JAMES McCarthy took an amazing SEVEN wickets as Uttoxeter soared into second place in the league after annihilating Rolls Royce by eight wickets on Saturday.
With the Racecourse unavailable due to the evening races and concert, the match was played at Abbotsholme – and Uttoxeter may decide to play all their matches there after a storming win.
They were without captain Michael Skelham, meaning Adam Johnson took charge, won the toss and elected to bowl even though the weather was suited for batting – and this decision certainly paid off.
Uttoxeter welcomed McCarthy into the side for the first time this season, and what a comeback it was.
He opened the bowling with Johnson and the duo were under instructions to keep things tight early on.
In fact, McCarthy’s first over was somewhat of a disaster, starting with 10 extras whilst trying to find his line.
A few overs in and McCarthy was bowling with very good pace, clean bowling the Rolls opener and following it up with an absolutely wonderful in-swinging Yorker to remove the new batsman for a golden duck, again clean bowled.
The two batsman who had profited so well the previous week for the visitors had been removed and Uttoxeter’s tails were up.
Johnson was toiling away at the other end, bowling tightly, restricting the runs and continuing to build the pressure.
Two more McCarthy wickets followed as Tom Hall took a good catch behind and then Johnson took a sharp catch at second slip to remove the next.
Johnson still had not got a wicket and when McCarthy dropped a catch at second slip it did not look as if it was going to be his day, but he started bowling fuller and soon reaped the rewards as Ashley Young took a good catch on the run at cover point.
McCarthy made it five by clean bowling another batsman just before drinks.
Johnson got the next two wickets – both caught – as Steve Wilde took a good catch at mid-off and Gavin Hall snaffled one in the covers.
Uttoxeter’s fielding had been excellent all game, taking all but the one chance.
McCarthy then saw the innings to an end, clean bowling the last two to finish with exceptional figures of 7-25, with Johnson finishing with 3-16.
Rolls Royce had perished for only 49 off only 18.2 overs and had McCarthy to blame for a superb spell of fast bowling.
Uttoxeter openers Tom Hall and Young started off the innings in confident style, with Hall going on the offensive, reaching eight before he was given out LBW.
Young followed quickly for two, caught diving forward in the gully.
It was then left to Mick Hall (20no) who hit four boundaries and Gavin Hall (11no) to see the side home in the 17th over to record a comfortable win.
Uttoxeter achieved their 22 points in record time, which took them to second in the league, only one point behind fellow promoted side Yoxall.
They travel to Lullington Park this Saturday.
UTTOXETER seconds snatched a remarkable victory on saturday afternoon at Rodney Meadows against an unbeaten Hartshorne side who had held the upper hand for most of the game.
Dave Whitehead’s side showed real belief and team ethic to win by 12 runs after being skittled out for just 138 on a flat track in hot sunshine.
Tim Powell was the Town side’s hero as he crashed an invaluable 66 with the bat and then took six Hartshorne wickets for just 35 runs.
Powell came to the wicket to join David Powell-Jones as both openers had been dismissed without scoring.
The pair set about restoring the damage with little alarm, but just as he looked set for a big score, Powell-Jones edged to the keeper off Slater for 29.
That triggered a collapse as the next five wickets fell for just 50 runs, leaving the Town side in some disarray at 94-8.
Sensing the innings may soon be over, Powell set about the home attack, ably supported by Jim Malkin.
The pair added 43 vital runs, with Powell striking two consecutive sixes off Pickering at one point before perishing for a superb 66.
Malkin was then caught behind for a useful 14, bringing the innings to a close after just 31 overs.
Uttoxeter knew they would need to be on top form in the field to take anything from the game, especially after the Hartshorne openers took 25 from the first four overs, before Dave Hunt had dangerman Slater well held at mid-off by Rich Stewart.
The scoreboard then ticked along steadily before Powell was introduced at the Admiral Rodney end, making immediate impact by bowling McGinley.
The home side were still in a strong position at 64-2 at the tea interval.
There must have been something in the tea as Uttoxeter ripped in to their hosts’ batting line up after the break, reducing them to 82-6 thanks to some fine bowling from Powell.
He dismissed Watson, Pickering and Stone in quick succession, superbly supported by an excellent all-round fielding display, personified by three superb catches by Malc Gardener at square leg.
Powell was well supported by Dave Hunt, who bowled a succession of maiden overs and trapped Redfern lbe.
The game was now in the balance and Hartshorne slowly started to rebuild, with Parker and Taylor adding 30 to take the hosts in sight of the line, until Powell-Jones bowled Taylor and Powell bowled Parker, leaving the home side 112-8.
With the field now in a tight ring around the batsmen and runs at a premium, the home side limped to 120 before Powell took his sixth wicket by bowling Gallagher.
And after a lucky edge for four, Powell-Jones wrapped up a thrilling victory by pinning Hibberd leg before.
This maximum point’s victory leaves the Town second string 29 points clear at the top of the division, with their league campaign continuing against Lullington Park at the Racecourse on Saturday.