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THE DIARY FOR 2004

 

 

December 2004

A.G.M.

All the elected new (and old) faces are listed on the officials page. A decent turnout at the AGM on Thursday December 2nd saw quite a few changes to the management and playing sides of the clubs structure. There were also warnings from the senior officials about  complacency and the need for commitment as the downward trend in the licensed trade generally starts to affect turnover. The gareth cross.jpgrecent experiment in providing conference facilities is showing signs of being a successful move, but other ways of raising finance need to be sought.

The recent deluge of rain has led to a problem with the clubhouse roof which needs urgent and possibly expensive repair or, more likely, replacement.

 

GOOD NEWS to end the year in that former CCC junior and 1st XI wicketkeeper Gareth Cross has been offered a contract with Lancashire making him the third  Clifton keeper in thirty years to achieve the feat.

November 2004

NEW PROFESSIONAL SIGNED- CHINTHAKA JAYASINGHE

Full Name: Chinthaka Umesh Jayasinghe

Born: 19 May 1978, Kalutara
Major Teams: Burgher Recreation Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Chilaw Marians Cricket Club.

Also Known As: Chintha
Batting Style: Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium

Career Statistics:

FIRST-CLASS
(1996/97 - 2004/05; as of 26/11/2004)
                                M    I  NO  Runs   HS     Ave 100  50   Ct  St
 
Batting & Fielding   79  120  14  3240  142   30.56   5  17   61   0
 
                            O      M     R    W    Ave   BBI    5  10    SR  Econ
 
Bowling             699.2  169  2080   86  24.18  5-39    1   0  48.7  2.97
 
LIST A LIMITED OVERS
 (1998/99 - 2004/05)
 
                             M    I  NO  Runs   HS     Ave 100  50   Ct  St
 
Batting & Fielding   60   49  12   828   72*  22.37   0   3   23   0
 
                           O      M     R    W    Ave   BBI   4w  5w    SR  Econ
 
Bowling             292.3   39  1071   51  21.00  4-17    1   0  34.4  3.66
 

 October 2004

 

End of Season Golf Day

Sixteen Club members attended the first of hopefully many golf days down at Boysnope Park in Irlam for an end of season tournament. Good fun was had by one and all on a rain soaked course that challenged the seasoned golfer ! First prize was shared by Dave Hamilton and Chris Moores who both scored a creditable 32 points and Dave Garner came a gallant 3rd with 31 points. The "Cheers.Com" award went to Lee Spoor who gallantly completed the course in 13 points. Longest Drive went to Ian Morris and nearest the pin went to Paul Weir. A somewhat easy victory in the "Yellow Ball" competition went to the four ball comprising Ian Morris, Alan Wray, Dave Jennings and Gareth Cross. Tournament bosses will be reviewing the handicap lists for the next event !!

September 11th

3rd X1 END OF TERM REPORT 2004

 

tpott.jpgAfter the narrow escape of last season when relegation was only just avoided, it was nice to be in a comfortable mid table position at the end of July with a chance to enjoy our cricket and relax a little more.

One of the main reasons for this was the mass of runs which Philip Royle accumulated throughout the season which gave the bowlers something to bowl at in most matches.

Another contributory factor was the number of times Tony Potter won the toss (what a good tosser he is).

Dave Rogers and Tony Potter were the pick of the bowlers with Dave pushing Tony hard to try and win the bowling prize.

The third team benefited greatly from the signing of Ian Davidson this season and he made his mark as an all-rounder and if Philip did not get runs the Ian usually did.

The improved performances of the Juniors in the team must not be overlooked. What a difference a year makes ! Where they struggled at times last season, they blossomed this season. We lost Jamie Royle, Scott Davis and Michael Hay to the first and second teams quite early on in the season but those who continued with us Taylor Marshall, Richard Borrit, Michael Dempster and Kane Bentley to a lesser extent because of his football commitments showed their increasing maturity as cricketers, all making valuable contributions to the cause, particularly Taylor Marshall who was an absolute star in the field and made a number of excellent contributions with both bat and ball.

On the down side it was disappointing to lose so many players though the season on the morning of a game, needed by the first and second team to replace people who cried off at the last minute. We understand this is a necessary part of being a third teamer but it should not happen as frequently as it did this season and it is to be hoped that we can improve in this regard next year. All the same, thanks to all the people who stepped in at the last moment for the third team, we always took the field with eleven players plus a scorer even Steve Eccles Toddlers at East Lancs Paper Mill.

