December 24th - The rumour mongers have Shadley Van Schwalkwyk as Astley Bridges professional for 2010. Shadley plays his cricket alongside Hendro Puchert for Free State in South Africa.
December 19th - ALBERTS AUDACIOUS ADVENTURERS followed in Iconic Albert Wainwrights footsteps with a winter walk from Glenridding to the top of Helvellyn, the third highest peak in England, via the sensational Striding Edge.
December 12th -
WHAT a good night the CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH ECCLES BOROUGH BAND was. Many thanks to Bill and his team; surely nobody could complain about the excellent quality and value for money of this event. Get your tickets early next year †its bound to be a sell out !!! Pictures to follow †watch this space. Pictures from the evening can be found here
December 7th -
The Annual presentation Dinner was a smashing night again....
The event in pictures:
Dinner Guests 1st XI bowling prize †Andy Hough 1st XI catching prize †Chris Lord 2nd XI batting prize †Ian Morris 2nd XI bowling prize †Oliver Dunn 2nd XI catching prize †Ian Morris 3rd XI batting prize †Philip Royle 3rd XI bowling prize †Steve Eccles Most outstanding contribution to the club †Chris Lord Best individual performance 2009 †Ian Morris Most improved player under age 18 †Dean Morris North Manchester League Captain of the Year †Philip Royle Burton Cup Final man of the match †Dean Morris Burton Cup Winner †Ian Morris Burton Cup Winner †Adam Holt Burton Cup Winner †Oliver Dunn Burton Cup Winner †Liam Dorsey Burton Cup Winner †Geoff Griffiths Burton Cup Winner †Rob Meredith Burton Cup Winner †Liam Holt The Burton Cup Winning Captain †Ian Morris
November 14TH - Philip Royle became the North Manchester Leagues Captain of the Year and was presented with the Captains Plate by league sponsor and Walshaw CC Chairman Tommy Murphy. Clifton are now the only club to have two captains inscribed on the plate as Tony Potter won it a few years ago.
October 4TH - The golf day on the 4th October at Prestwich went really well with good weather for most of the day. Ian Atkinson came 1st, Dean Morris 2nd and Bill Dorsey 3rd. Chris Lord won longest drive and nearest the pin and Andrew Lord won the best newcomer prize. Full Results are here.
September 15th - HOW the firsts managed to lose the eagerly anticipated T20 final against Heywood is anybodyís guess, but they did.
Having restricted the favourites to 99 and coasted past fifty for the loss of three, the wheels came off with a vengeance and the walk to the wicket and back became a procession. Oh, how I wish I could field moaned the President, as he watched a succession of wild shots when, with the game in the bag, all it needed was a straight bat and to pick up ones and twos. By the time Tallat and Liam Dorsey contrived the final farcical run out, the game was up with Heywood a dozen or more to the good.
ALL OVER †What Happened? seems to be Tallatís query.
A grin from the bowler as Ollie plays on
Tallatís right behind his first ball
Norm fears the worst
Wildís mature knock ends in a stumping
Run out survived
The crowd are getting restless
September 8th - The league season went out with a whimper on Sunday as all three teams were beaten. The firsts did well to restrict Unsworth to 126 with Rob Meredith taking 5-36 and leaving Unsworthís top notch pro, Wayne Madsen on 1994 runs for the season. However, after Naz went in the first over, only Oliver Dunn (34no) showed any resistance and they finished the season with a two figure total after being 93 all out. The seconds had the frustration of conflicting scorebooks in their narrow defeat at Manchester Road. Unsworth posted a more than respectable 226-9 and despite half centuries from Gordon Neve (51) and Jamie Royle (54), the scorebook said 211-9 at the close. The thirds met a championship chasing Prestwich with a severely weakened side and coped quite well on the day. Anthony Walsh made his first appearance since his broken arm and smashed 96 not out as a decent enough 178-4 was posted. However there was no real bite in the makeshift bowling attack and Prestwich set themselves up for next weeks title decider with Littleborough, with a six wicket win.
The thirds laid an age old bogey to rest by gaining only a second ever win over the 2008 champions on Saturday. Andy Lord took four wickets as the visitors rued their decision to bat and only a spirited middle order recovery took them to 129. Phil Royle then gave youth its head and batted himself down the order. Sadly they werent up to the challenge and the skipper had to make yet another half century to win the game, well supported by Jack Unwin and Matthew Tye. As you can see, the square leg umpires camera saw some action too !
The weather finally relented on Sunday and the firsts and seconds grabbed the opportunity with both hands and registered maximum points. The firsts had a sensational second spell from Andy Hough to thank after they looked to be slipping slowly to a fifth straight defeat. Glenn Bullock swopped and chopped the bowling around when the Milnrow professional was looking a class apart as he belligerently cut, pulled and drove as well as producing a number of less orthodox strokes. However, he finally lost his cool against Tallatís metronomic wicket to wicket bowling and lost his middle stump. In stepped Andy Hough (allegedly after the sawdust man had a word in the skippers ear) having conceded 0-28 in his first three over spell. At that point, chasing a decent enough 203 in which Adil Nisar, shrugging off a hand injury, smashed a fabulous 116, Milnrow were 168-3 with sixteen overs left. Houghy took a wicket in his first over of his new spell, by which time daddy Martin had gone home, and then ploughed through the rest of the Milnrow batting in a second spell which yielded figures of 7.2 overs 4 maidens, six for nine giving a victory margin of thirteen runs. Henceforth, Martin Hough is banned from the ground whilst Clifton are fielding.
The seconds had their own spinning hero as, Dean Morris proved his all round talent with five wickets of his own at Milnrow. Danny Hill is another whose future 1st team prospects are good and he chipped in with three as the hosts were skittled for 126. Earlier, young Moz had registered 34 and not-so-young Geoff Griff 32, but it was left to Ollie Dunn to once again prove his credentials with unbeaten half century to help post 218 for 6.
September 4th - South African Hendro Puchert has been confirmed as the clubs professional for 2010. Hendro deputised for Naz when he went back to Pakistan for a family bereavement in April and took four wickets as well as top scoring on the day. 23 year old Hendro plays for Free State back in South Africa and has played in East Anglia this summer.
