With the rain pouring down from the early hours of Saturday morning, Stalybridge’s 2s first visit to Newton in about 10 years looked in doubt all the way up to 1pm, with one umpire desperate to get away at 5:30 due to a family commitment, the other, a lovely man, but deaf as a post, and England playing at 8 o’clock, it seemed like we wouldn’t get a game in.
But after another inspection around 1:20pm the rain had stopped, and the players were itching to get out and play, so the covers were rolled off, the toss was taken and won by the home side who put Stalybridge into bat.
It doesn’t have to be said, but our batting this season hasn’t been great, and it’s been reflected in the results, (don’t get me wrong, it’s not been awful, we’ve had a couple of 150+ totals, but it’s usually just been 1 or 2 batters putting the total score on), so when our two usual openers aren’t in the team for whatever reason, you have to fear for a repeat of the 40 run total we scored a couple of weeks back, and when newly signed Ravi Patel is given LBW for 3 after facing 12 deliveries, it compounds the dread, but thankfully (though he won’t say so this morning), Jordan Elliott drafted in to open, at the other end put on a respectable 27 runs, he however should also have been given out LBW, when a Yorker in his second over landed plumb on his foot in front of middle stump!
And for a refreshing change, the batsmen that followed also put on some decent scores, Dave Cramner (23), Tilak Bhojani (37), Hur Bin Tariq (20), Jahanger Sabir (38*), so by the end of the 40 overs, Stalybridge had recorded a season best score of 183/8, with the wickets shared fairly evenly, between opener Tom Pottage (3-45), Captain Joe Hoctor (2-40), Mark Barnard (2-36) and Gary Wilde picking up one.
After the interval, Stalybridge resumed with just 10 men, after my son Jordan succumbed to the injury he received at the start of the match, unable to continue (and after 4 hours in Tameside A&E Sunday, confirmed what we already suspected, a very blackened and broken big toe, but also a fractured metatarsal), meaning he’ll be out for a couple of weeks again).
With the man advantage, and a crucial dropped catch of opener Shaun Kent mid-way through his innings, who went on to carry the bat 73 not out, Stalybridge’s bowling attack found breaking the partnerships Kent made with 4 of his team-mates very difficult, but it still took the home-side until the 39th over before Kent put the ball over the boundary to win the innings on 185-4.
Positives can be taken in the batting improvements, and the bowling is still our strong suit, but it’s remains the 5th defeat on the bounce.
Final result and scorecard: Newton CC 2nd XI win by 6 wickets.
Off the field however, the club had an amazing weekend in a fund-raising event on Friday night, with some amazing donated raffle prizes won and well done all involved in organising it all, and especially to Adam Harwick’s missus Leasa who did the vast majority of the leg work in setting up the night, followed on Saturday evening with a club event to watch the England football team stuff Ukraine 4-0, to see them progress to the Semi-finals on Wednesday against Denmark, which the club will also be opening up for, both evenings generated vital funds for the club (as well as many hangovers), and thanks to all who attended and contributed prizes for Friday’s fund-raiser.
Next week sees the 2s at home to face 9th place Hayfield.