Allott falls just short of earning a place in history

First published in Sport

ON A gloriously sunny evening in Bilsdale, Spout House, who batted first, entertained Slingsby in a Feversham Cricket League fixture.

Slingsby were unfortunately handicapped by only being able to field nine men, but that didn’t prevent their captain, Ben Corner, from making an early breakthrough, bowling the in-form Dan Medd without scoring.

Brian Hall and opener Charlie Allott quickly regained the initiative, putting on 40 before Corner (2 for 23) bowled Hall for 14.

Thereafter it was virtually a one-man batting display of sheer power and class from Allott.

True the Slingsby bowling was rather friendly, enabling Allott to frequently demonstrate his favoured leg side pull shot – often reaching the top side boundary, no mean feat.

He also should have been caught early in his innings.

A rapidly dispirited Slingsby had no answer to this batting display as Allott blasted his way to 86 with two mandatory overs left.

Speculation as to whether a century in evening cricket had ever been achieved on the Spout House ground, at least in living memory, was rife.

Unhappily for Allott he missed out on lasting fame.

He could only watch at the non-strikers end as Will Clayton coming on to bowl his only over unbelievably bagged three wickets, two bowled, one lbw.

Try as he might Allott could only muster a further six runs in the last over, leaving him 92 not out, as Spout House closed on a daunting 133 for 7.

Slingsby’s response inevitably fell into the damage limitation category.

To their credit, they batted positively, and were adept at speedy running between the wickets – three all-run fours were achieved.

Opener A Machin with 18 exhibited a degree of ability, while Clayton’s undefeated 27 merited praise for its tenacity.

James Allison, working up a good pace, finished with 3 for 22 as Slingsby were eventually dismissed for 69. Despite mustering only nine players for their second round of Castleton’s Henry Flintoft Cup, Spout House nevertheless booked their place in the semi-final with an impressive ten-wicket victory over Lealholm at Castleton.

Never really making significant headway against the Spout House bowlers, Lealholm totalled 100 for 8 in their 20 overs.

While Jonathon Leckenby (2 for 45) commanded respect, the key damage was done by Jamie Thompson, whose 3 for 11 in four overs included the wicket of top scorer Graham Featherstone, smartly stumped by Charlie Allott for 47.A Foord made 20.

Lealholm suffered a handicap when opening bowler Paul Blackwell pulled a muscle and was unable to continue after conceding just four runs in three overs of nagging length.

But Spout House’s opening pair, Allott and Dan Medd, had handled that well, and they proceeded calmly, picking up speed as they neared the target.

Medd reached his his closing scoreof 50 first, this included a six and four fours, but it was Allott who finished the game with two of his four sixes, ending unbeaten on 55, to give Spout House victory with five overs to spare.

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