September 1st - With the firsts crashing to a fourth straight defeat on Saturday and then being unable to get a proper look at deputy professional Bathiya Perera when the weather forecasters, for once, got it nearly right (depending where you looked), August bowed out with a whimper. Saturdays eight wicket defeat at Norden was simply bad batting according to Glenn Bullock. Although the wicket wasnít easy, there was no application and willingness to graft. Sundays wet washout had its positives despite the deputy professional going second ball, with Alex Rodzoch continuing his good form with 64. Any hopes that the seconds may have had, of achieving a cup and league double evaporated in a two wicket defeat on Saturday followed by a tea-time washout at Royton who had been dismissed for 78 with Dean Morris grabbing six.
With the announcement of the 2010 professional imminent any time, itís easy to forget that 2009 is far from over yet. The first may appear to have had a poor time of it and there may be a need to look closely at the number of players who have formed the squad this season, what happens during practice sessions and a host of other contributors to what has happened, but with the seconds having one trophy already in the bag, what a great fillip it would be to the 2010 close season to take the T20 trophy.
August 23rd - The firsts endured what was possibly the worst weekend since the move to the C.L.L. four seasons ago. The combination of poor form, holidays, missing players, working patterns and the resultant inability to select a settled side, finally caught up with Glenn and Chris as two devastating heavy defeats left the selectors with two sleepless nights before Tuesdays meeting. Adil Nisar, newly signed up with Farnworth for next season, was smashed out of sight (literally) on Saturday as Crompton scored over a hundred in the last five overs including one over in which the luckless pro conceded over 40 runs bringing back memories of Eric Brabinís mauling at Daisy Hill some years ago. His luck didnít change on Sunday when a finger injury, patched up by Doctors Chaudhry and Lord, seriously impinged on his ability to bat. The bare stats were defeats by 140 and 210 runs. Enough said I reckon.
To make matters worse, the seconds hopes of a league and cup double virtually disappeared after a one wicket defeat at Crompton despite six wickets for Steve Thorpe. Gordon Neve held the innings together with a very patient fifty in which, at one stage, he scored one run off forty balls. Remarkable then, that they should be all out with five overs remaining. The 125 total looked safe as the hosts lost six wickets for 65, but they edged nearer and eventually took the points. Sundays match with table toppers Rochdale was an exciting affair which went this way and that before the weather intervened with Geoff Griffiths and Ian Morris being exactly a hundred behind Rochdaleís 215 with twenty overs and eight wickets in hand. A brief resumption saw three quick wickets fall taking the score to 135-5 before the rain bucketed down with Rochdale probably favourites.
PICS FROM SATURDAY - 1STS V CROMPTON
August 16th - Saturdayís rain saw the 2nd and 3rd team games washed out at the tea intervals but the 1st team managed to secure a victory at home to Unsworth. The opposition rattled up a respectable 190 with Pro Nisar picking up 5 for 58 and Andy Hough taking 2 for 24. The total was reduced to 154 due to the time lost through the rain and Pro Adil Nisar quickly set about the task hitting a match winning 94, losing his wicket with only a handful of runs required for victory. Chris Lord supported well with a useful contribution of 35 in the 7 wicket victory. The 2nds game against last weekís cup final opponents promised to be a close match, but the rain spoiled that from happening. Unsworth batted first and scored 211 all out with Oliver Dunn being the pick of the bowlers with a five wicket haul. The Third's took a very young side to East Lancs Paper Mill and again the rain wiped out the game after Clifton restricted the opposition to 150 for 9 with Adam Rogers taking 4 for 41.
Sundays games against Royton saw the 1st team losing a close game. Royton's total of 210 was a very modest score given that they were at one point on 180-2 with 10 overs to go. Alex Rodzoch was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 31 which also included a remarkable spell of 5 for 6 at the end of the innings. Clifton set about their task admirably despite losing the Pro on his second ball for a duck. Alex Rodzoch (77), Glen Bullock (29) and Adam Rodzoch (24) were the major contributors in Clifton's final total of 187 all out. Royton's Pro Luke Proctor hit 70 runs and took 7 wickets for 72 runs
The 2nd team secured an easy victory at home against Royton after a solid bowling performance saw the visitors post a modest score of 140. Chris Higgs and Tallat Chaudhry maintaining their consistent form with figures of 3 for 49 and 3 for 21 respectively. This total was easily surpassed with plenty of overs to spare and plenty of wickets in the shed. Main contributors were Jamie Royle (64) and Phil Royle (30).
August 9th - The seconds clinched a memorable Burton Cup final victory over Unsworth on Sunday posting a formidable total of 271 for 7 in the 50 over match. Batting first, Clifton got off to a steady start but lost opener Adam Holt for 13. Dean Morris and Geoff Griffiths added 60 before Dean went for a classy 43. Jamie Royle hit a steady 21 before being run out, but it was skipper Ian Morris who took the plaudits by demolishing the Unsworth attack right from the start. Ian's first 50 runs came off only 35 balls and finished with a very valuable 73. Oliver Dunn continued the onslaught with 25 and Steve Thorpe and Chris Higgs hit some lusty late over runs to see Clifton ending up with 271 for 7.
