With only two games lost all season, it’s a bit frustrating to end the season as runners up, especially given the effort by Keith Bowers and Pete Coxon to try and get the final game of the season on, the weather has, to be brutally honest been fecking awful, had today’s game against High Lane gone ahead, I genuinely believe this post would be completely different, despite theirs being one of the only two defeats the seconds have sufferers all season, they have pretty much imploded in the last couple of weeks and we were looking at a wholly depleted opponent full of kids.
That said, credit to Birch Vale who only needed a point once we had announced our game off, still tried to finish the season on a positive note against Chapel-en-le-Frith, trying to fight the elements and get a game on to win not by default, but had to call it off at 4:30, congratulations to them.
Echoing the second team as a whole, it was equally disappointing to see Pete Coxon miss out on the bowling award by one wicket, despite having a much better average and three games fewer that Chapel’s youngster Toby Phipps. Not that I’m bitter typing this up 3 sheets to the wind in the Hunters before a number of us go for an end of season piss-up erm curry.
Ah well roll on 2018! When the seconds start promoted from the 4th division to the 5th (wtf?)
It’s been a month since our last game, with two games rained off, and an abandonment, but some-how, we started the day top of division 4, whether that’s due to not all games being reported or not, I have no idea, but it was perhaps just the impetus the 2’s needed with just 3 games left in the season on a gloriously sunny September afternoon.
Captain Brian Stone won the toss, as per usual (really folks, check that coin), and put the visitors Hadfield into bat.
It was 25 minutes into the match before the first wicket of Captain Ric Ball, caught behind for 9 by the acrobatic Mike Whitworth, with a diving backwards catch at something like 120mph (well that’s what it looked like to me), his opposite number Gavin Snowball staying at the crease for another hour and half while the next five Hadfield batsmen came and went. It was his dismissal on 28 with the visitors on 56, by a peach of a delivery from Ned Woodman, which was the turning point in the innings, and the remaining four wickets fell in quick succession for just 5 additional runs, seeing Hadfield all out for 61.
After tea, the message was ‘there’s no rush, there’s 62 overs to get 62 runs’, hoping for maximum points, which required losing at most, one wicket in reply, that wicket however came just 10 minutes into the game, with 2nd opener Alex Wilde being given out edge behind to the keeper, to say he was displeased at the decision, is an understatement, throwing his bat off the field in disgust, certain he hadn’t hit the ball, but had clipped his pad instead, with our Get Out of Jail Free used up, it was down to fellow opener Mike Whitworth celebrating his 40th Birthday on Tuesday with a party at the club this evening, and James Beswick coming in at #3, unfortunately Mike facing the first delivery of Gavin Snowball, just got under the ball, and it spun upwards, and back into the welcoming hands of the bowler, ending his innings on 18.
With the arrival of Khalid Akram at #4, the home side required 32 to win, with just 6.2 overs down out of 62, you’d think he’d have played it safe, and just taken the simple runs where possible, but nope, ping! ping! ping! getting dropped twice, once when he was on 15 just shy of the boundary, and secondly with just 2 runs required left in the game by a dolly of a ball just behind the bowlers head.
The win, when it finally did come was disappointingly to a wide ball, which saw James finish 17* and Khalid on 22* and Stalybridge take 19 points from the day, finishing 62/2 winning by 8 wickets in 18.2 overs.
With just two games to go, next week sees the 2’s head to Whaley Bridge.
Bad day at the office see 2nds fall to heavy defeat.
After all the heavy rain over the last couple of weeks, it was good to be finally back at a cricket ground without the threat of a downpour looming, the sun was out, and it was a lovely clear day looking over Kinder Scout; that’ll do, you can stop reading now, it’s done.
Coming off the strip smiling, it was immediately apparent that the toss had been won by Stalybridge’s captain Brian Stone, who decided he’d like to have the team bowl at the hosts, which with the openers Will Freeman and Oliver Wyatt dismissed for just 4 and 1 respectively seemed a good decision. Alex Wood coming in at three had other ideas, putting 37 on the board in the hour he was at the crease, before being bowled by an on-the-day grumpy James Beswick, his 2nd of three wickets he’d take.
Andy Haywood coming in at 5 managed 16, and Andrew Given at 7 put another 28 runs on the board for the home side, but was bowled cleanly by Faz Hussain, for his third of four dismissals for just 19 runs, the remaining wicket of youngster Harvey Lee fell to Faz again for just 1 run, leaving Mohamed Wasseem on 4* just 8 minutes after arriving at the ground, and leaving the home side 1 point shy of their second batting point, all out for 124.
