London Maccabi Vale 1st returned to winning ways with a comfortable seven-wicket success over Lohana in Division Five of the Chess Valley League.
Vale went into their fifth CVL match of the season knowing a big improvement was needed if they were to get back on course for promotion.
Turning up on a lovely summer's day at Rowley Lane, captain Neil Lederman won the toss and despite protests from the rest of his team (and only having eight men at the ground) decided to bowl first, having faith that a strong batting line-up meant that his side would be able to chase whatever was set for them.
The game started with LMV only having nine fielders, with both the Greenwall-Cohen brothers keeping up their track record of missing both the meet and start times. This resulted in a change to the normal opening bowlers and Jonny Gould (6-13-1) bowled the first over. He set the tone brilliantly and was rewarded with a wicket in his first over, while Lederman (4-5-0) reluctantly opened with himself at the other end.
Lohana were not given many free balls on a typically low Rowley Lane wicket which resulted in the batsman playing tip and run for a few overs. A double bowling change resulted in one quick run too many and a good piece of fielding by Adam Spooner at mid-on saw both batsman at the same end.
At this point the score was 52-2, and with one batman set and the other hitting his first two balls for four, LMV were thinking that Lohana could be on for a good total. However the opener was deceived by one that kept low off the newly engaged Andrew Greenwall Cohen (8-26-2). His brother, Joseph, (7-26-1) dismissed the batsman at the other end out soon afterwards.
Another double bowling change saw spin twins Grant Reingold and Adam Brand bowl in tandem for the first time this season. They finished with combined figures of 11.2–26–5 - cleaning up the lower order of Lohana, with Grant's first wicket being in a somewhat comical manner with the batsman leaving a googly and slowly watching it spin back onto his stumps.
Getting Lohana all out for just 109 in just 36.2 overs justified the decision to bowl first and showed a massive improvement in all aspects of fielding over a couple weeks earlier as well as the benefit of having some slower bowlers in the side.
In response, Danny Caro (30) and Mark Landau (13) made a watchful start until a ball jumped on Mark a bit and he was out caught at short cover. Joseph Greenwall Cohen (33) joined Caro at the crease and together they put the game out of reach of the opposition with a patient partnership.
Both batsmen eventually departed with the job almost done - JGC played around a straight one and Caro thumped a full toss straight to backwards square leg. This allowed Brand to get what he’d very happily admit is most likely the ugliest 26 he will ever get, being dropped twice along the way.
Adam Spooner joined him and together they quickly finished the game off with 14 overs to spare.
High-flying North Mymms are the next visitors to Rowley Lane, on Sunday. A win virtually guarantees promotion whilst a loss would leave LMV hoping other results go their way.
LMV skipper Neil Lederman told JC Sport: "It's still in our hands, but all 11 know that next weekend is possibly the biggest game in the club's history."
Spectators are certainly welcome for what should be a cracker of a game that starts at 1pm.