This total was always going to be a mountain to climb for Unsworth but the top order batsmen went about their task with great gusto. Clifton's bowlers then took the initiative taking wickets at regular intervals. Steve Thorpe (4 for 36) and Oliver Dunn (3 for 36) were the pick of the bowlers but valuable support also came from Rob Meredith and Tallat Chaudhry. Clifton's 2nds are also 3rd in the league with ambitions of a possible 2nd trophy
Meanwhile back at home. Clifton's 3rd team were unable to overtake Saddleworth's total of 164 for 8. Danny Hill being the pick of Clifton's bowlers taking 5 for 24 off 14 overs. The pick of Clifton's batsmen in their total of 124 all out were Mike Ferry (38), Paul Edwards (27) and Scott Bradley (26)
August 8th - The 1st team notched up a comfortable victory away at Werneth on Saturday. The home team batted first and compiled a score of 209-9, Andy Hough being the pick of the bowlers taking 4 for 83 and pro Adil Nisar picking up 3 for 40. The score was well within the reach of the Clifton top order who went about their task with relative ease. Adil Nisar lead the way with an unbeaten 102 and fellow opener Chris Lord contributing 67 in a match that was completed with 13 overs to spare. The 2nd team warmed up for their Burton Cup Final on Sunday with a comfortable win over Werneth at Manchester Road. Batting first, Clifton openers Dean Morris and Adam Holt took the attack to the opposition openers and put on 50 for the first wicket in double quick time. Jamie Royle added 27 and Ian Morris 24 but a middle order collapse put the team in danger of posting a smaller target than expected. However, an 8th wicket partnership of 100 from Tallat Chaudhry (47 not out) and Liam Holt (40) saw Clifton post a very respectable total of 253. The Clifton bowlers soon tore into the Werneth innings with the pick of the bowlers being Chris Higgs who picked up 5 wickets for 48 runs and Werneth were bowled out for 143
August 4th - Jim Ainscough is organising an inaugural Under 9s festival of cricket and family fun day, which will be held at the Cricket Club on Monday 31st August 2009. This promises to be an exciting event for the youngest age group at the club. There are numerous things to arrange both between now and 31st August, and then on the day itself. There are many ways in which you can help, so please volunteer. Amongst others, the following are all required:-
1. Sponsors for the day - this can be local companies you may know or work for, or even individual donations. Examples to date have been PPE who have kindly sponsored a bouncy castle, are providing a BBQ and will be providing a PA system on the day, and Tidy Gardens of Clifton who will be providing lunch for all the children participating on the day.
2. Gazebos †we need 12 Gazebos for the day. Do you own one which we could borrow? Or are you willing to donate one?
3. Tombola and Raffle prizes †can you donate anything? Anything from a piece of sporting memorabilia, to a bottle of wine, an unwanted present or a packet of sweets.
4. Volunteers to assist on the day - there are endless tasks that will require volunteers on the day. These include umpires (x8), people to help with cooking and drinks (bacon barms / tea and coffee), people to run the bouncy castle, take money on the gate, run the registration tent, run the tombola, dress up in the Lanky costume, run the sweet stall, run the bowl out a first teamer net,
Please volunteer. It is your club and one of the purposes of events like this is to keep down subscription costs in forthcoming years. The main purpose, of course, is to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable day of family orientated fun. If you can help in any way, please either see Jimmy or contact him on 07760 208886. Finally, if you donít feel you can assist, please support the event by attending on the day †you are more than welcome and it promises to be a great day . Just pray for sunshine!!
August 2nd - With the continual rain over the past few weeks, it was hardly surprising that all three games were wiped out without a ball being bowled on Saturday. Thankfully, with a few hours of dry weather and the help of a good drainage system, the 3rd team managed to squeeze in a win against Fothergill & Harvey. The away team won the toss & elected to bat on a dry wicket which had been covered all week but with the outfield still very heavy, runs were difficult to come by. The opening attack of Danny Hill and Andy Lord didn't trouble the Fothergill openers but the introduction of spin into the attack paid dividends with Sam Cullen taking a wicket in his first over. A solid partnership then developed and wickets were hard to come by with the batsmen not taking many chances. Tallat Chaudhry bowled with his usual efficiency and ended up with 4 for 29 off 15 overs and Danny Hill reproduced his recent form by picking up three late wickets to finish with 4 for 24 and Fothergill's finished their innings on 126 all out
Clifton's innings also got off to a slow start and runs were also hard to come by on the soggy outfield. Phil Royle, Gordon Neve and Sam Cullen all went cheaply but the middle order steadied the show a little before Andrew Lord (19 not out) and Tallat (23) brought the total within reach for the tail end to provide the nail biting finish which saw Andrew Tocher hit a couple of lusty boundaries before getting bowled. Last man Danny Hill came to the crease with Andy Lord and the pair remained clam and with the help of good running between the wickets and a couple of boundaries, the win was sealed on the penultimate ball to give a useful 5 points and victory for the Clifton side
July 25th - The six game weekend kicked off early (2pm Friday to be exact) as the firsts and thirds were in action. It was the firsts who took the plaudits with a fantastic T/20 win in the semi-final against Royton in the evening gloom. Roytonís Luke Proctor threatened to spoil the party as he propelled his side from 98-8 to 163-8 in the last four overs including 32 off the last over from Adam Rodzoch. How that affected the dressing room was hard to tell, but it wont have improved as Chris Lord was run out in the first over with a direct hit. That was that as far as Royton joy went, as Naz took the game by the scruff of the neck and, ably assisted by Alex Rodzoch and Glenn Bullock, they edged nearer the target. Then it was Roytonís turn to see the wheels come off as a succession of wides and misfields added to their woes and the final runs were achieved (by five more wides) with more than an over to spare. Almost a seasonís worth of ups and downs, tetchy behaviour, arguments and ecstasy all rolled up into two and a half hours †thatís T/20 for you !
The thirds hastily re-arranged match with Greenmount took place four hours earlier and was not without its own share of incident. Not least was the remarkable statistic of eighteen wickets falling for thirty five runs just before and after tea. The collapse of the Clifton innings after Philip Royle (42) aided by Ian Davidson and Liam Dorsey took the score to 104-2 with twenty overs remaining. Cue a collapse of unbelievable proportions as 104-2 became 108 all out and the skipper red faced, not from the exertions of his innings or embarrassment, but anger at the ineptitude of his batsmen. However, 19.1 overs later and with his half time rocket still ringing in the sides ears, Greenmount were back in the hutch for just 31.
After the euphoria of Friday, you would have thought that the firsts would have been up for it on Saturday in the Salford derby against Monton and Weaste. It was not to be however, as former Cliftoner Hammy Hamilton saved probably his best performance of the season for us with an unbeaten ton and four wickets. Sadly, dropped catches played a part again as the openers put on 152 in 41 overs on a difficult track. There ensued the usual last nine overs of mayhem as Monton tried to build on nine wickets in the tent and to their credit, the lads kept the game in range as Tallat Chaudhry hit the stumps three times and got a fourth LBW by simply bowling wicket to wicket. The pro probably bowled too long conceding 34 in his last four overs, but TC finished with 4-28 and the final total of 215-6 could have been much worse.
Sadly the batsmen failed dismally to silence the inane chirping from behind the stumps as no two batsmen managed to get a partnership going with Dave Wild (32 no) and Tallat providing the best effort with 29 for the ninth wicket.
