Hayfield CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge compete hard in Hayfield, but take too long to mount a meaningful attack.

I missed my first game this season, two weeks ago, away at Dinting, due to being on holiday, and it was just my luck, that I’d miss our first win in eight games, and more-so the game where my son gets his 2nd half-century of the season, no commitment from some people !!  Though at least one person was pleased for my return, captain Brian Stone was thankful for a “proper” scorer, given the debacle of trying to get a decent scorecard for that match.  It’s nice to feel wanted :), anyways well done lads for that result.

Today however, we were facing a team pushing for the title, sitting in second position behind the team I predicted back in May to be top of the table at the end of the season, Old Glossop, so didn’t expect much out of the day, and was worried it was going to be a long day when Brian lost the toss and Stalybridge were put in the field.

Hayfield CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 18th August 2018

The first ball of the match set the early tempo, with Hayfield’s Andy Oldfield hitting the boundary wall with a deft flick to the right, and it wasn’t long before I heard one of the other Hayfield players predicting a score of 400, and in all honesty, I was a little concerned he would be right, on his 28th delivery he hit another four to put him on 45, and the folks around me were predicting a 30 ball 50, but next came a coaxing ball wider than the rest of the over from Peter Coxon and drew a much needed mistake, at least from Stalybridge’s point of view, from Oldfield who extended his reach and put the ball high into the air, and into the welcoming hands of Tony Mooney at deep square leg, giving Stalybridge their first wicket, with Hayfield on 56.

With his departure the run rate plummeted, but it was still another 31 runs before Coxon took his second wicket of youngster, but normally first-teamer Jacob Miller, while the home side’s second opener Joel Coverley plodded on slowly at the other end before being out on 34.

In a rare turn of events, catches were being taken by the Stalybridge side, who are sure to admit themselves have been sorely lacking in the field this season,  and with the exception of Harry Howarth, superbly bowled by Ahmet Hyatt, and Christian South, bowled by Krunal Bhatt, the other eight wickets by the visitors were caught in the field, giving four wickets for Krunal Bhatt, two for Pete Coxon and four for Ahmed Hyatt, though he definitely should have gotten his five-fer in his last over, but was ironically denied by two dropped catches.

With the exception of one over where Krunal was soundly thumped for 26, which saw Christian South hit his 50, despite getting a wicket in one of the deliveries, the bowling was vastly improved over previous matches, and Hayfield were all out for 187 with four overs remaining.

A very doable score it was decided, but perhaps 30 or 40 more than should have been in my opinion, given the start we had.

After tea, the start of Stalybridge’s innings didn’t go quite to plan, with the early dismissal of opener Stu Nock for 13, and it took fellow opener Alex Wilde almost until the 15th over before he progressed past two runs, while Maurice Barber opposite also took a while before adding to his total, which however, ended up a presentable 40 from 50 deliveries.

Stalybridge lost a couple more key wickets with the score in the 90’s, but then didn’t lose another, their 6th, until Keith Bowers was caught on 14, with 140 on the board, but with 9 overs remaining, with Stalybridge requiring another 48 runs for victory, the remaining players just could eke out the required run-rate to catch up, with only Tony Mooney at the other end finishing on 42 not out, before running out Ahmed Hyatt for his …

… for being ‘out’ without facing a ball.

It was, at least for me personally, the slow start, that contributed a big factor to the final result, but also losing three consecutive wickets for 9 runs, in the middle order, definitely didn’t help either, though it was great to see the big improvement in the field, both with the catching, and fielding in general, and the improvement in bowling, with Ahmed having (I think) his best figures since joining the club, with 4 for 27, though I have to also make special mention of Krunal’s diving (albeit failed) attempt to stop a ball going to the boundary, about 6 feet short and 2 seconds too early, sorry Krunal, but it was funny!

It was also great to hear the 1sts extend their lead at the top of Division 3, with victory over Chaple-en-le-Frith, well done lads, keep it up!

