15th Dec, 2019

Whitehead: Positive atmosphere building at Avoncroft after back-to-back victories

Craig Gibbons 17th May, 2017

AVONCROFT skipper Mark Whitehead feels there is a positive atmosphere starting to surround the club following their second successive Worcestershire County League Division Three victory.

Visiting Himley opted to bat after winning the toss on Saturday but they failed to score an imposing target as they were rushed out for just 118 after 37 overs.

Only opener Scott Ralph (58) put up a fight as Jonathan Hunter (3-52) and Craig Hughes (3-18) grabbed a share of the wickets.

In reply Sam Hughes (15) departed early doors before Whitehead (44) and David Anson (45 not out) hit the remaining runs as Croft reached 119-2 to claim a maximum points victory.

“I was really pleased with the approach we took on Saturday,” Whitehead said.

“We bowled well and it was particularly pleasing to see Paul Athey (2-30) regain some of his accuracy and pace which ultimately helped to remove some of their top order.

“Hunter’s performance with the ball was fantastic and Craig Hughes played exactly the role required to lure the tail end out.

“The atmosphere is good in the club as a whole at the moment and people are enjoying their cricket as well as savouring the victories.

“I would have been extremely disappointed to lose to be honest but ultimately you have to put the performance in and that is what people have done – so I am happy for them.”

Avoncroft have a sterner test this weekend when they entertain Bartestree & Lugwardine who currently sit second after the opening four games of the season.

Opening batsman Matt Hare returns to the line-up on Saturday with Jonty Heslop, who has came up through the club’s youth ranks, will drop to the Seconds.

“Bartestree are one of those who I think we would fancy our chances of bowling out but they have a miserly and effective bowling attack,” said Whitehead.

“Therefore I expect the winners to be the team that can dig in and build partnerships with the bat.

“The only loss they had this season was against Netherton who only had to get 152 runs to win but were made to work hard for it – it took them 41 overs and they were 6 down.”

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