Stalybridge 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).