[Week 7] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Dinting CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge fail to capitalise on strong middle-order recovery after poor start, to fall at final hurdle and lose by 5 runs.

With Brian skiving off to watch Lionel Ritchie, the task of captaining the 2nds was handed to Steve Monks, who performed admirably in the face of adversity, having also been lumbered with the keeper’s gloves, with usual keeper Mike Whitworth being taken hostage by the 1sts, and upon losing the toss, Dinting put the home side in the field.

Dinting openers, Captain, Matt Coleman and Ryan Townsend plodded along nicely, and managed and 83 partnership deep into the innings, before Coleman was given LBW just short of his half-century, on 43 off Ahmed Hyatt, his replacement, Jarrod Massey managed to push the score to 140 to be Stalybridge’s 5th wicket, before being bowled by Mahurice Barber to finish on 34, but not before Steve Monks had to be replaced as keeper with a suspected broken finger, which gave him a little more freedom to handle the captaincy, and Dinting were able to add just 23 more runs before seeing out their 45 overs with 8 wickets dismissed, though it has to be said, Stalybridge need to work on their catching, as I counted at least 6 again.

An over into the Stalybridge innings, the heavens opened and with just two runs on the board, centurion from the last match Stu Nock was given LBW for a duck (sorry Stu, I originally had you down as 1 run, but it was a leg-bye) as the last ball of the spell, and everyone was brought off the field for a little under 40 minutes reducing the overs by 2, while the rain proceeded to soak the outfield, where in the first innings balls were skidding to 4’s with ease, similar balls from the Stalybridge batsmen were coming to a halt 5-10 feet from the boundary, and were soon 4 wickets down with only 38 runs to their name, but Khalid Akram who came in at number 3, managed to steady the ship for a long time, and put on a good partnership with a broken fingered Steve Monks, before being caught by Jarrad Massey after punting a ball over the bowler, Ryan Townsend’s head, to finish on 41, and Stalybridge on a more respectable 104-5.

With Steve Monk’s dismissal a little while after at 116-7 at the hands of Jarrad Massey’s 5th wicket of the day, Stalybridge had about 15 overs left to get 48 runs,  and despite Maurice Barber getting 21, and Pete Coxon 19*, Stalybridge fell just short, by losing the 3 final wickets, at the hands of club stalwart Adam Harwick’s nephew, Daniel, 5 runs short of Dinting’s total with 4 overs to spare, to suffer a heartbreaking when victory seemed likely.

More annoyingly for me personally, the scoreboard I built again suffered from dodgy outputs, mid-game, meaning I had turn it off and revert back to to the manual board, I think due to it taking a massive bang at the beginning of the day, presumably loosening some wiring inside.

Anyways.. Final result and scorecard: Dinting CC 2nd XI win by 5 runs.

[Week 6] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge put in a good batting performance, unfortunately Birch Vale put in a great one.

Stalybridge lost the toss, and were put into the field, and immediately into the innings, Birch Vale opener Steve Burns showed how he was going to conduct his time at the crease, with 13 runs from the single over, he had hit his half-century after facing just 25 deliveries, and added the next 50 to hit his century just after 58, despite getting the second opener out for 6, his replacement Alex Wood more than made up for Ollie Wyatt’s cheap dismissal off Krunal Bhatt, by being the next to hit a ton, before being caught close to the boundary on 102 by Jordan Elliott for the first of Ajeet Kaintura’s four wickets, but the damage was already done by this point, Birch Vale were now a decent 294/3, which on this ground is a winning score in its own right.

The next three wickets just added another 5 runs, but 8, 9 and 10 all managed to put another 89 runs + extras between them, and Birch Vale completed their overs with a huge score of 389/9.

Despite knowing a win was impossible, it didn’t stop Stalybridge at least having a go, and whilst the opening overs were a bit slow, with Stalybridge hitting 33 runs in the same number as Birch Vale hit 100, the arrival of Khalid Akram to join Stu Nock at the crease, after Alex Wilde was caught and bowled by Birch Vale’s captain Jack Linskey (who you would have thought had just gotten the winning wicket, given his exultant shout, and the aggressive way he threw the ball at the ground after catching it, but hey ho), allowed Stalybridge to start accumulating runs,  by the 15th over Birch Vale started giving their fringe bowlers a go, knowing they weren’t in any danger of being caught, but more importantly it gave the batsmen a chance to get their eye in and get some runs.

