Neil Hanley was drafted into the Lilley side this week with numbers very tight, but his debut was marked with the first Lilley century for two seasons and an awesome display of strokeplay which most sides would have found hard to handle.
Lilley lost the toss and were asked to bat by Sandon, whose own side were late in arriving. Lilley turned up with nine men and were asked to set a total on a moist wicket with plenty of grass on. Ashby & Eyres put on 34 for the first wicket before the latter tried to drive a bouncer and was predictably caught. Brad Tompkins registered his first lilley duck, before Ashby followed for 39, bowled by a Green yorker. With Lilley 59-3 and with nine men, things weren’t looking rosey. Gareth Tompkins (26) and new boy Neil Hanley put on 55 for the fourth wicket before the former was undone by another Green pearler.
Hanley and Tim Perry then set about the Sandon attack, smashing the ball to all parts, with Hanley in particular on fire. He smashed 13 fours and 4 sixes en route to an awesome 135 not out on debut, comfortably the best ever Lilley batting performance on debut. He and Perry (33) put on an astonishing 125 for the fifth wicket in just 16 overs as Lilley finished on 259-5, with Collinson making a cameo 4 not out to round off proceedings (including a moment of comedy when his first shot was lofted high into the air only to be dropped by two fielders who ran into each other!).
With the depleted Sandon side chasing 260 to win, Lilley were always in the box seats. That situation was magnified when Ashby (3-6 from 5) and Perry (1-11 from 6) ripped into the early order batting and by the time Hanley’s left arm and a run out had done their bit, Lilley had dismissed Sandon for just 41, leaving a winning margin of 218 runs.