Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Anthony Haywood cent
ury and 5fer for Steve Burns seal victory for Birch Vale.

For the second week in a row, Stalybridge have won the toss, this time at the hands of Brian Stone, and put the opposition into bat, given our current form, and our propensity for our heads to drop when the opponents put a big score on the board, I’m much more inclined to think we’d be better suited to opening the batting, and seeing what we can put on, without worrying what they’ve set us.

However we started the bowling well, with 6 of the first 15 or so overs a maiden, with Ned Woodman having his first spell of 8 overs conceding just 15 runs, however, it was soon that balls were being delivered short and down the legs side, and the Birch Vale batsmen lapped them up, and were rapidly ramping up the over rate, peppering the boundary, firstly with Steve Burns (41), then more-so Anthony Hayward, normally a number six batter, but today slotted in at number 4, he knocked up his half-century in short-order, while his partners succumbed to 3 wickets for Mark Connolly and 2 for Maurice Barber, and he continued to coast comfortably to apparently his debut century, before being caught on 117 off “one of my worst balls of the day” from bowler Ned Woodman by Ajeet Kaintura, by which point Birch Vale were now 268-6; the innings was interrupted midway through, when a thunderstorm brought a downpour for half an hour, during which time the call was made to take an early tea and play resumed around 45 minutes after initially coming off.

Birch Vale vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s, before the heavens opened.

Haywood’s however was the last wicket to be taken by Stalybridge, with my fellow scorer Jamie’s dad David Platt finishing off the overs 32 not out, and Birch Vale on 288-6.

Having taken lunch tea early, it was a quick turn around to have Stalybridge into the crease, just 4 balls had been played when the umpire called for the ball to be changed, whether it wasn’t a new ball or it was damaged, I have no idea, but seemed strange.

Whereas Birch Vale were content to send the ball down the hill to the boundary, it seemed Stalybridge wanted to send everything in the opposite direction, into the banking and up the hill, it was one of these up hill slogs that saw the first wicket of Stu Nock (who I still owe a beer to, sorry bud), caught for 18, and Stalybridge on 25, with Maurice Barber, caught also just 2 runs later, it seemed like it was going to be a painfully short afternoon, but no sooner as Maurice was out, it seemed like the impetus opener Alex Wilde needed,  and he started to add runs to his tally along side Khalid Akram, by the time he was bowled, Stalybridge were now on a more respectable 75, and Khalid then started a partnership with Steve Monks, but unfortunately was given run-out in what can only be described as a “umpiring error”, for fear of censure, members of both sides insist he was safely home, but the umpire deemed him two foot outside safety and Stalybridge were now 95-4.

Keith Bowers has recently been picking up some decent batting performances, but he’ll not thank me for mentioning when he asked what the * next to his name in the WhatsApp chat was, it was because of his

Sorry Keith. 🙂

With Monksie falling fowl, sorry foul to the catcher on the hill, Neil Spedding, just five runs short of his half-century, the last of Stalybridge’s recognised batsman were all out,  and they were still 121 runs behind Birch Vale’s total, that however didn’t stop opening bowler Ned Woodman from making a decent batting cameo before being caught on 39, not long after initially being given out “caught behind”, despite the ball hitting him near his elbow before bouncing off to the keeper; thankfully despite a little petulant outburst of chucking his bat away, the Birch Vale players came to his defence and the umpire overturned his decision.

With just one wicket remaining Brian Stone was the last man left standing when Ahmed Hayat was cleaned bowled on the last ball off the innings, giving Steve Burns his 2nd of that over, and his 5th overall in the game.

A decent knock from a number of Stalybridge’s team, but not enough to overturn the big target set by Birch Vale, but plenty to proud of, even if it’s not the catching in the field (which was woeful again).

No pessimistic drivel from me after next week’s match you’ll be happy to read, when the 2nds are back on the road, this time up in Dinting, as I’ll hopefully be enjoying myself in sunny Alicante, you just can’t get the committed staff these days, and the following week, is a free week for the seconds, with High Lane not fielding a 2nd XI this season.

Final result and scorecard: Birch Vale and Thornsett CC 2nd XI win by 100 runs.

Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Compstall CC 2nd XI

2nds XI in a poor run of form, and continue to struggle to find a win.

For the second time this season, I neglected to post a report last week, and for that I apologise, after the defeat away to Old Glossop, I was in a foul mood, and just couldn’t bring myself to write one, I know there aren’t many who read my missives, but some of you do.

With that in mind, another week has passed, and another defeat, although I made an error in my last report against Hazel Grove, saying it was our 7th consecutive defeat, however it was only the 5th, the ACTUAL 7th came today, this time to current league tail-enders Compstall, you just can’t get the staff these days.

With Brian Stone away, the heavy mantle of captaincy fell on Steve Monk’s shoulders again, and despite winning the toss, the decision was made to put Compstall into bat, having won at their place six weeks ago, we knew well enough the dangers of the father and son team of Ravi and Josh Patel, but whereas we were able to get Josh out fairly cheaply on 8 last time, the same could not be said today, Ravi managed to stay at the crease for 2 hours straight before being bowled by Maurice Barber just 6 runs past his century, but Josh batted even more impressively by carrying the bat for the away side, seeing out all 45 overs and finished on 53*.

The only other to get runs for Compstall was Robert Bradley with 20, caught by Monksie off a Ned Woodman delivery, Compstall finished their overs with a big target for Stalybridge to chase of 198, with a loss of just 3 wickets.

After the interval, opener Stu Nock, was deemed LBW in the 3rd ball of the innings, and Khalid Akram bowled on 3 with just 18 runs on the scoreboard, Stalybridge were instantly put on the back foot, Stuart Barnes in at number four was our seemingly best hope to get back in the drivers seat, but despite his managing to hit 25 in just 18 deliveries, getting caught for John Abbot’s 3rd wicket meant almost certain defeat, my son Jordan who got the winning runs and 50 at the away fixture, hit a couple of decent balls straight to fielders, but his 5th saw it straight into the hands of Heath Stewart, off newly at the bowling attack Josh Patel.

Stalybridge are now 4 down with 46 runs, Steve Monks comes in to replace Jordan, and sees his partner, opener Maurice, out a few balls later, Monks tries his damnedest to keep us in the match, running quick singles and doubles with Keith Bowers (20), Ajeet Kaintura (8) and Ned Woodman (2), and manages an admirable 56 before being bowled, his effort meant Stalybridge were now a more reasonable 153, though with just one wicket remaining, it was a very tall order for Ahmed Hayat and Mark Connolly to see the home side to victory, which they were unfortunately unable to do, with Ahmed getting caught off the other Patel, Ravi, to see Stalybridge all out for 159, 39 runs short of Compstall’s total, both teams have now just one win all season, against each other.

Stalybridge 2nds match next Saturday is away at Birch Vale & Thornsett, currently sitting third in the table, and the constant search for a second win and the effort to lift the players and this scorer mood out of the doldrums will continue there.

The firsts won away again, this time at Pott Shrigley, so that is good news at least.

Final result and scorecard: Compstall CC 2nd XI win by 39 runs.

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.