The next 22 overs saw Stu and Khalid build up a  very respectable 137 partnership, before Khalid was caught of a Steve Burns delivery, to end on 40,  with Stu Nock now on a dead 100, and Stalybridge’s total now 174, it was just a case of seeing out the remaining 8 overs and try to try and get another 26 runs to get maximum batting points, with the aid of Steve Monks at the other end, and Birch Vale for the first time in all my watching cricket, giving ALL 11 players a bowl, (which plays havoc with score books, ya bastards!), Stu managed to add another 39 runs to his score, to carry the bat and end Stalybridge’s innings on 229 for just 2 wickets.

Great knock Nock! (Who’s there?)

Bowlers wanted, please apply Gorse Hall Road cricket ground – hey it worked after the Old Glossop match, I can but try.  Joking aside, good reply to a massive up-hill battle lads, on any other day, 229/2 is a winning result on this home field, and with some tighter bowling, we should be able to get back to last season’s winning form.

Final result and scorecard: Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI win by 160 runs.

[Week 5 ] Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Ask and ye shall receive! #1 son (and some others) secure Stalybridge 2nd’s first win of the season. #biased

Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 2nd June 2018

The game started off slow, with Brian winning the toss, and choosing to put Compstall into bat, as the Stalybridge bowling attack of Ned Woodman and Ajeet Kaintura kept the run rate to a minimum, with the home side on 56/1 at drinks, however once their overs were done, (or took a break with 3 remaining in Ned’s case), the Compstall #3, Ravi Patel started accelerating through the gears, and was able to take the total up to a respectable 134/3 before being caught by Ajeet for the first of  Ahmed Hayat’s four wickets of the afternoon.

With Ravi’s removal, a number of other wickets fell soon after, but Compstall were able to add another 26 runs before completing their 45 overs to finish the innings 160 for 8 wickets to take us to tea.

Despite getting into lumber last season for this, I’ve got to reiterate how damned good the teas at Compstall are, full marks to all involved in putting on that damned fine spread! #Rebel

Given our previous weeks deficiencies as far as batting is concerned, it was great to see our opener Stu Nock put a 43 on the board, with Alex Wilde (8) and Khalid Akram (17) at the opposite end, before being bowled by the biggest front-foot no-ball, literally six inches beyond the line, no doubt my opposite number Megan Carter must have been bored by my constant moaning about the no-balls, but it must have been equally frustrating for Stu when I told him. 🙂 #DodgyUmpires

Like Compstall, Stalybridge started off slowly, and were only 5 runs ahead of where Compstall were at drinks, on 61/1, and for a long time were a fair ways behind the required run-rate, it looked like their very economical bowling was going to leave Stalybridge total about 40-50 runs short, but in the same way that Ravi upped the score with his innings, once their main bowling unit was exhausted, it was Stalybridge’s turn to turn up the heat.

The start of the 31st over at 82/2 and with just 14 overs to go, the team needed to double what they had obtained up to that point, and it saw the introduction of number 4, Mike Whitworth and with Stu Nock’s dismissal three balls later, number 5, Jordan Elliott,

Over the next 11 overs, the pair put in an excellent performance, with a brilliant 81 partnership with Mike shouting out instructions and putting on 26 runs and Jordan putting in a career best 52 hitting the ball below for 4 to secure his first half-century for the club, and Stalybridge’s first win of the season.

Well done everyone, but especially well done from me, to my son Jordan for that knock. #ProudDad

Jordan Elliott hits first club half-century to secure Stalybridge’s first win of the season.

Stalybridge’s next match sees us at home, where the opposition will be Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI.

Final result and scorecard: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 7 wickets.

[Week 2] Hayfield CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Long day in Hayfield sees a circus themed carnival, riot police, and ultimately defeat for Stalybridge’s 2nd XI.