Highlights of the season:- Philips century at Prestwich which did not deserve to be for a losing cause. Tony Potters 8 wickets at Thornham extracting turn and bounce from a very flat track. Good efforts at Farnworth S C by Paul Smith and Taylor Marshall to help Philip post a decent score on a very lively wicket for Dave Rogers to bowl at and take 8 wickets. Some brilliant umpiring by Bernard Sweeney at Fothergill and Harvey which made for a quite exciting game. Sparkling batting at the end of the innings by Taylor and Steve to give us a total that was too taxing for Swinton Moorside especially with Davo wrapping up the game with 5 for 4. Philip and Tony putting on 130 for the first wicket to bag the points against Catholic Club on an excellent batting track. Dave Rogers again bowling unchanged against Fothergill to claim 6 wickets. A maiden 50 for Paul Dempster against ELPM, unfortunate not to be on the winning side. Paul Smiths efforts with the chicken legs at EPLM was an outstanding effort, hes just come out of intensive care. Above all, Norman Selvesters dedication to the cause for God knows how many years must not go unmentioned, he has performed sterling stuff behind the stumps for the 3rd team and deserves to put his slippers on and light his pipe. You have been a credit to the game Norm

Many thanks everybody this season, players, umpires, scorers, tea-girls and groundsmen. Im sure that you are all looking forward to next season already.

Sept 4th
CLEAN SWEEP ! 
The under 11s made it a full house by adding the B&DCA knockout trophy to the league championship and LCB knockout at the weekend. Although Blackrod posted a decent total, it proved no obstacle to the latest crop of talented youngsters. All of which makes the double defeat suffered by the firsts a little more palatable, especially when the seconds managed a more than comfortable double and the thirds had a quite remarkable win, albeit in a friendly game.Despite another half century from Dave Hamilton, it was a case of 'season over' for the firsts who's top four spot disappeared into the mists with a double setback. Stephen Thorpe's creditable eight wicket haul in the seconds helped them to a 40 point haul, but only pride to play for now. The thirds seven wicket win at East Lancs Paper Mill was notable in that six players were under thirteen years of age; and what a remarkable crop of talent they are with Simon Hope (15 runs), David Dempster (8no), Liam Holt (2 wickets) and Paul Alexander, Adam Holt and Richard Dempster (1 wicket apiece) all making telling contributions.

Aug 21st

 It's been a busy long weekend at the club, but no other achievement (see below) can compare with the Under 11's stunning win over Haslingden in the final of the Lancashire Championship for their age group. In a high scoring game, a number of great individual performances added to a terrific all-round team effort gave the boys a great win in front of a big bank holiday crowd. There's more to come on this story as the news and pics come in !

Elton's seven wicket win over Blackrod, and Darcy's four wicket win over Lostock maintained the large gap at the top but Walshaw's win over fifth placed Daisy Hill who picked up only three points, and Atherton's surprise massacre at Adlington in which they managed four points still leaves a glimmer of hope for a top four spot.

It was a disappointing score of 154 for the firsts when 200+ looked on, but the wicket was always going to be tricky and, in the end, the overs given away to A&T gave some insurance as good bowling and fielding left the visitors 37 runs short.

Elton... 25    15    1    5    4    60    384

Darcy Lever... 25    15    3    4   3    44    362

Atherton... 25    12    5    6    2    81    333

Walshaw... 25    12    6    4    3    73    331

Clifton ... 25    11    6    6    2    78    310

Daisy Hill... 26    12    7    3    4    40    307

 

Meanwhile, the seconds continued to grind out another win, this time by five wickets at A&T, but the real story is the growing dissatisfaction with the general quality of opposition in the second XI competition as only one in every six or so games provides any meaningful competition.

The thirds had another win, this time exacting revenge over East Lancs PM for last week's close defeat, with a three wicket triumph in the most unusual 11am start concocted due to ELPM's first XI cup final later in the day. Defeat on Monday was as glorious as defeat can ever be at Prestwich in a pretty meaningless game. On a close to unplayable pitch, scores of 199 and 188 say much about the quality of the bowling and the shortness of the boundary, but a good time dempsters.JPGwas had by all against genial hosts with Philip Royle taking the honours on the pitch with a stunning 123. Using number one son Jamie's bat he declared quite definitely (just before running me out) that there was no way he was getting it back !

