By Stephen Lees


Gunnislake v Wadebridge 3

SATURDAY’S match at home to Wadebridge Thirds started two hours earlier than normal so the players could stay on to watch the England football team in the Euro 2024 quarter-finals. 

It was a mixed day, for while England progressed, Gunni slipped to a 36-run defeat, leaving Wadebridge to reclaim second spot in the table from Gunnislake.

Some heavy rain late in the week put off some matches over the weekend, but groundsman Kevin Beare is made of sterner stuff and had ensured the wicket was covered for more than two days. The result was a hard and true pitch that played well throughout, so no excuses there!

With a few damp patches and an uneven weather forecast, Gunnislake asked Wadebridge to bat. But the conditions did not faze the Wadebridge openers, Joe Skinner and Lucas Stewart, who accumulated runs steadily, with an occasional six thrown in for good measure. 

By ten overs the score had reached 44 without loss and the opening partnership nearly made it to the half way drinks. But in the 20th over Lee Roberts finally achieved a breakthrough, pinning Skinner lbw for 37. 

Wadebridge were on top, but Gunnislake plugged away and the scoring rate slowed down a little. By the time Stewart was out, bowled by Joe Organ, the run rate had fallen to four an over, but that brought Tom Wood to the crease. 

James Boundy took a couple more wickets with some excellent off-spin bowling, but Wood finally found a reliable partner in Daific Nadarajan.

They upped the tempo as the overs ran down, and bludgeoned forty runs off the final three overs. Wadebridge closed their innings on 185 for 4, with Wood 49 not out and Daific 17 not out. It was an expensive three overs that were to prove decisive.

Joe Organ and Josh Crow opened the batting for the Gunnislake reply and got the team off to a steady start. 

Facing them were two quick bowlers, both in the under 14 year old age group, Lucas Stewart (yes who also opened the Wadebridge batting) and Ollie Allen. 

It was Stewart who got the breakthrough, bowling Organ for 13. Then calamity, James Boundy (0) and Russ Holloway (1) quickly came and went, leaving Gunnislake reeling on 36 for 3. 

Stephen Lees tried to restore some order, holding up one end, but wickets continued to fall regularly. 

Wadebridge were confident enough to give all their young players a bowl, and always looked favourites. 

Indeed there was no twist in the tail as Lees was last out for a defiant 52, leaving Gunnislake 36 runs short, and four overs unused. 

Stewart was the star turn of the bowlers, finishing with his first five-wicket haul, at the cost of 25 runs.

And so those last four overs of the Wadebridge innings did the damage; Gunnislake’s fielding was bit below their recent standards, but a misfiring batting line-up was the main culprit. 

Wadebridge took 19 points from the match while Gunnislake received five. 

The visitors headed home proud of the contribution from their youngsters while Gunnislake players and families consoled themselves with a barbecue and an England victory in the football.

Swimovations Man of the Match: Lucas Stewart of Wadebridge for an excellent all-round performance with bat and ball.

Wadebridge III 185-4 (T Wood 49no, L Stewart 43, J Skinner 37; J Boundy 2-30), Gunnislake 149 (S Lees 52; L Stewart 5-24). Wadebridge III (19 points) beat Gunnislake (5 points) by 36 runs.