1STs GO TEN CLEAR AS 2NDs NEARLY UN-SADDLE LEADERS
The 1st XI travelled to Woodhouses CC, where they were greeted by a wicket which suggested that it would offer assistance to the bowlers. So much so, in fact, that skipper Adam Hawley indicated that, had he called correctly at the toss, he would have bowled first. In the event, the choice was not his to make, as DSL were put in to bat. The 4th over proved costly, with the loss of both Adam & Scott Kirwin, bowled by deliveries that moved somewhat off the pitch. That brought Neil Hornbuckle to the crease, and he & Liam Parkinson (22) added 53 in 10 overs for the 3rd wicket, to get the innings back on track. Liam’s dismissal paired our South African professional with Matt Sonczak and, not for the first time this season, a substantial partnership would follow. When Neil departed for 84 (from 73 balls, 9×4 & 4×6), the score had advanced to 174 with 19 overs remaining. A quick-fire 24 from Mark Dillnutt was followed by the run out of Kyle O’Reilly as the stumps were disturbed for the sixth time – the previous 5 had all been bowled. Ben Tighe & Dan Moriarty each contributed half a dozen runs by way of support to Matt, before he fell victim to a ball that kept impishly low, agonisingly 13 runs short of a deserved century that was worth far more in the conditions. The innings ended on 267 when Nick Bailey offered a return catch, the only dismissal of the innings not to involve the stumps in some way.
The hosts started their reply steadily enough against the bowling of Scott & Nick, but the introduction of Matt got the breakthrough with the score on 46, which would be the biggest partnership of the innings. When Scott struck with the first ball of his second spell, Woodhouses were 94 for 5, with all the top order batsmen having got in, then got out. Thereafter, the innings was wrapped up quickly as Neil & Matt spun us to an emphatic 153-run victory, the latter taking an athletic catch off his own bowling to finish the match with 5 for 38 from 14 overs. Neil (2/3), Ben (2/28) & Scott (1/17) were the other wicket takers, while there were a couple of tidy catches in the outfield for young Kian Clough. The win, combined with other results, puts us 10 points clear at the top of the Premier Division but, as we all know, titles aren’t won in June…..
The 2nd XI welcomed the hitherto invincible Saddleworth CC to Sycamore Park for a top-of-the-table clash, in which skipper Danny Hall chose to bat first after winning the toss. Danny Moss & Kabs Akram got the innings off to a solid start, adding 87 in under 20 overs before Danny was run out for 29. Kabs was next to go for 63 – the highest score of the innings – with the total on 110, and a shade over 20 overs still available. Thanks to double-figure contributions from Jody Clough, Ethan Illingworth, Mark Selby & Nomi, those overs would be fully utilised as the innings finished on 211 for 9 from our 45 overs.
The visitors have a professional in their ranks (Imran Aslam) and, by the time he was third out for 73 at the mid-point of the innings, Saddleworth were within 91 runs of victory. Three quick wickets for Nomi (5/80) left the game in the balance, 72 being required from the last 15 overs with 4 wickets remaining. The 7th-wicket partnership of 56 between Haroon & Taylor would prove crucial and, by the time Ben Plunkett took his second catch of the afternoon to give the skipper his first wicket, an away win was the likely outcome. This was duly wrapped up by 2 wickets, with over 2 overs to spare. A great game, which the visitors acknowledged on Social Media, from which plenty of encouragement can be sought. The result – only our second defeat of the season – keeps us third in the table behind our conquerors and also Springhead CC.
Reproter: Jon Palmer
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