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