In a rain affected match at Days Park, Ryan Norman's team managed 192/9 batting first against Wimborne and Colehill, the visitors needed 179 in a revised total due to weather interruptions but were comprehensively bowled out for a mere 71. Swanage returned to the top of the division, 3 points clear of rivals Broadstone.
In the first return match of the season Swanage hosted Shroton and completed the double on the newly promoted side. 40 runs from Mike Salmon and good half centuries from Ben Baczala and Ryan Norman gave Swanage a healthy 248/7 total to bowl at. Steve Kent, Mike Hernandez and Pete Richards all grabbed a brace ensuring the visitors were kept at arms length eventually finishing 197/9.
Batting first, Swans 1st XI made what seemed like a below par 181 with Ian Booth's 39 and Ben Baczala's 64 the pick of the batsmen. A very close game went to the wire thanks to the bowling of Mike Hernandez 3/24 and Ryan Norman 4/31 with Dorchester winning by 1 wicket.
Sherborne's total of 252 on 17 June looked to be enough with 2 wickets each for Ryan Norman and Mike Hernandez, Rob Hatchard went two better with figures of 4/53. Rob Hatchard then enjoyed a 48no with the bat together with a fine innings by Steve Kent 62 and Francis Kerins 47. 254/9 which gave Swanage a one wicket win.
Swanage batting first made an impressive 275 against fellow table-toppers Broadstone - 24 June. Dan Salmon back in the runs with 60 and an excellent 100 no from Craig Wells as well as a solid Matt Beard 39. Broadstone went to the the last over of the game making 276 and winning by 1 wicket. Mike Wells taking 2/10 Mike Nash returning figures of 1/31 off 8.
The 1st XI extended their lead at the top of the table to 25 points after chasing down Martinstown’s 265 to secure a 3 wicket away win. This was, however, a fluctuating game with Pete Richards and Ryan Norman making quick inroads to leave the home side on 44-3. However Fraser Hill (95) then enjoyed some solid partnerships lower down the order whilst the Swans struggled to bowl a consistent line with 41 wides testing the agility and patience of Phil Eades behind the stumps. Wickets however continued to fall with the returning Ricky King (2-56) and Matt Beard (2-39) complementing the efforts of Ryan Norman (2-36) and Pete Richards (2-29) to eventually dismiss the home side in the 45th over.
The Swans reply started poorly and at 39-3 much relied upon a composed innings from Ricky King (46) to steady the ship. Such was Ricky's fluency in his first knock for 9 months his dismissal came as a bit of a surprise and his departure was quickly followed by Simon Goldsack to leave the Swans on 120-5 and relying on all rounders Pete Richards and skipper Ryan Norman to get them back on track. Pete (62) then showed his wonderful composure to score his maiden premiership 50 as the Martinstown’s bowlers began to serve up their own host of wides. But Pete’s departure at 179-6 still meant there was much to do and with the run rate creeping up to 7’s Ryan Norman found a further ally in Steve Kent (22) to take the score to 222-7. With pressure mounting Matt Beard (9*) joined the fray and the key moment of the match soon followed when Martinstown dropped Ryan Norman with some 30 runs still required. It was one of those chances when the inevitable seemed inevitable and the next batsman in (Wells) was already on his way with the ball in the air before he happily span around to return to his seat. In reality Ryan deserved this element of good fortune as he had batted very sensibly and with great restraint on arriving at 120-5 before striking several lusty blows over the ropes towards the finish to end on 65 not out. A true captains knock and a wonderful team effort.
"5* Swans' move 13 points clear at the top of the Premier Division"
Swanage made it an incredible 5 wins out of 5 with a convincing 57 run victory over Stalbridge at Days Park last weekend.
After being asked to bat first by the visitors, the hosts were soon on the 'back-foot' against some very hostile, seam bowling. The innings was rescued by 2 very contrasting 'knocks' from Rob Hatchard - who made a very solid 24 and Tom Salmon who 'smashed' a quick-fire 25. However, when they both fell in quick succession the hosts were in the very precarious position of 117-6. At this time, 'star' Aussie all-rounder - Steve Kent came to the crease and batted brilliantly, combining sound defence with some fierce straight drives. He made an excellent 29 and with some great support from both Phil Eades and Mike Nash they enabled the hosts to reach a more respectable total of 174.