 

 

 

One for the archives as three generations of Dempsters played together in the same side. This is certainly the first time I've ever heard of this happening at Clifton unless somebody out there knows different?

 

 

 

August 7th

Clifton's talented bunch of Unders 11's made it a week to remember at the weekend when they managed to clinch a superb victory against a strong side from Penrythm to reach the final to be played at Clifton on 31st August (Bank Holiday Monday). This talented bunch of youngsters have already won the League title and are in the Cup final to be played on the 5th September. After scoring 212 runs, they kept the visitors to under 200 runs to book a place in the final after a tense finish which saw Richard Dempster and Adam Holt take vital wickets in the last few overs.

The First XI managed a winning draw on Saturday against Edgworth and the 2nd's also managed an easy victory. This was followed up on Sunday when they defeated a poor Spring View side who only managed 50 runs. This total was easily knocked off for 1 wicket with Michael Hay scoring 35 not out and Anthony Walsh taking 6-9 !

August 7th

Trev hay small.jpgClifton's talented bunch of Unders 15's made it a week to remember at the weekend when they managed to clinch a superb League and Cup Double when they defeated their closest rivals Walshaw in a thriller on Sunday morning. As well as the performances of our talented youngsters, a lot of the credit must also go to Team Manager, Phil Royle and his able assistant Trevor Hay who, along with coach Robin Jackson have moulded this team into a well oiled machine and have gone throughout the whole season undefeated !

August 3rd

It seemed a cert that, following their Cross Cup defeat at the hands of Walshaw last week, there would be an almost meaningless victory over them in the league this week, but it was not to be as the only consolation was the restricting of the championship chasers to twelve points out of the game. Chasing a daunting 233-9 Geoff Griffiths continued his own personal revival with a half century and Dave Hamilton fell one short of doing the same. However, despite four wickets from Robin Jackson, the 233-9 was too many and the innings closed 0n 191-5.

 

The revenge then, was left to Walshaw's seconds who, with telling irony, avenged the exciting one wicket defeat earlier in the season by concocting their own one wicket win in the return. Several Clifton batsmen got a start but then succumbed and the simple analogy was, yet again, not enough runs.

SUDDENLY......the thirds are charging up on the rails as unlikely outsiders for the second division championship! Another conclusive win on Sunday against previous bogey team Fothergill & Harvey means it's all to play for in the remaining games.

 Dave Rogers toiled manfully in nasty humidity to take 6-42 as the men from th'ills were dispatched for 115 in a 38 run victory. Debutant Thomas Clarke became the latest off the junior production line at fifteen and a bit and batted with considerable promise for his 20no.

July 19th

OFF THE HOOK Firsts are Cross Cup bridesmaids again as Walshaw recover from 13-2 to win comfortably. It all looked very rosy for the club's Cross Cup ambitions until the last few overs of Walshaw's innings when then they recovered first from 13-2, then 80-5 and finally 148-8 to total a respectable 172-9 at the close after a series of disastrous dropped catches. After that it was a case of 'as you were' as nobody managed to get going with the bat and the club slipped to it's third successive cup-final defeat. Credit goes to Geoff Griff, but his thirty runs and three wickets were not enough on the day. 

Meanwhile, almost unnoticed, the thirds notched up another Sunday four pointer with a winning draw against Swinton Moorside. Phil Royle's 71 was the backbone of the innings which petered out disappointingly after looking like a 220 plus score at one stage. However, the 187-9 was too many for our nearest neighbours as they closed on 145-6.

On SATURDAY the firsts had warmed up for the final with a DOUBLE SUCCESS AGAINST ADLINGTON.  The firsts warmed up nicely for the Cross Cup Final with a 62 run win over professional-less Adlington with Steve Holt grabbing six for sixty and Andy Griffiths (81) and Dave Hamilton (75) hopefully getting set for another biggie in the final. However, Walshaw also faced weak opposition and rattled up 243-6 against Golborne.

The seconds could only manage a winning draw against Adlington seconds with Davies and Davis scoring sixty odd apiece and Danny Varney taking three wickets. 

July 12th 

BOTH SATURDAY'S FIRST & SECONDS GAMES AGAINST BLACKROD WERE WASHED OUT WITHOUT A BALL BEING BOWLED..... where's the sun gone?

