After Friday night’s successful start to our GMCL20 campaign, the 1st & 2nd XI’s both faced a “double-header” of League & Cup action this weekend. Our review starts with the 1st XI action.
The sunniest of Saturdays at Denton West’s Windsor Park saw skipper Adam Hawley win the toss and, unsurprisingly, decide to bat first. A steady, if unspectacular, start by him & opening partner Liam Parkinson saw us reach 94 for 0 at the mid-point of our innings. The partnership was broken with the score on 112, Adam being dismissed for 41 shortly after Liam had completed an 80-ball half-century. The skipper’s departure saw Parky begin to dominate the strike and scoring and, having reached his 50 in the 28th over, it took only a further 12 overs to be converted into a magnificent century. When he was bowled by Berry (4/82) in the 40th over for 104 from 125 balls, with the score on 189 for 3, the talk amongst the visiting supporters was not of Royal Weddings or FA Cup Finals, but of what score might have been reached had he stayed in. In the event, cameos by Ryan Waterhouse (23), Kyle O’Reilly (22*) & Scott Kirwin (16) saw us reach a respectable 243 for 7, which the away support felt would probably be enough.
West’s reply got off to a shaky start, as the new ball pairing of Scott Kirwin & Mark Selby reduced the hosts to 9 for 2 in the 7th over. O’Brien & Barnett set about repairing the early damage and, keeping the required run-rate at around 7.00 per over with wickets in hand, the hosts were still very much in the game at the mid-point of their innings. Ben Tighe, once again off his new, shorter run-up, struck twice in quick succession to swing the pendulum in our favour and, although Barnett & Berry shared a lively 5th-wicket partnership of 37, the run out of the latter by the irrepressible Parky started a procession which saw 145 for 4 become 165 all out – Ben fittingly taking the last wicket to finish with 6 for 62 as we won by 78 runs and claimed our first bonus point of the season along the way.
Staying with the 1st XI, Sunday saw the 1st Round of the Lancashire Cricket Foundation KO Cup, with Euxton (pronounced Ex-ton, as their scorer reliably informed us) of the Ribblesdale League, the visitors to Sycamore Park. Again, conditions dictated that the Captain winning the toss would bat first, and the visitors did exactly that. At 1 for 2, thanks to a brace for Scott Kirwin, they may have wondered if they had done the right thing. Wickets fell at regular intervals, and the Lancastrians were dismissed for 155 – Kyle O’Reilly (4 for 35 from his allotted 9 overs) being marginally the pick of the bowlers, although it was a tidy effort by all.
Even the deduction of a couple of overs from our quota of 45 was to prove no handicap, as the target was chased down comfortably, with 8 wickets and nearly 10 overs to spare. Just the 42 for Parky this time, before Lahiru Jayakody (47*) and Ryan Waterhouse (26*) saw us stylishly & safely home, and into the last 32 of the competition. We will be at home to Fulwood & Broughton on Sunday June 10th.
On to news of a mixed weekend for the 2nd XI…….
Saturday saw Archie Moore’s team welcome Flowery Field to Headquarters. In favourable batting conditions, bowlers were actually on top for much of the match – Danny Hall (4/38) & Casey Roche (4/41) leading the way as Flowery were dismissed for 175. Given their recent good form, the hosts would have fancied their chances at the tea interval but, at 33 for 4, things weren’t exactly going to plan. At 96 for 9, the plan had long since gone out of the window as Captain Moore strode to the crease, needing to play, in his own words moments before being called upon…..”my finest ever innings”. Just under 11 remarkable overs later, he strode off the pitch triumphantly, having done just that (37* off 27 balls), aided & abetted by the equally maginificent innings of James Gilmore (31* off 58), as an improbable victory was snatched.
Sunday saw a creaking Archie take his troops up to Edgworth for the 2nd round of the 2nd XI Cup. Several enforced changes from the previous day meant that a young team – skipper & one or two others apart – would face a difficult afternoon, and that is how things transpired. The home side took full advantage of the conditions to post a formidable 319 for 3 from their 50 overs. The reality is that we were never in the hunt for this, and there was to be no repeat of the heroics of 24 hours earlier, as we were dismissed for 103, Akash Patel top-scoring with an unbeaten 22. The youngsters in particular will learn from this experience, and be stronger for it.
The 3rd XI were not in action this weekend.