CRICKET: Buckley bombards battered Belvoir

JOSH BUCKLEY, who produced a career-best bowling display
JOSH BUCKLEY, who produced a career-best bowling display

SENSATIONAL bowling by Josh Buckley rushed promotion-seekers Hucknall to their first victory of the new season in Division A of the Gunn And Moore South Notts League.

Buckley, who is in his second campaign as Hucknall’s first club professional, recorded career-best figures of eight for 21 from 13.5 overs to reduce Belvoir to smithereens.

Belvoir must have been hoping for some respite after enduring a torrid time in the Notts Premier League last season when they won only one of their 22 matches.

But they had no answer to paceman Buckley’s new-ball bombardment, which blew them away for a paltry total of 55 inside 27 overs. Five of his victims were bowled, one was trapped lbw and two fell to catches by Lee Smith. His figures were the second best of all time at the New Gatehouse Ground.

After a run out, home skipper Robin Maxwell (one for 24 in 11 overs) picked up the other wicket to fall — thanks to a brilliant flying catch by Tom Walters. And sorry Belvoir could muster only two double-figure contributions — captain James Clayfield’s 12, plus 14 from the extras column.

Earlier Clayfield has asked Hucknall to bat first and looked as if he had made the right decision early on when Aaron Lee, Robin Maxwell and Scott Harris all fell cheaply to leave Hucknall on 42 for three.

He must have been particularly pleased to remove the prolific Maxwell, who was run out by quick thinking from fielder Tom Neville in the slips, while Harris was the first of three victims for Belvoir’s former Leicestershire CCC bowler Sam Cliff (three for 40 in 9.5 overs).

However Hucknall recovered well in the hands of classy opener Richard Cross, who again looked in good nick, and middle-order bats Richard Greatorex and Smith.

Cross (41, five fours) and Greatorex (26) put on 50 for the fourth wicket and although both departed to James Keywood (four for 60 in 11 overs), Smith went on to marshal the lower order superbly.

Playing with a straight bat, he fired five boundaries in a fine 47 and received support from Max Thompson (14) and Tim Buckthorpe (23, four fours) before Adam Scott added 11 not out at the death.