Magnificent Dan Smith in seventh heaven
Brewood’s Dan Smith had the Fordhouses batsmen scurrying back to the pavilion and club officials running for the record books at the weekend.
The left-arm paceman produced an unplayable spell of high-class bowling that earned him remarkable figures of 7-4 from 10.4 overs in the South Staffs County League Premier Division clash.
New-ball partner Tim Maxfield claimed the other three wickets as Fordhouses were blown away for 31 in reply to Brewood’s 118, which saw Greg Clarke top score with an unbeaten 41.
And now club officials are digging deep into the club’s records to see if Smith’s spell is a Brewood best.
Skipper Richard Bradford missed the carnage due to a holiday but is pleased to see his winter recruitment reap early rewards with Smith and Maxfield quickly establishing themselves as a new-ball pair to be feared having picked up a combined 29 wickets in four games.
“Dan has got the potential to do something like that, but I haven’t seen those sort of figures before,” said Bradford.
“Club officials are trying to find out if it’s a record. They are certainly the best figures I have seen in eight years at Brewood.
“By all accounts Tim bowled a good spell with a number of unplayable balls at the other end. It’s encouraging to see them bowling so well. The plan for the season was to have an aggressive attack. If you have got a good bowling attack it helps take some of the pressure off the batters.”
After chalking up an 87-run success, Bradford, who returns for Saturday’s trip to Wombourne, is looking for his side to find some consistency.
“We need to start putting two or three good results together and not fall into the trap of win one, lose one,” added Bradford.
“It will be a tough game Saturday because Wombourne are top of league and have some good players. But the spirit in our team is good and it should be a good contest.”
Wombourne maintained their impressive start after coming out on top a low-scoring thriller at Lichfield.
In a match reduced to 41-overs per side, Wombourne fell for 119 in the final over of their innings. Tom Elwell top scored with 30 while Mike Brookes made 26. Andrew Lightbown (4-24) and James Wilkinson (3-40) shone with the ball for the hosts.
Lichfield were easing towards victory at 64-1 with opener Joe Seager contributing 28. But Wombourne spinners Ben Hudson and Basit Zaman then turned the match.
They claimed three wickets each before Australian Liam Ward-Armstrong (3-14) returned to bag two of the last three wickets, including Adam Braddock (27) who was last man out with six runs needed and three balls remaining.