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.
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.
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