Following what appeared to be a promising start, we went into bat in the rain chasing 102. The fact that we managed to bat for 2 hours in the conditions against a very good bowling attack was a credit to the lads who hung around.

Winning the toss, Mike Whitworth put the visitors into bat on a soft wicket. Opening bowlers James Brady and Jacob Dooley kept their openers quiet, the latter’s 2 opening overs both maidens. In the 8th over the youngster claimed his first wicket followed by another in the 12th as Dove Holes had laboured to 12/2.

Normally, I would move on from this, but that second wicket fell due to a catch from Richard Wright. What a catch! As Bagshaw had launched Dooley’s delivery towards the long off boundary it looked only to be a question of if it was a 4 or a 6. Our opening batsmen set off running to his left and picked the right time to dive, holding on to the ball with one hand. Fantastic. I am sure going off his celebration that he is going to dine out on this one for a while.

This brought the late arriving Gilbride to the crease. When he departed 9 overs later caught off Adam Harwick’s bowling the score had moved on to 71, a partnership of 59, Gilbride notching up 43 of that tally. It was a match winning performance. Adam (3-47) and Jamie Brownhill (2-27) continued to chip away at the middle order, claiming another 5 wickets for 20 runs. As the rain started to fall, it was left to Jacob Dooley to wrap up the last 2 wickets to leave him with excellent figures of 4 for 10.

After the innings break was extended due to the rain we got back underway, though I don’t think it stopped completely until the game had been won by the visitors. Gilbert and Critchlow opened the bowling for Dove Holes with devastating effect. Wright and Saadullah Jelani fell to consecutive balls at the end of Gilbert’s second over to leave us 4/2. He repeated the feat of 2 wickets with 2 balls shortly afterwards to dispatch Joe Robinson and Brady and the scoreboard showed 6/4.

Harwick fell to Critchlow shortly afterwards and at 12/5 the situation looked worse than the weather. Especially as the visitor’s bowlers were only halfway through their allotted overs. Credit must go to Whitworth and Brownhill for staying together 11 overs and putting on 17 which in the worsening conditions and against such a good attack was a great effort. Unfortunately, once Whitworth went for 10 the rest of the line-up went the same way as those earlier and things were wrapped up with us finishing at 37 all out.

Not the greatest afternoon but some positives can be taken, especially in the field and with our bowling. Time to regroup and move on. Next week we are on the road at New Mills, if anybody can make the trip to the Peak District I know the lads would appreciate your support.

Final result and full score-card: Dove Holes won by 64 runs.

[Week 5] Newton CC 1st XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 1st XI

As we arrived at Newton CC for our Glossop Glass and Glazing sponsored Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League Division One match even the relatively short journey of just over 2 miles appeared to be a wasted one due to the rain. With everyone consulting a number of apps on their phones, Richard Wright had bravely predicted it would stop raining at 1. He was out by about 15 minutes or so, but good going sir.

We got underway shortly before 1.30 in a reduced overs game of 36 per side, Wrighty continuing his good day with a boundary in the opening over. Following what looked to be a promising start we lost both openers in consecutive over to leave us at 21/2, a pattern that followed as Saadullah Jelani (27) and Joe Robinson (20) looked to have settled in for us.

Unfortunately, the promising start of being 60/4 failed to materialise into a more promising score as we lost our last 6 wickets for 22 runs. A target of 83 did not look to be enough against the league leaders on their home turf. Captain Mike Whitworth’s rallying cry in the break between innings of “Let’s make it difficult for them” proved to be prophetic beyond even Richard Wright’s weather forecasting.

Opening bowler James Brady sent out a warning shot claiming his first victim with his second ball. Newton started to threaten to run away with the game before bowling changes started that final turn of the tide. Jamie Brownhill claimed the second wicket with his third ball and from 35/1  to 39/3 following Jacob Dooley claimed his first victim in the space of 4 overs had not only made our opponents think, their runs had started to dry up too. In his next 2 overs the youngster claimed another victim, 50/5, Jacob was flying in. Jamie got back in the act in the next over without any score being added. We had claimed 5 wickets for 15 runs.

After his fantastic opening spell at the opposite end where James Brady had not got the rewards his work had deserved, he came back into the attack. Second ball, he did it again! 59/7. Jamie got his third wicket and at 68/8 an unlikely victory looked to be within our grasp. Brady got the 9th wicket in the next over, again clean bowled, 1 wicket to claim the win, but the hosts only required 14 too.

