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.