Stalybridge left victory slip through their fingers at Pott Shrigley.
I’ll get this out the way first, you don’t drop an opener on 2, 6, 35 and 38, who then goes on to score 58 and deserve to win (though the one on 38 runs would have been a worldy of a catch as it sailed over the bowler’s head).
Winning the toss and choosing to bat, Captain Mike Whitworth‘s opening pair of Adam Smith-Harwick (16) and Rob Mallett (35) got off to a good start, putting on a 32 partnership before a audibly frustrated Adam, was caught off James Bridgeford at the end of the 9th, Mike replaced him, and Rob at the other end continued to apply pressure, seeing the visitors hit 50 in the 12th over, though immediately after, the run-rate started to drop steadily, with the introduction of Andrew Matheson, whose deliveries down the leg-side frustrating his opposition, taking Mallett for an absolute peach of a catch by Ryan Anderson-Fitter, two balls into the 24th over.
Whitworth continued ticking over the runs, and survived the falls of Mike Hatton (0), (who spent more time knocking in his new bat than he did using it :), Kevin Dooley (10) and Tilak Bhojhani (19) before succumbing to LBW to see the visitors 120-6.
19 off Stuart Barnes and 16 off Gary Sandiford at 7 and 8 respectively were the only contributions of note after that, and the innings completed on the last ball of the regulation 45, when Sandiford was run-out by Pott’s Captain Jon Buckley trying for a second run, to finish up 159 all out.
After the interval, it could have gone a lot differently, had #1 batsman, Ryan Anderson-Fitter been caught when he was on two runs, with his opposite number being bowled 4 balls later for a duck, or again, had he not been fumbled with an ABSOLUTE dolly of a catch on six runs, or again on 35, or an over or two later on 38, but instead, he went on to put on 28 runs in a 50 run partnership with #3 Andrew Hart (17 b. Gary Sandiford) and 24 in a 45 run partnership with Seth Mawhinney (20 b. Kevin Dooley), before finally being bowled for James Brady’s 2nd wicket on 58, and the hosts 102-4 needing the same number to win, with 23 1/2 overs to do it in.
Despite the best efforts of the bowlers, it only took the combined efforts of Captain, Jon Buckley (18), and Andrew Matheson (29) (with a brief cameo from Tom Coates (5) in between, and Shaun Wilson (4*) and Steve Barlow (2*) after) just 9 more overs to complete the rout, to finish to the chants of “come on the red, come on the red”, to see the ball trickle to the boundary just in front of the pavilion with almost 3 overs to spare.
Final result and scorecard: Pott Shrigley won by 3 wickets.