After the “interval break in proceedings”, Stalybridge came out all suitably buoyed by the score, knowing that 124 was presumably a below-par score for a ground with a number of short boundaries, despite having a make-shift team due to a number of holidays, with the cheap dismissals of the openers Alex Wilde and Anthony Hunter, it fell to James Beswick to try and put Stalybridge back on course, and in spite of his 23 runs, he was back in the changing room after half an hour, and it was at that point Stalybridge’s batting collapsed in earnest, with Chairman Nigel Corless called in to help dismissed by an LBW decision that had the loudest edge that only the umpire seemed to not hear, for a duck with Stalybridge now 27/3, it took just over an hour for the rest of the team to be caught, bowled or run out for just another 40 runs on the board, with the final wicket being an equally dubious thick edged LBW of Jordan Elliott who was apologised to by the Birch Vale bowler, who realised he’d hit it, but had to appeal, because they knew the umpire wanted to get away early, as was suitably rewarded for it.
Both teams were playing with a depleted squad today, but it was the home team who capitalised on the handicap, and if Stalybridge are going to keep their title hopes alive, it will require a much improved batting performance going forward, it can’t all fall to a quality bowling attack.
Stalybridge St. Paul’s claim another victory with a 5fer9 for Ned Woodman.
With Stalybridge St. Paul’s psychologically dropping points last week due to a bye week, it was important to get a victory under their belt to stop the now two teams above us in the league table pulling further away, and for a while today it looked like it just wasn’t happening for us, starting with Brian losing the toss again, which unlike the game the week before last didn’t please him, and being put into bat.
With Mike Whitworth seemingly still carrying the back injury that he had against Offerton, it was just 15 minutes into the innings that saw him chip a ball over the keepers head into the welcoming hands of one of the youngsters on Chapel’s team, Harry Beal, his replacement James Beswick eyes lit up briefly as a ball from another of the young Chapel-en-le-Frith lads, Jack Gyte came towards him, only for him to see it glide under his bat to dismiss him a couple of minutes after Mike, Alex Wilde who opened with Mike did his efficient steady job as per usual but could only see 7 when he was caught of spinner Toby Phipps, Stu Nock came in at number 4, and despite being at the crease for over half an hour, the on-the-spot bowling from their Captain John Theyer and young Toby pegged him down for just 12 runs.
At this stage Stalybridge we now had just 30 runs and were already 20 overs into the game, and it was looking fairly grim to be truthful, but the arrival of Tony Mooney at five saw a dramatic turn around, his effortless boundaries effectively turned the tide of the match, and despite his partners Ant Hunter (11), an angry Pete Coxon (7) and Maurice Barber (20) being dismissed around him, Tony’s 42 not out (and Ned’s single ball 1) saw Stalybridge finish their 45 overs with a more palatable 114/7, still not a massive figure, but better than the 73/6 we were at with 10 overs to go, though it could all have gone differently, given Tony was given out not long into his innings, stumped in a bizarre fashion, given by the square-leg umpire long after the ball should have been deemed dead, thankfully, common sense prevailed, and the decision was over turned.
Having bowled them out at the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season for 90, we were aware that is wasn’t impossible, but given Chapel had knocked up 289/4 just two weeks previous, we knew it all hinged on a few getting a key wickets, primarily in John Theyer and Chris Pike, so it was when the captain, Theyer coming in at number 5, despite being dropped on 3 was caught behind on just 12 from Pete Coxon, and Chapel now 44/4, an audible cheer from the Stalybridge players helped raise their game, Pike came in next however couldn’t get much purchase with the bat due to the excellent bowling from Ned Woodman (5 for 9 off 12) and a decent recovery from Pete Coxon (who had a poor start, I’m sure he’ll agree conceding 12 in his first over, but finished 2-29), and his removal at 62/7, again caught behind, this time from Ned saw the last of the batters, and left only the bowlers to try and see out the game, with the rain threatening, the Duckworth Lewis kept being just 5-10 runs ahead of where Chapel were currently, I was glad to see the 3 remaining batsmen dismissed with just 5 additional runs finishing on 67 before the heavens opened not long after.
Another mention has to go to Alex Wilde, who pulled off a cracking over-shoulder catch close to the boundary to see off my scoring counter-part’s dad Lee Storer.
Final result: Stalybridge win by 49 runs.
I’d link to the scorecard, but I’m annoyed at CricHQ moving the goalposts yet again this week, with what people can and can’t view, so f*ck ’em.