Next week sees the 2nds at home to mid-table Hazel Grove while the 1sts travel up the road to Hollingworth, presuming they make it past Mottram Road, which has been royally shit this week!

Final result and match scorecard: Hayfield CC 2nd XI win by 19 runs.

Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Anthony Haywood cent
ury and 5fer for Steve Burns seal victory for Birch Vale.

For the second week in a row, Stalybridge have won the toss, this time at the hands of Brian Stone, and put the opposition into bat, given our current form, and our propensity for our heads to drop when the opponents put a big score on the board, I’m much more inclined to think we’d be better suited to opening the batting, and seeing what we can put on, without worrying what they’ve set us.

However we started the bowling well, with 6 of the first 15 or so overs a maiden, with Ned Woodman having his first spell of 8 overs conceding just 15 runs, however, it was soon that balls were being delivered short and down the legs side, and the Birch Vale batsmen lapped them up, and were rapidly ramping up the over rate, peppering the boundary, firstly with Steve Burns (41), then more-so Anthony Hayward, normally a number six batter, but today slotted in at number 4, he knocked up his half-century in short-order, while his partners succumbed to 3 wickets for Mark Connolly and 2 for Maurice Barber, and he continued to coast comfortably to apparently his debut century, before being caught on 117 off “one of my worst balls of the day” from bowler Ned Woodman by Ajeet Kaintura, by which point Birch Vale were now 268-6; the innings was interrupted midway through, when a thunderstorm brought a downpour for half an hour, during which time the call was made to take an early tea and play resumed around 45 minutes after initially coming off.

Birch Vale vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s, before the heavens opened.

Haywood’s however was the last wicket to be taken by Stalybridge, with my fellow scorer Jamie’s dad David Platt finishing off the overs 32 not out, and Birch Vale on 288-6.

Having taken lunch tea early, it was a quick turn around to have Stalybridge into the crease, just 4 balls had been played when the umpire called for the ball to be changed, whether it wasn’t a new ball or it was damaged, I have no idea, but seemed strange.

Whereas Birch Vale were content to send the ball down the hill to the boundary, it seemed Stalybridge wanted to send everything in the opposite direction, into the banking and up the hill, it was one of these up hill slogs that saw the first wicket of Stu Nock (who I still owe a beer to, sorry bud), caught for 18, and Stalybridge on 25, with Maurice Barber, caught also just 2 runs later, it seemed like it was going to be a painfully short afternoon, but no sooner as Maurice was out, it seemed like the impetus opener Alex Wilde needed,  and he started to add runs to his tally along side Khalid Akram, by the time he was bowled, Stalybridge were now on a more respectable 75, and Khalid then started a partnership with Steve Monks, but unfortunately was given run-out in what can only be described as a “umpiring error”, for fear of censure, members of both sides insist he was safely home, but the umpire deemed him two foot outside safety and Stalybridge were now 95-4.

Keith Bowers has recently been picking up some decent batting performances, but he’ll not thank me for mentioning when he asked what the * next to his name in the WhatsApp chat was, it was because of his

Sorry Keith. 🙂

With Monksie falling fowl, sorry foul to the catcher on the hill, Neil Spedding, just five runs short of his half-century, the last of Stalybridge’s recognised batsman were all out,  and they were still 121 runs behind Birch Vale’s total, that however didn’t stop opening bowler Ned Woodman from making a decent batting cameo before being caught on 39, not long after initially being given out “caught behind”, despite the ball hitting him near his elbow before bouncing off to the keeper; thankfully despite a little petulant outburst of chucking his bat away, the Birch Vale players came to his defence and the umpire overturned his decision.

With just one wicket remaining Brian Stone was the last man left standing when Ahmed Hayat was cleaned bowled on the last ball off the innings, giving Steve Burns his 2nd of that over, and his 5th overall in the game.

A decent knock from a number of Stalybridge’s team, but not enough to overturn the big target set by Birch Vale, but plenty to proud of, even if it’s not the catching in the field (which was woeful again).

