Ipswich's double whammy

IPSWICH made a double winning start to the season when the new National League Indoor Cricket campaign opened.

IPSWICH made a double winning start to the season when the new National League Indoor Cricket campaign opened.

The Ipswich sides entertained the Men's and Master's teams from Derby in last weekend's


In the Men's A League, Medite Ipswich made two changes from the side that reached the final of the British Open.

Stephen Bell and Michael Pitman – recovering from surgery – were replaced with opener James Barker and Brian Barnard.

Ipswich lost the toss and were put into bat with Sean Ongers accompanying Barker first up.

Most Read

They batted solidly throughout, losing two

wickets in their opening stand of 33. Derek Bloomfield and captain Gavin Driver then pushed the score up to 50 at the halfway stage of the innings.

Mark Smith and Barnard added 28 to the score before Russell Ongers and Rick Saggers finished off by adding a further 24 to the Ipswich score to leave Derby with a challenging target of 102.

The hosts then set about the Derby opening pair with some tight bowling and were rewarded with three run outs in the opening two overs, before they recovered the score to 20.

Two more run outs and a wicket by Smith left the Derby reply on 43 at the halfway mark.

Sean Ongers then took two wickets with the

opening three balls of the third partnership and with Saggers clean bowling Derby left-hander and Bloomfield getting a stumping and a run out from the last over of the partnership, the visitors were struggling at 50 runs behind with one partnership remaining.

Despite some solid batting, Medite Ipswich took three wickets against the final pair, who put on 30 runs to finish 20 runs short of their target.

The pick of the Medite Ipswich bowlers were Driver (0), Russell Ongers (2) and Bloomfield (4).

The Medite Ipswich B team had a much closer affair against their Derby counterparts.

Ipswich won the toss and invited their guests to bat and after a nervous start the hosts settled down.

John Manning and Stephen Bell took two wickets apiece in the final two overs of the second pair as Derby struggled to 37.

Solid batting in the second half of the innings saw Derby recover and the hosts were set a target of 107 to win the game. The pick of the bowlers were Manning (4), Bell and Chris Norton (1).

Neil Schofield and Bell got off to a shaky start but recovered well to put on 21 for the opening stand.

Manning and Andrew Richardson then batted solidly to add a further 33, putting Medite Ipsiwch on target to win.

With a further 23 added by captain Ian Connell and John Bartrum the contest was heading for a close finish.

Norton and Joey Maskell took control of the early stages of the final partnership before two wickets in four balls handed the initiative back to Derby.

Ipswich needed 13 to win from the final over and with Norton hitting seven from the first ball this target was reduced to six needed from seven balls.

With two balls remaining, the scores were tied. Norton left the first and then scored two from the final ball to win the match.

"I am pleased with the two victories today," said Medite Ipswich manager Brian Barnard.

"The B team showed a fantastic team spirit and worked hard together to get the win that their efforts deserved.

"The A team won without really

getting into top gear which we will need to find in the coming weeks. A bigger test for us all comes in a fortnight when we entertain last season's league runners-up Nottingham.

"They will be strong in both their A and B teams and we know that we will have to perform well."

"With Michael Edmond, Michael Pitman, Chris Bell and Nick Willis still to come back into the squad and those that played in the B team showing that they are prepared to fight for places in the A team, it gives us a really strong platform to build on and challenge for the

championship this season."

In the Master's game, the Ipswich Warlocks were up against a strong Derby outfit including two Indoor Master's internationals and Gloucestershire's Kim Barnett, a former Ipswich player.

Warlocks' captain Mark Storey won the toss and put the visitors into bat.

Ipswich got off to a good start, restricting the visiting opening partnership to just 17 runs. Derby fought back well in the second partnership and after eight overs had recovered to 48.

Ipswich again upped the pressure restricting the visitors to 17 runs in the third pairing before Derby once again recovered with England's Rick Smith and Barnett putting a solid last partnership together to finish the innings with the Derby score on 104.

Nigel Parmenter, the former men's national league player making his Master's debut, was the pick of the Warlocks bowlers.

Storey and Nigel Mellish opened the batting for Ipswich, knowing that a good start was going to be needed if they were going to overcome Derby for the first time in their history.

Storey played a captain's innings and the hosts were on their way with an

opening stand of 35. This was supported well by Mark Henson and Parmenter, who added a further 22 runs to the Ipswich score.

By the time Steve Bulger and Taylor had completed their partnership, the hosts were just 16 runs short of the visitors total. Dave Miller and England's Simon Fielding had the task of scoring the remaining runs and they did this with some ease – adding 39 in the final four overs to win the match.

Warlock's manager Steve Bulger said: "This was a tremendous win, we worked hard in all three disciplines (batting, bowling and fielding) and were justly rewarded with a good win."

The ladies were involved in a derby of a different kind as the DVR Ipswich Ladies met the Ipswich Vixens, in what turned out to be a one-sided affair.

DVR Ipswich Ladies captain Cathy Chittock won the toss and elected to field.

Chittock's side found their form almost immediately and their pressure was rewarded with the Vixens' opening partnership of Gill Morris and Elaine Bulger scoring 13 runs.

The pressure was then increased by the DVR Ladies and rewarded with Tracey Westley and Annette Lennard failing to make headway as halfway through the innings the Vixens had just ten runs on the board.

Tracey Lennard and Debbie Morris then managed to turn things around with a solid partnership of 32 before captain Emma Elsom and Bethan Davies put together an impressive partnership of 45 to finish the Ipswich Vixens' innings with a total score of 87.

Pick of the DVR bowlers were Marilyn Wilson, Tracy Curtis and Tracy Hamblin, who took four wickets apiece.

Chittock and Louise Lovelace set about the Vixens' bowling with some ease to amass an opening stand of 47. This was followed by two further solid and impressive partnerships of 40 by Hamblin and Wilson and 46 from Jo Abbott and Julie Dye.

With the game won, Roxanne White and Curtis were looking to secure maximum points but were only able to add 27 runs to the score.

Tracey Lennard starred with the ball for Vixens with the assistance of mother Annette, who took three catches in the final over.

Chittock was a little disappointed not to have harvested maximum points, but she admitted: "With a good win and six points scored, we have a good, solid base to build on."


Medite Ipswich 102 Derby A 82, Derby B 106 Medite Ipswich B 108, Derby Masters 104 Ipswich Warlocks 127, Ipswich Vixens 87 DVR Ipswich Ladies 170.

Other National League results: Mens A – Stumps of Aston Villa 146 Nottingham Bulldogs 1.

Masters – Stumps of Aston Villa 194 Wilford Wolves 126.

Ladies – Stumps of Aston Villa 62 Nottingham Angels 113.