[Week 6] Hollingworth CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XII know I asked for an end to all these close games, but this is ridiculous.

Never trust a weatherman!  Since Wednesday, the forecast for today was showers all day with heavy thunderstorms, as as early as yesterday, the app on my phone was issuing a “yellow weather alert” for heavy downpours, needless to say, this is how Hollingworth looked not long into the game.  Martin, your app’s sh*t!

Hollingworth CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 27th May 2017

With the captain due back from his jollies at 3pm, and vice-captain still carrying an injury from last week, it fell to resident nut-job joker Mike Hatton to test his mettle with the captain’s arm-band, who proceeded to lose the toss, and Hollingworth decided to have a bat.

It only took until the end of the second over for the first casualty to fall, with M Osborn being caught quite neatly at slip by Alex Wilde from a Ned Woodman delivery, the next two batsmen lasted until the 5th and 8th over respectively, both caught by keeper Ant Hunter from Maurice Barber, but there was still only 18 runs on the board at this point.  Another two wickets fall soon after, the home side score tally was now 26-5; Hollingworth were in disarray, with the arrival of Waqar and Junaid, a glimmer of hope appeared, when they started settling into their rhythm, but Danny Collins put pay to that hope, dismissing them both before they could too settled, along with Jack Schofield two balls later, with 50 on the board, and eight wickets gone, it was only a matter of two additional overs and 7 more runs before the remaining batsmen were dismissed, again from deliveries from Danny Collins, giving him his 5fer, and ending his figures a very respectable 5-11 from just 3 overs,  and probably Maurice Barber’s best bowling since joining at the beginning of the season, to see him finish 4-14 from 7.  Well done both.

Both teams agreed to forego tea until after the match, and were quickly back on the pitch for the second innings, with a massive 71 overs in which to score 58 runs, the order of the day was “slow and steady”, it would have fallen to Jordan Elliott to open today had he not managed to land awkwardly, whilst trying to catch a sitter, picking up a broken finger for his troubles (well done Son), so instead it was Danny opening alongside Alex Wilde, Danny was dismissed LBW from Khan for 14, and was replaced by Khalid Akram, who obviously didn’t get the memo, and soon racked up 30 runs before going for the glory shot to win the match, only to be caught on the boundary, leaving opener Alex (15*) and stalwart Tony Mooney to get the 3 remaining required runs to win the match, and everyone was soon back on the round returning to the home ground to watch the 1sts play their match.

With that fifth consecutive victory, maintaining our 100% win rate in the season, it saw Stalybridge leapfrog Hollingworth at the top of the table, to take an 18 point lead, with a game in hand, hopefully, we can retain that momentum when we host current bottom of the league Charlesworth next Saturday.

*(weather permitting).

Final score: Stalybridge win by 8 wickets, scorecard available here.

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

Can we stop having these close games, they’re not good for my heart!

After the last two games being close, and knowing we were down a few key players, I went into this game fully expecting defeat, from a Birch Vale team who have been hitting some big numbers, so when asked what I’d do, I suggested we batted, so if we’re turned over, then we could at least get home early, then we found out their big-hitting batter wasn’t available either, so changed my tune; the weather however had other ideas!

With the rain coming down, and Brian Stone on one of his many, many holidays :), stand-in Captain James Beswick lost the toss, and Birch Vale put us into bat, obviously with the thought, that should the game be on and off, they could at least get a couple of bowling points, so with Martin Hatton glued to his phone telling us minute by minute when the rain was going to be cleared, we all sat semi-patiently…  At 3:25, with 5 minutes left before the game has to be abandoned, Stalybridge finally take to the crease, with both sides overs reduced to 25, Jordan ‘Son, you’re not an opener’ Elliott and Alex Wilde opened, with Jordan hitting a career best of 35, lasting 18 of the 25 overs before being caught on the boundary that was looking to be a guaranteed six. Well done son!

With the overs ticking down, the runs were coming at a steady pace, and Stalybridge put in a respectable performance finishing 117-5.

Having had tea before the the match commenced, Birch Vale were soon back in to bat, and with just 6 runs on the board, both opening batsmen were dismissed by Pete Coxon, it was the arrival at three of Alex Wood, coupled with the removal from the bowling attack from injured opening bowler Beswick, that saw their revival, with Wood hitting 35 and the next two batsmen hitting 32 between them, with number 5, Will Hall‘s dismissal, it was the turn on Anthony Haywood to turn on the pressure, whilst starting slow, with ten overs remaining, Birch Vale were 56-4 requiring 62 to win, a seemingly daunting task, however, with about six overs left, he managed to turn a 6.8run/over requirement to a 4.3 by smacking a now hobbling Pete Coxon for 20 in a single over, putting 5 balls to the boundary, but he stepped out to thump the ball once too often, and the dismay of conceding 20 in the previous over was washed away with Pete’s 5th wicket of the day, bowling him middle stump, knocking it out of the ground.

The damage had been done, Birch Vale now just required 8 runs to win from just four overs, and with number 9, Saan Moore edging past leg slip to the boundary, the visitors required just 4 more runs with just over 3 overs to go, to secure a now certain victory from the jaws of defeat, it was our own fault, our fielding had been shocking, with me losing count of how many dropped catches we had done, though Adam Stones and Keith Bowers managed 3 catches between them.

