On behalf of the clubs management committee I would like to congratulate our 1stXI on reaching the final of the prestigious Lancashire Knock Out Cup Final.
I think it would be fair to say all of us who had travelled, not to mention the players themselves, were resigned to defeat with twelve balls of the match to go. With six wickets in hand, opponents Northern required just four runs for victory, but in a bizarre twist Clifton took five wickets and conceded only three runs to enable their passage to the final due to losing one less wicket.
Clifton will travel to Ormskirk CC on Sunday 2nd September to take on Darwen CC who defeated Ormskirk CC in their semi-final.
We wish Gareth and his team all the best in the final.
I T Morris
START TIMES: A reminder that of this week, all GMCL games start half an hour earlier:
Premiership games (50 overs) - 12:30pm start for our 1st XI & 2nd XI.
Sunday League games (40 overs) - 1:30pm start for our 3rd XI.
Clifton won the toss on what started out a nice sunnyafternoon as we welcomed Denton St. Lawrence to Manchester Road. Electing to bat, Adam was the fist man to fallwith the score on 76 for a gritty 25.
After that the wicket became very hard toscore on and after looking like a big total was the order of the day, we were dragged back.A few wickets fell cheaply and Gareth Cross (117) with another 100 for CCC was in need of a partner to hang around with him. Fortunately, Dan Ainscough came to the crease and put on agood partnership with the skipper. When Dan fell for a well played 26 whichhelped put on a 70 partnership, Steven Cheetham managed to lay bat on ball and hit a couple oflusty blows. Clifton finishing on a very good 223 which was well above par onthe wicket.
DSL's reply was to come out playing some shots and they put on 47 in 5overs before Liam Hurt claimed the first wicket. This sloweddown the quick start and wickets fell at regular intervals as the pitch deteriorated. Steven Cheetham was outstanding picking up 3 vital wickets. The rain came when DSL were 7 down needing 110 more runs for victory.
The game eventually won by Clifton on DLS. A much needed win and good performance.
2nd XI -
Rooted to the foot of GMCL Division 2A, the 2nd XItravelled to former B&DCA foes Elton CC this week to play their 1st XI.
Clifton won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing tobat first.
The innings got off to a steady and circumspect startagainst accurate and challenging seam and swing bowling. Opening the battingfor the first time, 13 year old Zach Flaxman continues to progress, lookingcomfortable and untroubled until he got a grubber that hit the base of his offstump after pitching just short of a length.
Steady progress saw the score to 46-1, when 16 year oldEthan Harding was most unfortunate to be run out at the bowlers end, backing upa powerfully hit straight drive that clipped the bowlers fingers and ricochetedinto the stumps.
Whilst the unlucky youngsters at the top of the order dida good job of countering the disciplined bowling of Elton’s 1st team, thesenior players that followed in the middle order disappointed. Three or fourrash and impatient shots saw a collapse from 55-2 to 71-6. Then, what followedwas one thing that really wasn’t needed, quite possibly the best piece ofamateur fielding witnessed by most present in many years. A cleanly hit lofteddrive cleared the long off boundary rope, only to be intercepted in mid air bythe fielder who flicked the ball back to long on, feet still off the ground,and the catch was taken back within the field of play. Quite remarkable, and areminder of the standard of cricket required to be competitive in Division 2A.The remaining three wickets fell in the blink of an eye and the only questionremaining was whether the home side would pass the required total of 84 beforethe forecast rain arrived.
The answer was yes, comfortably, as positive strokeplaysaw the target reached within 20 overs. On a positive note, the Cliftonfielding was excellent, Zach and Ethan taking good catches as Rob Reade andJack Golland picked up wickets.
Another tough day, but useful experience for a (mainly)young side against another strong first team.
On Saturday, the 1st XI were defeated by 7wickets by a league chasing Woodbank CC side.
Clifton batted first and failed to really score with anymomentum throughout the innings. With no batter going on to score big, SamDorsey (49) and Joe McCann (38) were the top contributors with the bat for Cliftonas they were bowled out for 172. N. Kennedy taking 6-33 for the visitors.
Despite Woodbank losing a wicket with the first ball of thesecond innings, a patient 84 by pro Phil Hayes, supported by 38 from McIntosh sawthe away side cruise to victory by 7 wickets with 18 overs to spare.
The 1st XI welcomed Leyland CC to Manchester Rd onSunday, in the Quarter Final of the Lancashire KO. Clifton were bowling firstin a bid to bounce back from defeat the day before.
Leyland failed to build a big partnership early on due tightopening spells from Cheetham (0-16) and Jennings (2-13). This theme continued throughout the inningsas Clifton continued to take regular wickets through Cross (2-38) and Davidson(3-36), limiting Leyland to 169-8 after their 45 overs.
In pursuit, Clifton were in cruise control with an openingstand of 131 between Cross (84) and Holt (63*). Despite losing Cross, SamDorsey (15*) and Adam Holt saw the game home with 8 overs to be bowled, asClifton won by 9 wickets.