The seconds rescued some pride and once again managed over 200 without a batsman reaching a half century. Danny Hill then showed more of his burgeoning talent with his first six wicket haul as Monton and Weaste were relieved of all five points.
1ST AND 2ND XI PICCIES HERE:
July 22nd - The confusion over the new Duckworth Lewis rule has been cleared up by the CLL management committee and we have been awarded four points for the Littleborough game.
July 18th - The firsts conspired to drop no fewer than six catches on Saturday, turning a close fought game into a stroll for Walsden. In a repeat of the game a fortnight ago, the early order collapsed only for Glenn Bullock to make his maiden Clifton half-century and help post a challenging 221-8 with help from the lower order. However, there the positives end as a whole collection of catches were put down; most off shell shocked professional Adil Nisar who also had a succession of LBW decisions turned down having been given out in that very way himself. Its fair to say that the Walsden professional paced the innings well, so the fact that only ten balls remained painted an unfair picture about the eventual closeness of the game, but the dropped catches were vital and also happened along at important stages of the game. As a result, heads dropped all over the field and made the final result a foregone conclusion long before the final boundary crashed into the advertising boards.
The seconds had another great win up in thíills in a ding dong battle with last yearís champions. Walsden seemed to have got out of jail when a late flurry of runs took them to 195-6 after a slowish start with Tallat Chaudhry taking three wickets. The Clifton innings then took a similar turn as the run rate started to climb, but the rapidly convalescing Liam Dorsey hung around whilst Ollie Dunn (60 no) again crashed the ball to all parts putting on an unbroken stand of 95 in twelve overs to win the game with three overs to spare. Earlier, Ian Morris had held together the early order with 58 earning the 2nds a double over their opponents.
The thirds game with East Lancs Paper Mills was abandoned with the ground saturated by heavy overnight rain. Even the famous Clifton drains couldnt cope and, despite no rain all afternoon, the square was still wet through at 6pm.
July 11th - Heywood showed why they are leading the CLL table when they stepped up a gear twice in the game to leave Manchester Road with the points and an eight wicket win. On the first occasion, Itchy Yathahugoda and Glenn Bullock had pulled the score round to 102-2 after the early loss of the pro and the skipper, but seven wickets for sixteen runs put paid to any hopes of a decent total. Indeed but for Mubeen Aktar (45) ably supported by last man Rob Meredith who hung on like grim death at 2 no, the final total of 160 could have been much worse. The second mini-crisis for the visitors, was the loss of Bobby Cross for a duck, followed shortly afterwards by professional Taylor. Cross almost always scores in the three figure range against CCC, so tails were up when the pro removed him in the first over. However, that was that as far as the result went as Heywoods skipper and overseas player knocked off the runs with some ease.
The seconds overcame their counterparts on the wide acres of Heywood as Danny Hill and Tallat Chaudhry both grabbed three wickets to reduce the visitors to 176-8. Another all round batting display saw the runs knocked off with five wickets and overs to spare as the rain threatened. Stand-in Phil Royle top scored with 44, getting out with one needed to win with a piece of Pietersen type concentration. Dean Morris (39), Adam Holt (25) and Stephen Thorpe and Ian Morris (both 18) also added valuable runs as the Burton Cup finalists came away with the points.
Phil Royle made amends on Sunday as the 3rd XI skipper made it 100 for the weekend with an unbeaten 65 against Farnworth SC. Revenge was gained for the two run defeat a fortnight ago as the visitors were restricted to 167-7 on a good wicket thanks to tight bowling and good ground fielding. Liam Holt (50) then partnered his skipper to victory by seven wickets.
In the 20-20 quarter final, a performance described by skipper Chris Lord as the best of its type he had seen, brushed aside a fired up Norden side who had on-fire professional Jean Symes in their ranks. Symes entered the fray fresh off the back of an astonishing 268 not out in which more than 200 came in boundaries, with 28 fours and 15 sixes. He also had scores of 137 and 138 to his name in the last month, but reputations mean nothing to Tallat Chaudhry who was propping up the third team five days earlier. He removed Symes for 12, who still ended up top scorer as the hosts were reduced, shell shocked to 68 all out with all five bowlers taking wickets. There was a mini-crisis in the reply, but the semi final date with Royton (coincidentally, victims of Symes double ton) was assured.
July 4th - The seconds won a ding dong battle at Rochdale before eventually coming out on top by the apparently comfortable margin of 26 runs, to earn a first CLL Burton Cup Final tie with Unsworth. However, comfortable it was not and it relied on one of those backs to the wall second XI performances in which no one person could take the plaudits for the win. Instead it was, yet again, the all round talents of a solid team performance which saw them through. The mood at tea, having posted a disappointing 161, was somewhat sombre, but Rochdales wickets have been unpredictable this season and where there was life, there was hope. That hope seemed to shrink as an opening partnership of 39 eat into the CCC score, but the bowlers kept the pressure on and suddenly wickets started to tumble at both ends with Rob Meredith taking 3-30. Rochdale came back again with a partnership which took the score to 127 before Stephen Thorpe (2-30) struck and the innings folded to 135. There were early setbacks in our innings as well, before Jamie Royle (43) and the skipper (28) steadied the ship and the tail chipped in. So its Unsworth in the final on August 9th with the toss of a coin deciding the venue.
Meanwhile, the thirds clinched their first outright win of the season in the ten pointer against Greenmount. It was a disappointing batting display which incurred the wrath of skipper Phil Royle after some woeful visits to the crease resulted in dismissal, on a good track, for 108. As luck would have it, the visitors had a weakened side out, but their fielding and catching in particular, was exemplary. However, they were found out in the batting stakes as Tallat Chaudhry (5-28) and Andy Lord (4-27) reduced them to 28-6. A partnership of 50+ ensued before Tallat nipped one back to break the partnership and the tail succumbed for a final total of 85.