Despite the roadworks heading up to Glossop and road closures due to Hayfield Carnival, the last of the Stalybridge squad arrived at the ground with 10 minutes to spare before the match was due to start, the same can’t be said of the umpires, who completely failed to materialise.

Stalybridge won the toss, and elected to bowl, and with the early removal of opener Andy Oldfield on 21, who hit 86 in week 1 against Hazel Grove,  and his replacement James Jobling for a duck, it looked like a great start to the match for the visitors, however the arrival of Dave Aldridge was to prove a thorn in the Stalybridge teams’ side, being dropped no less than FOUR times, the first of which would have seen him dismissed for 25, and would probably seen a different outcome to the match, but he was allowed to keep going, dropped catch after dropped catch until he was finally caught on the short boundary by Stu Nock from a Nedd Woodman delivery, coincidentally he too finished on 86 like Oldfield against Hazel Grove.  The only other batsman of note for Hayfield was Max Richardson who finished on 29, although the damage had already been done by Aldridge, and by the fielding team’s inability to catch, and the home side were all out for 173, with two overs to go.

*edit* Special mention has to go to Pete Coxon, who got five wickets for 41 runs.  Sorry Pete for initially forgetting this.

After tea, Mike Whitworth, at least looking less stressed than he was in the previous match against Tintwistle, put a partnership of 47 on the board alongside fellow opener Stu Nock (who was also dropped twice, on 11 and 22, before being caught the next ball, so it’s not just us who can’t catch), before being dismissed on 24 to be replaced by Khalid Akram, who plodded nicely along through six partners coming and going, before being bowled by the man who caused the damage in the opening innings, Dave Aldridge, on 61; his innings wasn’t without incident however, Peter Coxon would have run Khalid out on 41 with his first ball faced, but the fielder took the bails off without the ball in his hands, which may have messed with Pete’s head, as he was out LWB in the next delivery, and he also caused Captain Brian Stone to have to sacrifice himself to a run-out in a call that should never have been a run.

All the while this is going on, there was a massive fight kicking off in the Royal Hotel car-park next to the ground, between a large groups of rival youths, which prompted the arrival of two police cars and a riot van.  Fun times in a quaint Derbyshire village.

However, with Khalid’s removal, with 144 on the board, only two batsmen remaining and 30 runs required, it seemed like a lost cause, but there was still 9 overs remaining, and although the tail-enders, Nedd Woodman, Ajeet Kaintura and Ahmed Hayat managed to give hope by adding another twenty runs to the total, each run seemingly bringing us closer and closer to victory, it was not meant to be, as the game was finally lost when Ajeet got a little giddy after hitting a six and decided to run on a dangerous ball, which saw his opposite batter run out, that’s not to blame Ajeet for the loss, the game should probably have been won in the opening innings, and other players need to improve their batting in the field, given we appear to be very bowler heavy now, but there was still 40 balls still to be played, and only 10 runs required.

Anyways, it was only the first league game, and there’s still 17 more to be played, so there’s still plenty of time.

Next Saturday sees the first of back-to-back home games for the 2nds, where the opponents will be Hazel Grove who have lost both of their opening games.

Final result: Hayfield CC 2nd XI win by 9 runs, full scorecard available here.

Tintwistle CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – Hawke Trophy

Well, it’s two weeks later than it should have been, but finally the 2018 season was gotten underway with the seconds away at Tintwistle in the first round of the Hawke Trophy, with a couple of new faces, and a few very old ones 🙂 Brians XI lost the toss, and were put into bowl, presumably so that Tintwistle could have as much batting practice as possible with the upcoming season, it was a glorious sunny day, hopefully the first of many in the weeks to come, but the heat took its toll on the Stalybridge men, who fumbled a couple of seemingly easy catches and standout batting performances from opener Mark Lilley with 58 and number 3, Richard Harris with 62 and a 33 not out from captain Simon Barrow took the opening innings from the home side to 207 for 5 wickets, a daunting figure for the bowler heavy away squad.

