‘Hem Heath’s victory proves we’re not a one-man team’


Greg Prime insists Hem Heath’s weekend NSSCL Division One victory over Little Stoke made a mockery of views about his team.

The Hem Heath skipper says there is a school of thought that they are reliant on the performances of Liam Banks.

The former Warwickshire man is undoubtedly a key component of their side… but it was his team-mates who took centre stage to make it two wins out of two.

Banks did play his part, admittedly, with a quickfire 40 at the top of the innings, but it was half-centuries from Prime (74) and Matthew Hodson (63) which guided the home side to 217-5 from their 45 overs.

Little Stoke’s target was reduced to 179 off 40 overs following rain, and although Banks scooped 3-27, Tom Hodson was the star with 5-34 as the visitors were bowled out for 78.

Prime, who had masterminded an opening-day win at Knypersley, said: “It was another good day for us. We won the toss and batted first because that’s what we’re comfortable doing.

“Liam started off well and then myself and Matt set the platform.



Hem Heath's Liam Banks hits over the top on his way to a rapid 40 against Little Stoke.
Hem Heath’s Liam Banks hits over the top on his way to a rapid 40 against Little Stoke.

“That total put pressure on Little Stoke. You know if you’re chasing that sort of score it’s not going to be easy. From our point of view we just had to back ourselves to bowl well.

“This is why I like win/lose cricket. It takes the negativity out of it and you know if you pick up three or four early wickets, it’s your game.”

Banks was especially pleased to see the Hodson brothers earn the plaudits for their performances.

The pair have grown up through the Hem Heath youth system – and Prime says they have key roles to play.

None more so than Tom, who has added responsibility on his shoulders, at least in the early part of the campaign, after fellow paceman Tom East was ruled out for eight weeks with a broken elbow.

“I’m really pleased for the Hodson brothers,” added Prime. “We’ve heard it bandied about that we’re just a one-man team – and Saturday proved that we’re not.

“Matt with his batting, we know he’s got potential and we’ve spoken to him about turning those 30s and 40s into 50s and 60s, which he did.

“Tom probably wasn’t sure he was going to be opening the bowling this season, but with Easty’s injury he’s had to step up and fill the void.



Little Stoke's Ben Green in action in the NSSCL Division One game against Hem Heath.
Little Stoke’s Ben Green in action in the NSSCL Division One game against Hem Heath.

“Tom (Hodson) maybe struggled at times last year with the new ball, but he delivered at the weekend and it will do plenty for his confidence.

“It’s just great to see two lads who have come through the club’s system performing like they did.”

Prime is understandably delighted with the start his side have made to the new campaign.

But he says they can’t rest on their laurels as they look to maintain a winning sequence.

“We said after the game that two from two is a good start, but that’s all it is – a start,” explained Prime.

“We have to go again next week and keep up his winning habit. I’ve said before that it’s a competitive league and everyone can beat everyone. So we just have to find that little bit extra.”

Little Stoke skipper James Ecclestone saw positive signs, despite his side losing for the second successive weekend.

The captain himself took a couple of wickets, while Rhys Owens also bagged a brace and then made 31 with the bat.

“It was a tough day for us. We just couldn’t break the partnership between Matt Hodson and Greg Prime,” said Ecclestone, who had seen his side lose to Leycett on the first weekend.

“There was plenty to be happy about, though. The bowling and fielding was a big improvement on what we produced against Leycett.

“But once they got through our top five, that was it. We needed someone to get a big score and it didn’t happen.

“If we put together our batting against Leycett with the bowling display against Hem Heath, we’d have a good performance.

“That has to be our aim now, to put a complete day together. But there was an improvement and we know if we keep doing that, then the wins are going to come.”





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