The firsts recovered from 42-6 to post an exceptional 215-8 at Walsden on Saturday, only to fall foul of the new rain rule again. It was a terrific comeback after Walsden inserted Chris Lords side on a lively wicket which gradually eased in time for Mubeen Akhtar and Jehan Yathahugoda (20) to put together a fifty plus partnership to turn the game round. Andy Hough (35no) continued the good work as Mo went on to record his first CCC 50, eventually being dismissed for 74. Richard Borritt (21no) continued the attack to take the score past 200 and launch the last ball of the innings into the garden centre car park. Things got even better as Adam Rodzoch tore into the Walsden batsmen, reducing them to 2-2. That quickly became 32-3 before the rain came and allowed the home side to re-group, The interruption meant a revised total of 189 with 34 overs remaining to get the 151 still required. Walsden professional Priyadashana then took control and paced his innings well. He lost partners to Andy Hough (2-37) before finally falling lbw to Naz for 67 with nine needed to win. Those were knocked off in the next two balls to leave Lordys lads frustrated losers by four wickets. The new rule kept the game alive, but without the rain, any result would have been possible, but the skipper will no doubt take a lot of positives from the game and confidence for the return match in a fortnights time.
MORE WALSDEN PICS
The seconds had a marvellous win at Clifton despite chasing a total of 237 posted by Walsden on a flat track. Tallat Chaudhry was the pick of the bowlers with 4-50 but it was hard work in the humid conditions on a quick outfield. The reply swung back and forth in terms of run-rate but wickets were preserved allowing the later batsmen to build on the platform set by Ian Morris (73) and Jamie Royle (70). In the end and in his usual subtle way, Ollie Dunn crashed 22 in 9 balls to win the game with 2 overs to spare.
June 28th - Mubheen Akhtar has come a long way since his first ball for Clifton in a third XI game earlier in the season which bounced twice and was called wide. His second ball wasnt much better, but its been upwards and onwards ever since culminating in a five wicket haul for the firsts on Sunday which takes him to 45 for the season. It also completed a great weekend for skipper Chris Lord who was beaming from ear to ear as he described the fantastic atmosphere and desire in the first XI dressing room. He purred as he described a score of 238-8 in which the pro managed only 14. Earlier in the season, that stat would have left the side struggling to get 120, but a half century by Adam Rodzoch, 37 apiece for Glenn Bullock and the skipper, 30 from Jehan Yathahugoda and 21 from man of the moment Mo left Ashton looking down the barrel. Despite Mos 5-45 however, Ashton hung on grimly for the point at 196-7. The seconds recovered from their battering in the field at Littleborough to grab all five points as Ashton were held to 161-7. The 162-3 response was posted without too many alarms in 41 overs, with Morris junior and Morris senior scoring 40 and 39 not out respectively. The thirds spoiled the prospect of a triple win going down by just two runs at Farnworth SC. With six need of the last over, a third tie of the season looked on the cards, but a dot followed by a wicket put paid to that. Earlier the local rivals had posted 203 and with Ian Davidson (65) providing the backbone, the youthful batting line up set about the task, but fell just short.
June 27th - Whether the firsts won or drew their game against Littleborough will be decided in a room rather than on the field as the final result is the subject of some confusion. However, its also something of a pointless exercise as well, because the flesh and bones behind the result is that the firsts produced one of the most comprehensive and complete performances seen for many a day. To say that Littleborough were morally beaten is an understatement. They were also well beaten.
The confusion came in the form of interpretation of the new rule around run rates and what constitutes a completed game as the muggy Summer day turned into the Mother and Father of all storms which descended with the firsts needing fifteen off eleven overs with six wickets in hand. Tough, would have been the retort in the past, but the new rules were implemented to stop that very thing from happening †but, we shall see. After restricting Littleborough to 195-9 on a decent wicket supported by a lightning outfield, with CLL representative hero Andy Hough once again taking four wickets and the pro three, Littleborough made early inroads as Chris Lord and Jim Ainscough went early. Naz came in at four as he was feeling under the weather (sorry about the pun) and set out his stall to be not out at the death. He was supported by Alex Rodzoch, Itchy Yathahugoda and Glenn Bullock and finished on 69 not out when the deluge descended.
The seconds finished up well beaten chasing 262 with Ollie Dunn taking a remarkable 5-38 out of that large total. Further plus-points emerged with an opening stand of 130 between mid-teen cousins Adam Holt and Dean Morris who both got half centuries and are beginning to make a name for themselves in league circles. The rest of the innings fell away as the ever increasing run-rate became too much and finished on 202 with four overs remaining.
June 20th - CHINTHAS BACK !! Popular ex-pro Chinthaka Jayasinghe is back in the country playing for Todmorden after their pro suffered the much publicised visa problems. In his first game against East Lancashire, he took 4 wickets but was dismissed by former Monton & Weaste pro, Brendan Nash for 16.
June 15th - The firsts and seconds took on Crompton on Saturday and both scored 240 runs in the heat as, for once, the cricket beat the weather.
The firsts rattled up 242-7 against Crompton with Alex Rodzoch contributing 92 as his run of form continued and Dave Wild and Itchy Yathahugoda both scoring 40s in the middle order on a wicket described as a concrete road. So it proved as, despite early wickets from Steve Thorpe and Richard Borritt, a telling middle order partnership and a hard hit century by the hosts brought the score within range. There followed a nailbiting fifteen overs when the game swung this way and that before Crompton emerged victorious in the final over.
The seconds had a much easier time of it after posting 241-7 with Adam Holt continuing his own personal run with 61. In reply, Crompton never really looked like getting near and were dismissed for just 104 with Mubeen Akhtar again amongst the wickets with 4-47.
The thirds had an equally exciting game as the firsts on their first ever visit to Saddleworth. After posting 193-6 on a dusting wicket with Phil Royle scoring another half century, early inroads were made by the bowlers and the hosts were reduced to 83-5. However, a number of chances went begging and concentration slipped allowing the Saddleworth middle and late order to carve their way to victory in the last over.
June 8th - Teenage Terror Tom Hubber wont be terrorising any third team bowlers for a while after breaking his leg in two places. Im sure we all wish the clubs popular cheeky chappie a swift and pain free recovery (so that he can get back to school as soon as possible!).
June 7th - It was a strange weekend for the clubs senior sides starting on Friday as, on paper at least, the firsts picked up the winning points against Monton in the 20/20 with Chris Higgs proving what an excellent coin tosser he is by winning the match in that way. Saturdays encounter at Middleton was called off very early, but the seconds succeeded in emulating the performance of the thirds a fortnight ago by snatching a tie from the jaws of victory with Middletons last pair providing the fifty plus runs needed including an unlikely 17 off the last five balls ! All this despite a devastating seven wicket haul for Tallat Chaudhry who had earlier scored some vital runs.
