Will’s maiden century is highlight of win

Ashford in the Water 186-6 beat Sheffield Esoteric 105 by 81 runs

Ashford welcomed Sheffield Esoteric for the very first time for their opening friendly fixture of the season on a sunny but breezy afternoon.

Batting first, Ashford lost early wickets, but stylish supporting innings from Zac Dann (29), Sam Ellis (11) and Tom Knifton-Smith (25) saw the total gradually accumulate, based around the emerging strokeplay of Will Brocklehurst. Batsmen came and went but Brocklehurst, passing his previous career best score of 70, batted throughout the innings, bringing up his first ever century (100 not out) in the final over, leaving Ashford with a very respectable 186-6 to defend.

In reply, Esoteric set off at a quick rate with 35 on the board after five overs, but, with the departure of Tim Saviders (28) and Sunil Srivata (20), the innings subsided to 105 all out with only Yasir Nanab (32) offering any prolonged resistance.

Captain Jamie Carrington was the pick of the bowlers with 3-4, the other highlight being 11-year-old Ted Rowland’s 1-9 from five overs, taking his first senior wicket for the club.

Longstone League

Ashford in the Water 132-9 beat Darley Dale 114-2

Ashford’s midweek campaign began with a win as they entertained Darley Dale on a bright Wednesday evening.

Winning the toss, Ashford captain Jamie Carrington (41) set about the Darley attack. Julian Henson (12) offered support before Zac Dann (49) played a crucial innings. Darley’s chief wicket-takers were Neil Fennah (3-39) and Jamie Watts (3-40) as Ashford finished on 132.

Darley Dale’s reply was very subdued. Although they kept wickets intact, their slow scoring soon saw the rate rising as Jamie Carrington (four overs for just 14) and Joe Muir (four overs for 31), along with excellent fielding, restricted them.

It wasn’t until the introduction of Rob Ellis (2-34) in the ninth over that Ashford made a breakthrough when Watts (23) was caught. Jacob Hartley (63 not out) batted through the innings, but, left with 52 needed from just 16 balls, the target was too great. A quick 20 not out from Adrian Kershaw ensured Darley received a bonus point, although Ashford ran out comfortable winners by 18 runs.

YDCL Division 5

Sheffield Civil Service 2nd XI 111-3 beat

Ashford in the Water 2nd XI 110)

Ashford travelled to new team Sheffield Civil Service looking to maintain a 100 per cent record, but were soon brought back down to earth with a thump.

Electing to bat, the visitors were immediately one down before Pete McGrath (49), ably supported by Will Knifton-Smith, forged a partnership of 53 for the second wicket.

However, those were the innings’ top scores as Civil Service took wickets steadily to restrict Ashford to just 110. Tom Newsome (4-34) and Steven Horne (3-26) returned the best bowling figures.

Ashford couldn’t match the fast start that the home side had made and the score raced to 29 before Connor Woodworth (1-32) struck to dismiss Mat Horne for 17.

The visitors perhaps sniffed a collapse when Matt Fountain (2-22) took two quick wickets on 79, as Jamie Jewitt (41) went, but Andy Lenard (31 not out) steered the home side to victory in just the 17th over!