THE THIRDS surpassed last season's points total with another win over Farnworth SC (with Dwyers) on Sunday. A classy all-round performance from Ian Davidson (72no & 5-41) took the eye but there was plenty left in the locker at the end of the day.

The league have awarded Daisy Hill the game after that shambles earlier in the season (see club news). It makes one start hankering for the new football season. Watch this space for the explanation of this decision - it should be interesting.

July 4th

That was the bleakest, blackest weekend for eons and with a month to go to the Cross Cup Final, it's time to take stock and start planning. When Mark Unwin played out the last over to ensure a draw for the thirds on Saturday, little did he know that his efforts were to be the only, somewhat limited success for the entire weekend. The losing draw at Rochdale also provided a further bright spot in the batting of young Richard Borritt who scored 25 not out. But the real story was the demoralising double disaster at the hands of table topping elton who won by eight wickets and over a hundred runs in the firsts' and seconds' encounters and then further humiliation at the hands of standish on sunday when the seconds couldn't get 109 and the firsts looked like it was a chore just to turn up. Shorn once again, of the talents of Mark Gardener on Saturday and Robin Jackson both days and with Dave Hamilton unable to bowl a-la-Flintoff, Wooly had his work cut out and the lack of bowling proved the key as Elton knocked off the 179 required with ten overs in the locker and Standish had a similarly easy job with the paltry 141. Danny Varney was again missing from the seconds and they too went down heavily. On a brighter note, another decent knock from Andy Griffiths on Saturday could herald a much needed return to form and Dave Hamilton almost made up for his loss of all-rounder status with another half century. Unfortunately though, neither could repeat the feat on Sunday.

June 27th

FIRSTS MAKE ANOTHER CROSS CUP FINAL. IT'S A THIRD IN FOUR YEARS, BUT WILL IT BE THIRD TIME LUCKY ?? It'll be Walshaw in August 1st's Cross Cup Final after Andy Griffiths and Ian Morris scored an unbeaten fifty seven apiece to clinch a match which was tighter than the score suggests. Atherton were in trouble after the prolific scorers all went with the score barely over fifty, so to rack up 155 meant they would be reasonably happy at tea. BUT after a shaky start, in stepped the home-grown duo to pace the win to perfection. The flip side was the seconds' first Isherwood Cup defeat since 2001. The seconds relinquished their hold on the old trophy after a poor batting display against League Leaders Elton. But at least they will have the opportunity for revenge next weekend as Elton seek to take away our League Champs trophy as well.

For once the forecasters got it right and it was rain, rain & more rain for Saturday's clashes against Darcy, but Elton & Standish firsts stole a march by dodging the showers and picking up max points.

June 20th

The firsts produced another one of THOSE performances which are only tempered by the fact that it was a double header weekend so it's easily forgotten as long as Sunday's result goes to plan. Thankfully it did against a Little Hulton side who set the early season pace but have since fallen away. It was a grafting performance which saw them overtake LH's 109 in the 50th over for eight wickets on Sunday. HOWEVER that willingness to graft was conspicuously absent on Saturday when they capitulated for a miserable 68. We can at least congratulate the seconds on yet another good win overtaking A. & T.'s 150 with around thirteen overs to spare. Danny Varney (48no and 4-46) showed the way, but once again it was a great all-round team effort. AND the thirds managed a win at Roe Green for the first time in living memory (well almost) thanks to a five-for from Tony Potter and some spirited batting.

June 13th

NOT ENOUGH RUNS !! 

2nds CARRY THE FLAG AS 1sts AND 3rds GO DOWN. 

These days 200 just isn't anywhere near enough at Clifton (see below) and a teatime chat with Atherton stalwart Philip West proved prophetic. The consensus was that one decent innings would be enough to win it for the visitors and this proved accurate as West, who has been with Atherton since he was a nipper, clubbed 83 to win it for his team. The only consolation was that both Darcy and Elton lost as well. Earlier the firsts had posted 206-8 with no-one able to build on a start and go on to make the big score that would put it beyond Atherton. The seconds continued their good form in beating Atherton by five wickets having dismissed them for 85. Once again it was a solid team performance with no one player outstanding. The thirds, chasing a similar score, at Rochdale Catholic Club fell foul to another Saturday of cry-offs by going down on a somewhat dodgy wicket.

