An absence of the forecast bad weather, an idyllic forest location, an appearance in the squad from two of the famed Blades Youth policy and a post-match barbecue drew a double-figures away support for the Blades first ever match at Bolton’s Bench.Ashurst won the toss and elected to bat, and despite a quick early run haul bringing 19-0 from the first 2 overs, spirits were high. Great catches from Hunter and Hurst, along with a C&B (and one bowled) for Meering, were evidence that the Blades were fielding well but as Winchester did the previous week, Ashurst picked off anything even slightly hittable and hit it around a very wide boundary. Retirements from a couple of the upper order and Terry bowling his typical miserly stuff slowed the rate to a degree, and Fay H took a wicket in his debut over, matching Fay J’s career wicket haul. But the early half of the innings took its toll and Ashurst closed on 133 for 7.
So a big total but gettable if the Blades set about them early. The first ball was wide, setting Blades on their way to 5-0 from the first, but Farmer was caught in the second. Bright sunshine replaced the black clouds above but the Blades batting was far from golden as wickets tumbled and the groundsman was called on to fit a revolving door to the dressing room. High spots were rare as Ashurst set about the Blades attack, but Underwood’s unbeaten 25, along with a crafted 8 from Whitear J drew enthusiastic applause from the travelling army. The single run to Fay H’s name doesn’t demonstrate the ability he showed whilst at the crease as the Youth showed the senior Blades a thing or two. Lowe and Underwood running a five, complete with rest stop to catch their breath after three, pleased the crowd, as did Ashurst generously declining to run out Hurst who was way out of his crease when Underwood was caught off what proved to be a no-ball. Meering faced out the last three balls and the Blades innings limped home to 72 for 8.
RESULT: ASHURST WIN by 61 runs