No pessimistic drivel from me after next week’s match you’ll be happy to read, when the 2nds are back on the road, this time up in Dinting, as I’ll hopefully be enjoying myself in sunny Alicante, you just can’t get the committed staff these days, and the following week, is a free week for the seconds, with High Lane not fielding a 2nd XI this season.

Final result and scorecard: Birch Vale and Thornsett CC 2nd XI win by 100 runs.

Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Compstall CC 2nd XI

2nds XI in a poor run of form, and continue to struggle to find a win.

For the second time this season, I neglected to post a report last week, and for that I apologise, after the defeat away to Old Glossop, I was in a foul mood, and just couldn’t bring myself to write one, I know there aren’t many who read my missives, but some of you do.

With that in mind, another week has passed, and another defeat, although I made an error in my last report against Hazel Grove, saying it was our 7th consecutive defeat, however it was only the 5th, the ACTUAL 7th came today, this time to current league tail-enders Compstall, you just can’t get the staff these days.

With Brian Stone away, the heavy mantle of captaincy fell on Steve Monk’s shoulders again, and despite winning the toss, the decision was made to put Compstall into bat, having won at their place six weeks ago, we knew well enough the dangers of the father and son team of Ravi and Josh Patel, but whereas we were able to get Josh out fairly cheaply on 8 last time, the same could not be said today, Ravi managed to stay at the crease for 2 hours straight before being bowled by Maurice Barber just 6 runs past his century, but Josh batted even more impressively by carrying the bat for the away side, seeing out all 45 overs and finished on 53*.

The only other to get runs for Compstall was Robert Bradley with 20, caught by Monksie off a Ned Woodman delivery, Compstall finished their overs with a big target for Stalybridge to chase of 198, with a loss of just 3 wickets.

After the interval, opener Stu Nock, was deemed LBW in the 3rd ball of the innings, and Khalid Akram bowled on 3 with just 18 runs on the scoreboard, Stalybridge were instantly put on the back foot, Stuart Barnes in at number four was our seemingly best hope to get back in the drivers seat, but despite his managing to hit 25 in just 18 deliveries, getting caught for John Abbot’s 3rd wicket meant almost certain defeat, my son Jordan who got the winning runs and 50 at the away fixture, hit a couple of decent balls straight to fielders, but his 5th saw it straight into the hands of Heath Stewart, off newly at the bowling attack Josh Patel.

Stalybridge are now 4 down with 46 runs, Steve Monks comes in to replace Jordan, and sees his partner, opener Maurice, out a few balls later, Monks tries his damnedest to keep us in the match, running quick singles and doubles with Keith Bowers (20), Ajeet Kaintura (8) and Ned Woodman (2), and manages an admirable 56 before being bowled, his effort meant Stalybridge were now a more reasonable 153, though with just one wicket remaining, it was a very tall order for Ahmed Hayat and Mark Connolly to see the home side to victory, which they were unfortunately unable to do, with Ahmed getting caught off the other Patel, Ravi, to see Stalybridge all out for 159, 39 runs short of Compstall’s total, both teams have now just one win all season, against each other.

Stalybridge 2nds match next Saturday is away at Birch Vale & Thornsett, currently sitting third in the table, and the constant search for a second win and the effort to lift the players and this scorer mood out of the doldrums will continue there.

The firsts won away again, this time at Pott Shrigley, so that is good news at least.

Final result and scorecard: Compstall CC 2nd XI win by 39 runs.

Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

3 Lions on a shirt2nds lose 7th consecutive match, but it doesn’t matter because IT’S COMING HOME!

With the league agreeing to matches starting at 9:30am so people can get back to watch the England quarter-final match against Sweden at 3pm, it was an early start for Brian Stone’s men, on yet another gloriously sunny day, I almost forget what it’s been like the last few years, where cricket season has been synonymous with monsoon season, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts hey?

