Phil Horner made a welcome return to the Lilley fold with a punchy 36 to guide Lilley towards safety against a useful Eaton Bray side.
Lilley won the toss and elected to bowl on a reasonable looking track and soon had Bray 1 for 2 after two early wickets for Ashby. Jarrott and Flecknell then put on 90 for the second wicket and threatened to take the game away from the away side until Taz (2-29) had the latter well caught at point by Paddington. The ‘Asian Sensation’ then took his second wicket, when Horner dived to take a magnificent catch in the gulley. A combination of returning Ashby (3-23) and Hammond (2-34), and the deadly accurate Phil Clarke, who nabbed 2-44 off 13 overs, tightened the screws on the home side.
In reply, Lilley started brightly, with Ken Hammond opening and making 14 before departing the ground due to stomach problems. His opening partner Mik Carman hit a breezy 19, but Ashby and Mellor went cheaply to set Lilley hearts fluttering. Eyres hit his now customary towering six, then hit his batting partner Horner in the chest with a sickeningly well timed stroke, before departing for 10, but the two Phils, Clarke (14 not out) and Horner dug deep to put Lilley into a safe position. Horner’s departure, shortly followed by that of Dave Carman, mattered not as Taz and Philo saw Lilley to a comfortable draw.
Horner’s knock, his first of the year, was made in Steve Eyres shoes as his own fell to pieces in the field! Good knock though. Swoops and sweeps.