[Week 11] High Lane CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIStalybridge suffer first defeat of season to strong bowling attack.

In a crucial 1st verses 2nd match, it was the opposition home side that took the spoils, starting by winning the toss and putting Stalybridge into bat, the day went from bad to worse from that point forward with the dismissal of Mike Whitworth in the second over with just 5 runs on the board, with his partner at the opposite end, Alex Wilde caught behind surviving another 10 overs before being caught behind by the most toxic keeper I’ve had to endure at 2nds level cricket, it was Whitworth’s dismissal however that saw Khalid Akram come in at three, who was Stalybridge’s top scorer on 35, taking plenty of abuse from the home side fielders for whatever reason, before being bowled by Sikander Kalifa, with Stalybridge now 5 wickets down, with only 62 on the board and just 26 overs complete.

I could see how the above could be seen as sour grapes, but it isn’t intended that way, I’d expect that sort of “banter” at a Division 1 match,  or against a side with previous history, but it’s not needed at this level, but despite their temperament, their bowling couldn’t be faulted, it was probably the best bowling performance Stalybridge 2nds have faced in a long time, and they punished us with it, bowling the remaining batsmen out for just 82, the ball that bowled Pete Coxon for example was just perfect; with a 4-29 from Saad Malik and 3-11 from Sikander Kalifa.

After the interval, the misery continued, with an excellent batting performance from captain Naseem Sheikh, who almost managed to secure maximum points for his team, which would have seen them top the table, before being given LBW 6 runs from victory, finishing on 25, and his long standing partner at the opposite end with No. 3, Irfan Khalik, racked up 51 to win the game for the home side from just 53 deliveries with 5 fours and 3 sixes, two of which ended in the canal I think!

There were a couple of dropped catches by the Stalybridge fielders, Pete Coxon having to endure two of his deliveries dropped in the same over, but it wouldn’t have made an impact on the outcome of the match.

So while it was only 1 point for Stalybridge today, it was an important one, as it means we’re tied on points with High Lane, and I think we remain in the top spot in division 4 for at least another week, but I’ll let Ian Halford work that lot out, until we are again on the road to the ground affectionately known as the swamp, Offerton.

High Lane CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 1st July 2017

In more positive news, it was a gloriously sunny day, a shock after the weather we’ve endured all week, and the 1sts saw victory against High Lane’s 1sts, beating them by 9 wickets.

Final result: High Lane win by 8 wickets, full scorecard available here.

[Bissenden Cup 1/4 Final] Hazel Grove 1st XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s 1st XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 1st XITense 2 wicket victory sees firsts through to semi-final of Bissenden Cup.

Making this up as I go along, so bear with me.

Hazel Grove opened the batting with Rick Burke and Nick Hayward, the latter however was quickly dismissed in the second over, bowled from 2nds loanee Maurice Barber, with just 3 on the board, however his partner was able to survive another twenty five overs, managing to just reach his half-century before being caught behind by keeper Joe Robinson from a slow delivery from Jamie Brownhill, the hosts now on 87-4.

Captain Geoff Noden managed to steady the rot though, putting another 32 on the score-sheet, before being bowled by James Beswick, with Mike Holtom being dismissed 9 balls later, with the total at 126, it fell to Number 6, Dominic Nunn and Luke Bennett to see out the remaining 9 overs, managing to put an additional 34 runs on to see the hosts finish their overs 160-6.

The start for Stalybridge after the break almost mirrored Hazel Groves, with Alex Wilde dismissed very early into his innings, and his partner Adam Harwick putting on the runs at the other end, Mike Hatton managed to contribute 20 runs to their 61 run partnership, but his dismissal, and subsequent duck for captain Rick Wright, brought Joe Robinson into bat, who was able to stay at the crease while his partners came and went, with only Phil Hammond able to break into double figures out of the next four batsmen, so it was left to Joe to finish the innings in style with two fours then a typical Joe style slog to hit a six to take Stalybridge over the winning line and into the Semi-final of the Bissenden Cup.

Well done lads, full score-card available here:

[Week 10] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Whaley Bridge CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIStalybridge St. Paul’s 2nds make it 8 wins in 8 played.

Staly captain Brian Stone uncharacteristically lost the toss, and was put into bat by his opposite number Marc Thompson, which Brian predicted would happen anyway, because he wanted to bowl.