 

SUNDAY.........proved the point precisely, as the Anthony Axford B&DCA representative side rattled up what is believed to be a record score for the Manchester Road ground, scoring 301 runs in 48 overs in the Manchester Evening News  inter league knockout game. The shell-shocked Saddleworth League, to their credit, went on to score well over 200 themselves, but were soundly beaten on the day. Despite the score, the league's perceived big hitters in Tony Kelly, Brett Collins and our own Andrew Griffiths all failed. It was left to Atherton duo Neil Bannister (117no) and Karl Brown (83) to do the damage. Credit also to groundsman Graham Robins who was delighted to note that the strip was relatively undamaged after the game!

June 6th

SHAMBOLIC  SATURDAY!!

Instead of discussing cricketing exploits from the Daisy Hill encounter, all the talk was of allegations of ball tampering, duff LBW decisions, sledging, racial abuse, cheating and finally umpires who don't even know how many overs have been bowled, so the result of a vital 1st XI game will be decided at a meeting, instead of on the field of play. 

An exciting top of the table game, which could have seen us going into second place, saw Daisy Hill reduced to 148 all out thanks to seven wickets for Wooly, and then recovering from 31-5 to reach the last over needing three to win. BUT the last over wasn't to be as, incredibly, the umpires seem to have got their sums wrong and pulled up the stumps. Not surprisingly this led to tensions which resulted in some unsavoury moments - all of which could and should have been avoided. Even the teletext couldn't fathom it, declaring that Daisy Hill 148, Clifton 146-9 was a TIED GAME !!

THE SECONDS also had a tension filled game, but reasonably decent umpiring and common sense prevailed and a great game of cricket ensued resulting in a good win. Pete Davies notched fifty but the highlight was a smashing all-round team performance in which almost every player contributed. 

SUPER SUNDAY

Sunday saw three teams out and three victories to celebrate. 

There's cup semi-final dates to look forward to for the firsts and seconds after double success against Blackrod and a hard earned win for the thirds at Farnworth SC thanks to outstanding individual performances from Phil Royle (68) and Dave Rogers (8-47). Dave Hamilton notched up another half century as the first's 200 plus was too many for their opponents and a second telling knock from Pete Davies (75no) saw the seconds into the semis. The most notable element though was, once again, great contributions throughout the teams with lots of players chipping in.

May 30th

It's only the end of May and the trophy cabinet is expecting it's first contribution already. 

It was the firsts turn to cause chewed nails as their last ball win over Spring View made it a max point weekend to put pressure on the leaders. Dave Hamilton overcame his botty problems to notch yet another fifty, but it was the partnership between Dave Garner and Steve Holt, taking the score from 115-5 to 190, which caught the eye. The seconds recovered from a Saturday disaster to notch an easy win as well with 'Reg' Varney taking six. On Saturday Dave Hamilton and Andy Griffiths had combined to smash the Edgworth attack and knock off the 133 runs required in 22 overs, in a rain affected game. Steve Holt continued his personal vein of bowling form to take four of the wickets to fall. However, the seconds produced another Jekyll and Hyde performance to capitulate to the opposition's 134 by 22 runs having been 82-2. Danny Varney (45) looked set to win it on his own before missing a full toss.

May 22nd

Youngsters show the way as Walshaw leave empty handed. What an utterly remarkable performance the firsts and seconds put up to take max points off Walshaw with well over a dozen players sidelined. Where to start? Jamie Royle's untroubled 61 opening up for the firsts. Scott Davis' six wickets and fifty for the seconds. Grant Cordin, Michael Hay - the list goes on. The not so young 'uns played their part as well in a remarkable day that saw both sides  winning last over thrillers.....BUT the thirds paid the price for the absence of so many players, eventually going down at Fothergills, but coming good on Sunday with a win over Swinton Moorside that saw TEN l.b.w. decisions.

May 3rd

The firsts got their first twenty pointer at last on Saturday, but after getting out of jail from 4-3, it relied on a gutsy 65 not out from Ian Morris to do the business. On Sunday it was more convincing however, as Steve Holt continued his wickets glut and Golborne were well beaten on the day.The seconds pulverised Lostock seconds; dismissing them for just 45 on a pudding of a wicket which also troubled our early batsmen. Nice to see the wickets and runs shared out - a real team performance. On Sunday they made light work of a handy 182-9 posted by Golborne, winning by seven wickets with maiden half centuries from Jamie Royle and Paul Turner. The thirds went down to a very powerful Prestwich side which was far stronger than anything the seconds faced all weekend. Stronger than the firsts as well according to Walshy......but he would say that after 1 wicket and 1 run.