After losing the toss again, (which in itself is almost mirroring the match result compared with last season), Stalybridge were put into the field to watch for two hours as opener Joe Wilkinson and number 3, Mike Halton took everything the Stalybridge bowlers could throw at them, and pepper them comfortably to the boundary finishing on 71 and 61 apiece, with a little cameo from Joe Hall with 20 and Charlie Higson with 21 at 2 and 4 respectively, the annoying thing is as per previous matches, the bowlers were let down by the fielding, with Wilkinson dropped on 14, Halton dropped on 6, and Higson dropped on 1, if Stalybridge are to start getting positive results in matches in the latter half of this season, the catching has to improve.

Once the top four were dismissed however, Stalybridge were left with just 8 overs remaining, but they worked on their momentum, and took 5 of the remaining 6 wickets before Hazel Grove completed their 45 exactly 3 hours after start of play, finishing on 241.

After tea (or is it lunch as it’s only 12:30?), again it was Joe Wilkinson who, after doing the damage with the bat, in the opening innings, did a similar number on Stalybridge with ball, by taking the first 3 wickets before the 10th over and only 35 runs on the board.

Of the Stalybridge batting order, it was only Stephen Monks who can hold his head high today, with just a little over an hour at the midday sun crease, before being taking a faint nick, being caught behind on 41, and electing to walk, as the umpire had no idea.

With his removal the remaining wickets fell shortly after, with only Ajeet Kaintura joining him by reaching double figures before being cleanly bowled by that young man again Joe Wilkinson, to claim his 5th Stalybridge scalp of the day to end with a five-fer for just 16 runs in 8 overs, claiming victory for the home side, with Stalybridge St. Paul’s finishing on 109 AO.  Not bad for a lad that was in doubt apparently after falling in the bath this week!!!

Referring back to the umpire, for a man whose job it is to be able to count to six, he made myself and my co-scorer’s life hell as he has done on each other occasion we’ve had the misfortune to have him umpire for us, in Hazel Grove’s innings there were two eight ball overs, and at least TEN 7 ball overs, and as per usual those extra balls 90% of the time generated runs for the home side, the Stalybridge innings was worse still, he seemed to fail time after time to know when the over was well.. over, but this time, it had one of the Hazel Grove spectators shouting out after the sixth ball, if it looked like he was going to allow another, not that would have increased our score, but still frustrating.

So, by 2:35pm, Stalybridge St. Paul’s had lost, and it was a leisurely *cough* drive back to catch England vs Sweden, I only missed 5 minutes!! Well done, let’s see who we face for the Semi’s mid-week. *edit* Croatia apparently.

Well done also to the 1sts who notched up their 7th win of the season, beating Hollingworth at home for maximum points.

Final result: Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI win by 132 runs, full scorecard available here. once Hazel Grove have uploaded it.

Next week sees the two’s on the road again, when the opposition with be Old Glossop, for now, enjoy the sun and relish in England’s victory.

[Week 7] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Dinting CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge fail to capitalise on strong middle-order recovery after poor start, to fall at final hurdle and lose by 5 runs.

With Brian skiving off to watch Lionel Ritchie, the task of captaining the 2nds was handed to Steve Monks, who performed admirably in the face of adversity, having also been lumbered with the keeper’s gloves, with usual keeper Mike Whitworth being taken hostage by the 1sts, and upon losing the toss, Dinting put the home side in the field.

Dinting openers, Captain, Matt Coleman and Ryan Townsend plodded along nicely, and managed and 83 partnership deep into the innings, before Coleman was given LBW just short of his half-century, on 43 off Ahmed Hyatt, his replacement, Jarrod Massey managed to push the score to 140 to be Stalybridge’s 5th wicket, before being bowled by Mahurice Barber to finish on 34, but not before Steve Monks had to be replaced as keeper with a suspected broken finger, which gave him a little more freedom to handle the captaincy, and Dinting were able to add just 23 more runs before seeing out their 45 overs with 8 wickets dismissed, though it has to be said, Stalybridge need to work on their catching, as I counted at least 6 again.