With Mike Hatton still drunk from his weekend in Amsterdam, which he was still in at 5am this morning, and another fielder missing with Tony Mooney unaware he was scheduled to play because of a WhatsApp miscommunication, Faz Hussain got the call to replace him, but then Tony turned up too, so hey, 12 players, thankfully Tony decided to sit out and did a long stint umpiring at square-leg, before sitting down to watch the match; cheers Tony.

Openers Mike Whitworth and Alex Wilde did a great job soaking up the Whaley bowling attack, both nearly an hour and half each at the crease, with Alex ticking along with the singles,  and letting Mike getting the runs at the other end before Alex was bowled with 93 on the board, Mike was only a couple of overs behind him before being dismissed LBW, with a very respectable 61.

Khalid was caught a few balls later, with Danny Collins and Mike Hatton, managing another 10 overs or so both getting into double figures, MVPete Coxon did well putting another 25 on the board taking the total to 176, but we couldn’t quite reach maximum batting points, as the overs ticked to 45 ending the innings 184 for 8, possibly our top score of the season, I cba checking, but special mention has to go to second highest scorer “Extras” with a whopping 37 with 13 byes, 7 leg-byes, 16 wides and a no-ball.

Ten-man Whaley Bridge opened with Mike Madden and Peter Crowley, the former was someone we knew was getting big scores, with an average of 107 so I am told, so it was imperative to make him the primary target of the opening bowling attack of Ned Woodman and Maurice Barber, he however had other ideas, doggedly staying at the crease for an hour and 40 minutes, but being denied runs by some excellent bowling and fielding, so it was his dismissal at 66-3 for just 23 runs, caught by an absolutely amazing diving catch from Ned off a Pete Coxon delivery, which saw a collective sigh of relief from the Stalybridge contingent, his partner for the most of his innings Will Weston lasted a couple more overs before being bowled this time by Ned and caught by Pete on 24.  Captain Marc Thompson came in at number 5 and saw out the innings being last man dismissed on 31, finishing their innings all out for 112, giving Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nds their 8th consecutive league win of the season.

Despite the excellent fielding today, two points of note have to be mentioned, an absolute dolly of a drop from Faz Hussain, which would have seen danger-man Mike Madden out 4 overs earlier than he actually was, and the circus-style barrel roll from Mike Hatton, to stop a ball going for 4.

Next week sees the 2’s travel half a mile up the A6 to (as of today at least) second in the league High Lane, to hopefully put pay to their “we refuse to lose” motto.

Final result: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 72 runs, score-card available here. (presuming CricHQ pull their fingers out and fix their obviously overloaded servers).

[Week 9] Hadfield St. Andrews 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nd XI

Stalybridge continue their unbeaten run at Hadfield St. Andrews CC.

On a glorious sunny afternoon, just up the road in Hadfield, Stalybridge captain Brian Stone loses the toss, and is put into bat, a decision he was happy about, as that’s what he’d planned to do anyway, but with 3 wickets down less than 45 minutes into the match and only 27 runs on the board, it looked like Stalybridge 2nds run of wins might be in doubt, with a super catch from one of Hadfield’s youngsters, Jack Clegg, to take Alex Wilde at point, bringing James Beswick into play, who for the last couple of weeks has been carrying a side strain, but he put that well and truly behind him, playing for a little over two hours in the sweltering midday sun.

James Beswick celebrates (almost) after getting his half-century.

With 82 runs and just three balls left in the innings, it was a shame to see him bowled out, but given he should really have been stumped on 5, which the keeper fumbled, he can’t have many complaints, Stalybridge complete their 45 overs with 172 on the board, and two wickets to spare, with a decent bowling performance from Hadfield skipper Mike Hockey with 4 wickets for just 21 runs in 11 overs.

After the ‘mid-innings break with no-name‘, Hadfield lost their first wicket of Johnny Gabriel on the first ball, with a plumb LBW delivery from Ned Woodman, and Maurice Barber claimed his first of three scalps just 11 balls later, with Hadfield still with only 1 run on the board.  The arrival of Christian Eyre at No. 4 looked to be their danger-man, and his dismissal at the clumsy usually-safe hands of keeper Mike Hatton, and subsequent catch off the rebound by Brian Stone for just 3 runs and 7 total on the scoreboard cemented the collapse, with only Jack Clegg (10) and Tom Bradbury (11*) managing to break into double figures, seeing Hadfield all out for 35 in 19 overs.