More disturbingly, it appears at some point during the 1sts win over Chapel’s in the home fixture, some scrote robbed £60 from the wallet of one of the Stalybridge players, if by any remote possibility you’re reading this, I hope your fingers fall off you thieving bastard.
Next week, Stalybridge 2nd’s play host to Compstall, who, like Chapel did at the beginning of the season, gave us a tricky game at their place.
Just a couple of pictures from the photographic group that use the facilities on a Thursday, attending the match between Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC and Dinting CC for the semi-final of the Bissenden Cup.
2nds back to winning ways, but it wasn’t a walk in the park.
The second half to the season began, unsurprising like the first, with Offerton the opposition, after losing the toss to stand-in captain Dave Scholes, Brian Stone‘s team were told to field, and I’ve never seen him happier to lose the toss in my life.
The Offerton openers, Karl Martin and Steve Pickles were pegged in quite effectively by Stalybridge’s James Beswick and Maurice Barber, but neither bowler could make their hard work pay with a wicket until the last ball of the 9th over when a peach of a ball from Barber almost took the middle stump out of the ground, dismissing Martin for 7, and Offerton on 15, his partner managed to last another 15 minutes before being caught at silly point by Tony Mooney off a Beswick delivery.
The arrival of Faz Hussain replacing Maurice saw another quick wicket with No. 3 Imran Sohail caught on the boundary off an awful delivery (sorry Faz) by Beswick; it’s true what they say, ‘sh*t balls get you wickets‘, but he went on to complete 9 overs for just 31 runs, so it’s not all bad, when Pete Coxon took Bez’s place in the attack, you could see that the opening game where he took 7 wickets was playing on the captain’s mind, who was dismissed for a duck just two balls after Pete’s first scalp of Simon Kirkham, Pete took two more wickets over the space of 8 overs with Halimi on 15 caught behind, and then Suban Ahmad out LBW on 5, with 10 overs left, Offerton were now 61 for 7, and a repeat of the first game where we bowled them (albeit a 10 man side) out for 79, looked on the cards. Andy Thomas however had other ideas, and proceeded to put another 31 runs on the board for the home side, despite running out No 9, Tony Davies (3) in a what seemed a fool-hardy attempt to get back on strike for the next over, he did manage to steady the ship, and helped Offerton into 3 figures, before JJ Smith deemed him deliberately putting pad in the path of ball, and sent him back to the dressing room LBW, his replacement Liam Smith could only last 4 more balls in that over before Maurice swung another lovely ball in, to see the home side all out for 113.
After the break, a visibly injured Mike Whitworth and Alex Wilde took to the field, but with Offerton manoeuvring to switch the ends of the bowling attack of Andy Thomas and Suban Ahmad, saw Steve Pickles come in for a single over and his looping, slow ball must seem like it’s Christmas for batters, but it was one such delivery that saw Alex ping one to the boundary, only to be picked out of the air by the expectant Karl Martin, the next two Stalybridge batters, Khalid Akram and James Beswick had similar innings, with Khalid getting bowled by Ahmad for 13 off 25 deliveries, and James’ C&B by Imran Sohail for 14 off 26, Stalybridge were now on just 56 runs, and were 5 wickets down, and only 15 overs into a maximum of 50.
Andy Thomas, much like in the batting innings, put in a decent bowling performance, netting just the 1 wicket of Anthony Hunter, for his 12 overs, he only conceded 20 runs but Pete Coxon punished his final delivery lumping the ball for a six towards the pavillion,
The return of Steve Pickles however, coming back in the 25th over saw Pete Coxon’s eyes light up for the high-lofted delivery, but only saw it lift up and over his head to the welcoming hands of the keeper, seeing him dismissed for 21, and Stalybridge now 87-7, with Keith Bowers caught the next ball by Liam Smith saw Stalybridge staring imminent defeat in the mouth.
Thankfully Faz Hussain who had come in at 7 following Ant Hunters dismissal and Maurice Barber coming in at No. 9 had the wisdom to realise Stalybridge still had as many overs left as had already gone to get just 27 more runs, and proceeded to take each subsequent delivery on its merit, not taking the bait of the fielders urging them to finish it off quick, and slowly added runs and a the odd boundary where it deemed safe to do so, though that didn’t stop Faz putting a dent in Steve Pickles (3-13) figures, to end the match in style, hitting a big six to finish 114-8 in a very close and excellent game of cricket, on a glorious summers day.
Returning to Stalybridge saw us able to watch the 1sts suitably demolish Offerton’s 1sts with a 5-fer for Rob Mallet, beating them by 125 runs after putting 246 on for the visitors to chase in the opening innings. (They also need to get someone to give me a proper match report so it’s not just an afterthought to the 2nds team report.)