With Mike Whitworth looking like he felt the world was on his shoulders from the get go, his aggressive stance to try and put a dent in the target saw him dismissed 20 minutes into his innings, the same can be said for the majority of players coming in after him, knowing that there was a big figure to chase, and so needed to go big or go home, it was the latter unfortunately that was the case, primarily down to spin bowler Josh Hutton’s 4-21 figures.

Stuart Nock had his best batting match that I’ve seen him play, but his 31 over 90 minutes, was not enough to help the Stalybridge bed in partner for him who could get the runs, with only Steve Monks (11) and Pete Coxon (10) able to break double figures.

That said, it was a game I wasn’t expecting a lot from, against higher league opposition, and new lad Ajeet Kaintura (or Ace Ventura as I like to call him) put a decent bowling session in, as did Maurice Barber, once he overcame is no-ball spell at the beginning of the match, but couldn’t do much to stop the Tintwistle attack.

I managed to stream the match live, which can be seen on SSPCC’s  periscope page, if you’re bored and looking  for something to put you to sleep, and unfortunately I doubt it shows the ranting and raving of one of the clubs neighbours after Khalid jumped their fence into their garden to retrieve a ball just hit for six, but you can but hope.

So, it’s concentrate on the league, which begins in earnest next week when the 2nds are on the road again, this time at the tiny ground that is Hayfield.

Onwards and upwards lads.

Final result: Tintwistle CC 2nd XI win by 118 runs, and the scorecard can be found here.

[Week 22] Stalybridge St. Paul’s not against High Lane

Stalybridge 2’s season ends on a damp note.

With only two games lost all season, it’s a bit frustrating to end the season as runners up, especially given the effort by Keith Bowers and Pete Coxon to try and get the final game of the season on, the weather has, to be brutally honest been fecking awful, had today’s game against High Lane gone ahead, I genuinely believe this post would be completely different, despite theirs being one of the only two defeats the seconds have sufferers all season, they have pretty much imploded in the last couple of weeks and we were looking at a wholly depleted opponent full of kids.

That said, credit to Birch Vale who only needed a point once we had announced our game off, still tried to finish the season on a positive note against Chapel-en-le-Frith, trying to fight the elements and get a game on to win not by default, but had to call it off at 4:30, congratulations to them.

Echoing the second team as a whole, it was equally disappointing to see Pete Coxon miss out on the bowling award by one wicket, despite having a much better average and three games fewer that Chapel’s youngster Toby Phipps.  Not that I’m bitter typing this up 3 sheets to the wind in the Hunters before a number of us go for an end of season piss-up erm curry.

Ah well roll on 2018!  When the seconds start promoted from the 4th division to the 5th (wtf?)

Have a good Christmas, New Year etc.

And damn it Ned was gonna get an 8fer!!!

 

 

 

 

[Week 20] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hadfield St. Andrew’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIIt’s been a month since our last game, with two games rained off, and an abandonment, but some-how, we started the day top of division 4, whether that’s due to not all games being reported or not, I have no idea, but it was perhaps just the impetus the 2’s needed with just 3 games left in the season on a gloriously sunny September afternoon.

Captain Brian Stone won the toss, as per usual (really folks, check that coin), and put the visitors Hadfield into bat.

It was 25 minutes into the match before the first wicket of Captain Ric Ball, caught behind for 9 by the acrobatic Mike Whitworth, with a diving backwards catch at something like 120mph (well that’s what it looked like to me), his opposite number Gavin Snowball staying at the crease for another hour and half while the next five Hadfield batsmen came and went.  It was his dismissal on 28 with the visitors on 56, by a peach of a delivery from Ned Woodman, which was the turning point in the innings, and the remaining four wickets fell in quick succession for just 5 additional runs, seeing Hadfield all out for 61.

Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Hadfield St. Andrew’s CC 2nd XI – 2nd September 2017

After tea, the message was ‘there’s no rush, there’s 62 overs to get 62 runs’, hoping for maximum points, which required losing at most, one wicket in reply, that wicket however came just 10 minutes into the game, with 2nd opener Alex Wilde being given out edge behind to the keeper, to say he was displeased at the decision, is an understatement, throwing his bat off the field in disgust, certain he hadn’t hit the ball, but had clipped his pad instead, with our Get Out of Jail Free used up, it was down to fellow opener Mike Whitworth celebrating his 40th Birthday on Tuesday with a party at the club this evening, and James Beswick coming in at #3, unfortunately Mike facing the first delivery of Gavin Snowball, just got under the ball, and it spun upwards, and back into the welcoming hands of the bowler, ending his innings on 18.

With the arrival of Khalid Akram at #4, the home side required 32 to win, with just 6.2 overs down out of 62, you’d think he’d have played it safe, and just taken the simple runs where possible, but nope, ping! ping! ping! getting dropped twice, once when he was on 15 just shy of the boundary, and secondly with just 2 runs required left in the game by a dolly of a ball just behind the bowlers head.

The win, when it finally did come was disappointingly to a wide ball,  which saw James finish 17* and Khalid on 22* and Stalybridge take 19 points from the day, finishing 62/2 winning by 8 wickets in 18.2 overs.

With just two games to go, next week sees the 2’s head to Whaley Bridge.

 

[Week 16] Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIBad day at the office see 2nds fall to heavy defeat.

After all the heavy rain over the last couple of weeks, it was good to be finally back at a cricket ground without the threat of a downpour looming, the sun was out, and it was a lovely clear day looking over Kinder Scout; that’ll do, you can stop reading now, it’s done.

Birch Vale & Thornsett CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 5th August 2017

Coming off the strip smiling, it was immediately apparent that the toss had been won by Stalybridge’s captain Brian Stone, who decided he’d like to have the team bowl at the hosts, which with the openers Will Freeman and Oliver Wyatt dismissed for just 4 and 1 respectively seemed a good decision.  Alex Wood coming in at three had other ideas, putting 37 on the board in the hour he was at the crease, before being bowled by an on-the-day grumpy James Beswick, his 2nd of three wickets he’d take.

Andy Haywood coming in at 5 managed 16, and Andrew Given at 7 put another 28 runs on the board for the home side, but was bowled cleanly by Faz Hussain, for his third of four dismissals for just 19 runs, the remaining wicket of youngster Harvey Lee fell to Faz again for just 1 run, leaving Mohamed Wasseem on 4* just 8 minutes after arriving at the ground, and leaving the home side 1 point shy of their second batting point, all out for 124.

After the “interval break in proceedings”, Stalybridge came out all suitably buoyed by the score, knowing that 124 was presumably a below-par score for a ground with a number of short boundaries, despite having a make-shift team due to a number of holidays, with the cheap dismissals of the openers Alex Wilde and Anthony Hunter, it fell to James Beswick to try and put Stalybridge back on course, and in spite of his 23 runs, he was back in the changing room after half an hour, and it was at that point Stalybridge’s batting collapsed in earnest, with Chairman Nigel Corless called in to help dismissed by an LBW decision that had the loudest edge that only the umpire seemed to not hear, for a duck with Stalybridge now 27/3, it took just over an hour for the rest of the team to be caught, bowled or run out for just another 40 runs on the board, with the final wicket being an equally dubious thick edged LBW of Jordan Elliott who was apologised to by the Birch Vale bowler, who realised he’d hit it, but had to appeal, because they knew the umpire wanted to get away early, as was suitably rewarded for it.

Both teams were playing with a depleted squad today, but it was the home team who capitalised on the handicap, and if Stalybridge are going to keep their title hopes alive, it will require a much improved batting performance going forward, it can’t all fall to a quality bowling attack.

Final result: Birch Vale win by 57 runs.

[Week 14] Chapel-en-le-Frith CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIStalybridge St. Paul’s claim another victory with a 5fer9 for Ned Woodman.

With Stalybridge St. Paul’s psychologically dropping points last week due to a bye week, it was important to get a victory under their belt to stop the now two teams above us in the league table pulling further away, and for a while today it looked like it just wasn’t happening for us, starting with Brian losing the toss again, which unlike the game the week before last didn’t please him, and being put into bat.