This win sees Clifton sail into the Semi Final where theywill face Northern CC of the Liverpool Comp.
Best of luck to Leyland CC for the rest of the season.
2nd XI -
Another disappointing weekend for the 2s....
3rd XI -
The 3rd XI travelled to Bolton Cricket Club to take on Oldham West CC1st XI.
It wasn't long however until the 3rd XI were back at Manchester Road to watch the 1st XI defeat Leyand CC in the Quarter Final of the Lancshire KO, due to a woeful batting performance which saw them bowled out for 75.
In reply the skipper turned to youth and both Rohan Fernando and Jacob Jervis, with his first senior wicket for CCC, picked up a wicket apiece.
Back to the drawing board for the 3rds!
The 1st XI suffered a disappointing defeat asthey made the short trip to Roe Green on Saturday.
Clifton elected to bat first on a firm, dry pitch, but itsoon became apparent, it was not going to be easy to score. At 42-2 and losingGareth Cross for 0, it was Adam Holt (68) and Sam Dorsey (23) who steadied theship, piecing together a 62 partnership. It was Holt’s crucial innings, and alate flurry of boundaries by James Evans (43) and Steve Cheetham (21) that saw Cliftonto post a competitive score of 197-8 after 50 overs.
Clifton’s defence started positively with Cross and JoeMcCann picking up an early wicket each, leaving the home side 14-2 in pursuit.However, Clifton failed to take advantage and build any pressure with the ball,allowing Roe Green to build important partnerships. Despite a few late wickets by Cross (4-68) causingthe home side to stall, a patient 58 by Gatenby-Brown steered them home with 5balls to spare.
The 1st XI look to bounce back next Saturday asthey welcome Woodbank to Manchester Road. Followed by Leyland on Sunday in theLancashire KO Quarter Final.
2nd XI -
Micklehurst CC 1st team were thevisitors to Manchester Road this week to play CCC 2nds in a reverse ofthe fixture that yielded the only win of the season so far for the hosts.
The visitors won the toss and decided to bat on a scorchingly hotday. Rob Lord and Rob Meredith struck early to leave the visitors 16 for 2, buta good partnership saw Micklehurst through to 76 for 2 at the first drinksbreak. The next session was a key one in the game as the home team youngstersstarted to flag in the heat and the bowling became more erratic. A couple ofchances went to ground and the over rate slowed markedly. By the second drinksbreak Micklehurst had advanced to 179 for 4 and there were just 40 minutes leftto bowl the remaining 16 overs. In a bid to get through these overs, a numberof bowlers were used, from a mixture of short, and shortened (!) run ups. RobLord was the most effective of these, taking 3 for 55 from 14 overs, but thefinal Micklehurst total of 269, aided by 48 extras (31 of which were wides)looked more than competitive.
The Clifton innings got off to the worst possible start with ChrisLord getting a brute of a delivery which reared up waist high off a goodlength from the visitors overseas amateur in the first over - Chris was onlyable to fend it off to gully where the catch was comfortably taken. Ben Sykesthen struck a few lusty retaliative blows, including one which landed in themiddle of Manchester Road, but one trip too many to the well too soon saw himcaught at long-on in the fourth over. By the first drinks break Clifton hadbeen reduced to 76 for 5, with Robert Lord, Chris Royle and Rob Reade also backin the tent. Partnerships were hard to come by and wickets fell regularly, somuch so that only the efforts of number 11 Rob Meredith meant that the seconddrinks break was even reached, at 160 for 9. He fell soon after though, as the hostswere bowled out for 177 inside 38 overs. A bitterly disappointing run chase,and back to the ever-increasing-in-size drawing board for the 2s.
3rd XI -
No less than 9 juniors took part in the 3rd XI fixture against unbeaten Friarmere 2nd XI on Sunday 15th July.
With the toss won, Clifton went out to bat with good intentions of setting our opponents a challenging chase. That was just the case, as Joe Parker (47) and Sam Brown (29) put on 62 for the first wicket inside 12 overs. A little gitter with the loss of 3 quick wickets brought Rob Lord (27) and Sam Dorsey (50) to the crease. They ably pushed the score on and Clifton posted a decent total of 189/6 from their 40 overs.
Over to the bowlers to do their job.
An early wicket for Rob Lord and pressure in the field looked like just the tonic as Friarmere found themselves on 86/4 at half way. Wickets continued to be taken and at 157/9 with 9 overs remaining it looked like Clifton were going to wrap things up and inflict the first defeat of the season on our visitors. Friarmere's no.10 and no.11 had other ideas. They carefully picked up one's and with the help of extras and lady luck, found themselves requiring 11 runs from the final 2 overs. An edge for 4, a single and another inside edge for 4, left 2 runs needed from the final over. Jack Golland had the honour and bowling an excellent length and with the field tightened, dot followed dot. With 2 balls remaining the batsman took his chance on a fuller delivery and stroked the ball down to the long off boundary.
Disappointment for the 3rds in what was a great game of cricket.
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