Hadfield St. Andrews CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 17th June 2017.

Stalybridge hope to keep their streak going when they host Whaley Bridge next Saturday to make it 8 wins out of 8 matches played.

Result: Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI win by 137 runs, with scorecard available here.


[Week 8] Water water everywhere, so the players have a drink!

The 1sts were away at Hazel Grove and 2nds at home to Buxworth, well that was the plan, but unfortunately the wet weather put play to that idea, so a number of the players went out on the lash, and got hammered instead.

God help us all..

Weather permitting, next week see the 1sts host Newton, and the 2nds travel to Hadfield St Andrews.

[Week 7] Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI vs Charlesworth & Chisworth CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XI2nds put weakened Charlesworth to the sword, continuing their unbeaten run.

Captain Brian Stone returned from his jollies, so it was unsurprising to hear he’d won the toss, and elected to put Charlesworth into bat, given the strength of the bowling attack we had available, and the fact Charlesworth were reduced to 9 men; hopefully young Master Valentine is ok after being taken to hospital, ill last night.

With Charlesworth losing 5 wickets in close succession, with just 16 runs on the board after almost 12 overs, it was looking like a rout was on the cards, however the arrival of Steve Marren helped restore some pride, along with Andy Kirk later, adding 20 and 17 apiece, however resident Cockney Sparra’ Ned Woodman was too good for the visitors, taking 6 of the 8 wickets, Maurice Barber taking one, before Pete Coxon bowled the last wicket to see Charlesworth finish 56 all out, in 24.3 overs.

Having been soundly chastised for mentioning how good the teas were at Compstall, with Joan unfortunately taking that as a slight at our own, which was genuinely not my intention, I won’t be making further comment on the quality or lack thereof of future grounds’ teas.

After the break in proceedings Danny Collins and Alex Wilde took to the crease, but Danny was deemed out LBW despite his belief he’d made contact with the bat just 5 minutes later, and it was then down to Alex and No. 3 James Beswick to see out the rest of the innings, to only see Alex bowled middle stump with just two runs needed for the win, denying maximum points, the remaining score was duly claimed by Mike Hatton with a boundary a couple of balls later.

So it’s 6 wins out of 6 for Stalybridge’s 2nds, with another home match next Saturday against Buxworth, who are the team with the most runs scored and equally most runs scored against in the league.

Before that however, tomorrow the 1st will host New Mills 1sts in the 2nd round of the Glossop Glass and Glazing sponsored Bissenden Cup, with the 2nds unfortunately forfeiting their Hawke Trophy fixture due to lack of numbers.

Final result: Stalybridge win by 8 wickets, full score-card available here.

[Week 6] Hollingworth CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XII know I asked for an end to all these close games, but this is ridiculous.

Never trust a weatherman!  Since Wednesday, the forecast for today was showers all day with heavy thunderstorms, as as early as yesterday, the app on my phone was issuing a “yellow weather alert” for heavy downpours, needless to say, this is how Hollingworth looked not long into the game.  Martin, your app’s sh*t!

Hollingworth CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 27th May 2017

With the captain due back from his jollies at 3pm, and vice-captain still carrying an injury from last week, it fell to resident nut-job joker Mike Hatton to test his mettle with the captain’s arm-band, who proceeded to lose the toss, and Hollingworth decided to have a bat.

It only took until the end of the second over for the first casualty to fall, with M Osborn being caught quite neatly at slip by Alex Wilde from a Ned Woodman delivery, the next two batsmen lasted until the 5th and 8th over respectively, both caught by keeper Ant Hunter from Maurice Barber, but there was still only 18 runs on the board at this point.  Another two wickets fall soon after, the home side score tally was now 26-5; Hollingworth were in disarray, with the arrival of Waqar and Junaid, a glimmer of hope appeared, when they started settling into their rhythm, but Danny Collins put pay to that hope, dismissing them both before they could too settled, along with Jack Schofield two balls later, with 50 on the board, and eight wickets gone, it was only a matter of two additional overs and 7 more runs before the remaining batsmen were dismissed, again from deliveries from Danny Collins, giving him his 5fer, and ending his figures a very respectable 5-11 from just 3 overs,  and probably Maurice Barber’s best bowling since joining at the beginning of the season, to see him finish 4-14 from 7.  Well done both.