Newton were getting closer; a huge 6 brought them to within 4 as Brady started his 9th and what would be his final over, wrapping things up with his 4th wicket, and the victory was ours by 2 runs. A fantastic team effort. Jamie (3-29) and Jacob (3-17) were both fantastic performances, but the final mention must go to James Brady (4-13), he was on fire, bowling all of his victims.

Next week we welcome Dove Holes to Gorse Hall Road, come along and support the lads.

Final result and full scorecard: Stalybridge St. Paul’s win by 2 runs.

[Week 1] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 1st XI vs Dinting CC 1st XI

Well to say it’s been an odd year so far, would be an understatement, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

After a 3 1/2 month delay, the cricket season finally commenced in the Glossop Glass and Glazing sponsored Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League, though Stalybridge St. Paul’s like a number of other clubs in the league are only fielding a 1st XI in this 9 week reduced season, and the opening fixture for new joint-Captain Mike Whitworth‘s newly promoted team to the top flight division was to face winners of Division 1 last season Dinting.

I’m not aware that the players have managed to train other than in nets for two or three sessions before the pandemic landed, so it was hardly surprising for the team to be a little rusty, as indicated by the top order not managing to break double figures before opener Richard Wright who having watched three of his partners be dismissed for ducks at the hands of Dinting’s Ryan Stringer, thumped a ball for six over the fence onto Gorse Hall Road, only to be dismissed himself in the next delivery bowled by Stringer.

Saadulah Jelani had not long since replaced #3, Mike Whitworth, and he with exception of Stuart Barnes (11) was the only player  to put any dent in the score, managing to creep just past his half century to reach 52 before being dismissed by Dinting’s Captain Greg Harwick in the last ball of the 30th over.

And he won’t thank me for it, but it was an unfortunate return to the club for Madussar Bashir, who had had a 4 year hiatus due to work and a new family, by surviving just a single delivery before being caught and bowled by the opposition Captain.

Without Saad’s contribution, it would have been a very dire situation, but Stalybridge St. Paul’s ended their innings all out for 94.

After the quick turn-around due to lack of tea’s, it looked like Dinting were going to see off that total in short order, getting to 42 before the first loss of wicket in Max Coleman and 3 runs later his fellow opener Phil Jones (no not that one) both at the hands of Jacob Dooley.

Stalybridge’s Jamie Brownhill took 4 more wickets, before Dinting managed to win with Ryan Stringer hitting a four to end the innings 98 for 6 in 29.3 overs.

Next Saturday sees the 1s away to Hayfield, when I should have been sunning myself in Spain, but Jet2 have just cancelled my flights. FU Jet2.

Final result and full score-card: Dinting CC win by 4 wickets.

COVID-19 Update for Clubs and Leagues (19th June 2020)

ECB Update - Covid-19

Dear all,

Please find below the latest COVID-19 bulletin.

This week, the ECB announced a further financial package to support professional and recreational cricket during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The £35.7million support package was agreed by the ECB Board after detailed financial planning with the whole game and to support all levels of cricket during a period of extreme financial uncertainty.This week, the ECB announced a further financial package to support professional and recreational cricket during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full update can be found here.

The NatWest Club Cricket Financial Guide offers practical advice and tools including how to deal with the impact of Coronavirus, looking after the cricket community and guidance on how to boost income through tips on memberships, facilities and sponsor support.Given the impact Coronavirus has had on the start of this year’s cricket season, NatWest together with the ECB have launched a new online financial guide to help cricket leagues, clubs and volunteers efficiently manage their finances and help clubs thrive.

The Guide is available here for clubs to download and access.

It has been fantastic to see the continuous nominations for our #raisethebat campaign across social media, thanking all those key workers who have been working so hard to protect us all and keep the country running

We encourage you to share any further nominations by emailing us here by 5pm this Sunday, or by using #raisethebat across social media.
We are now looking to amplify this campaign even further and are really keen that nominations represent diverse roles such as teaching, NHS and caring across all ethnicities to truly reflect our cricket community. We’ve had lots of fantastic nominations through, please keep sharing.

In addition to the information requested last time, we would also ask that you include a photograph of your nomination this time around.