An over into the Stalybridge innings, the heavens opened and with just two runs on the board, centurion from the last match Stu Nock was given LBW for a duck (sorry Stu, I originally had you down as 1 run, but it was a leg-bye) as the last ball of the spell, and everyone was brought off the field for a little under 40 minutes reducing the overs by 2, while the rain proceeded to soak the outfield, where in the first innings balls were skidding to 4’s with ease, similar balls from the Stalybridge batsmen were coming to a halt 5-10 feet from the boundary, and were soon 4 wickets down with only 38 runs to their name, but Khalid Akram who came in at number 3, managed to steady the ship for a long time, and put on a good partnership with a broken fingered Steve Monks, before being caught by Jarrad Massey after punting a ball over the bowler, Ryan Townsend’s head, to finish on 41, and Stalybridge on a more respectable 104-5.

With Steve Monk’s dismissal a little while after at 116-7 at the hands of Jarrad Massey’s 5th wicket of the day, Stalybridge had about 15 overs left to get 48 runs,  and despite Maurice Barber getting 21, and Pete Coxon 19*, Stalybridge fell just short, by losing the 3 final wickets, at the hands of club stalwart Adam Harwick’s nephew, Daniel, 5 runs short of Dinting’s total with 4 overs to spare, to suffer a heartbreaking when victory seemed likely.

More annoyingly for me personally, the scoreboard I built again suffered from dodgy outputs, mid-game, meaning I had turn it off and revert back to to the manual board, I think due to it taking a massive bang at the beginning of the day, presumably loosening some wiring inside.

Anyways.. Final result and scorecard: Dinting CC 2nd XI win by 5 runs.

[Week 6] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge put in a good batting performance, unfortunately Birch Vale put in a great one.

Stalybridge lost the toss, and were put into the field, and immediately into the innings, Birch Vale opener Steve Burns showed how he was going to conduct his time at the crease, with 13 runs from the single over, he had hit his half-century after facing just 25 deliveries, and added the next 50 to hit his century just after 58, despite getting the second opener out for 6, his replacement Alex Wood more than made up for Ollie Wyatt’s cheap dismissal off Krunal Bhatt, by being the next to hit a ton, before being caught close to the boundary on 102 by Jordan Elliott for the first of Ajeet Kaintura’s four wickets, but the damage was already done by this point, Birch Vale were now a decent 294/3, which on this ground is a winning score in its own right.

The next three wickets just added another 5 runs, but 8, 9 and 10 all managed to put another 89 runs + extras between them, and Birch Vale completed their overs with a huge score of 389/9.

Despite knowing a win was impossible, it didn’t stop Stalybridge at least having a go, and whilst the opening overs were a bit slow, with Stalybridge hitting 33 runs in the same number as Birch Vale hit 100, the arrival of Khalid Akram to join Stu Nock at the crease, after Alex Wilde was caught and bowled by Birch Vale’s captain Jack Linskey (who you would have thought had just gotten the winning wicket, given his exultant shout, and the aggressive way he threw the ball at the ground after catching it, but hey ho), allowed Stalybridge to start accumulating runs,  by the 15th over Birch Vale started giving their fringe bowlers a go, knowing they weren’t in any danger of being caught, but more importantly it gave the batsmen a chance to get their eye in and get some runs.

The next 22 overs saw Stu and Khalid build up a  very respectable 137 partnership, before Khalid was caught of a Steve Burns delivery, to end on 40,  with Stu Nock now on a dead 100, and Stalybridge’s total now 174, it was just a case of seeing out the remaining 8 overs and try to try and get another 26 runs to get maximum batting points, with the aid of Steve Monks at the other end, and Birch Vale for the first time in all my watching cricket, giving ALL 11 players a bowl, (which plays havoc with score books, ya bastards!), Stu managed to add another 39 runs to his score, to carry the bat and end Stalybridge’s innings on 229 for just 2 wickets.

Great knock Nock! (Who’s there?)

