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.