OLD MERCHANT TAYLORS' generous declaration cost them dear as they ended up losing a Morrant Thames Valley League game to Chiswick & Latymer on Saturday, June 15, that they had dominated for long periods.

OMT continued their policy of batting first, and their decision to declare once 200 and maximum batting points have been achieved in order to achieve a positive result backfired.

Allan Hawkey (74 not out) and Anthony Smee (54) continued their good form with the bat, and five wickets from Ed Lamb (5-77) seemed to put OMT in control for most of the game.

The fine line between defence and attack was highlighted in the closing stages, as a few loose deliveries and fielding lapses occurred at crucial moments, allowing Chiswick's number ten to edge the winning runs in the last over.

However, OMT picked up 14 points to Chiswick's 20 and remain third in the table.

On Sunday, OMT played a Cricketer Cup fixture at Tonbridge for the third time in six years, and, on this occasion, experience proved decisive as the Croxley Green-based side were on the wrong end of a 84-run defeat.

A comparatively raw OMT side 'won' the first quarter of the game as Tonbridge, having won the toss and batted in a game reduced to 50-overs aside, were 50-4.

Skipper Thompson gained surprising lift and movement from the usually perfect Tonbridge wicket to take three early wickets, finishing with 3-19 from 12 overs.

Tonbridge rebuilt their innings by picking up singles, and then feasting on anything loose to hoist up to a score of 219-7.

OMT commenced their innings with confidence, but, unfortunately, none of the batsmen built a significant innings, and the collection of Tonbridge slow left-arm bowlers put the squeeze on OMT.

Any realistic chance of a successful run chase disappeared as OMT were five down needing more than six an over off the last 20, and were dismissed for 135.

OLD MERCHANT TAYLORS second XI picked up their second league win of the season away at Fleet second XI in a match that owed much to the performance of their bowlers.

Having won the toss and put Fleet into bat on a green wicket that promised a lot for the seamers, Matt Newman opened up with Paul Katz, but, despite considerable swing early on, Newman rarely found the edge, and when he did the ball fell agonisingly wide of the fielders.

Katz took the more direct approach and bowled numbers two and three, but Fleet began to score more freely.

The runs dried up when Neil Richards and Charlie Williams were brought into the attack, but at 105-5, with their number four playing well, Fleet looked like posting a good total.

Continued accurate bowling from Richards and Williams kept the pressure on Fleet, and allowed Newman to come back into the attack and clean up the tail with 3-3 off his final three overs, leaving Fleet on 123 all out.

OMTs were looking for a solid start but lost Tim Piercy and James Hobson early on.

When Rob Keane was bowled by a vicious inswinger, having battled for 19, OMTs were 43-4 off 22 overs and looked vulnerable.

A partnership of 57 between Andy MacPherson and Andy Southam put OMTs within sight of the total, but they still managed to make hard work of it by losing two more wickets before a couple of lofted drives from the captain saw OMTs home.

With their minds elsewhere, OMT third XI were bowled out for a rather paltry 61 by Farnham Common, and suffered defeat by nine wickets.

OMT fourth XI suffered a cruel one-wicket defeat at home to Frogmore in a friendly on Saturday.

Having been inserted, the OMT innings recovered from two collapses to reach what seem to be a decent total of 149, largely due to 43 from Andy Barringer.

Frogmore started briskly in their reply, aided by some wayward bowling.

This changed when Mark Davis brought himself into the attack, along with fellow spinner Tony MacDonald-Barker.

Davis picked up four wickets, and MacDoanld-Barker two to leave Frogmore needing 31 with one wicket in hand.

Unfortunately for OMT, Frogmore reached their target in the 31st over thanks to a tenacious youngster and a talented striker.

June 21, 2002 11:30