In reply, the visitors were soon under pressure against some good bowling by Hatchard and Ryan Norman. However, the game changed in the hosts favour with the introduction of leg-spinner Kent - who was simply unplayable, taking 4 wickets for just 16 runs from his allotted 10 overs reducing the visitors from the serene position of 47-2 to 81-7. He was ably supported by both Pete Richards and Nash. This enabled Swanage to record another memorable win and consolidate their position at the top-of-the-table.
Shillingstone - Home- Swanage 126/2 won by 8 wickets
Swanage 1st team's perfect start to the season continued with a comprehensive 9-wicket win over lowly Shillingstone at Days Park. Swanage won the toss and elected to bowl first to make use of the helpful, overcast conditions. The visitor's were soon under intense pressure from he hosts opening pair of Rob Hatchard & Ryan Norman. This intensity was maintained by Ian Booth, Steve Kent and Mike Nash - who all bowled beautifully. However, the stand-out performer for the fourth game in-a-row was Pete Richards - who is currently the leading wicket-taker in the Division. He bowled another incredible spell of hostile, swing bowling to claim his second four-wicket haul of the season to help 'shoot-out' the visitors for just 126.
In reply, Swanage got-off to a solid start by John Lewis and Francs Kerins together they put on 40 for the first wicket. When Lewis fell, Kerins was joined by Booth - who was at his most fluent best, striking the ball to all corners of the ground. He finished unbeaten on 59 - which included 8 boundaries and Kerins also played superbly remaining undefeated on 44. This convincing victory along with Broadstone's reversal means that Swanage are the only undefeated side left in the league with an 11-point lead.
Wimborne - Away - Swanage 186/7 won by 3 wickets
The 1st XI travelled to Wimborne and won a very important toss and elected to bowl first in overcast conditions following the rain. The hosts were soon under pressure against some brilliant, economial bowling by Ian Booth, Steve Kent & Pete Richards - they helped reduce the hosts to just 115-3 off 37 overs. However, with wickets in hand, the hosts managed to 'smash' 70 runs off their final 8 overs to reach a more respectable 185-5 off their allotted 45 overs.
In reply, Swanage were soon in trouble as both their openers were dismissed early leaving them 'reeling' at 7-2. However, this led to a crucial partnership of 92 between club legend - Ian Booth and the in-form Ben Baczala. Although, when they both fell in quick succession for 41 and 42 respectively the game was 'back-in-the-balance'. This bought Richards to the wicket and for the third match in-a-row he played a perfectly-timed innings - making 49, with both remarkable composure and incredible stroke-play - including 3 'huge' straight sixes to lead Swanage to an amazing hat-trick of victories by 3 wickets. This puts Swanage joint-top of the Premier Division.
Poole Town - Home - Swanage 216/5 won by 5 wickets
Swanage 1stXI played host to one of the 'favourites' for the Premier Division title Poole Town.
Swans' captain, Ryan Norman won the toss and elected to bowl. Swans' opening pair of Norman and Rob Harchard along with the in-form Pete Richards and Elliott Baczala all bowled brilliantly to help restrict the visitors to 161-4 off 39 overs, however, with wickets 'in-hand' Poole would have felt they had the 'platform' for a big score. At this point, Norman returned and together with the introduction of leg-spinner - Steve Kent, they both managed to claim a 'brace' of wickets to help restrict the visitors to a slightly below-par score of 215-8 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Swans got off to the perfect 'solid' start through their opening-pair of Craig Wells and Francis Kerins together they put-on 46 at 4 runs an over. When Kerins departed, Wells was joined by Ben Baczala together they doubled the score to leave Swans' in a good position in their pursuit of the total, at this point, Wells was brilliantly caught in the covers for 31. The momentum of the innings was maintained by Baczala and Hatchard, who together took the score to 142 with 13 overs remaining. However, when they both fell in quick succession - Baczala for a magnificently constructed 58 which included 9 boundaries. It was left to 'skipper' Norman to 'smash' a quick-fire 27 and then, Richards, who remained both calm and undefeated on 24 along with Tom Salmon to guide Swans' to a famous victory in the last over by 5 wickets.
