steve Craddock, who risked life and limb, attempting a catch in the field. Needless to say, he failed, collided with Drew Prescott and spent the remainder of the afternoon at Tamworth A & E, receiving urgent medical attention. Fortunately, he made a miraculous recovery and was able to re-join the rest of the team at the Bird in Hand pub for a much-needed drink.
We look forward to the summer of 2018 with eager anticipation, when the 2 sides will once again do battle.