With Mike Whitworth seemingly still carrying the back injury that he had against Offerton, it was just 15 minutes into the innings that saw him chip a ball over the keepers head into the welcoming hands of one of the youngsters on Chapel’s team, Harry Beal, his replacement James Beswick eyes lit up briefly as a ball from another of the young Chapel-en-le-Frith lads, Jack Gyte came towards him, only for him to see it glide under his bat to dismiss him a couple of minutes after Mike, Alex Wilde who opened with Mike did his efficient steady job as per usual but could only see 7 when he was caught of spinner Toby Phipps, Stu Nock came in at number 4, and despite being at the crease for over half an hour, the on-the-spot bowling from their Captain John Theyer and young Toby pegged him down for just 12 runs.

At this stage Stalybridge we now had just 30 runs and were already 20 overs into the game, and it was looking fairly grim to be truthful, but the arrival of Tony Mooney at five saw a dramatic turn around, his effortless boundaries effectively turned the tide of the match, and despite his partners Ant Hunter (11), an angry Pete  Coxon (7) and Maurice Barber (20) being dismissed around him, Tony’s 42 not out (and Ned’s single ball 1) saw Stalybridge finish their 45 overs with a more palatable 114/7, still not a massive figure, but better than the 73/6 we were at with 10 overs to go, though it could all have gone differently, given Tony was given out  not long into his innings, stumped in a bizarre fashion, given by the square-leg umpire long after the ball should have been deemed dead, thankfully, common sense prevailed, and the decision was over turned.

Chapel-en-le-Frith CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 22nd July 2017.

Having bowled them out at the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season for 90, we were aware that is wasn’t impossible, but given Chapel had knocked up 289/4 just two weeks previous, we knew it all hinged on a few getting a key wickets, primarily in John Theyer and Chris Pike, so it was when the captain, Theyer coming in at number 5, despite being dropped on 3 was caught behind on just 12 from Pete Coxon, and Chapel now 44/4, an audible cheer from the Stalybridge players helped raise their game, Pike came in next however couldn’t get much purchase with the bat due to the excellent bowling from Ned Woodman (5 for 9 off 12) and a decent recovery from Pete Coxon (who had a poor start, I’m sure he’ll agree conceding 12 in his first over, but finished 2-29), and his removal at 62/7, again caught behind, this time from Ned saw the last of the batters, and left only the bowlers to try and see out the game, with the rain threatening, the Duckworth Lewis kept being just 5-10 runs ahead of where Chapel were currently, I was glad to see the 3 remaining batsmen dismissed with just 5 additional runs finishing on 67 before the heavens opened not long after.

Another mention has to go to Alex Wilde, who pulled off a cracking over-shoulder catch close to the boundary to see off my scoring counter-part’s dad Lee Storer.

Final result: Stalybridge win by 49 runs.

I’d link to the scorecard, but I’m annoyed at CricHQ moving the goalposts yet again this week, with what people can and can’t view, so f*ck ’em.

More disturbingly, it appears at some point during the 1sts win over Chapel’s in the home fixture, some scrote robbed £60 from the wallet of one of the Stalybridge players, if by any remote possibility you’re reading this, I hope your fingers fall off you thieving bastard.

Next week, Stalybridge 2nd’s play host to Compstall, who, like Chapel did at the beginning of the season, gave us a tricky game at their place.

 

[Week 12] Offerton CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XI2nds back to winning ways, but it wasn’t a walk in the park.

The second half to the season began, unsurprising like the first, with Offerton the opposition, after losing the toss to stand-in captain Dave Scholes, Brian Stone‘s team were told to field, and I’ve never seen him happier to lose the toss in my life.

The Offerton openers, Karl Martin and Steve Pickles were pegged in quite effectively by Stalybridge’s James Beswick and Maurice Barber, but neither bowler could make their hard work pay with a wicket until the last ball of the 9th over when a peach of a ball from Barber almost took the middle stump out of the ground, dismissing Martin for 7, and Offerton on 15, his partner managed to last another 15 minutes before being caught at silly point by Tony Mooney off a Beswick delivery.

