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

Stalybridge 2nd’s recover from last week’s battering to dominate Hazel Grove.

With Brian on one of his 37 annual holidays, it was down to Vice Captain Stephen Monks to manage the team’s visit to Hazel Grove, and upon winning the toss and putting his side into bat, opening with the same pair as has started previously this season Alex Wilde and Jordan Elliott.

Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XI - 18/05/2019
Hazel Grove CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 18/05/2019

With Alex given LBW in the 11th over, with 18 on the board, runs (and deliveries for that matter) were a slow in coming, Stu Nock back with the 2s for the first time this season, put 13 on the board while Jordan at the other end ticked along at the other end, adding 8 himself before Stu was caught by Martin Hodson off a Steve Pigeon slow ball.

Once stand-in captain Monks came in at number 5, it was time for Stalybridge to start the attack in earnest, with both he and Jordan at the other end running at every opportunity that presented itself, and they put an exceptional 82 partnership before Monks was caught for 39 with a blinding catch from 13 year old Oliver Hodson, to see the visitors on 121-4.  Jordan was bowled by ex-High Lane player Stuart Roscoe, unfortunately one run shy of his half-century, just 7 runs later; unlucky son.

With the majority of the bowling attack worn down, Tilak Bhojani was able to capitalise on a number of easier deliveries to help boost the Stalybridge score-card, and should have been out when on 13, after being dropped, and on 34 after being dropped and 58, after being dropped, ultimately finishing 63 not-out  Go buy a lottery ticket lad!

Tilak was able to see out the 45 overs but Stalybridge ended up 8 wickets down with the final wickets being the last two balls of the innings, with Hazel Grove captain Jake Bennett (4-42) setting himself up for a hat-trick ball for his next match, by first getting a stumping of Ahmed Hayat (11) then with the final ball, earning Keith Bowers the first…of the season.  Sorry Keith, has to be done. 🙂  The visitors finished 211-8.

After tea, we saw some of great bowling from Ahmed Hayat and Saad Jelani who both managed to bag 3 wickets apiece for just 30 and 29 runs respectively, between them bowling each of the first five wickets for just 50 runs, with only Steve Pigeon in that number putting up any resistance with 14 runs, with Mark Connolly (2-12 off 6) picking up two caught wickets from Stuart Nock and Jordan Elliott, and captain Jake Bennett in at #8 being the only other Grove player to reach double figures with a side-topping 27, it was left to Adil Zaman with equally impressive figures of 2-16 off 8.4 overs to see him off and the home side all out for 95.

Next week sees Brian back from golfing, if he can get back in the team after today’s excellent all-round performance, when the visitors to Gorse Hall Road will be Hollingworth 2s.

And not a mention of Manchester City’s massive 6-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup Final in sight. 🙂

Final result and score-card: Stalybridge St. Paul’s win by 2 wickets and 116 runs.

[Week 3] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hadfield St. Andrew’s Sports CC 2nd XI

Congratulations to the League Champions for the 2nd year running.

No, obviously I’m not making a sneaky jibe about my other club Manchester City who have just done the same, as that would be unprofessional and puerile of me, and I’m obviously better than that, I am of course speaking about Hadfield St. Andrew’s who mid-way through their innings, despite it being only the 3rd match of the season, I proclaimed to anyone around me at the time would be top of the league come the 14th of September, after topping Division 6 last year.

The toss was taken and won by the home side, and Captain, Brian Stone put Hadfield into bat, openers Rick Ball and Jonny Hollingworth took no time to start racking up a score putting on 43 before Mark Connolly earned a catch from Adil Zaman at backward square-leg to dismiss Hollingworth.

With a break brought on by the rain, everyone was brought off for 45 minutes until rain playing tricks on the home players, allowing them to get the covers off, just to start up again, forcing a hasty re-cover, with the delay 4 overs were deducted from the 2nd innings.

The Hadfield skipper Ball was next to fall with the visitors on 80, again to the hands of Adil, but this time from Ahmed Hyatt, who also took the next in bowling Michael Hockey, soon to be followed at the other end by Connoly bowling Ian Morten.

His replacement, Hadfield’s keeper, John Nicholson at number 5, is where it starting going wrong for the home side, Nicholson was able to soak up anything the Stalybridge bowlers threw at him, and was comfortably hitting the boundary on 17 occasions (14-4s & 3-6s) to rack up an unbeaten 105 while all but the last Hadfield batter being dismissed, as they completed their 45 overs 238-9.

After tea, with the high score playing on people’s minds, a few wild shots were taken and greatfully caught in the field for the first three wickets falling for 51 runs, the idea of catching the total was now a pipe dream, and it fell to the remaining batsmen to try and salvage a draw, which drew ire and the visitors according to some of the returning batsmen.