Both teams agreed to forego tea until after the match, and were quickly back on the pitch for the second innings, with a massive 71 overs in which to score 58 runs, the order of the day was “slow and steady”, it would have fallen to Jordan Elliott to open today had he not managed to land awkwardly, whilst trying to catch a sitter, picking up a broken finger for his troubles (well done Son), so instead it was Danny opening alongside Alex Wilde, Danny was dismissed LBW from Khan for 14, and was replaced by Khalid Akram, who obviously didn’t get the memo, and soon racked up 30 runs before going for the glory shot to win the match, only to be caught on the boundary, leaving opener Alex (15*) and stalwart Tony Mooney to get the 3 remaining required runs to win the match, and everyone was soon back on the round returning to the home ground to watch the 1sts play their match.

With that fifth consecutive victory, maintaining our 100% win rate in the season, it saw Stalybridge leapfrog Hollingworth at the top of the table, to take an 18 point lead, with a game in hand, hopefully, we can retain that momentum when we host current bottom of the league Charlesworth next Saturday.

*(weather permitting).

Final score: Stalybridge win by 8 wickets, scorecard available here.

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

Can we stop having these close games, they’re not good for my heart!

After the last two games being close, and knowing we were down a few key players, I went into this game fully expecting defeat, from a Birch Vale team who have been hitting some big numbers, so when asked what I’d do, I suggested we batted, so if we’re turned over, then we could at least get home early, then we found out their big-hitting batter wasn’t available either, so changed my tune; the weather however had other ideas!

With the rain coming down, and Brian Stone on one of his many, many holidays :), stand-in Captain James Beswick lost the toss, and Birch Vale put us into bat, obviously with the thought, that should the game be on and off, they could at least get a couple of bowling points, so with Martin Hatton glued to his phone telling us minute by minute when the rain was going to be cleared, we all sat semi-patiently…  At 3:25, with 5 minutes left before the game has to be abandoned, Stalybridge finally take to the crease, with both sides overs reduced to 25, Jordan ‘Son, you’re not an opener’ Elliott and Alex Wilde opened, with Jordan hitting a career best of 35, lasting 18 of the 25 overs before being caught on the boundary that was looking to be a guaranteed six. Well done son!

With the overs ticking down, the runs were coming at a steady pace, and Stalybridge put in a respectable performance finishing 117-5.

Having had tea before the the match commenced, Birch Vale were soon back in to bat, and with just 6 runs on the board, both opening batsmen were dismissed by Pete Coxon, it was the arrival at three of Alex Wood, coupled with the removal from the bowling attack from injured opening bowler Beswick, that saw their revival, with Wood hitting 35 and the next two batsmen hitting 32 between them, with number 5, Will Hall‘s dismissal, it was the turn on Anthony Haywood to turn on the pressure, whilst starting slow, with ten overs remaining, Birch Vale were 56-4 requiring 62 to win, a seemingly daunting task, however, with about six overs left, he managed to turn a 6.8run/over requirement to a 4.3 by smacking a now hobbling Pete Coxon for 20 in a single over, putting 5 balls to the boundary, but he stepped out to thump the ball once too often, and the dismay of conceding 20 in the previous over was washed away with Pete’s 5th wicket of the day, bowling him middle stump, knocking it out of the ground.

The damage had been done, Birch Vale now just required 8 runs to win from just four overs, and with number 9, Saan Moore edging past leg slip to the boundary, the visitors required just 4 more runs with just over 3 overs to go, to secure a now certain victory from the jaws of defeat, it was our own fault, our fielding had been shocking, with me losing count of how many dropped catches we had done, though Adam Stones and Keith Bowers managed 3 catches between them.

Stalybridge St. Paul’s bowlers Martin Hatton and Pete Coxon however had other ideas, with the first two balls of the 23rd over, Martin dismissed youngsters Harvey Lee and Edward Johnson, finishing the over with a two-wicket maiden, with the final Birch Vale incoming batsman at the off-striker’s end, Pete Coxon faced the stronger looking of the two tail-enders, but finally managed to displace his middle wicket on the third delivery clinching his 6th wicket of the day, and confirming Stalybridge’s unbeaten, however closely, run continued for another week at least.

Well done lads, can we try to secure victory a bit more easily though in the future, it may make for a more enjoyable game like this, but my ticker ain’t up to the job!

Final result: Stalybridge win by 3 runs, and the scorecard can be viewed here.