Next week sees a break for Stalybridge with a bye, but the following week sees us back on the road to Chapel-en-le-Frith, who gave us another close game at the start of the season.
Final result: Stalybridge win by 2 wickets, and the scorecard, if you can be arsed to sign into CricHQ, now that they’ve made it compulsory to do so, thereby removing the option to embed it into this website (bloody ar*eholes!), can be viewed here.
Well, you could if their servers hadn’t crapped out yet again.
Stalybridge suffer first defeat of season to strong bowling attack.
In a crucial 1st verses 2nd match, it was the opposition home side that took the spoils, starting by winning the toss and putting Stalybridge into bat, the day went from bad to worse from that point forward with the dismissal of Mike Whitworth in the second over with just 5 runs on the board, with his partner at the opposite end, Alex Wilde caught behind surviving another 10 overs before being caught behind by the most toxic keeper I’ve had to endure at 2nds level cricket, it was Whitworth’s dismissal however that saw Khalid Akram come in at three, who was Stalybridge’s top scorer on 35, taking plenty of abuse from the home side fielders for whatever reason, before being bowled by Sikander Kalifa, with Stalybridge now 5 wickets down, with only 62 on the board and just 26 overs complete.
I could see how the above could be seen as sour grapes, but it isn’t intended that way, I’d expect that sort of “banter” at a Division 1 match, or against a side with previous history, but it’s not needed at this level, but despite their temperament, their bowling couldn’t be faulted, it was probably the best bowling performance Stalybridge 2nds have faced in a long time, and they punished us with it, bowling the remaining batsmen out for just 82, the ball that bowled Pete Coxon for example was just perfect; with a 4-29 from Saad Malik and 3-11 from Sikander Kalifa.
After the interval, the misery continued, with an excellent batting performance from captain Naseem Sheikh, who almost managed to secure maximum points for his team, which would have seen them top the table, before being given LBW 6 runs from victory, finishing on 25, and his long standing partner at the opposite end with No. 3, Irfan Khalik, racked up 51 to win the game for the home side from just 53 deliveries with 5 fours and 3 sixes, two of which ended in the canal I think!
There were a couple of dropped catches by the Stalybridge fielders, Pete Coxon having to endure two of his deliveries dropped in the same over, but it wouldn’t have made an impact on the outcome of the match.
So while it was only 1 point for Stalybridge today, it was an important one, as it means we’re tied on points with High Lane, and I think we remain in the top spot in division 4 for at least another week, but I’ll let Ian Halford work that lot out, until we are again on the road to the ground affectionately known as the swamp, Offerton.
In more positive news, it was a gloriously sunny day, a shock after the weather we’ve endured all week, and the 1sts saw victory against High Lane’s 1sts, beating them by 9 wickets.
Final result: High Lane win by 8 wickets, full scorecard available here.
Tense 2 wicket victory sees firsts through to semi-final of Bissenden Cup.
Making this up as I go along, so bear with me.
Hazel Grove opened the batting with Rick Burke and Nick Hayward, the latter however was quickly dismissed in the second over, bowled from 2nds loanee Maurice Barber, with just 3 on the board, however his partner was able to survive another twenty five overs, managing to just reach his half-century before being caught behind by keeper Joe Robinson from a slow delivery from Jamie Brownhill, the hosts now on 87-4.
Captain Geoff Noden managed to steady the rot though, putting another 32 on the score-sheet, before being bowled by James Beswick, with Mike Holtom being dismissed 9 balls later, with the total at 126, it fell to Number 6, Dominic Nunn and Luke Bennett to see out the remaining 9 overs, managing to put an additional 34 runs on to see the hosts finish their overs 160-6.
The start for Stalybridge after the break almost mirrored Hazel Groves, with Alex Wilde dismissed very early into his innings, and his partner Adam Harwick putting on the runs at the other end, Mike Hatton managed to contribute 20 runs to their 61 run partnership, but his dismissal, and subsequent duck for captain Rick Wright, brought Joe Robinson into bat, who was able to stay at the crease while his partners came and went, with only Phil Hammond able to break into double figures out of the next four batsmen, so it was left to Joe to finish the innings in style with two fours then a typical Joe style slog to hit a six to take Stalybridge over the winning line and into the Semi-final of the Bissenden Cup.
Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nds make it 8 wins in 8 played.
Staly captain Brian Stone uncharacteristically lost the toss, and was put into bat by his opposite number Marc Thompson, which Brian predicted would happen anyway, because he wanted to bowl.