Details required:

  • Full name of your nomination
  • Email of the person you are nominating*
  • The reason for nominating them
  • A photo of the nomination 

*Their email address will only be used for correspondence relating to this initiative and not any other marketing purposes

Following the provision of the 5 Step Roadmap last week we have had some further enquiries through from cricket network. We have updated our FAQ document with answers to these questions which can be found here.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and advice from the Disclosure and Barring Service, the ECB are continuing with the current approach regarding the initiation and verification of DBS applications.

System access remains restricted to a limited group of users at County & ECB Level and Video ID Meetings are to be used instead of Face to Face Meetings.

We are committed to reviewing our approach in consultation with all Official sources and suppliers – to support the planned return of cricket.

If you require any support regarding initiating and/or verifying DBS applications please contact us here.

The first Google Digital Garage session ran on Monday and we’ve had some great feedback since. A reminder that the remaining two sessions will run as follows:

Monday 22nd June 09:30 – Register here
Get started with Digital Advertising – social, search and display advertising

Monday 29th June 09:30 – Register here
Get Your Business Visible on Google – Learn how to increase your visibility to reach more people online.

A reminder that the COVID-19 FAQ list can be accessed here. We will be regularly updating this list so please continue to check back, and feed in your questions via your Head of Region.

COVID-19 ECB Update (10th June 2020)

Dear all,

We have identified five steps for the recreational game’s proposed phased return in England this summer. England is currently in step 3 – which allows for small group training sessions of up to six people while respecting social distancing. The Welsh government are due to review current restrictions on 18 June, after which time we will provide further guidance.

As cricket is a non-contact sport that involves individual disciplines within a team environment, forms of the game can be played while respecting social distancing. We will continue to be led by UK government’s advice and will only move into step 4 when the guidance allows and when it is medically safe to do so.

Below you will find the road-map and some FAQs. To view the road-map in larger format please click here.


Do you think we’ll play club cricket again this year?

We have an absolute ambition to get cricket played as soon as it is safe to do so. Although social distancing is likely to be in place for the foreseeable future, cricket is a non-contact team sport with individual disciplines, as such, we are optimistic about getting cricket played this summer. The safety and wellbeing of the cricket family is our number one priority and that is why we are being led by government and medical advice at every point. Therefore, we will move to step 4 when it is safe to do so and supported by government and medical experts.

When do you think stage four will happen?

The Government have not yet published new guidance relating to sport since their update on May 30. We are not aware of a committed date to revise that, but their daily briefings continue to update widely on relaxing guidelines, should the status of COVID-19 continue to progress positively.

Can ECB do more to get recreational cricket played?? You’ve managed to get International cricket back on?

It is hugely important that ECB do all we can to ensure recreational cricket played, as soon as it is safe to do so. Because the safety of the cricket family is our first priority, the decision to move into step four ‘adapted gameplay’ will be made when it is medically safe to do so. In addition, the environment for international cricket is significantly easier for us to control and easier for us to work with Government on achieving solutions to problems that COVID-19 posed. The numbers of people involved are significantly smaller and we were only talking about one or two venues.

Compare that to the English and Welsh sporting public, and the landscape is very different. Over 6,500 cricket clubs, thousands and thousands of players and spread across two countries.

The resumption of international cricket is vital for the funding of the game. The ECB is not-for-profit. Any money that flows into the organisation funds cricket somewhere. Either the England teams, grants and funding to cricket clubs, disability cricket, safeguarding checks, our charity partners – every part of the game has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

You mention a focus on junior cricket – what is that focus and how will you bring around the return of junior cricket first?

We know that for many clubs, a thriving junior section is critical to their long term, health and prosperity. A thriving junior section provides the players of the future, can inspire volunteers and plays a vital role in club finances. With schools returning on a limited basis, we are keen to explore with Government if cricket clubs can support more children (than guidance currently permits) to get active. As always, this plan will need government guidance and the advice of medical experts in delivery.

If I can sit in a pub garden with my mates from July 4, why can’t I play cricket?

The government has highlighted some top line plans for the hospitality sector. These plans will encompass detailed guidelines that will be available in the coming weeks. Once we have these, we will update our guidance as to what this means for recreational cricket club facilities. It is important to note that government guidance on the hospitality sector will not necessarily be replicated for community sport. Once the government has shared its next steps for community sport, we will update the guidance for recreational cricket accordingly. With that said, we are optimistic about getting cricket played this summer and we have an ambition to get the game on as soon as it is safe to do so.

