THERE was a good turn out of cricketers for the annual Unst Festive Test Match held in the Unst Leisure Centre. Two teams of 10 were drawn out of the hat. First names out were captains Adam Priest of Priesty’s Puddings and Paul Williams of Williams Wallopers. Adam won the toss and opted to bat first in the 20 over per innings, two innings match. The Puddings got off to a slow start, not helped when big hitting Derek Sutherland was out for one. Hosea Moar and next man in Tim Holt made steady progress before Hosea was caught out for 16 off Ashley Spence’s bowling. Three middle order wickets then fell in rapid succession with Tim holding on resolutely only to be bowled by Steve Palmer for 24. Adam Priest then came in pushing for runs, but his more aggressive running between the wickets resulted in him being run out on 18. A late flourish of hitting from Bobby Macaulay took him to 24 and the Puddings to a total of 138 all out.
The Wallopers’ first innings was started by the big hitting duo of Darren Thomson and Andrew Hunter. Both Darren and Andrew weighed in with some powerful shots before Darren was bowled by Tim Holt for 22. Tim made it three wickets in the over, removing Mathew Cox for two and George Kirkwood for a first ball duck. Andrew Hunter continued with his big hitting, retiring on 25 not out. Some loose hitting from the Wallopers saw them lose four wickets in rapid succession, bringing Andrew back to the crease. Ably assisted by Ashley Spence (14 not out), Andrew then set about the Puddings bowling, at times riding his luck on the way to an impressive 59. With a costly 65 extras conceded from the 20 overs, Wallopers first innings score was 178 for nine, a first innings lead of 40 runs.
The Puddings opened their second innings with Hosea and Derek, Hosea scoring a rapid 11 before being removed by a freakish delivery from Neil Smith, who was standing in for an absent Darren Thomson. The Puddings then lost two wickets for the addition of no runs, bowler Richard Mouat luring both Tim Holt and Gary Hunter into his leg side trap, caught by Matthew Cox. Michael Thomson steadied the ship with a middle order 29 to bring the scores closer to parity, but the Puddings were struggling to post a decent target to bowl at. All of this was changed when David Thomson, 33 not out, and Neil Laurenson, 22 not out, made an eighth wicket stand of 50 runs. The Puddings had made a second innings score of 165 for seven off the 20 overs, leaving the Wallopers a victory target of 126 in their second innings.
The Wallopers’ second innings got off to the worst possible start when Adam Priest caught and bowled opener Neil Smith for a duck in the first over. The Wallopers middle order then collapsed to 26 for five, with only Leonard Spence offering resistance with a hard fought 15. The at times wayward Derek Sutherland removed Leonard with a rare straight ball, well caught by David Thomson. Adam Priest and Michael Thomson took a wicket each before Bobby Macaulay then wrapped up proceedings by taking the last two wickets. The Wallopers had made a second innings 67 all out, meaning that the Puddings had won by a margin of 59 runs.
Man of the match could have gone to Andrew Hunter for his first innings 59 or Tim Holt’s all-round effort of 24 runs and four wickets, but in the end the difference between the teams was provided by David Thomson’s free-hitting 33 not out in the Puddings’ second innings, making David man of the match.
A spokesman from Unst Cricket thanked all of those present for their efforts. “It was great to see such a good turn out during the busy festive season, special thanks must go to the Unst Leisure Centre Staff for the equipment and Martha Priest for keeping score.”
Teams were (Wallopers): Paul Williams, Darren Thomson (2nd Innings Neil Smith), Leonard Spence, Ashley Spence, Liam Spence, Richard Mouat, Andrew Hunter, Matthew Cox, George Kirkwood and Steve Palmer. (Puddings): Adam Priest, Hosea Moar, Derek Sutherland, Tim Holt, Michael Thomson, Gary Hunter, Paul Henderson, Neil Laurenson, David Thomson and Bobby Macaulay.