April 26th

SLOW AND LOW...no, it's not Wooly's new nickname, it's the state of the playing surfaces last weekend, despite the midsummer weather conditions. Unfortunately it was the firsts who coped worst as the club's slow bowlers stole the limelight with no fewer than 23 wickets between them. Tony Potter stole the show with 8-32 (& Mark Unwin got the other two) and Danny Varney grabbed 6-18 as the seconds and thirds registered maximums, but Lee Wolstenholme's 5-53 wasn't enought to stave off defeat for the 1sts.

April 19th

week one and.........THE ONLY WAY IS UP ! It's a bleak start to life for the two new skippers, and the winter weather didn't help - apart from robbing bogey team Standish of yet another unlikely home victory. Even less likely was the seconds demise at home. Last season's run machines need a bit of oiling methinks! BRIGHT SPOTS........ Dave Hamilton kicks off with another run blitz, scoring 69 not out out of 135-5. "Bloody slow though" moaned his new skipper. Stephen Birch likes playing against Standish, but his 5-17 wasn't enough to save his side from defeat this time.

April 13th

Welcome back to Graham Robins, the club's new groundsman. Graham did the job for several years a decade ago and replaces Albert who has retired. Many thanks are due to Albert whom we hope to see regularly during the season

 

2003 - Blow by Blow

snippets from news items from last year

Clifton CC's own answer to Frances Lee stepped out in from of over 67,000 fans packed into Old Trafford on Manchester Derby Day, in a penalty shoot out competition at half time. Paul came away from the competition 2nd best (just like his team !!). You own Webmaster was half way up the stairs back into the ground at half time after his Bovril and the roar from the crowd said it all - "You fat person" (or something along those lines) and there he was, placing the ball down on the penalty spot. Paul scored his first two penalties but had his last one saved which resulted in a 2-2 tie. A sudden death shootout ensued and our hero had his spot kick saved and couldn't prevent the United fans from the chant of "28 years" stating the fact that it has been that long since City won anything and they couldn't even win a penalty shoot out !

 LARGE HOLE APPEARS IN SQUARE !! It's GONE - The rarely used all weather strip had been tripping up fielders and diverting cricket balls at unusual angles for too many years. By next April it will have been replaced by some living green stuff called grass.

 

UNCLE REMUS BOWS OUT      A miserable, rainy day at Adlington provided the backdrop to the end of Eric Brabin's long career on Saturday. In an emotional dressing room, he told his team mates nearer the start of their careers to work hard and play hard on the cricket field and the less young to play on as long as they could, but above everything, to enjoy the game. Earlier he had been applauded to the wicket by team mates and Adlington players alike and responded with a typically mean bowling spell and two catches. He then emulated Don Bradman by registering a duck in his final innings !  Skipper Pete Davies praised his wily all rounder and then proceeded to break the memento he was about to present. Oh well - I suppose it's the thought that counts Pete !

 GET THE POLISH OUT !  It's appropriate that John Charlson presented Pete Davies with the championship shield, it was his club, Atherton, who last achieved the double in 1992. It also became a personal triumph for Pete Davies last weekend as, almost unnoticed, he emulated Dave Hamilton by passing the magical 1000 for the season. CONGRATS to Pete - it doesn't get much better than this !

All of which brightened up a dull weekend with the firsts defeated again and the seconds failing  to manage four runs from the last over to construe a losing draw  by just one agonising run on Saturday against Elton. Double victory against Daisy Hill on Sunday was a massive consolation for the seconds but not for the firsts who's 2004 Lancashire Knockout aspirations seem a long way distant now. The one consolation for them was the thirty fourth run scored by Dave Hamilton on Sunday, which took him to a magnificent 1000 for the season.

 We all know it's never over 'til the fat lady sings, but those of us who journeyed back from a comfortable first team victory Daisy Hill on Sunday to find the seconds at 92-9 chasing 142 against their nearest rivals, with Rob Meredith and Simon Fleming at the crease, expected the band to strike up at any moment. Fifty two memorable runs later, they did, with Pete Davies and his team toasting a memorable, if not unlikely victory, with Simon Fleming smashing 41 and daddy-to-be Rob Meredith the most important nine runs he has scored for a long time !!