Bowlers wanted, please apply Gorse Hall Road cricket ground – hey it worked after the Old Glossop match, I can but try.  Joking aside, good reply to a massive up-hill battle lads, on any other day, 229/2 is a winning result on this home field, and with some tighter bowling, we should be able to get back to last season’s winning form.

Final result and scorecard: Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI win by 160 runs.

[Week 5 ] Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Ask and ye shall receive! #1 son (and some others) secure Stalybridge 2nd’s first win of the season. #biased

Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 2nd June 2018

The game started off slow, with Brian winning the toss, and choosing to put Compstall into bat, as the Stalybridge bowling attack of Ned Woodman and Ajeet Kaintura kept the run rate to a minimum, with the home side on 56/1 at drinks, however once their overs were done, (or took a break with 3 remaining in Ned’s case), the Compstall #3, Ravi Patel started accelerating through the gears, and was able to take the total up to a respectable 134/3 before being caught by Ajeet for the first of  Ahmed Hayat’s four wickets of the afternoon.

With Ravi’s removal, a number of other wickets fell soon after, but Compstall were able to add another 26 runs before completing their 45 overs to finish the innings 160 for 8 wickets to take us to tea.

Despite getting into lumber last season for this, I’ve got to reiterate how damned good the teas at Compstall are, full marks to all involved in putting on that damned fine spread! #Rebel

Given our previous weeks deficiencies as far as batting is concerned, it was great to see our opener Stu Nock put a 43 on the board, with Alex Wilde (8) and Khalid Akram (17) at the opposite end, before being bowled by the biggest front-foot no-ball, literally six inches beyond the line, no doubt my opposite number Megan Carter must have been bored by my constant moaning about the no-balls, but it must have been equally frustrating for Stu when I told him. 🙂 #DodgyUmpires

Like Compstall, Stalybridge started off slowly, and were only 5 runs ahead of where Compstall were at drinks, on 61/1, and for a long time were a fair ways behind the required run-rate, it looked like their very economical bowling was going to leave Stalybridge total about 40-50 runs short, but in the same way that Ravi upped the score with his innings, once their main bowling unit was exhausted, it was Stalybridge’s turn to turn up the heat.

The start of the 31st over at 82/2 and with just 14 overs to go, the team needed to double what they had obtained up to that point, and it saw the introduction of number 4, Mike Whitworth and with Stu Nock’s dismissal three balls later, number 5, Jordan Elliott,

Over the next 11 overs, the pair put in an excellent performance, with a brilliant 81 partnership with Mike shouting out instructions and putting on 26 runs and Jordan putting in a career best 52 hitting the ball below for 4 to secure his first half-century for the club, and Stalybridge’s first win of the season.

Well done everyone, but especially well done from me, to my son Jordan for that knock. #ProudDad

Jordan Elliott hits first club half-century to secure Stalybridge’s first win of the season.

Stalybridge’s next match sees us at home, where the opposition will be Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI.

Final result and scorecard: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 7 wickets.

[Week 4] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Old Glossop CC 2nd XI

Batters wanted, please apply Gorse Hall Road cricket ground.

I’ve been trying to come up with some excuse as to why we just got so soundly beaten by Old Glossop, too windy, not used to playing on a sunny day, leaves on the line, etcetera, etcetera; but no, we got beat today because the team as a whole can’t bat, that’s easy for me to say, as someone whose never held a bat on a cricket field, sitting on the sidelines week-in, week-out, but Old Glossop had some decent batters, their opener Jamie Cannon, was only 4, or was it 6 or 2 overs short of carrying the bat for his team, finishing on 67, and they had five others in double figures, whereas we had just one batter reach over 10 runs, that’s pretty shambolic, I’m sorry to have to say.

We’re still ok at bowling though, Ahmed Hayat got 4 wickets, and freshly  returned from a year off Garry Sandiford got 3, but again Old Glossop had a very well oiled bowling attack, with each of their 5 bowlers taking two wickets apiece, and I fully expect them to be top of the table come the end of the season, but that doesn’t detract from our own failings.

