Ledbury 1st XI finally got their Flint & Cook Marches League Division Two season underway on Saturday after the inclement weather had affected the start to the season.


Hay-on-Wye were the visitors and they chose to bat first. After a steady start Dan Herbert got the breakthrough with a well disguised slower ball being too good for E Gittoes.

Captain Steve Evans introduced himself and had an immediate impact, bowling the dangerous T Ward first ball. Clive Jones then got through the defence of M Carlisle to leave Hay at 81-3. S Jones and E Cardwell then built a fine partnership together, starting slowly but then increasing the scoring rate before Will Duckworth accounted for C Cardwell with the aid of a fine catch from C Jones. Mark Herbert then got two quick wickets to pull things back for Ledbury, including bowling S Jones for fine 78. Hay-on-Wye finishing on 213-6.

Ledbury got off to a steady start before Jamie Cooper fell for six. This brought the evergreen Maurice Embrey to the wicket and he immediately found his form. Rob Yeoman played his usual consistent innings before he fell for 23.

Kev Smith joined Embrey and they began to build a steady partnership, keeping up with the required run rate. Boundaries came at regular intervals and things looked good for Ledbury. Kev Smith was then bowled by M Carlisle for 37.

Embrey carried on but with Hay gaining a further three wickets, the game was finely balanced. With 12 runs required from the last two overs Maurice Embrey went for the boundary to take Ledbury within touching distance but unfortunately he was well caught by Jones for an outstanding 79.

With the last Ledbury pair of Tony Griffin and Clive Jones at the wicket, they went for the runs but Jones was run out to leave Ledbury on 205.

Ledbury had come agonisingly close but just fell at the final hurdle but there were many positives to take away from this first game and hopefully Ledbury can look forward to a good season.

A special mention must go to head groundsman Clive Jones for preparing such a fine wicket where both sides scored 200-plus after the setback of all the recent weather.