It was Hadfield’s captain Richard Ball who did the bulk of the damage, with an excellent tally of 6 wickets for just 8 runs in 10.3 overs, that saw Hadfield destroy Stalybridge for just 80 runs, with 4 overs to go, denying the home side what would have been an honestly undeserved 7 “rain affected draw” points, and ensured the visitors the maximum 20 for the second week running.

With the strength in both batting and bowling, I stand behind my prediction that they will be atop the table come the end of the season.

Next Saturday sees another Cup Final match for the 2nds, this time down the A6 when the hosts will be Hazel Grove, with Stephen Monks taking the reigns with Brian Stone who this week narrowly escaped the dreaded Golden Duck taking one of his 30 annual holidays, to go golfing.

Final result and score-card: Hadfield St. Andrew’s Sports Club CC 2nd XI win by 158 runs.

[Week 2] Buxworth CC – 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St Pauls CC – 2nd XI

Stalybridge bowling attack demolish youth heavy Buxworth.

Sorry for the delay in getting this written, I can honestly say I fully expect further weekly missives to be just as equally slow in their arrival, as I’ve just realised how much work Hazel Grove’s Ian Halford put in behind the scenes collating the results online each week, across not only the (then) six adult divisions, but the numerous junior leagues also, after taking on the role of looking after just the senior divisions and cup results, at 1:30 on Sunday morning, I was still trawling through match reports, which coupled with the problems with the PlayCricket scorer app login system during match day, highlighted to me the amount he did for the league.

With that out of the way, on with the game at hand; Stalybridge started the day top of the league with a massive one point lead over the rest of the division due to managing to scrape two wickets before being rained of last week, when everyone else had been called off beforehand.

Buxworth CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 4th May 2019

After losing the toss, and being put in the field, Ned Woodman was quick to put a dent in the Buxworth attack, taking three wickets with just 38 runs on the board, the last breaking a blossoming partnership between Ian Walker and youngster Ross McCormack, who impressed me with his deft flick of the bat to get a lot of power for seemingly little effort, and whilst newly joined Tilak Bhojani huffed and puffed at the other end, he was unable to make his bowling impact the opposition, which brought another new face to the Stalybridge bowling attack, Saad Jelani, who set his stall out immediately, dismissing Ross with his opening ball, and his replacement Sam Cooper 5 balls later to finish his first over in a Stalybridge shirt, with a 2 wicket maiden, not a bad start.

With five wickets down and only 44 on the score board, Ahmed Hyatt replaced Ned bowling from the base of the slope, and managed to take the next wicket with an acrobatic slip catch from captain Brian Stone to the amazement of all, not due to the nature of the catch, but how he managed not to break his hip in the process with his advancing years. 😉 With Saad taking his third and final wicket of the home side’s wicket-keeper Nick Adams LBW, which to my eye looked like he edged it (but who am I to complain?), Buxworth were well and truly on the ropes at 56-7; when Ned returned to earn his 5fer first almost taking the middle stump out of the ground to dismiss Dylan Moore, then secondly forcing longstanding SSPCC stalwart Stuart Barnes into a great instinctive catch at midwicket, to dismiss Buxworth captain Richard Millward, and it was only a few balls later that Tilak Bhojani got his just rewards for his earlier hard work, bowling Daniel Lacey to see the hosts finish their innings on just 80 runs, 23 of which were extras.

Stalybridge commenced their innings after tea with Alex Wilde and my son Jordan, who after a couple of decent boundaries, missed a straight defensive shot to be replaced by keeper Mike Hatton, who after smacking his first ball to the boundary, hit his second into the welcoming hands of Tom Moss at long on; denying Stalybridge the maximum possible 20 points (more on that in a moment).

It was the arrival of Stephen Monks (31*) at number 4 with Stalybridge 28-2, coupled with the steady hands of opener Alex Wilde (29*) who carried the bat at the other end, that saw the pair notch up a excellent 56 partnership to complete the rout in just 17.3 of the 62 overs available.

Well done lads, it meant we ended the day where we started, albeit joint leaders with Hadfield St. Andrew’s, who despite batting second, like Stalybridge and bowling out their opposition with the same two losses of wickets as Stalybridge earned an additional point for the maximum 20, for allowing their opposition to reach 100 before bowling them out, which in my eyes seemingly punishes a team for playing better… Not that I’m bitter.

Hey ho! Anyway, next week, see’s Brian’s squad play host to … Hadfield St. Andrews; weather permitting of course.

Final result and scorecard here: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 8 wickets.