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

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIFlipping heck, that was close!

Thankfully, the threat of rain, that had been promised throughout today, failed to materialise, and on winning the toss, Stalybridge captain Brian Stone decided we’d have a bowl on the damp track, presumably hoping to maximise bowling points should the game have to be abandoned later on.

Compstall openers C Bray and P Jackson and their No. 3 R Bradley put in a proper shift, wearing down the Stalybridge bowlers, with the former staying at the crease well over 2 hours before being run out by Jordan Elliott on 43, with those three out, the rest of the Compstall attack crumbled, with only D Davies coming in at No. 6 able to break double figures before being caught at slip by Brian from Faz Hussain, who returned after a self imposed break to help out today, cheers Faz.

With 2 balls left in the innings, the  oldest member of the league (apparently at 79) M Hawkin was caught by Anthony Hunter from James Beswick for the home side to finish all out for 139.

Compstall CC 2nd XI vs Stalybridge St. Paul’s CC 2nd XI – 13th May 2017

After probably the best teas we’ll have this season, (gotta love strawberry fresh cream scones!), Stalybridge came out of the blocks unsurprisingly sluggishly given the food coma we were in, with both openers being dismissed in short order, with only 3 runs on the board, and less than 4 overs in.  James Beswick came in at three and Tony Mooney at four, and both managed to stay at the crease for almost an hour, steadying the play before being bowled and caught respectively. With only 35 runs on the board and wickets four down, it was looking like tall order to come back from, it was the arrival of Mike Hatton at five however, that was the turning point of the match, where last year, he would have been swinging recklessly at every ball he faced, this time he was calm and took each ball on its merit, and stayed at the crease for the remaining hour and half of the match, as others came and went to run up 46* with 7 boundaries.

It was his final partnership with captain Brian Stone however that proved the most tense, with Brian coming in with 6 overs to go, and just 20 runs now required, it was a very nervy 20 minutes, as Compstall’s opening bowling pair came back on to try and dislodge the dogged pair, to no avail, again, like the Compstall innings, the match was decided in the final over, with just TWO balls to spare, with the captain hitting the winning couple of runs to see Stalybridge to victory, but denying Mike his well deserved half-century, leaving Compstall stunned, but who then applauded Hatton’s efforts as they all left the field.

So, for the second game in a row, it has come down to the wire for Stalybridge to clinch victory, it’s not doing my ticker any favours, but whatever the result would have been, it was a great game of cricket!

Final result: Stalybridge win by 1 wicket, full scorecard available here.


[Week 3] Stalybridge St. Paul’s 2nd XI vs Chapel-en-le-Frith 2nd XI

Stalybridge St. Paul's CC 2nd XIStalybridge win by 1 wicket in a tense fashion, after bowling Chapel out for 90 in 30 overs.

In an uncustomary turn of events, Brian lost the toss and Chapel elected to bat, on a chilly Saturday, with 15 minutes gone, Chapel had lost both opening batsmen to dubious LBW’s, and it was only another 15 minutes before the next wicket fell the same way, though from where I was sat, was a little more clear-cut, but youngster Toby Phipps managed to stay at the crease with Chapel captain John Theyer well over an hour each to help steady their innings, it was only with their dismissals that Stalybridge managed to keep the runs below 100 bowling them out for 90 in 30 overs, in part due to three cracking catches, from Alex Wilde, Khalid Akram and Maurice Barber.

After another decent Tea, the Chicken Tikka sarnies were lovely Joan :), Stalybridge came out all full of expectation of knocking that off before the food had settled, and despite losing opener Danny Collins 15 minutes in, Alex and Khalid stayed in nearly 45 minutes, it still looked a forgone conclusion, but then the customary middle-order collapse occurred, and by the 16th over, Staly were only just ahead in the run-rate, losing three more wickets in the 22nd over to young spinner Phipps, needing 17 runs with 3 wickets remaining, it was definitely a case of ‘squeeky-bum time’, with just 4 runs required, the final batsman captain Brian Stone comes to the crease, and it’s down to him and Jordan Elliott to see out the remaining 4 runs in a nervy fashion for all watching, giving Stalybridge 2 wins out of 2, but still chasing the pack in the league table due to missing a game last week, but that’ll even itself out over the duration I’m sure.

The scorecard from the match can be viewed here.

Next week sees the 2nds make a visit over the hills into Compstall.