Shroton - Away - Swanage 182/6 won by 4 wickets
Shroton got off to a flying-start and laid the perfect foundation for a big score at 70-1 off 10 overs. However, the match changed with both the bowling of Pete Richards and a sensational catch by Mike Nash in the deep. Richards bowled his away-swinger's to devastating effect taking 4 quick wickets - he was unplayable. Together with the returning, Rob Hatchard - who also took a brace of wickets reducing the hosts to 139-8. However, some 'big-hitting' by the lower order ensured that the hosts reached a more respectable total of 181.
In reply, Swanage got-off to a solid start through Matt Thomas. However, when he departed Swanage lost 3 wickets in quick succession and were in trouble. Ryan Norman swung a fluctuating game back in Swanage's favour with a quick fire innings, although, when he was brilliantly caught Swanage were reeling at 105-6. All-rounder, Richards joined Hatchard at this crucial time and they both batted brilliantly together, mixing solid defence with some thunderous front-foot drives. They remained undefeated with Richards making 46 and Hatchard 33 guiding Swanage to an invaluable early-season victory.
Swanage 2nd XI consolidated their position at the top of their division with a convincing defeat of Broadstone at Days Park. Cameron Beard continued his good form with a solid 53 and with 30+ runs from T Salmon, M Wells and P Baczala, the home side posted 226. 4 Wickets from Matt Dunster, 2 from Charlie Dyke and a spell of 5 overs for 6 runs from Mike Nash meant the visitors could never get any headway, eventually all out for 104.
Tim Ive's team travelled to the distant Marnhull ground with stand in captain Ronnie Barker at the helm. Winning an important toss, it was the home side who were asked to field in the humid conditions. Despite early dismissals, an electric partnership between Tom Salmon 118 and Cameron Beard 83 gave Swanage a more than average 288 head start.
Taking to the field, two great pieces of fielding from Sam Wilcocks and Tom Salmon stunned the home side whose lost two important wickets to incredible run-outs. Chasing such a score Marnhull were forced to take chances against quality bowling from C and Jack McDermott. Sam Wilcocks completed his day with a 3 wicket maiden, the home side all out for 75.
After a few weeks off the second team returned to action away to Portland. Batting first the home side made good headway and a big total looked likely but the Swanage bowlers stuck to their task well keeping Portland to 244/6. Jack McDermott bowled some unplayable deliveries in a very disciplined spell, supported by the ever improving Matt Dunster. Mike Nash deserved more than his 2 wkts with his usual accuracy well supported by Tom Salmon. John Lewis opened the batting for Swanage with Tom Salmon and both made an even better start than the home side but some rusty batting in the middle order meant the total always remained just out of grasp, Swanage coming up short by 12 runs despite an excellent 70no by Pete Baczala.
Withchampton - Home - Swanage 210/6 - won by 1 run
Another heart stopping affair for Tim Ive's with his mix of youth and veterans at Days Park. Opening pair P Norman and S Orchard struggled to take control in a fairly even contest against some accurate bowling from the visitors. Their doggedness started to wear down the opposition eventually and, despite the loss of Orchard for 37 just before drinks, Swanage always looked like making a reasonable total. Paul Norman once again avoided umpiring with his 103 no.
The second half of the contest made for some exciting cricket, with Swanage bowling and fielding well and it appeared it would be an early finish with Witchampton losing two wickets in the first few overs. The visitors stuck to their task well however keeping themselves within sight of the total and slowly an unlikely victory was on the cards. 30 runs required to win with 4 overs to go, a close stumping decision goes against the home side follwed by a big six into the Grammar School grounds and it's now Witchampton's to lose. Matt Dunster bowls a fine penultimate over under enormous pressue but there is still only 6 required off the last. Paul Yerby, with the last over of a long day, bowls 2 dot balls gets a wicket and leaves the vistors needing three to win off the last. The batsmen plays a good clip through to mid-wicket and runs one only for Scott Orchard to field and, unable to make ground before the bails are removed, Witchampton come up one run short.
Credit to both sides for the excitng finish and sportsmanship thoughout.