The thirds then provided their own Jekyll and Hyde performance with Tallat returning to his beloved third XI and again doing the business by ripping the heart out of the Saddleworth early order as the table toppers were knocked over for 86. He then top scored with 22, but astonishingly, Mike Ashmead apart, received little or no support as the thirds exited early from the Hodson Cup (as usual!!).
As expected, the firsts conglomeration of first, second and third XI players went down to Bamford Fieldhouse in the National Knockout. A disappointing 102 was easily surpassed by the ambitious Saddleworth League outfit who have set out their stall to win the competition. Congratulations must go to the selectors for putting out two reasonably competitive sides with nineteen players names in the unavailability book.
Back to normal next week with the firsts and seconds taking on Crompton on Saturday and the thirds setting out on a revenge mission to Saddleworth on Sunday. There will be no cricket to watch at Clifton on Sunday afternoon.
June 4th - WHOS THAT BLOKE WITH ROGGERS? He rarely drops catches, but he certainly knows how to drop names †theres only one Dave Rogers.
May 31st - The Club's good run of success continued in the heatwave over last weekend, with a maximum four wins out of four for the 1st and 2nd XIs. On Saturday, second placed Werneth were soundly beaten at Manchester Road after posting only 162-9 on a flat wicket. Tight bowling by professional Adil Nisar (4-66) and Andy Hough (4-46) and some terrific fielding right through the team enabled Chris Lord (65) and Alex Rodzoch (58) to complete victory by five wickets with fourteen overs to spare. On Sunday, the quality of the wicket and speed of the outfield was really proved beyond any doubt as they rattled up 315-5 in the Wood Cup tie against Oldham. Adil Nisar smashed 128 and Alex Rodzoch made a second successive half century with 64 before big brother Adam stole the JW Lees man of the match medallion by ripping out the Oldham early order including two wickets in the first three balls of the innings. From 20-4 it was always going to be a tall order and credit goes to the remainder of the Oldham batsmen for reaching 185. Adam finished with 6-35.
The seconds had an even easier time of it in their two matches. In Saturday's league encounter at Werneth, Adam Holt scored 64 in Clifton's total of 223 which included 44 extras, 39 of which were wides ! Werneth then capitulated totally to the old warhorse Rob Meredith who took 7-43 as Werneth were dismissed for a paltry 55. It was almost as easy in Sunday's Burton Cup tie at Oldham where the hosts were sent packing for 93 with Mubheen Akhtar again amongst the wickets with 4-38 and Tallat Chaudhry weighing in with 3-7. Adam Holt (30no), Geoff Griffiths (27) and Ian Morris (20) then knocked off the runs to set up a seven wicket win.
PIC shows new recruit Glenn Bullock smashing the winning hit for the firsts on Saturday.
May 28th - The third round of the National Club Knockout will be against the Saddleworth League Champions Bamford Fieldhouse of Rochdale. The tie has been arranged for June 7th which is a week before the 3rd round deadline, and for the third time in this years competition, it will be away from home. However, away ties have proved successful so far with Southport & Birkdale and Wallasey both coming a cropper on their own turf.
May 27th - The club is pleased to welcome veteran Glenn Bullock to swell the ranks from this coming weekend. Glenn is a bit of a legend in local cricket circles and previously played Minor Counties cricket with Cheshire and more recently featured in Lancashires over 50 side with a certain Mr Potter. Glenn has been prised away from his home club, Denton West, to strengthen the first XIs inconsistent batting this season and makes his debut against Werneth (see team sheets).
May 24th - It was quite difficult to comprehend how two first teams with identical records, in Rochdale and Radcliffe, could achieve two such diverse results against the Jekyll and Hyde first XI over the bank holiday weekend. Having restricted Rochdale to 160-9 on Saturday and with useful runs having been scored right down the order for most of the season, you would expect, with professional Adil Nisar smashing 80 not out including eight fours and four sixes, that the run chase would have been easily within range, but it was not to be as only one other player managed double figures and the innings petered out to 123 all out. What a difference then on Sunday, when 158 runs were posted on a challenging Radcliffe wicket with five players topping 20. Then, maybe just a touch of over-rolling during tea saw the wicket become almost unplayable for the best part of an hour and Adam Rodzoch planted the ball in just the right place, time and time again to finish with 5-31 as the hosts were rolled out for 71.
AND it was much the same story in the seconds against two sides separated by only three points, when Rochdale again came away with maximum points on Saturday, wheras Radcliffe were soundly beaten on Sunday. That man Mubeen Akhtar stole the bowling plaudits again with eight over the weekend making nineteen in his first four second XI games after promotion from the 3rds. Again, you would have expected the 149 posted by Rochdale to be within easy reach, but a mega off-day with the bat saw the normally prolific batting line up succumb to 60 all out. Not so on Sunday, when, on a wicket described by a visitor from the BCL as like an August wicket, they rattled up 215-9 against Radcliffe (Ian Morris 50). Mubeen then found himself well supported by Rob Meredith, Ollie Dunn and Andy Lord with two wickets apiece as the visitors were dismissed for 136.
Having played cricket for 42 seasons and never taken part in a tied game, I can bear personal witness to the old clich that its a funny old game as the third XI contrived TWO ties in THREE days over the bank holiday weekend. On Saturday the tie was wrenched from the jaws of defeat as the team travelled up into the hills above Littleborough to Fothergill and Harvey with yet another troop of talented tots and provided the first exciting game of the weekend as they finished a topsy turvy game with scores level. The youngsters were held together by a battling 60 by new recruit Gordon Neve as they posted 157 with Jack Unwin, Tom Hubber and Andrew Tocher playing excellent supporting roles. Debutant eleven year old Chris Royle then took a catch which got the defence of the total going and after a stunning catch low to his right by young Hubber, at 68-6 things looked good. A bruising knock of 81 then turned the game for the visitors, but the never say die attitude saw the last three wickets fall for six runs to be 157 all out. It was a tie from the jaws of victory on Monday however, as Rochdale lived up to their bogey team billing by recovering from being 119 all out (Ian Davidson 5-35), a reply which saw an opening stand of fifty and a belligerent 72 from Phil Royle, to run through the middle and late order and dismiss the visitors from Clifton for, you guessed it, 119. The thirds have a break for a week now, whilst they plan their next nailbiting adventure.