With Mike Hatton still drunk from his weekend in Amsterdam, which he was still in at 5am this morning, and another fielder missing with Tony Mooney unaware he was scheduled to play because of a WhatsApp miscommunication, Faz Hussain got the call to replace him, but then Tony turned up too, so hey, 12 players, thankfully Tony decided to sit out and did a long stint umpiring at square-leg, before sitting down to watch the match; cheers Tony.
Openers Mike Whitworth and Alex Wilde did a great job soaking up the Whaley bowling attack, both nearly an hour and half each at the crease, with Alex ticking along with the singles, and letting Mike getting the runs at the other end before Alex was bowled with 93 on the board, Mike was only a couple of overs behind him before being dismissed LBW, with a very respectable 61.
Khalid was caught a few balls later, with Danny Collins and Mike Hatton, managing another 10 overs or so both getting into double figures, MVPete Coxon did well putting another 25 on the board taking the total to 176, but we couldn’t quite reach maximum batting points, as the overs ticked to 45 ending the innings 184 for 8, possibly our top score of the season, I cba checking, but special mention has to go to second highest scorer “Extras” with a whopping 37 with 13 byes, 7 leg-byes, 16 wides and a no-ball.
Ten-man Whaley Bridge opened with Mike Madden and Peter Crowley, the former was someone we knew was getting big scores, with an average of 107 so I am told, so it was imperative to make him the primary target of the opening bowling attack of Ned Woodman and Maurice Barber, he however had other ideas, doggedly staying at the crease for an hour and 40 minutes, but being denied runs by some excellent bowling and fielding, so it was his dismissal at 66-3 for just 23 runs, caught by an absolutely amazing diving catch from Ned off a Pete Coxon delivery, which saw a collective sigh of relief from the Stalybridge contingent, his partner for the most of his innings Will Weston lasted a couple more overs before being bowled this time by Ned and caught by Pete on 24. Captain Marc Thompson came in at number 5 and saw out the innings being last man dismissed on 31, finishing their innings all out for 112, giving Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nds their 8th consecutive league win of the season.
Despite the excellent fielding today, two points of note have to be mentioned, an absolute dolly of a drop from Faz Hussain, which would have seen danger-man Mike Madden out 4 overs earlier than he actually was, and the circus-style barrel roll from Mike Hatton, to stop a ball going for 4.
Next week sees the 2’s travel half a mile up the A6 to (as of today at least) second in the league High Lane, to hopefully put pay to their “we refuse to lose” motto.
Final result: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 72 runs, score-card available here. (presuming CricHQ pull their fingers out and fix their obviously overloaded servers).
Stalybridge continue their unbeaten run at Hadfield St. Andrews CC.
On a glorious sunny afternoon, just up the road in Hadfield, Stalybridge captain Brian Stone loses the toss, and is put into bat, a decision he was happy about, as that’s what he’d planned to do anyway, but with 3 wickets down less than 45 minutes into the match and only 27 runs on the board, it looked like Stalybridge 2nds run of wins might be in doubt, with a super catch from one of Hadfield’s youngsters, Jack Clegg, to take Alex Wilde at point, bringing James Beswick into play, who for the last couple of weeks has been carrying a side strain, but he put that well and truly behind him, playing for a little over two hours in the sweltering midday sun.
With 82 runs and just three balls left in the innings, it was a shame to see him bowled out, but given he should really have been stumped on 5, which the keeper fumbled, he can’t have many complaints, Stalybridge complete their 45 overs with 172 on the board, and two wickets to spare, with a decent bowling performance from Hadfield skipper Mike Hockey with 4 wickets for just 21 runs in 11 overs.
After the ‘mid-innings break with no-name‘, Hadfield lost their first wicket of Johnny Gabriel on the first ball, with a plumb LBW delivery from Ned Woodman, and Maurice Barber claimed his first of three scalps just 11 balls later, with Hadfield still with only 1 run on the board. The arrival of Christian Eyre at No. 4 looked to be their danger-man, and his dismissal at the clumsy usually-safe hands of keeper Mike Hatton, and subsequent catch off the rebound by Brian Stone for just 3 runs and 7 total on the scoreboard cemented the collapse, with only Jack Clegg (10) and Tom Bradbury (11*) managing to break into double figures, seeing Hadfield all out for 35 in 19 overs.
Stalybridge hope to keep their streak going when they host Whaley Bridge next Saturday to make it 8 wins out of 8 matches played.
Result: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 137 runs, with scorecard available here.