Channon hits an netratining 41 in Tipton St John’s opening game
- Credit: Archant
Tipton’s new season got underway on a damp Sunday afternoon with the annual John McKay memorial match; as usual, two of the club’s vice captains, Jim Bugler and Matt Williamson, led the sides in what was to be a highly competitive and enjoyable battle, writes David Birch.
Bugler’s XI batted first and openers Chris Tubbs and Robin Pickering faced the contrasting demands of wily left arm spinner Dave O’Higgins (yes, he’s still going strong!) and the quicker left armer Joe Birch. Birch bowled Tubbs and Pickering was run out, both for 6, before John Rodgers accounted for the dangerous Steve Shaw (13) with the score on 29, before he could establish himself. Alex Tubbs then took control of the innings and steered his side to 158 before he finally fell to the returning Birch for a powerful but well-paced 72.
Skipper Bugler was trapped lbw by O’Higgins for a breezy 21 but the latter part of the innings was enlivened by a hugely entertaining 41 from Mark Channon which took Bugler’s team to 170 all out from their allotted 30 overs.
Skipper Williamson and Birch led the recovery with a 50 partnership when their side lost openers Keith Collins and Dave Dawson for 17. When Birch retired on 30 and Williamson was bowled by Shaw for 21, the momentum was maintained by new recruit Kevin McMeeking (11), Rodgers (9) and Paul Williamson (18) despite canny bowling from Phil Wright, Shaw, Bugler and Pickering who shared all the wickets between them. Tail-enders Jem Gillham and O’Higgins went relatively quickly with 40 still needed from 4 overs, with only the returning Birch to bat. He did his best to close the gap, passing 50 in the process, but fell to a sharp stumping by Justin Quick off Shaw in the last over with Williamson’s men still 21 runs short.