BEN Welch might have missed out on Saturday but he made up for it on Sunday as the Englishman’s Australian cricket “tour” continued successfully at Narrabri.
While Welch’s adopted first grade side, Easts, lost to Armidale City on Saturday, his Armidale representative side snared a 127-run win over Narrabri in their War Veterans Cup clash at Narrabri’s Collins Park on Sunday.
Welch, from Bedfordshire, was out for six in a disappointing Easts batting effort that replied to Armidale City’s 4-255 with just 125 at New England Mutual Armidale Sportsground last Saturday.
Welch also went wicketless in his seven-over spell, giving up 58 runs in the process.
Out at Narrabri, his fortunes were much better.
He teamed with Armidale City’s Brad Smith, who had smacked an unbeaten century against Welch’s team the previous day for City, to post a half century opening stand in the WVC clash at Narrabri.
Welch made 50 from 59 balls.
His bowling started the same way it finished against City too but he recovered to finish with 2-11 on Sunday as Armidale kept its WVC hopes rolling along with a good win.
Easts, though, need to improve as they sit at the bottom of the Armidale first grade table and with a clash against defending premiers Hillgrove Colts at Lambert Park this Saturday.
Whatever happens, Welch will enjoy his sojourn under the southern sun.
“It’s been really good so far,” Welch said on his way to Narrabri last Saturday evening.
“I’m really enjoying my cricket.”
That was despite copping a bit of a hammering last Saturday.
“Henry (Cupitt) bowled pretty well and Sam Constance and Sam Uphill too but they were too good for us,” he said.
“Dean Moore has been batting well and scored a good 40. Sam Uphill got 20 but that was about it.”
East opening batsman Dean Moore “recruited” Welch too.
“He was playing over home a couple of seasons ago,” Welch said.
“He asked me if I wanted to come over for a season but I’d just started my apprenticeship (horticulture).
“I’m finished it now.”
That allowed the opening batsmen for Ickwell to fly out and experience an Australian summer.
“Hopefully I can get a few scores (WVC and Armidale first grade),” he said.
“Tamworth are a strong side but hopefully we can bounce back and beat them at home.
“But I’m really enjoying my cricket here at a good club with good people and a good standard.”
TABLE: Hillgrove 24, Armidale City 24, Ex-Services 18, Easts 18.