GROUNDSTAFF may have worked miracles to ensure Castrol’s home match with Wirral went ahead, but on the pitch the Oilmen could still not conjure up their first Meller Braggins League win of the season.
Put into bat first on Saturday, Division Three’s bottom side Castrol were faced with a tough wicket to play on following the week’s heavy rain.
A knock of 28 from Martin Flanagan and 31 from Darren Green salvaged a poor start and, when Mike Caulfield chipped in with 47, a target of 175 looked likely. But the tail failed to wag and Castrol finished on 160-8.
The hosts required discipline and guile early on and they had it, Flanagan (1-21) and Nishan Bhandary (5-31) leaving Wirral struggling on 32-3.
At 47-4, Castrol could smell blood but after the drinks interval their bowlers lost their cutting edge.
Patrick Hickey (0-18) and Steve Aldcroft (0-32) surrendered the momentum before Garvey came on and brought Bhandary back to try to get the Oilmen back on track.
Bhandary added two wickets and Garvey took 2-21 but it was not enough as Wirral scampered to a tight win, scoring 161-8.
Skipper Garvey said: “It wasn’t a bad toss to lose as I wasn’t sure what to do. The pitch played very well and once again provided a result wicket with some competitive cricket.
“It’s a well used phrase, but we did snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
“We are 22 points adrift of 11th spot and this is becoming serious. I suppose what will be will be, but we’re playing good cricket at the moment and not getting the rewards we deserve.
“I’m sure the win will come soon.”
Saturday sees the Oilmen welcome Pott Shrigley to Castrol Sports and Social Club.