Following what appeared to be a promising start, we went into bat in the rain chasing 102. The fact that we managed to bat for 2 hours in the conditions against a very good bowling attack was a credit to the lads who hung around.

Winning the toss, Mike Whitworth put the visitors into bat on a soft wicket. Opening bowlers James Brady and Jacob Dooley kept their openers quiet, the latter’s 2 opening overs both maidens. In the 8th over the youngster claimed his first wicket followed by another in the 12th as Dove Holes had laboured to 12/2.

Normally, I would move on from this, but that second wicket fell due to a catch from Richard Wright. What a catch! As Bagshaw had launched Dooley’s delivery towards the long off boundary it looked only to be a question of if it was a 4 or a 6. Our opening batsmen set off running to his left and picked the right time to dive, holding on to the ball with one hand. Fantastic. I am sure going off his celebration that he is going to dine out on this one for a while.

This brought the late arriving Gilbride to the crease. When he departed 9 overs later caught off Adam Harwick’s bowling the score had moved on to 71, a partnership of 59, Gilbride notching up 43 of that tally. It was a match winning performance. Adam (3-47) and Jamie Brownhill (2-27) continued to chip away at the middle order, claiming another 5 wickets for 20 runs. As the rain started to fall, it was left to Jacob Dooley to wrap up the last 2 wickets to leave him with excellent figures of 4 for 10.

After the innings break was extended due to the rain we got back underway, though I don’t think it stopped completely until the game had been won by the visitors. Gilbert and Critchlow opened the bowling for Dove Holes with devastating effect. Wright and Saadullah Jelani fell to consecutive balls at the end of Gilbert’s second over to leave us 4/2. He repeated the feat of 2 wickets with 2 balls shortly afterwards to dispatch Joe Robinson and Brady and the scoreboard showed 6/4.

Harwick fell to Critchlow shortly afterwards and at 12/5 the situation looked worse than the weather. Especially as the visitor’s bowlers were only halfway through their allotted overs. Credit must go to Whitworth and Brownhill for staying together 11 overs and putting on 17 which in the worsening conditions and against such a good attack was a great effort. Unfortunately, once Whitworth went for 10 the rest of the line-up went the same way as those earlier and things were wrapped up with us finishing at 37 all out.

Not the greatest afternoon but some positives can be taken, especially in the field and with our bowling. Time to regroup and move on. Next week we are on the road at New Mills, if anybody can make the trip to the Peak District I know the lads would appreciate your support.

Final result and full score-card: Dove Holes won by 64 runs.

[Week 5] Newton CC 1st XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 1st XI

As we arrived at Newton CC for our Glossop Glass and Glazing sponsored Derbyshire and Cheshire Cricket League Division One match even the relatively short journey of just over 2 miles appeared to be a wasted one due to the rain. With everyone consulting a number of apps on their phones, Richard Wright had bravely predicted it would stop raining at 1. He was out by about 15 minutes or so, but good going sir.

We got underway shortly before 1.30 in a reduced overs game of 36 per side, Wrighty continuing his good day with a boundary in the opening over. Following what looked to be a promising start we lost both openers in consecutive over to leave us at 21/2, a pattern that followed as Saadullah Jelani (27) and Joe Robinson (20) looked to have settled in for us.

Unfortunately, the promising start of being 60/4 failed to materialise into a more promising score as we lost our last 6 wickets for 22 runs. A target of 83 did not look to be enough against the league leaders on their home turf. Captain Mike Whitworth’s rallying cry in the break between innings of “Let’s make it difficult for them” proved to be prophetic beyond even Richard Wright’s weather forecasting.

Opening bowler James Brady sent out a warning shot claiming his first victim with his second ball. Newton started to threaten to run away with the game before bowling changes started that final turn of the tide. Jamie Brownhill claimed the second wicket with his third ball and from 35/1  to 39/3 following Jacob Dooley claimed his first victim in the space of 4 overs had not only made our opponents think, their runs had started to dry up too. In his next 2 overs the youngster claimed another victim, 50/5, Jacob was flying in. Jamie got back in the act in the next over without any score being added. We had claimed 5 wickets for 15 runs.

After his fantastic opening spell at the opposite end where James Brady had not got the rewards his work had deserved, he came back into the attack. Second ball, he did it again! 59/7. Jamie got his third wicket and at 68/8 an unlikely victory looked to be within our grasp. Brady got the 9th wicket in the next over, again clean bowled, 1 wicket to claim the win, but the hosts only required 14 too.

Newton were getting closer; a huge 6 brought them to within 4 as Brady started his 9th and what would be his final over, wrapping things up with his 4th wicket, and the victory was ours by 2 runs. A fantastic team effort. Jamie (3-29) and Jacob (3-17) were both fantastic performances, but the final mention must go to James Brady (4-13), he was on fire, bowling all of his victims.

Next week we welcome Dove Holes to Gorse Hall Road, come along and support the lads.

Final result and full scorecard: Stalybridge St. Paul’s win by 2 runs.