In a match that probably shouldn’t have gone ahead, Stalybridge were put into bat by Hazel Grove after stand-in Captain Stuart Nock lost the toss in the pouring rain, that didn’t stop for the whole duration of the 1st innings and for over half of Hazel Grove’s.
It took almost 17 overs for the home side to put 25 runs on the board at the expense of 4 wickets, and things were looking grim. Resident Iron-Man Tony Mooney joined opener Alex Wilde and spent almost 50 minutes together at the crease doubling the tally before being bowled for 17 the hosts 57/5.
Alex finally succumbed for 24 on the 2 hour mark, immediately on the tails of Madussar Bashir (21) caught by Grove’s captain Geoff Noden off Jack Miekle (5-13) for his 4th of the day, with Stalybridge 82/7.
It took another half hour before Miekle completed his 5fer, dismissing Keith Bowers for eight, a skyward shot caught comfortably by Grove’s wicketkeeper.
With the rain still teeming it down a soggy Stalybridge finished 93 all out with 2 balls left in the reduced 38 overs.
50 minutes later and the teams go back in the glorious sunshine, err pissing rain I mean.
Bowling openers Bashir and Jacob Dooley managed to prevent Hazel Grove from scoring until mid-way through the fifth over, and they kept the pressure on a the way to the end of Jacob’s first session; but it wouldn’t be until the 13 over that Muddy would break the deadlock with a fine catch by Alex Wilde to see Luke Bennett heading back to the pavillion on 7, and the visitors 22/1.
Gary Sandiford was probably disappointed not to pick up a couple of wickets with 3 of his deliveries to break up the partnership of opener Andy Tomlinson and number 3 Charlie Higson, with the former dropped of his own delivery and the latter twice at point by Jordan Elliott, but he finally got his reward at the end of his 7th over, Tilak Bhojani catching Charlie Higson on 21, Grove 59/2 with 12 overs remaining.
With 8 overs to go, and the visitors needing just 21 the now hope of a abandonment vanished when the rain finally stopped albeit briefly.
With Tomlinson and Graeme Butcher at the crease, picking up the occasional boundary and quick singles when presented, it was only a matter of time before they finally knocked Stalybridge’s 93, with Butcher missing Madussar Bashir’s delivery and it sailing away for a 4 to end their innings with a winning score of 97/3.
Some decent bowling, but costly errors in the field led to the final result and scorecard of: Hazel Grove win by 7 wickets.
The 2’s next fixture sees the rearranged Hawke Trophy fixture tomorrow afternoon up in Tintwistle.