With that in mind, I need to apologise to the team for buggering up the scoring towards then end of their bowling innings, where it fluctuated between 9, 8, 7, 5 and 4 overs left like it was being made up on the spot, I learned that I shouldn’t try to watch the test match on my phone, while trying to juggle scoring, updating the scoreboard, and switching between WIFI’s every couple of overs to update the online score card mid-game.

Next up, the team head over Werneth Low where the opposition will be Compstall.

Final result and scorecard: Old Glossop CC 2nd XI win by 128 runs.

[Week 3] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI

2nd XI suffer 3rd consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of Hazel Grove (and some might suggest the umpire, I’ve been told, many many people, bigly mistakes they say, I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s just what I hear.).

It all started with captain Brian Stone losing the toss, and his opposite number Jake Bennett put the home side into the field, though it looked like Stalybridge had the run of Hazel Grove, making short work of the lower batting order, taking the first four wickets with the visitors on just 36 runs.  When spin bowler Jordan Elliott takes the fifth wicket they have only added 5 more runs, and is looking dangerous, conceding just seven runs by his third over, when the ball slips out of his hand as he looses the ball and the umpire declares (correctly) a no-ball and informs him and Brian that he has to leave the bowling attack, due to dangerous play (incorrectly) .  What should have happened, and he later apologised for after firstly I pointed out to him the MCC Cricket Law (41.6.3 if you care) that states he should have been given a warning, and secondly again by league secretary Ian Halford after the match.  His removal meant a complete change to the bowling attack had to occur, and is seen by some as being a pivotal moment in the match.

It was at this point that Mark Baker had only just entered the field, and whether having the spinner on would have made a difference or not, it was definitely destabilising and it allowed Mark to see out the rest of the innings finishing 59 not out, and 99 more runs between himself and the rest of the pack, the only notable other batsman was captain Jake Bennett, who came in at 11, apparently due to carrying a knock, who put on 22 before being bowled by Robocop Tony Mooney.

That said, Ajeet Kaintura had a good spell bowling getting a 5fer conceding just 14 runs, well bowled Ajeet.

Going from being 55-8 with something like 20 overs to go, to 140 all out, with only 2 overs remaining and the incident with the umpire definitely played on the minds of the home players, as there was some definitely solemn faces at the interval, which carried over into their batting innings, with the only one over in the first 7 conceding any runs, with 4 wickets lost before the home side hit 30, it was instantly evident that a collapse was incoming, and unlike our fielding last week, where we couldn’t catch a cold, Hazel Grove’s Joe Wilkinson caught 3 decent catches in the field, to take out Alex Wilde, Khalid Akram and Keith Bowers, with little to no batting talent left in the side, the match just petered out to expectant defeat, with none of the eleven able to muster a run score above 16.  The other annoying thing which put son Jordan in an even fouler mood was he was given out (correctly) ONE ball after a no-ball decision was made against the bowler which was at shoulder height (not above head like Jordan’s was), and the umpire chose not to penalise the player in a consistent manner.

*edit* It’s just been confirmed to me by captain Brian Stone that in addition to Jordan being removed from the bowling attack, the umpire also blocked Steve Monks and Khalid Akram from bowling also, following No-Ball decisions against them, further crippling the Stalybridge bowling options, however that doesn’t change the fact that we still need an improved batting line-up.

In stark contrast to last season, where Brian’s men could seemingly do no wrong, and the weather was awful, the start of this season has seen the distinct opposite, absolutely glorious weather, but poor performances out on the pitch.

In better news, the 1sts had a cracking game away at Hollingworth, with Rob Mallet hitting 85, and Joe Robinson breaking recent-time club batting record with 165 not out, seeing Jamie Brownhill’s men see a very impressive 169 run win after finishing their innings on 338.

This video is of Joe hitting 150 en-route to his 165.  Well done lad.

Ah well, better luck next week, when the opposition visiting Gorse Hall Road will be Old Glossop, who at time of writing were sitting in second place in the table.

Final result: Hazel Grove win by 57 runs, full score card available here.