UTTOXETER seconds’ strong early season form deserted them again at Marchington on Saturday against a strong Rolleston side.
Dave Whitehead won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first on a dry wicket in heavy overhead conditions which should have been ideal for the Town side’s swing bowlers.
However, after only four overs the heavens opened and a deluge of rain delayed play for almost half an hour, leaving the outfield saturated and making bowling challenging with a very wet ball and slippery under foot conditions.
Prior to the break, Dave Hunt had taken an early wicket, caught by Steve Wild at mid-on, but this was to be the Town’s side only success in the first 20 overs as Rolleston progressed without any real difficulty to 85 for the loss of just one wicket.
However, the game changed with the introduction of Tim Powell into the attack from the pavilion end as he sliced through the Rolleston batting line-up, taking seven wickets for 61 runs whilst Rich Stewart (2 for 28) bowled a steady spell from the Town end to restrict Rolleston to a total of 162 all out in the 39th over.
This is the second time that Powell had destroyed a batting line up after his six wickets at Kings Bromley earlier in the season.
The key wickets were those of Dawkins (39) who was well caught by Dave Whitehead at wide mid on and Boddy (38) who smashed an off drive straight at Rich Stewart at mid off.
Uttoxeter’s reply stuttered from the third over when Tom Wheeldon was bowled and then next ball Rich Griffiths was pinned LBW.
Stan Maxwell (35 not out) stood firm and provided the grit and determination that the situation demanded, but the Town side lost too many wickets at the other end in their run chase – although at one point they needed just 40 runs for victory off the last 18 overs with four wickets left.
Dave Whitehead was looking comfortable with Maxwell with the scoreboard ticking over nicely until the introduction of Dawkins into the fray.
Steaming in down the hill he was the quickest bowler that the Town side had encountered for some time as he proceeded to bowl Whitehead, Stewart and Jim Malkin whilst giving away just three runs in the process, ending any hope of victory in just three hostile overs.
Uttoxeter slip to second in the league and will need to regroup quickly to arrest their decline as they entertain Washlands at the Racecourse next Saturday.