The arrival of Faz Hussain replacing Maurice saw another quick wicket with No. 3 Imran Sohail caught on the boundary off an awful delivery (sorry Faz) by Beswick; it’s true what they say, ‘sh*t balls get you wickets‘, but he went on to complete 9 overs for just 31 runs, so it’s not all bad, when Pete Coxon took Bez’s place in the attack, you could see that the opening game where he took 7 wickets was playing on the captain’s mind, who was dismissed for a duck just two balls after Pete’s first scalp of Simon Kirkham, Pete took two more wickets over the space of 8 overs with Halimi on 15 caught behind, and then Suban Ahmad out LBW on 5, with 10 overs left, Offerton were now 61 for 7, and a repeat of the first game where we bowled them (albeit a 10 man side) out for 79, looked on the cards.  Andy Thomas however had other ideas, and proceeded to put another 31 runs on the board for the home side, despite running out No 9, Tony Davies (3) in a what seemed a fool-hardy attempt to get back on strike for the next over, he did manage to steady the ship, and helped Offerton into 3 figures, before JJ Smith deemed him deliberately putting pad in the path of ball, and sent him back to the dressing room LBW, his replacement Liam Smith could only last 4 more balls in that over before Maurice swung another lovely ball in, to see the home side all out for 113.

Offerton CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 8th July 2017

After the break, a visibly injured Mike Whitworth and Alex Wilde took to the field, but with Offerton manoeuvring to switch the ends of the bowling attack of Andy Thomas and Suban Ahmad, saw Steve Pickles come in for a single over and his looping, slow ball must seem like it’s Christmas for batters, but it was one such delivery that saw Alex ping one to the boundary, only to be picked out of the air by the expectant Karl Martin, the next two Stalybridge batters, Khalid Akram and James Beswick had similar innings, with Khalid getting bowled by Ahmad for 13 off 25 deliveries, and James’ C&B by Imran Sohail for 14 off 26, Stalybridge were now on just 56 runs, and were 5 wickets down, and only 15 overs into a maximum of 50.

Andy Thomas, much like in the batting innings, put in a decent bowling performance, netting just the 1 wicket of Anthony Hunter, for his 12 overs, he only conceded 20 runs but Pete Coxon punished his final delivery lumping the ball for a six towards the pavillion,

The return of Steve Pickles however, coming back in the 25th over saw Pete Coxon’s eyes light up for the high-lofted delivery, but only saw it lift up and over his head to the welcoming hands of the keeper, seeing him dismissed for 21, and Stalybridge now 87-7, with Keith Bowers caught the next ball by Liam Smith saw Stalybridge staring imminent defeat in the mouth.

Thankfully Faz Hussain who had come in at 7 following Ant Hunters dismissal and Maurice Barber coming in at No. 9 had the wisdom to realise Stalybridge still had as many overs left as had already gone to get just 27 more runs, and proceeded to take each subsequent delivery on its merit, not taking the bait of the fielders urging them to finish it off quick, and slowly added runs and a the odd boundary where it deemed safe to do so, though that didn’t stop Faz putting a dent in Steve Pickles (3-13) figures, to end the match in style, hitting a big six to finish 114-8 in a very close and excellent game of cricket, on a glorious summers day.

Returning to Stalybridge saw us able to watch the 1sts suitably demolish Offerton’s 1sts with a 5-fer for Rob Mallet, beating them by 125 runs after putting 246 on for the visitors to chase in the opening innings. (They also need to get someone to give me a proper match report so it’s not just an afterthought to the 2nds team report.)

Next week sees a break for Stalybridge with a bye, but the following week sees us back on the road to Chapel-en-le-Frith, who gave us another close game at the start of the season.

Final result: Stalybridge win by 2 wickets, and the scorecard, if you can be arsed to sign into CricHQ, now that they’ve made it compulsory to do so, thereby removing the option to embed it into this website (bloody ar*eholes!), can be viewed here.

Well, you could if their servers hadn’t crapped out yet again.