Catley delighted at century

Minor Counties CricketTIM Catley banished a few demons when he struck his first century for Suffolk on the first day of the Minor Counties Championship game against Hertfordshire at Long Marston.

mINOR cOUNTIES CRICKET

TIM Catley banished a few demons when he struck his first century for Suffolk on the first day of the Minor Counties Championship game against Hertfordshire at Long Marston.

The 28-year-old Bury St Edmunds batsman had previously been out for 99 when leg before wicket against Herts at Mildenhall seven years ago.

And his form this season has been such that he must have been wondering how long he could keep his county place.


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“I never doubted my ability, but there are one or two other batsmen waiting in the wings for their chance,” said Catley, who began his career with Exning.

“It is how many runs you score that counts and on a good wicket at Ransomes Sports Ground in the last match I failed to make double-figures.

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“I had a bit of a sticky spell in my eighties and could not get the ball off the square for a while, but with Chris Warn hitting fours at the other end I was not put under too much pressure.

“I was waiting for a few loose balls and when they came I was able to hit two fours in quick succession to reach 100.

“The same thing happened when approaching 50 when the spinner sent down some poor balls and I was able to move from 38 to 50 in one over.

“I was wondering whether I would break three figures and didn't know how many more chances I would get following my poor run in club cricket this season.

“Having my wife Karen, daughter Emma (five) and son Ryan (two) watching along with my parents made it extra special for me.”

Phil Caley, in his 203rd Minor Counties game for the county, won the toss and decided to bat and he led a side that included six Bury St Edmunds players in the top seven.

In total, Bury have seven men in the side with the other four not playing club cricket in Suffolk - Caley for St Albans, Chris Schofield (Ormskirk), Chris Swallow (Clacton) and Paul King (Teddington).

Catley came to the wicket in need of runs after a rather barren run of scores and the possibility of losing his place in the side.

His confidence had been lifted by some good club scores, and he set about manufacturing a century partnership with Schofield.

During the lunch interval former Suffolk stalwart Simon Clements met up with the team.

The left-hander, who scored 9,219 runs for Suffolk in 184 matches between 1974 and 1998, is still playing high-grade cricket, captaining North Mymms in the Hertfordshire area.

Catley was dropped at slip when on 39 - the ball bouncing off the chest of the fielder - and he lost Schofield when the former England Test player had again looked a class act with an error-free 59.

On 80, Catley had another life when put down off a hard drive in the covers, and he understandably slowed down somewhat before striking two successive fours to take him into three figures.

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