When do you envision we’ll get to Stage five, i.e we’ll be playing club cricket normally?

Moving to stage five would involve the removal of social distancing measures, at this time, it is hard to see us getting to this stage this summer.

Are you concerned about how this summer has impacted the club game?

There is no question that COVID-19 has impacted all areas of society and community sport is not immune to this. The recreational game is critical to the long term health and prosperity of our game and so it is vital that we support the game through this unprecedented crisis. This is why we initially provided access to more than £20M in grants and loans for the recreational game and worked with local clubs to access a further £24M in government grants and loans. Mobilising the game to return and safely as possible is our next challenge. We have begun significant work to ensure all cricket stakeholders are involved in this consultation.

Why does it look like other sports are ahead of us in terms of the return to sport plans?

We are optimistic about a return to competitive cricket matches this summer. This will be conditional on it being safe to do so, a decision that will be medically led and in line with government advice. Although social distancing is likely to be in place for the foreseeable future, cricket is a non-contact team sport with individual disciplines. We believe this makes cricket uniquely placed as a team sport to be played sooner than other major team sports.

England & Wales Cricket Board, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, NW8 8QZ

Function Room closed until further notice.

COVID-19Like many clubs and businesses around the county,  and the world at large for that matter, Stalybridge St. Paul’s Cricket Club is sad to announce, that in light of the current health climate brought on by COVID-19, it is, in addition to having had to delay the start of the cricketing season, at the request of the ECB and the Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League, the club have had to make the decision for the safety of all involved to temporarily close the function room to the various social groups who currently use it during  the week, as well as the hiring of the room for social gatherings such as birthdays etc.

Whilst we are unable to obviously put a timescale on when it will reopen, Clair and Marie are pencilling-in interested parties for bookings for August and beyond, subject to confirmation from both sides closer to the day.  If this is of interest, please contact Marie on 07873 404282 or complete the contact form on the Function Room page.



[Week 17] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nds snatch victory from the jaws of er.. victory…

On a day where a number of matches in the league had already been called off due to waterlogged grounds, after another week of torrential down-pours, it was a pleasant surprise that our game was played in glorious sunshine, with captain Brian Stone winning the toss and electing to put 10 man Hazel Grove into bat.

The bowling attack of Jacob Dooley (5-21) and Alan Dale (3-17) started excellently, with Jacob taking 3 wickets in the first 25 minutes of the game, the 3rd of which coming in the 6th over was a cause for confusion, with the batsman Mark Baker (apparently a Yorkshire man, though we’ll not hold that against him), being caught behind, *thinking* from the shouts, and that it had hit his pad, that he’d been given LBW, immediately starts walking off, looks back, to see the umpire hasn’t put his finger up yet, so comes back, whereupon the umpire presumably decides “oh you walked, you must have nicked it”, sticks his finger up, only for Baker to see it was a caught decision, and leaves the field mumbling in dissent, to be replaced by Hazel Grove’s captain Jake Bennett.

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XI vs Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI - 17.08.2019
Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI – 17.08.2019

Jake’s arrival saw Hazel Grove’s recovery, forming a partnership with the already at crease Andy Tomlinson, that would last an hour and twenty minutes, putting on 48 runs between them before Jacob picked up his 4th wicket in the 28th over, after returning to the bowling attack, bowling Bennett for 19, putting the visitors on 58.

Andy lasted another 9 overs, after being at the crease for 2 hours, before getting caught by Alex Wilde with the tips of his fingers, leaving Tomlinson stunned at his wicket, off a Pete Coxon (1-16) delivery, Coxon returning to the 2nds after a long break following a heart attack; welcome back Pete!

With only Martin Hodson (15) contributing to the remaining runs (his son’s Oliver‘s 1 not-withstanding), Hazel Grove were finally bowled all-out with an over spare for 93, during which time young Jacob took his 5fer with the last ball of his 12 overs ending his figures 12 overs, 6 maidens, 21 runs and 5 wickets; excellent bowling lad, thoroughly deserved man of the match in my opinion.

After the interval opener Alex Wilde was left fuming just 20 minutes into the innings, as he left the field at what he deemed an unfair advantage in Hazel Grove’s bowling one of their 1st team bowlers Lewis Rodgers  (3-19)  returning after 6 weeks out injured after splitting a finger in a T20 match.