Stalybridge St. Paul’s bowlers Martin Hatton and Pete Coxon however had other ideas, with the first two balls of the 23rd over, Martin dismissed youngsters Harvey Lee and Edward Johnson, finishing the over with a two-wicket maiden, with the final Birch Vale incoming batsman at the off-striker’s end, Pete Coxon faced the stronger looking of the two tail-enders, but finally managed to displace his middle wicket on the third delivery clinching his 6th wicket of the day, and confirming Stalybridge’s unbeaten, however closely, run continued for another week at least.

Well done lads, can we try to secure victory a bit more easily though in the future, it may make for a more enjoyable game like this, but my ticker ain’t up to the job!

Final result: Stalybridge win by 3 runs, and the scorecard can be viewed here.

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

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIFlipping heck, that was close!

Thankfully, the threat of rain, that had been promised throughout today, failed to materialise, and on winning the toss, Stalybridge captain Brian Stone decided we’d have a bowl on the damp track, presumably hoping to maximise bowling points should the game have to be abandoned later on.

Compstall openers C Bray and P Jackson and their No. 3 R Bradley put in a proper shift, wearing down the Stalybridge bowlers, with the former staying at the crease well over 2 hours before being run out by Jordan Elliott on 43, with those three out, the rest of the Compstall attack crumbled, with only D Davies coming in at No. 6 able to break double figures before being caught at slip by Brian from Faz Hussain, who returned after a self imposed break to help out today, cheers Faz.

With 2 balls left in the innings, the  oldest member of the league (apparently at 79) M Hawkin was caught by Anthony Hunter from James Beswick for the home side to finish all out for 139.

Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 13th May 2017

After probably the best teas we’ll have this season, (gotta love strawberry fresh cream scones!), Stalybridge came out of the blocks unsurprisingly sluggishly given the food coma we were in, with both openers being dismissed in short order, with only 3 runs on the board, and less than 4 overs in.  James Beswick came in at three and Tony Mooney at four, and both managed to stay at the crease for almost an hour, steadying the play before being bowled and caught respectively. With only 35 runs on the board and wickets four down, it was looking like tall order to come back from, it was the arrival of Mike Hatton at five however, that was the turning point of the match, where last year, he would have been swinging recklessly at every ball he faced, this time he was calm and took each ball on its merit, and stayed at the crease for the remaining hour and half of the match, as others came and went to run up 46* with 7 boundaries.

It was his final partnership with captain Brian Stone however that proved the most tense, with Brian coming in with 6 overs to go, and just 20 runs now required, it was a very nervy 20 minutes, as Compstall’s opening bowling pair came back on to try and dislodge the dogged pair, to no avail, again, like the Compstall innings, the match was decided in the final over, with just TWO balls to spare, with the captain hitting the winning couple of runs to see Stalybridge to victory, but denying Mike his well deserved half-century, leaving Compstall stunned, but who then applauded Hatton’s efforts as they all left the field.

So, for the second game in a row, it has come down to the wire for Stalybridge to clinch victory, it’s not doing my ticker any favours, but whatever the result would have been, it was a great game of cricket!

Final result: Stalybridge win by 1 wicket, full scorecard available here.


[Week 3] Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nd XI vs Chapel-en-le-Frith 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIStalybridge win by 1 wicket in a tense fashion, after bowling Chapel out for 90 in 30 overs.

In an uncustomary turn of events, Brian lost the toss and Chapel elected to bat, on a chilly Saturday, with 15 minutes gone, Chapel had lost both opening batsmen to dubious LBW’s, and it was only another 15 minutes before the next wicket fell the same way, though from where I was sat, was a little more clear-cut, but youngster Toby Phipps managed to stay at the crease with Chapel captain John Theyer well over an hour each to help steady their innings, it was only with their dismissals that Stalybridge managed to keep the runs below 100 bowling them out for 90 in 30 overs, in part due to three cracking catches, from Alex Wilde, Khalid Akram and Maurice Barber.

After another decent Tea, the Chicken Tikka sarnies were lovely Joan :), Stalybridge came out all full of expectation of knocking that off before the food had settled, and despite losing opener Danny Collins 15 minutes in, Alex and Khalid stayed in nearly 45 minutes, it still looked a forgone conclusion, but then the customary middle-order collapse occurred, and by the 16th over, Staly were only just ahead in the run-rate, losing three more wickets in the 22nd over to young spinner Phipps, needing 17 runs with 3 wickets remaining, it was definitely a case of ‘squeeky-bum time’, with just 4 runs required, the final batsman captain Brian Stone comes to the crease, and it’s down to him and Jordan Elliott to see out the remaining 4 runs in a nervy fashion for all watching, giving Stalybridge 2 wins out of 2, but still chasing the pack in the league table due to missing a game last week, but that’ll even itself out over the duration I’m sure.

The scorecard from the match can be viewed here.

Next week sees the 2nds make a visit over the hills into Compstall.

League Tables Now Available

Corrected the link to the league tables, which were still showing the old DCCL website tables, so you should be able to find the current status of both the 1st and 2nd XI on the FIXTURES>LEAGUE TABLES link at the top of the page.

The 2nd XI currently shows us with 10 points, rather than the correct 18, the league secretary is aware, and will be fixing in the next 24 hours.