A half century from Phil Mayer plus excellent bowling performances from Adam Jacobs and Simon Taylor helped Belmont & Edgware beat Southgate by 34 runs.
With Capt Ryan Monk out due to sunning himself at a wedding, Adam Jacobs took the reigns for this match. After electing to bat on a surprisingly green Old Lyonians surface, Belmont were, not for the first time this season, given a superb platform by openers Phil and Elliott Mayer. Both played sensibly but aggressively, ran hard and ruthlessly punished any bad balls.
By the time Elliott was out in unfortunate circumstances, hitting his wicket attempting to pull, Belmont were ideally placed to set an imposing target. Next batsman Jacobs was dismissed shortly after, contentiously adjudged lbw, but Mann, in his first game for the club this season, propelled Belmont forward by hitting a quick-fire 20.
Meanwhile, Phil Mayer continued on his merry way, intelligently nurdling the ball on the off-side and latching on to anything short, before being run-out for a well-deserved 61.
Belmont’s batsman, determined to take full advantage of the opening stand, accelerated the run-rate in the last eight overs. Mann was bowled, playing on to a tossed up delivery but nos 5 and 6, Taylor and Blasebalk, exploited Southgate’s lack of a genuine fifth bowler with some ferocious hitting. Blasey, in particular, thumped some hefty blows down the ground, whilst one perfectly middled cover drive by Taylor raced away to the boundary.
Belmont closed on 188-5, a target which they knew Southgate would have some difficulty chasing on a slow Old Lyonians pitch.
Despite suffering from a side-strain, Jacobs gave himself the new ball and bowled at a reduced pace. Nonetheless, he extracted considerable away swing to the right-hander and kept to a nagging off-stump line which the Southgate openers found difficult to get away.
After settling into his rhythm, fellow opener Berlofsky provided able support and bowled economically. However, in need of wickets, Kaplan was introduced into the attack and he immediately delivered, dismissing the dangerous Smokler and Durban in his first over. Taylor, desperate for success against his old side, replaced Berlofsky at the other end and was gleeful when his accurate bowling was rewarded with three middle-order wickets.
He was, however, less pleased and more concerned when one of his balls reared up from a good length and hit wicket-keeper Blasebalk squarely in the face. Play temporarily stopped and a doctor playing for Southgate rushed onto the field to sort out the ensuing bloodied nose. Both teams were relieved to see Blasey up on his feet soon after and he even bravely continued to keep wicket, once again demonstrating his strong commitment to the club.
Medical dramas aside, Mendel also performed well with ball and would have felt frustrated at having three catches dropped off his bowling before Phil Mayer eventually managed to cling onto another chance. With six overs left, Southgate had fallen behind the run-rate and Jacobs brought himself and Kaplan back on for second spells.
Jacobs ripped through Southgate’s lower order, taking three wickets, and eventually finished with figures of 3-11 off his seven overs. This extinguished any faint hopes that Southgate may have had of chasing down Belmont’s total and they were eventually all out for 154.