Rogers picked up his 2nd & 3rd wickets moments later, sending Tony Mooney (🦆) for an early bath after six deliveries, with the lightest of touches taking the bails off the wicket, and Michael Hatton (5) facing just one more ball than Mooney, and the home side teetering on 3-26.

However stalwart opener Stuart Nock at the other end had other ideas, staying at the crease for just short of 2 hours, and 2 runs short of his half-century, and agonisingly 7 runs short of victory, before being Hazel Grove’s 8th and thankfully, final wicket.

Captain Brian Stone (2) and Peter Coxon (5) managed to bring the what at times looked perilously closed to defeat, a sigh of relief to the watching faithful, to see the home side edge over the line to finish 94/8.

Well done lads, still some woeful catching in the field, and some dodgy batting, but a win’s a win. 🙂

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

Next week see the 2nds first visit to Pott Shrigley Cricket Club, 40 minutes up the road on the far Western edge of the Peak District National Park.

By the way, if you’ve never used the mapping app What3Words, give it a try (Apple StoreGoogle Play Store), it’s a great way to give a simple 3 metre accurate location with just three words, and is something the emergency services have been plugging people to use, to help accurately locate addresses and remote accidents, hence this unsolicited advertisement. For example, the entrance to Pott Shrigley’s ground is ///varieties.marketing.chambers, which can easily be sent to your phone’s route planner of choice, to friends if you’re lost, or to the Uber app to book a cab at 4am when you wake up in Huddersfield.

[Week 15] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Buxworth CC 2nd XI

Stuart Nock and Steve Monks see off Buxworth’s total in short order.

After last weeks complete washout across all divisions, with the 2’s staring down the dam that is at the centre of the news up in Whaley Bridge, playing changing-room cricket while waiting for it to be called off, it was a rare and welcome change to see the sun again on a Saturday afternoon.

After Brian lost the toss to his counterpart Richard Millward, Buxworth took the decision to bat, which Brian had said he planned to had he won beforehand.

Buxworth were never able to breach 3 runs per over, and after a long spell of being on two wickets down, opener Neil McCormack‘s valiant efforts lasting 150 minutes at the crease finally came to an end just shy of his half century on 48, caught at point by Steve Monks off Adil Zaman (4-19).

Neil’s removal started Buxworth’s collapse, with Steve Monks (4-12) taking 3 wickets in his second, and the innings final over, to see the visitors finish their 45 overs on 124-9.

After the interval, Stalybridge lost their only 2 wickets of Krunal Bhatt and Tony Mooney in the 5th and 10th over respectively, leaving opener Stu Nock (78*) and #4 Steve Monks (30*) to put on impressive 92 partnership in just 13 overs (for a total of 22.4), with Nock carrying the bat and finishing the match in style smacking a six into the old-people’s home next door’s car park to finish on 130-2.

Final result and score-card: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 8 wickets.

Next week’s fixture, sees the 2s at league leaders Chapel-en-le-Frith.

[Week 13] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Dinting CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge 2nds XI put youth heavy Dinting side to the sword.

On a day that 12 hours previous looked in doubt, with the monsoon like levels of rain that Stalybridge endured, it was a testament to the sterling work of groundsmen Stuart Barnes and Keith Bowers† that have prepared the pitch into excellent condition to allow the match to go ahead with no indication of the amount of water the outfield must have received.

After winning the toss, Stalybridge captain Brian Stone put the visitors Dinting into bat, and other than expensive two overs in the middle spell, the home side bowling attack made light work of the youngster heavy Dinting batters for very little runs, with only the captain and opener Pete Brightmore putting any runs of note on the board, before being bowled for 29 by Ahmed Hayat for the first of his two wickets, in the 32nd over when the visitors were on 58.

Adil Zaman managed to take 4 wickets for 19 runs, before a combined effort from Tilak Bhojani and bowler Ned Woodman managed to run-out the final wicket to see Dinting end their innings on 73.

After the interval, the batting from the openers Alex Wilde (24*) and Stuart Nock (19) along with 11 extras at that point, before Stuart was caught at Gully by Wing Yan, saw the home side needing the same 37 runs, they’d made to that point to win the match, which between Alex and Tony Mooney  (20*) who came in to replace Stu did comfortably, to end the match with Stalybridge getting maximum points on 76/1.

Final result and score-card: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 9 wickets.

Next week, the 2nds are heading up to struggling Whaley Bridge to try and make it 5 out of 5.