The firsts and seconds wound up their 2019 campaigns on sunny Saturday and both came back with the bacon. The firsts trounced already relegated Woodhouses who looked a shadow of the team that beat us on their own patch earlier in the season. Gareth Cross was in ebullient mood as he first came on as second change and removed five visiting batsmen for fourteen runs as they capitulated to 77 all out. Earlier, Ryan Barker had dispatched the first three batsmen in just four balls, leaving them in tatters at 6-3 and there were two wickets for Adam Holt in his new guise as off spinner, (when he wasn’t bowling beamers). The reply started sedately until Crossy realised that the Premier League 3pm kick offs were imminent, upon which he launched into three sixes and seven fours in scoring exactly 50 and winning the game by eight wickets in just over 11 overs. The side remained unbeaten in August and September and must be looking forward to 2020 already and welcoming four new faces from Divisions 1A and 1B into the Premier Division as none of last year’s relegated sides managed to come back.
1st XI Scorecard - https://www.crichq.com/matches/774771/1st_innings
The seconds completed the formalities of winning Division 3W and will play in the new Division 2 next season; the fifth tier of the newly reconstructed league. With Woodbank still suffering from the drainage problem that has plagued them for most of the season, conditions were not ideal, although the wicket was marginally better looking than the outfield. The hosts made a decent start but fell away badly when spin was introduced, with Liam Dorsey taking five wickets in twenty-one deliveries in his 5-13 and David Dempster taking 2-6 in 8 overs. However, given the conditions, the score of 148 seemed not far off par and so it proved as the Clifton batsmen toiled and grafted their way towards victory. In the end, six batsmen managed to claw their way into double figures (Woodbank managed only three) with Steve Judge top scoring with 28. Husty Uryakhel’s questionable batting technique suited the conditions perfectly as the asking rate rose and in the final analysis, victory was achieved by three wickets with eleven balls to spare.
2nd XI Scorecard - https://www.crichq.com/matches/774868/1st_innings
The third team’s eagerly anticipated top of the table clash with Whalley Range would have been an exciting nail biter but for the farcical conditions which tested the patience of umpires, spectators and players alike. The grey skies first became light drizzle followed by steady rain as the umpires steadfastly stood by their decision to carry on at all costs. Some of the players resembled early December Rugby League players as, caked in mud, the game concluded in a ten run victory. Batting first, Sam Dorsey returned to form with 52 as a total of 140-7 was set at tea. Wickets then tumbled at regular intervals before a worrying ninth wicket partnership squelched its way to a partnership of 43 interspersed with piles of sawdust and ever more sodden cloths to wipe the ball. With only eleven required, as so often happens, two wickets fell in three balls and the players and umpires were able to trudge off to the warmth of the showers. Mason Turner impressed amongst the bowlers, bowling six overs with a sopping ball for just thirteen runs and taking three wickets. The championship is still out of our hands however, as Nick’s boys must win both remaining games and hope that Whalley Range drop points next weekend.
3rd XI Scorecard - https://www.crichq.com/matches/775234/1st_innings
Pic: Jim Ainscough hits the winning boundary in the 2nds final game of the 2019 season.
Results went the way of both 1sts and seconds on Saturday with the seconds taking the plaudits by securing the Championship of Division 3W. Batting first against a Walshaw side with nothing to play for, Chris Lord (49) and Dan Ainscough (62) provided a platform of 119 before a mini collapse saw four wickets fall for 13 runs. Ethan Harding (21), Rohan Fernando (12) and Jim Ainscough (19) steadied the ship before the tail took the score beyond 200 and well out of Walshaw’s grasp. All five bowlers then took wickets, with Rohan’s 3 for 12 off five catching the eye, as Walshaw crumbled to 79 all out, leaving Jim and his team to celebrate a most unlikely champions’ comeback after last year’s trials and tribulations.
2nd XI Scorecard - https://www.crichq.com/matches/773665/1st_innings
The firsts became the tenth visiting senior side to leave Woodbank without bowling a ball as their game became one of only two in the entire nine division set up of 122 games, to be abandoned. However, all three of the remaining relegation places were confirmed as wins by Monton and Egerton saw Stand, Monton and Woodhouses joining Royton in the new Premiership League 1 next season.
A win for the thirds at Greenmount, put them within seven points of the top and with leaders Whalley Range coming to Manchester Road next week, it could be that Nick Flaxman’s side emerge from nowhere to win the Sunday Premier championship. With a number of players unavailable, the team had to be bolstered by junior players from the first and second XI in order to fulfill the fixture and, as expected, they had a key role in the four wicket win. Greenmount batted first and set a total of 160 at exactly four an over with the wickets shared fairly evenly, though Kesh weighed in with three late wickets for 20 runs. Dan Ainscough (48) and Sam Dorsey (44) produced the bulk of the reply, but they were well supported by Harry Golland (29) who gave up on his attempt to avoid being run out, when it appeared to spectators on the side that he might have made it quite easily. The winning runs were secured with seven overs to spare setting up a mouth-watering clash next week.
3rd XI Scorecard - https://www.crichq.com/matches/774095/1st_innings
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