 Too Little Too Late ?.........BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND......The first XI's demise in the Cross Cup has provided something of a fillip to their flagging fortunes with four maximum point wins out of four since the final, but the championship flag is out of reach with the gap still a massive 68 points with only five to play. Darcy Lever became the latest fall guys going down to a nine wicket drubbing thanks largely to Andy Griffiths who notched up another half century and four cheap wickets to add icing to the cake  The seconds didn't have it all their own way for a change, but scraped home by two wickets to maintain a comfortable gap at the top. AND it was as you were with the thirds as their depressing batting form continued despite good looking line ups against Roe Green and Ashton St James. 

 TRINITY TRIO FAIL TO HALT BCL.The delight for the club in the selection of Dave Hamilton, Andy Griffiths and Steve Holt for the Association XI to face the Bolton League in the Annual Trinity Cup game was tempered by yet another defeat at the hands of our old rivals

  16-8-2003........It was a maximum eighty five point weekend for the Firsts and Seconds against troubled Lostock and even more troubled Blackrod, and for the thirds against Prestwich.   A welcome return to form for Andy Griffiths after his foreign sojourn helped the firsts to a tense victory at Lostock , but it needed a late flourish from Dave Wild (30 no) who had already weighed in with three stumpings, to ensure victory. Andy Griffiths continued his good form on Sunday with an unbeaten half-century in a nine wicket win over a very poor Blackrod side. The seconds, led by Captain Marvel Peter Davies, notched up two embarrassingly easy wins with the skipper contributing almost two hundred runs without being dismissed including a 'ton' against Lostock. This opened up a satisfying gap at the top of the league. The thirds joined in the fun with a vital first win of the season in the relegation battle at Prestwich. The entire match hinged on a bizarre incident when a productive and potentially match winning second wicket partnership for the home team, was broken when, in taking a quick single, the batmen contrived a crunching collision in mid wicket which not only resulted in a run out, but the subsequent dismissal of the 'survivor' who was obviously in some pain, in the very next over. Mark Unwin went on to pick up five vital wickets.  

 WELCOME HOME !!........The second XI continued their form into the Isherwood cup final and brought home the trophy for a second successive year. They continued their tradition of chasing 200 plus and knocking them off with overs to spare as Elton posted 202-9 and the boys reached the target with over five overs left. It was the turn of Danny Varney and then David Garner with an innings of 82 not out which League Chairman John Charlson described as 'outstanding', to get the runs. Skipper Pete Davies was elated at his team's all round performance and depth of talent.

 The thirds let the weekend down with yet another abject batting display as they failed to capitalise on a superb all round bowling and fielding display which reduced Roe Green to 99 all out, by succumbing for 84 of which Simon Riley scored 28.

 Meanwhile, Saturday saw a double over Atherton as the firsts at last returned to winning ways with a demolition job by Dave Hamilton (6 for 22) as the Bag Lane Mob were reduced to 53 all out on a decent wicket. He then followed up with 33no as a six wicket win was registered. The second's equally impressive win makes the cup & league double all the more attainable. One thing is certain - no one else can achieve it!

  Cup Final Winner takes Hat-Trick !! Luke Mobey aged 9 takes 3 wickets in 3 balls for the Under 11's, in their victory over Little Hulton.

  Cross Cup Slump - The firsts continued their miserable run with defeat in the 109th Cross Cup Final. It's going to take something special now to rescue something from this  disappointing season. Only the batting form of man-of-the match Dave Hamilton was any consolation as he continued his own personal purple patch which now sees him approaching 800 runs at an average of well over 50.

