Bristol & District League Senior Division

Almondsbury (87-6) beat Old Down (83) by four wickets

ALMONDSBURY made a winning start to the season in a low-scoring derby against Old Down.

Aaron Jones took 4-15 off 12 overs as Almondsbury made the most of winning the toss by ripping through the visitors’ batting line up.

Opening batsmen Dave Gardner (6) and Andy Kitchen (5) were both bowled by Jones, who also trapped Matt Wells (0) lbw as Old Down were reduced to 19-4, with Geoff Halstead (1-14) claiming the other wicket when he had James King (2) caught by Mike Frolich.

There was some brief respite for Old Down before Mike Rowen (8) and Pete Newton-Smith (1) both fell in quick succession, bowled by Frolich (1-27) and Jones respectively.

Batsmen continued to fall in pairs as both Matt Snell (6) and Simon Higgs (0) were dismissed by Stephen Braund (2-21) with the score on 56 before Jon Pullin’s run out for four was quickly followed by Ian Maunder (0) being caught by Jones off Greg Stephens (1-2).

Things could have been worse for Old Down but for Dave Dinely’s counter-attacking 35 not out off 32 balls.

Almondsbury looked set to cruise to victory when skipper Andy Parkinson and Matt Wood put on 35 for the first wicket before the latter was bowled by Gardner for nine.

Parkinson (28) and Deepak Bhadri (0) both fell in quick succession to Dinely (2-16) as Almondsbury were reduced to 48-3.

Stephens eased Almondsbury’s nerves by hitting 26 before being trapped lbw by Gardner, who finished with 4-41 after bowling Matt Grute (2) and having Liam Hartigan (0) caught by Rowen.

However, Almondsbury were virtually home and dry by then as Richard Wood finished on an unbeaten 13, and it was fitting that Jones should hit the winning runs with a four off just the second ball he faced.