Braintree 1st XI v Easton

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Geoff Eveling bowling v Kelvedon 2.jpeg
Luke Gouldstone Batting v Kelvedon 2.jpeg
Geoff Eveling
Luke Gouldstone
Robbie Spalding Batting v Kelvedon.jpeg
Robbie Spalding

Braintree’s first XI secured their first win of the season by the margin of 3 wickets, away to Kelvedon on Saturday. 

Skipper Chris Leech lost the toss and his counterpart chose to bat first on a typical Kelvedon wicket with a bumpy outfield that looked to have its grass flattened rather than cut. The decision was vindicated as the home side got off to an excellent start as Josh Parsons and Tom Potter took a liking to Braintree’s seam attack putting on 82 runs within the opening 12 overs.

However, with the introduction of Geoff Eveling into the bowling attack Kelvedon found it harder to score runs and Parsons was soon clean bowled for 46. Dan Wheeler joined Potter at the crease, but Eveling quickly demolished his stumps too. Chris Hinks was brought on to bowl in tandem with Eveling and the Kelvedon innings stalled.

Potter became Eveling’s third victim as he was trapped LBW having scored 30 and Hinks bowled Lee Scott for 6 as the home side slumped to 127 for 4 at drinks. The Braintree spin attack had now taken complete control. In frustration Pat Ahern hit out and succeeded in clearing the boundary ropes. He tried again two balls later, but this time was only successful in finding the safe hands of Luke Gouldstone.

In the space of one over, Eveling claimed another three victims as Richard Nunn was adjudged LBW and next ball Tristan Peperell was bowled, Alex Holder survived the hat trick ball but soon offered Matt Kent a simple catch. Hinks finished things off as he dismantled the stumps of both George Curtis and George Pendrigh in the space of four deliveries.

Kelvedon had lost their last 6 wickets for just 6 runs in the space of just 4 overs, as their innings closed on 139. Geoff Eveling returned excellent the figures of 7 for 27 whilst Chris Hinks took 3 for 21. 

In reply Braintree got off to the worst possible as Chris Leech lost his wicket without troubling the scorers when he was caught by Nunn off the bowling of Holding. Dan Chalk playing his first game of the season joined Matt Renvoize at the crease and quickly set about scoring runs. However, having scored 7 he gloved a Holding delivery to Scott behind the stumps.

Renvoize and Chris Hinks got their heads down putting on 21 runs for the third wicket, unfortunately having scored 11 the former was adjudged to have been run out although he looked to be well in his ground. Braintree then completely lost their way as Peperell took 3 quick wickets, Matt Kent (0) was caught and bowled, Geoff Eveling (5) edged the ball to Wheeler in the slips and Hinks (21) was caught in the covers by Wilson. At drinks, the Dolphins had been reduced to 56 for the loss of 6 wickets and another defeat looked on the cards.

Batting further up the order than usual, Robbie Spalding had time to build a score and with Luke Gouldstone at the other end the pair set about restoring Braintree’s innings. Gouldstone ensured that anything pitched on leg stump was flicked round the corner whilst Spalding was happy to push singles, although both cleared the distant boundary ropes on one occasion. When on 29, Spalding got a leading edge and wicket keeper Scott had time to run some 20 yards to take the catch.

Glen Newham joined Gouldstone with the Dolphins still requiring 22 runs for victory. Fortunately, some wayward bowling that resulted in 8 wides, Gouldstone’s straight bat and Newham’s unconventional stroke play saw Braintree reach the winning target with 8 balls to spare. Gouldstone remained unbeaten on 43 with Newham on 8.