  Under 11's Cup Final Victory !!!!   Congratulations all round to Ian Morris's young cubs who claimed the Under 11's Cup on Sunday morning with a superb 30 run victory over Blackrod. Clifton batted first and accumulated a score of 266 thanks to some steady batting all the way through the innings with everybody chipping in with runs. Only 1 wicket was lost in the whole innings, a remarkable achievement. Clifton got off to a flying start in the field with a wicket in the first over. Tight bowling all round left Blackrod's last pair with a mountain to climb and they ended up 30 runs short of their total

  wot a scorcher ! ! ! PITY ABOUT THE CRICKET..  Seconds carry the flag with a superb victory, but firsts and thirds flop again.   A. & T. seconds' skipper Michael Axford's comments during the tea interval when his side had posted 224-2, came back to haunt him as Pete Davies and Paul Weir knocked off the runs with almost five overs to spare.  Meanwhile the firsts were undone by a good old 'un and a good young 'un as evergreen Steve Walsh picked up six wickets and sensational pro Bazid Khan took his season's total to 1006 with 92 as the firsts were well beaten. The thirds found themselves staring at a total in excess of 240 for the second game in a row, but did at least grab a consolation point as Phil Royle knocked 60 and the unfortunate Grant Cordin fell one short of his maiden half century. 

"Form is temporary, class is permanent" - they said it about Gower and now, after nearly two years Tony Potter stepped up from the third team to alleviate a crisis of confidence in the Jekyll and Hyde first XI and picked up five for forty seven against lacklustre Adlington. This followed yet another dire performance against a competent Golborne side in which only six points were accrued. Meanwhile the seconds stay top with another max weekend.

Nobody dares mention it but the decisive double over Atherton in the 1st and 2nd team cup competitions' semi finals means that a first team / second team DOUBLE DOUBLE is now very much on !  (This despite a dire performance leading to a first defeat of the season for the Jekyll & Hyde firsts against bogey side Standish in the league). Has it ever been done before? Certainly not in the modern era. Go for it boys!

JUNIORS..........Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory -- the under fifteens learned a hard lesson against Longridge in the latest round of the Lancs Club Knockout when, after being in charge for 39 overs, they conspired to throw it away in the last one and go out. It's a hard game lads -- credit to Longridge though, they never gave up!

There's a real father / son battle going on at the Cricket Club this year with Andrew Griffiths currently a neck in front of his dad Geoff, with 3 broken roof tiles to 1 !!! Local residents have taken to the bunkers in fear of projectiles coming their way and one local resident has been rumoured to have taken out a contract on the ultimate winner !!

Covers have now been delivered to the Club and have already proved their worth with a showery start to the season.

Andy Griffiths and Mark Gardener smashed the 1stXI opening partnership record of 181 held by Phil Royle and David Critchley by putting together an opening stand of 209 against Astley & Tyldesley Collieries on the opening day of the season. The final total of 288-2 was only seven short of the club's highest ever score of 295-8 against Alderley Edge on May 11th 1901. Regrettably, the game ended in a draw as the weather and dogged A & T batting meant they held out for 112-8 giving Clifton only 14 points on the day. Andy Griffiths continued his incredible early season form with 152 not out but the unfortunate Mark Gardener fell to a catch at square leg on 96. Next day it was Andy's turn to go it alone as he overtook Jack Edwards' previous Clifton best of 163 by scoring 171 not out in the National Knockout against Liverpool Nalgo.

The club's impressive list of pre-season friendly games offered little in the way of clues as to how the team might fare when the season gets under way. Defeats against Middleton and Egerton showed both strengths and weaknesses as the batsmen contrived a Jekyll and Hyde performance scoring 219-1 and 99 respectively. Similarly the bowlers seemed to be carrying more than the average burden of cobwebs in game one since which they have performed creditably. The real plus has been the batting of Andrew Griffiths who's awesome 130 not out at Norden had the locals drooling. Add to this his 80 against Middleton and he really can look forward to the season with relish. The rest of the batting line up has had it's moments but the Egerton experience does highlight some frailty. On the bowling side there appears to be plenty in the locker and the skipper does not need to switch his gaze too far around the field before finding yet another competent bowler who is raring to perform. Add to this the comparative weakness of the opposition and it is going to have to be 'wait and see' when Astley and Tyldesley turn up for the first game.

We are sad to announce the death of Life Member Bob Critchley who passed away in the early stages of the 2003 season. Bob was  aged 93 and he will be remembered for many things. His total disappearance into the conifer hedge whilst trying to avoid a cricket ball will go down in  Clifton history! Our deepest sympathy goes to all members of his family.

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Clifton C.C are proud to unveil the new club professional for the forthcoming 2003 season. Lee Wolstenholme (34) will be joining us next season after leaving his home club of Middleton in the Central Lancashire League. Lee is a slow left arm bowler who has taken 89 and 69 wickets respectively in the last two seasons. Lee is looking forward to a new challenge in a new league and we all wish him well for the next season