Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

3 Lions on a shirt2nds lose 7th consecutive match, but it doesn’t matter because IT’S COMING HOME!

With the league agreeing to matches starting at 9:30am so people can get back to watch the England quarter-final match against Sweden at 3pm, it was an early start for Brian Stone’s men, on yet another gloriously sunny day, I almost forget what it’s been like the last few years, where cricket season has been synonymous with monsoon season, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts hey?

After losing the toss again, (which in itself is almost mirroring the match result compared with last season), Stalybridge were put into the field to watch for two hours as opener Joe Wilkinson and number 3, Mike Halton took everything the Stalybridge bowlers could throw at them, and pepper them comfortably to the boundary finishing on 71 and 61 apiece, with a little cameo from Joe Hall with 20 and Charlie Higson with 21 at 2 and 4 respectively, the annoying thing is as per previous matches, the bowlers were let down by the fielding, with Wilkinson dropped on 14, Halton dropped on 6, and Higson dropped on 1, if Stalybridge are to start getting positive results in matches in the latter half of this season, the catching has to improve.

Once the top four were dismissed however, Stalybridge were left with just 8 overs remaining, but they worked on their momentum, and took 5 of the remaining 6 wickets before Hazel Grove completed their 45 exactly 3 hours after start of play, finishing on 241.

After tea (or is it lunch as it’s only 12:30?), again it was Joe Wilkinson who, after doing the damage with the bat, in the opening innings, did a similar number on Stalybridge with ball, by taking the first 3 wickets before the 10th over and only 35 runs on the board.

Of the Stalybridge batting order, it was only Stephen Monks who can hold his head high today, with just a little over an hour at the midday sun crease, before being taking a faint nick, being caught behind on 41, and electing to walk, as the umpire had no idea.

With his removal the remaining wickets fell shortly after, with only Ajeet Kaintura joining him by reaching double figures before being cleanly bowled by that young man again Joe Wilkinson, to claim his 5th Stalybridge scalp of the day to end with a five-fer for just 16 runs in 8 overs, claiming victory for the home side, with Stalybridge St. Paul’s finishing on 109 AO.  Not bad for a lad that was in doubt apparently after falling in the bath this week!!!

Referring back to the umpire, for a man whose job it is to be able to count to six, he made myself and my co-scorer’s life hell as he has done on each other occasion we’ve had the misfortune to have him umpire for us, in Hazel Grove’s innings there were two eight ball overs, and at least TEN 7 ball overs, and as per usual those extra balls 90% of the time generated runs for the home side, the Stalybridge innings was worse still, he seemed to fail time after time to know when the over was well.. over, but this time, it had one of the Hazel Grove spectators shouting out after the sixth ball, if it looked like he was going to allow another, not that would have increased our score, but still frustrating.

So, by 2:35pm, Stalybridge St. Paul’s had lost, and it was a leisurely *cough* drive back to catch England vs Sweden, I only missed 5 minutes!! Well done, let’s see who we face for the Semi’s mid-week. *edit* Croatia apparently.

Well done also to the 1sts who notched up their 7th win of the season, beating Hollingworth at home for maximum points.

Final result: Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI win by 132 runs, full scorecard available here. once Hazel Grove have uploaded it.

Next week sees the two’s on the road again, when the opposition with be Old Glossop, for now, enjoy the sun and relish in England’s victory.