Stalybridge St Paul’s made the short trip to Woodley on Saturday as the weather finally allowed for a guaranteed game.
Having won the toss and elected to bat, regular wickets fell all through the innings as Stalybridge’s shot selection left a lot to be desired. Only a brief Rob Mallett blast of 22 managed to nudge the score past hundred, which left Stalybridge with only a glimmer of hope.
A few early-innings wicket in Woodley’s reply showed a bit of fight but 105 was way too low a total as Woodley passed their target with 4 wickets down.
On Sunday, Stalybridge then travelled to Birch Vale in the first round of the cup. A more-spirited batting display meant Stalybridge set 153, with opener Harwick (26), Barnes (20), and a 50 partnership between Brownhill (23) and Mike Mallett (27).
In reply, Stalybridge had Birch Vale struggling at 60 for 5, Gary Sandiford standing out with 3 quick wickets. Vale’s two veteran batters then got together however and pushed the run-rate up to expertly guide them to victory in a game that looked like it was going to be very tight at drinks. Another defeat but certainly positive signs as Stalybridge slowly get into the swing of things.
In contrast. Stalybridge 2nds showed the 1sts how it was done with 2 victories, over Buxworth on Saturday and Birch Vale on Sunday. Ant Hunter scoring 33, veteran Pete Coxon and Bashir picked up 3 wickets each. This was followed by another comprehensive victory in the cup on Sunday. This time Coxon picked up 4 wickets with Chris Gledhill also chipping in with 4 including a 3 wicket maiden.
This Saturday sees the 1st finally at home vs Charlesworth, with the 2nds travelling to Compstall. 1.30 start.
Stalybridge 2nds opened the batting after losing the toss to a 10 man Buxworth, with a solid Mike Brownesque performance from Anthony Hunter, with 33 runs from 99 deliveries, before the rest of the team collapsed with just Gary Sandiford and Keith Bowers making double figures (just) with 17 and 11 respectively, leaving Brian Stone’s men’s innings 6 runs short of a batting point, mainly down to a good bowling performance from Buxworth’s young bowler Marcus Page who bowled a respectable 4-26 in 10 overs.
With just 94 on the board, it looked an unlikely task to take anything from the match, but with said bowler Page having to drop out of their batting, Buxworth were subsequently reduced to nine men, which, between Mudi Bashir (3-14 5M 10O), Pete Coxon (3-21 6M 10O), Gary Sandiford (1-4 1M 2O) and Faz Hussain (1-0 1M 1.3O) managed to knock over in short order keeping Buxworth to a innings total of just 59, with only Ken Bradbury and Alan Reynolds making double figures for the Derbyshire side with 18 and 11 between them.
The 2nds next match is tomorrow when they play the rescheduled Hawke Trophy match against Birch Vale and Thornsett CC again at home, who incidentally are the same team they’ll be playing at the next home game two weeks from now, with Compstall CC away in-between on the 14th.
Stalybridge St Paul’s started their adventure into the Derbyshire and Cheshire league with a trip to the beautiful little ground of Hayfield.
Skipper Richard Wright won the toss and decided to bat on a surprisingly hard wicket considering the previous week’s weather, with Stalybridge hoping to take advantage of the small boundary. Advantage was not really taken however as the innings ended on 169 which seemed well short of a competitive total on such a small ground. Wright (28), Richard Wilde (24), debutant Khalid Akram (39) and Jamie Brownhill (21) all made starts but both a failure to convert these starts into higher scores and combined with a late-order collapse, meant Stalybridge were a touch disappointed. The runs were on the board however which did give at least a glimmer of hope.
Hope however was short-lived as the impressive Hayfield opener quickly got to grips with the bowling and hit a quickfire 70. This took the game away from Stalybridge very early on, which also wasn’t helped by losing opening bowler Fish with a suspected torn hamstring, as Hayfield eventually passed the total with the loss of just one wicket.
Stalybridge 2s also slipped to defeat by 10 runs v Whaley Bridge. Pete Coxon picked up 4 wickets, with Faz Hussain and Ant Hunter making 30-odd with the bat.
A slightly disappointing start but the first season in a new league is always going to be a learning curve and it at least felt very refreshing not travelling home from the depths of Cheshire. Stalybridge 1sts are at home this Saturday (1.30) vs High Lane with the 2nds facing the same opposition.
The 2nds opened the new campaign at home on a sunny but bitterly cold afternoon with a narrow defeat to a 10 man Whaley Bridge 2nd XI, failing to overcome their opening innings score of 174 all out, by reaching just 163 before the final wicket of Graham Stone’s questionable LBW decision that saw a bruise just below his hip be deemed low enough to warrant his departure.
Having scored for the club for just over 4 1/2 years without a “retired injured” before, it was therefore appropriate that there’d be two in one game, with both Whaley Bridge’s David Lomax, and Stalybridge’s Faz Hussain both having to leave the field, only to return later on when fit, as there doesn’t seem to be any provision in the rulebook for having a runner.
Notable batting performances from Whaley Bridge’s keeper Michael Madden and bowler Ivan Heathcote with 60 and 51 respectively, while Staly’s Pete Coxon managed 37 as their top scorer.
Pete also topped Stalybridge’s bowling performance, with 4 wickets for 34 runs, but Whaley Bridge’s Colin Wild improved on that in the second innings with 4 wickets for just 9 runs, both over the maximum twelve overs.
The only other thing of note, was the dubious counting skills of the pavilion end umpire, who by his own admission was scoring his first game of cricket ever, but had eleven overs with 7 balls played, one of which was 8 balls long, but perhaps that could be attributed to the returning ball from the opposite end that bowler Pete Coxon directed onto the umpires nose!
The updated league table can be viewed here or on the DCCL website directly, and the 2nds next match involves a short trip up the A6 against High Lane CC’s 2nd XI.