By Stephen Lees


Bugle v Gunnislake

GUNNISLAKE cruised to a 72-run win at Bugle on Saturday, but not without a few frights along the way as they were grateful for standout performances from Russ Holloway and Graham “Minty” Murray. 

With the now customary scare about the weather and an early morning pitch inspection, the all clear was given and Gunnislake headed west, to a new venue for the team, nestled in the foothills of the iconic China Clay Country.

Bugle won the toss and asked Gunnislake to bat. A steady start for the visitors began to look rocky as Sam Couchman got among the wickets, leaving Gunnislake on 34-4. 

At the halfway stage Gunnislake had reached a below par 64-4, with all the wickets falling to Couchman. 

Russ Holloway, however, dug in and eventually found good support from Graham Murray. Gradually Holloway found his rhythm, being particularly severe on any bowling off a length. 

The short square boundaries at Bugle were an inviting target and Holloway made the most of them, racking up eight sixes and nine fours. 

Murray was more circumspect, but managed two sixes of his own, stepping across his stumps and lofting the ball over square-leg.

But Bugle’s change bowlers were taking a hammering, as the pace of Gunnislake’s innings increased. 

The score climbed from 64 after 20 overs to 121 after 30. Holloway perished on 97, caught at long-on, but Murray continued the attack, aided by a late cameo from opening bowler Lee Roberts. Murray fell for 42 in the final over, stepping across his stumps once too often, bowled by the experienced Nigel Couchman (six wickets for the family). 

But Murray’s work was done and Gunnislake closed on 214-8. It was an excellent recovery, but on a small ground the score was by no means safe.

Bugle placed their trust in openers Paul Gribble (averaging 65) and Will Barnecut (averaging 108). Barnecutt set off with intent, but mistimed a drive against the accurate Lee Roberts, to be caught at mid-on; the danger man was out. 

From there Roberts took three more quick wickets as Bugle slumped to 40-4.

Gribble at last found some support from Josh Karn, but perished trying to up the run rate, caught in the deep by Billy Pitts off the bowling of Murray. 

From there Murray made regular inroads into the Bugle lower order and by now Gunnislake were on top. 

The required run-rate crept up and it gradually became a question of whether the visitors could bowl out Bugle and gain maximum points. 

The answer came in the 39th over as Karn fell to a third catch by Dinesh Thirupuvanarajah, giving Murray his fifth wicket of the match. 

Karn scored a career best 41 and there was late defiance from Bugle captain Patrick Medhurst-Feeney (22 not out), but it was in vain as Bugle had finished 72 runs short, all out for 142.

Gunnislake now sit in fifth place in the league, but only six points separate three teams. 

With two matches this coming weekend against teams near the bottom, Gunnislake will be aiming to move up the table.

Gunnislake 214-8 (R Holloway 97, G Murray 42; S Couchman 4-16), Bugle 142 all out ((J Karn 41, P Gribble 39; G Murray 5-31, L Roberts 4-23). Gunnislake (20 points) beat Bugle (7 points) by 72 runs.


Gunnislake’s Iconic Opticians man of the match: Russ Holloway, for setting up a winning total and providing a platform for the bowlers to complete the job.