May 17th - After a weekend when the three teams developed more muscle pushing covers than playing cricket, it was pleasing to note that three out of the four games beat the weather and achieved results. The firsts National Knockout adventure goes on after the weather actually added to the excitement on Merseyside. A delighted Chris Lord reported that, batting first, with notable contributions from the skipper (22), Stephen Thorpe (39) and Mubeen Akhtar (26no), a very respectable 144 for 8 was achieved after the 35 overs after a delayed start. After struggling at 45 for 5, there followed good partnership between Andy Hough and Stephen Thorpe which steadied the ship. More rain arrived at 104 for 6 after 32 overs after which Liam Holt, Mubeen Ahktar and Stephen Thorpe dispatched the ball to far flung places scoring 36 off the last three overs. The Wallasey reply was staunched immediately by openers Andy Hough and Chris Higgs which left the home side on 39 for 4 after 18 overs. Further interruptions followed and with the rules stipulating the need to get in 20 overs in 2nd innings, a tight finish ensued. The match resumed, Wallasey requiring 90 off 23 overs and some big shots followed as the field spread out to stop runs, but then a brilliant run out with an inch perfect throw from boundary edge by Chris Lord (his words !!!) got rid of the home sides danger man and Wallasey succumbed to 73 for 7. Second teamers Chris Higgs and Stephen Thorpe grabbed two wickets apiece and there was one each for Andy Hough and Adam Rodzoch, the latter bowling especially well at the death. Bamford Fieldhouse and Cheetham Hill meet next Monday to decide who we will visit on June 14th, which, as luck would have it, is a free date for the firsts and seconds so no headaches for the cricket secretary !! Scottish import Mubheen Akhtars rise to prominence continued on Saturday when he destroyed Heywood second XI with a spell of 6-25. The visitors started well, but had the heart of their middle order ripped out before being all out for 115. Despite losing Ian Morris, Oliver Dunn (43no) and Mubs yet again, built on the platform built by Dean Morris to set up a seven wicket win. (More pics on gallery page).
The firsts did not have it so good as the weather played a much greater part, but having conceded in excess of 200, the Duckworth/Lewis adjustment of 120 in 20 overs seemed to favour our batsmen, but the run chase disappointingly dwindled out some thirty runs short. OR DID IT ??!! as according to the CLL website, the result was: Heywood: 221-3 Clifton: 94-3 Clifton beat Heywood by 7 wickets (delayed play rule).More on that to come Im sure...
MEANWHILE: The thirds were the unlucky ones to succumb completely to the weather, calling it a day at 24-0. At least the tea was nice, thanks Siobhan!
May 10th - Cricket is alive and well at Clifton, contrary to popular belief, as the recent green shoots of recovery finally bore fruit at the weekend. The firsts and seconds amassed nineteen points out of a possible twenty in the weekends encounters against Oldham and Ashton. Even the losing draw suffered by the massively depleted third XI who fielded six juniors and two junior players dads against a strong Roytonians first XI, showed both the depth of talent and the Dunkirk spirit present in the ranks.
However, it was the performances of the firsts which gave the greatest satisfaction, despite there still being a way to go as all would testify, as they first rattled up runs against Oldham with a first ton of the season for Adil Nisar (112no) and then easily defended a modest 144-9 against Ashton with Ian Eccleshare taking four wickets up the hill in a twelve over spell which conceded only 21 runs. Adam and Alex Rodzoch contributed with bat and ball respectively on Saturday and Chris Lord, Adil Nisar and Jim Ainscough batted well in testing conditions on Sunday, with Andy Hough chipping in with three wickets.
The seconds scored a max 20 points thanks to an even more battling display to defend just 89 (Dean Morris 25) on Saturday, with recent run machine Stephen Thorpe returning to his more accustomed bowling role with 6-18 against a bemused Oldham who were eleven runs short in the final analysis. On Sunday, a good all round showing saw jet lagged Phil Royle and skipper Ian Morris post a good base and Liam Holt smashing four sixes on the way to a more than respectable 173-9 in the conditions. So it proved as third XI debutant Scottish import Mubeen Akhtar (pic) captured 5-44 with his leg spin to add to his 23 with the bat.
Fifteen year old Michael Ferry laid down his own marker for a regular 3rd XI spot with a decent knock of 38 in the 3rd XIs losing draw as they hung on at 101-9 in reply to Roytonians 164 all out. Pint-sized peril Tom Hubber (pic) frustrated the opposition for almost 20 overs for his 13no to follow up his catch and good display in the field.
May 3rd - The somewhat dismal start to the cricket season continued over the bank holiday weekend as the five matches played resulted in only a single victory. That honour fell to the seconds who easily overcame Monton & Weaste on a typically April wicket. The hosts set a modest 91 which a weakened Clifton side overcame by five wickets. The main feature of the Monton & Weaste innings was the running between the wickets which resulted in four run outs, two to the swift arm of Andrew Lord who also snaffled a vital catch. In the corresponding game, the firsts showed some improvement on recent showing, with several players getting a start with the bat, but the downfall was in the field where vital catches were dropped as the visitors overhauled our 176 for the loss of four wickets. It was in Saturday's encounters with Littleborough that the dropped catch malaise really took hold as both first and second teams dropped a hatful of catches to present Littleborough with easy wins. The firsts managed only 134-9 and Littleborough won by seven wickets, whereas the seconds put up 177-9 with the rotund Oliver Dunn scoring 61, only to go down by six wickets. The fifth game took place on bank holiday Monday when both Clifton and Littleborough were beaten by the weather. Clifton had posted 116 and Littleborough were 45-3 when a fifth disruption to play was enough for the sodden players and umpires. Notable efforts were posted by the Yathahugoda brothers who looked the part with Itchy scoring a positive 27 and Jehan coming good with 33no. Earlier Adil Nisar had posted 34 and Chris Lord. The skipper is not too despondent about the start as the 1st XI is at the re-building stage with almost a full team of players having moved on for various reasons in the last eighteen months. Promising juniors exist at all levels, though none are as yet quite ready for the first team fray. Another promising junior is Danny Hill whos opening spell in the eventually-to-be rained off third XI game showed some real fire and pace. More pleasing though, is the improvement in his control as he bowled seven fiery overs for just nine runs, capturing a wicket and beating the bat on numerous occasions. Evergreen Rob Meredith had a good day on Sunday as he took 3-20 in his fifteen over spell.
