Smith leads Ipswich to victory

MEDITE Ipswich indoor cricket teams made the journey to Birmingham to face Cradley Cheetahs and despite a very late change of venue to Stumps managed to come away with two convincing wins.

MEDITE Ipswich indoor cricket teams made the journey to Birmingham to face Cradley Cheetahs and despite a very late change of venue to Stumps managed to come away with two convincing wins.

In the men's A game, Medite Ipswich faced a Cradley side who could give visiting sides a very uncomfortable time.

Ipswich captain Gavin Driver won the toss and elected to bat with a side welcoming back Michael Pitman and Michael Edmond from injury and Chris Norton making his first A team start of the season.

But they were without Ongers brothers, Russell and Sean and Rick Saggers (illness). James Barker (24) and Pitman (13) opened the batting and amassed a very impressive 37 runs without the loss of a single wicket.

Derek Bloomfield (-6) and Driver (15) were unfortunate as Cradley fought hard to get back into the game and could only add nine to the score. Brian Barnard (18) and Mark Smith (25) then restored the Medite Ipswich advantage with Smith scoring with some powerful batting.

Edmond and Norton (22) were charged with the task of completing the innings and all was going well when Edmond twisted his knee and had to be replaced by Bloomfield halfway through the partnership. Despite this, 38 was added to the score and Medite Ipswich had set Cradley an imposing 127 run target.

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Some tight bowling and impressive fielding, including a spectacular one-handed diving catch from Barker, had the hosts in trouble throughout and Medite Ipswich took 17 wickets to leave Cradley on just 83 in reply.

Pick of the bowlers were Edmond (-2) and Smith (5)

This result puts Medite Ipswich top of the league going into Christmas, but reigning champions Stumps of Aston Villa are not far behind.

The two sides meet in Birmingham on the January 5 in a game both sides need to win to enhance the chances of winning the League.

Score: Medite Ipswich 127 Cradley Cheetahs 83

In the men's B game, Medite Ipswich fielded a much changed side with Joey Maskell and John Bartrum unavailable.

With Norton promoted to the A team, Nick Willis, Simon Fielding and Chris Chittock were all able to make their first B team starts of the season.

Medite captain Ian Connell won the toss and invited the hosts to bat. Some very tight bowling and fielding restricted Cradley to just 24 runs in the opening eight overs.

Concentration waned a little for the third pair who added 46 to the home side's total before Medite Ipswich stepped up a gear, taking six wickets in the final four overs to leave the hosts with just 65 runs.

Pick of the bowlers for Medite Ipswich were Chittock (-2) and Andrew Richardson (-1).

This target was never going to be a difficult one. Stephen Bell (15) and Simon Fielding (10) got the visitors off the a solid start. Ian Connell (17) and Chittock (8) continued the good work and at the half way stage Medite Ipswich were just 15 runs short.

John Manning (20) and Richardson (14) pushed the score to well beyond the 66 needed to win before Nick Willis (8) and Gavin Driver (15) finished the job off.

This was a very professional effort by all the Medite Ipswich players who showed effort and commitment throughout and were justly rewarded with a fine win.

Score: Cradley Cheetahs (B) 65 Medite Ipswich (B) 107

In the Masters' game, the Ipswich Warlocks came up against British Open Champions, Midland Rebels in what proved to be a disappointing game for the visitors.

Midland Rebels batted first and the Warlocks struggled to get into the game and conceded 154 runs in the innings. Mark Henson (11) and Simon Fielding (13) led the way with the ball.

Captain Mark Story and Nigel Mellish opened the batting and a solid 31 gave the Warlocks the solid start they needed to challenge.

Henson and Nigel Parmenter added a further 19 to the score as the game began to slip away from the Suffolk side. Steve Bulger and Pete Pearson could only add four to the score and when Simon Fielding and Dave Miller came to the crease they were too far behind to win the match.

The Ipswich Warlocks can take heart that they are currently second in the league but will have to improve when they return to Birmingham for another tough test against the Stumps Masters.

Score: Midland Rebels 154 Ipswich Warlocks 64

Both of the ladies sides suffered at the hands of the Dartford All Blacks.

DVR Ipswich were given a daunting total of 132 runs to chase with Marilyn Wilson and Tracey Hamblin showing how to bowl at such strong opposition.

The ladies opened with captain Cathy Chittock and Sarah Willis who exploited the holes in the Nottingham field to score a highly impressive partnership of 51.

Wilson and Hamblin were then unable to repeat their achievements with the bat, adding just four runs.

Joanna Abbott and Julie Dye found the going equally as tough and with one partnership remaining Ipswich were 72 runs behind.

Roxanne White and Penny Arnold set about the Nottingham bowling with vigour and required 33 runs from the final over to win.

Arnold hit two "7s" in the over and with one ball remaining DVR Ipswich were just seven runs behind. Unfortunately only two were scored.

Against Dartford it was a different story. Chittock once again won the toss and elected to bat.

Chittock herself, and Willis once again opened the batting and put on an impressive 37 runs.

From there however, Dartford stepped up a gear and Marilyn Wilson and Pat Barnes could only add 15 runs to the score. Abbott and Julie Dye added a further 14 runs before White and Tracy Curtis could only take the DVR Ipswich total to 68.

Dartford scored 40 runs in the first partnership and the task grew more difficult.

Dartford passed the Ipswich score in the second partnership and their third pair took full advantage adding 72 runs to the score.

Ipswich fought hard again for the final four overs and took two wickets as Dartford took their total to 188. Dye (16) and Chittock (17), the pick of the bowlers.

Score: DVR Ipswich 68 Dartford All Blacks 188

The other ladies side, the Vixens, suffered even more as Dartford posted a massive score of 246 in reply to a modest target set by the Vixens of 53.

Emma Elsom, however, put in a captain's performance, scoring 28 with Jess Fletcher in the Vixens last partnership and conceding just 12 runs with the ball.

Score: Ipswich Vixens 53 Dartford All Blacks 246

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