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Great eight for Rushwick’s Wood
12:30pm Thursday 29th August 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
LEON Wood saved the best performance of his career to inspire Rushwick seconds to likely survival in Worcestershire League Division One.
The 39-year-old recorded figures of 8-47 off 17 overs to lead his team to a 124-run success against Belbroughton.
That result boosted the Alf Tolley Memorial Ground team’s hopes of avoiding relegation in the Second XI top-flight and they promptly followed it up with a 117-run triumph at Coombs Wood on Bank Holiday Monday.
Wood’s performance against Belbroughton, which saw seven of his victims caught in the visitors’ 94 all out, came in spite of Rushwick missing several players through holiday and work commitments.
The medium-paced bowler, who wins a £30 Fearnley Factory Shop voucher as our Worcester News player-of-the-week, explained: “We had been hamstrung by players who had dropped out or weren’t available.”
Wood added: “We had some youngsters playing and it was a really good team atmosphere.
“They built a good innings which gave us an opportunity to have a target to bowl at.
“A few times this season I have opened the bowling but our fast bowler who normally does was away. I opened with Dan Hughes and he took the first wicket and early on we kept the flow of runs down.
“After the shine had gone off the ball it was moving about a little bit and I seemed to be hitting the right areas and the nicks came and the catches were being held as well. The pressure bowling from Dan at the other end forced them to play a few more shots off me.”
Wood, whose previous best effort was six wickets, continued: “Because this season I have taken a couple of four-fors, I was quite pleased to get to five.
“It didn’t really hit me until I was being congratulated by team-mates and the opposition at the end of the match. I was really pleased.
“It was quite nice to get texts off a few friends that weren’t at the game who had seen it on the club website. It surpasses everything I have done before.”
Captain Matt Champion, whose side are now 55 points above the drop-zone, added: “It was an outstanding performance, he bowled fantastically.
“It was the sort of performance that he’s capable of and everything clicked, he kept putting the ball in the right areas. Belbroughton were second in the league and a big club compared to us, so it was a very important result.”
Champion added: “We were hovering above the relegation zone and we won both games last weekend so it was fantastic.”
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