HAVE A LOOK AT THE WEEKEND IN PICTURES ON THE GALLERY PAGE
April 25th - The poor start made last week continued at Milnrow as the firsts were out bowled, out batted and out fielded in the Spring sunshine. Milnrow batted first and crashed the ball to all parts as three half-centurions were aided by dropped catches and buffet bowling, with the only bright spot being a couple of wickets for 2nd XI stand in Chris Higgs (pic) after Ian Ecc reported in sick. The score of 272-5 was always going to be a tester, but Chris Lord started like a train in an obvious attempt to give the middle order and the professional a platform, but once he went it was a procession of mediocre tallies until Andy Hough improved further on his 2-63 by scoring 41 with the bat. The final total of 190 owed much to the tail having been 120-8, but there are better teams than Milnrow on the horizon and work to be done.
The firsts batting line up are going to be looking over their shoulders in some trepidation as the two of the clubs terrible teens laid down a marker at the weekend.
In the seconds resounding win against Milnrow, fourteen year old Dean Morris stole almost all the plaudits as he not only made his first senior fifty, but took it on a level to finish with 84. His innings, along with that of Steve Thorpe (66) rescued the side from a quaky 75-4 with a partnership of 149 which helped the side to even eclipse Milnrow 1sts 272 by three runs. However, the pocket dynamo wasnt finished there as his maturing leg spin then bamboozled the Milnrow batting line up with 5-24 as they were all out for 108, to complete an absolutely sensational day for the son of the proud Chairman and 2nd XI captain.
The third XI did what neither other senior team could do, when they got off the mark in their opening game, with a resounding win on Saturday. After restricting Failsworth to 90-8 off their 40 overs after a delayed start, young and not so young knocked off the runs, with the only sour note being skipper Phil Royles dismissal just before the end for 41 leaving Deans fifteen year old cousin, Adam Holt on 45 not out. Earlier, six bowlers has managed to shake off a large number of cobwebs with new face Mubeen Akhtar taking the plaudits with three wickets via his wily leg spin.
There are more pictures from the weekend games in the new 2009 SEASON section on the Gallery Page.
Six ducks featured in the third XIs opening game of the season,..but as you can see, not quite the sort youd expect as this pitch invasion took place just before the start of the game !
April 18th - Norden took the points in a disappointing seasons opener for the firsts in a game of two halves which highlighted a worrying chasm in the batting despite the absence of Adil Nisar after a family bereavement necessitated his return to Pakistan.The professional had previously missed the ECB knockout win against Southport & Birkdale and the friendly at Rishton and, despite the 250 mile dash made by stand in professional South African Hendro Puchert (pictured), his batting was sorely missed after a more than impressive display in the field restricted the visitors to 123 with Puchert taking four and Andy Hough continuing his good early season form with another three. However, from then on it was all downhill as the deputy pro top scored with just eighteen and the side were demolished for 70.
April 11th - The first XI kicked off the season in bright weather, with a win over Northern League Southport & Birkdale in the ECB knockout. The Sunday friendly against Rishton however, ended in defeat. Adil Nisar was missing for both games due to a family bereavement.
April 5th - Michelle and Liam Dorsey are both home and progressing well after the kidney procedures in the Royal Manchester. The family have asked that sincere thanks be passed on for the dozens of cards and messages received during the last few weeks.
March 20th - Littleborough have signed 25 year old South African Daryn Smit as their professional. He is a right handed batsman/wicketkeeper who also bowls leg-spin. Middleton have signed Australian Ken Skewes as its Professional. He is a right handed batsmen and left arm seam bowler. Oldham have signed 20-year-old South African Hendrick Erasmus van der Dussen to replace Chintha who has been selected in the initial 25 for the Sri Lankan 20/twenty world cup squad.
March 14th - EPIPHANY TRUST (click) COLLECTION FOR SRI-LANKA Collections of cricket equipment will take place at Bolton Indians Sports Centre at every indoor practice session. Bill and/or Liam Dorsey will be pleased to take your unwanted gear (see opposite) in time for the next container which will go at the end of May.
March 11th - A volunteer crew of talented decorators has completed the much needed re-decoration of the clubs function room in just two days but for some minor snagging and tidying up.
March 4th - Rumour has it that Sonnyboy Lethshela is back in town having secured a professional contract at Greenfield CC in the Saddleworth League. Another player on his way back to Blighty is Gareth Cross having notched 600+ runs for St Kilda in the Victorian Premier League.
February 20th - The miracles of modern medicine were in evidence at the club on Thursday as David Robins made a most welcome appearance less than two weeks after major surgery.
February 14th - Ian Eccleshare and Nicky have announced their engagement and will hold their celebration at the club on Saturday March 21st. Ian has said that he would like all his friends to come along and join in the fun. We should be able to hold it in the club office then ?
As for Nicola †whilst someone may be about to lose a daughter, the club will gain a tea lady. Every cloud .... as they say??
Only joking....best wishes to the happy couple.
January 27th - The recent retirement from active committee work, of Tom Boardman has been followed by another defining moment in the clubs history David Robins is to leave the post of Treasurer from April 1st after 35 years in office. He will continue his committee work and his trusteeship however, following recovery from an operation which he is about to undergo. Im sure that we all wish him well with the procedure and hope to see him back in harness in due course.
January 7th - The draw for the National Knockout (formerly the Cockspur Cup) has pitted us against Southport and Birkdale at home. The game will be played on Saturday April 11th.
January 4th - The existence of the website has turned up trumps again in terms of the search for info about former professionals. Meet ALLAN HARTLEY who was professional for the club in 1909, 1910 and 1911. His grandson John, is desperate for information about his Grandad, so if members of any other clubs can fill in the gaps, hed be very pleased. He was professional for Egerton in 1923 and lived at one time at 306 Stand View which probably no longer exists. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and any information will be passed to John.