Martinstown - Away - Swanage 242/7 - won by 83 runs
After a week's break, Tim Ive's 2nd XI resumed winning ways against a youthful Martinstown side. Batting first, Swanage rarely looked in trouble with an excellent 74 from big hitting Scott Orchard who was helped along by Paul Norman 63. Orchard eventually fell to a solid spell of leg-spin bowling followed shortly afterwards by Norman who had to retire hurt. Geoff Willcocks continued the fight with a quick 36 allowing Swanage to reach 242.
Charlie Dyke 2/34, Sam Willcocks 3/38 and David Haines 3/14 combined to dismiss the home side, some way short of the total. Another good team performance epitomised by captain Tim Ives's youthful and athletic fielding.
Blandford - Home - Swanage 175/4 - won by 69 runs
A quick rain shower before the game and a strong bowling attack made it an important toss to win on paper, sadly stand-in captain P Norman got the wrong side of the coin and his team found themselves batting against a determined bowling attack. An early dismissal brought Elliot Baczala (49) to the crease with "Uncle Pete" (66), who both played excellent innings taking the home side to a respectible 175/4.
Blandford got off to a flying start, despite the distraction of Elliot's wardrobe failures, and were cruising on 49 before an inspired piece of fielding from Chris Woods forced the breakthrough. This set the tone for the day with Swanage fielding aggressively and fighting back well, taking chances as they arose. The Blandford batsmen, despite their good initial session, suddenly felt the full force of the Mike Wells (4/19) and Pete Barker (3/20) bowling team. The innings ended as spritely as it began with the visitors all out for 106.
An excellent performance by the whole team with both young and old pulling together in typical Swanage fashion. Special mention for the application in the field of Matt Dunster with excellent bowling pressure from C Dyke and J McDermott topped off with some fine catches from Sam Willcocks.
Broadstone - Away - Swanage 205/6 - won by 4 runs
A tense affair for the Swans who battled well for their 200+ runs on a difficult wicket against some good bowling. An early dismissal forced some consolidation in the batting but it wasn't long before no 3 Scott Orchard got out of the blocks and swung the game in Swanage's favour with a powerful 69. Broadstone fought back after Orchard nicked his own bails and it was left to Geoff Willcocks and opener Paul Norman to continue the fight. Willcocks played some excellent leg-side shots but fell to an excellent off-spin delivery. Norman eventually ran himself out on 55 after a considerable stint at the crease, which unleashed Peter Barker and stand-in skipper Dessie Haines who smashed some quick boundaries taking the visitors to a respectible 205/6.
Jack McDermott opened the bowling with a great spell of seam bowling forcing the home side to batten down the hatches. The Broadstone batsmen did get some help at times with the Swanage bowlers feeding their leg side preferences but an excellent spell by veteran Dave Morton 3/20 kept the required run rate at a healthy level. Some indifferent fielding though meant the home side were never out of touch and it was left to Peter Barker to bowl the last over with Broadstone requiring 10 to win. Pistol showed his class and with two final dot balls the game was up.
A special mention to Geoff Willcocks for his application, setting a fine example with his much needed athleticism and aggression in the field.
Marnhull - Home - Swanage 258/5 won by 49 runs
New captain Tim Ives elected to bat at a humid Day's Park with openers Peter Baczala and Paul Norman facing a variety of spin and seam bowling. The opening pair batted well and were both still at the crease after 25 overs with 125 on the board. Baczala got a feint edge and was taken sharply by the visiting keeper, an excellent 56 run innings. Scott Orchard came to the crease and quickly added to the total with some powerful shots before being caught in the deep which allowed Charlie Dyke to partner Norman and see Swanage to an excellent 258 total. Dyke (35no) batted with confidence and timed the ball very well on his first outing of the season, Norman made 100(no) with two balls to spare.
Ive's young bowlers faced a stern test against some experienced Marnhull batsmen, who looked to chase down the big runs form the beginning. Some excellent spells from Charlie Dyke, Matt Dunster and Sam Willcocks ensured the total was never in danger together with some agggressive fielding from the entire side.
Geoff Willcocks made some excellent stops behind the sticks with equal praise due to Dr Haine's for his 3 wickets including two athletic C+B.