Both sides registered important wins in their respective battles of the bottom half on Saturday opening up a healthy gap with the bottom two. Middleton took first knock at Clifton and registered an impressive 240-6, but the firsts played catch-up and snatched the points.
The 2nd IX followed up last weeks’ excellent performance with another 5 point win; this time over Middleton (reports your 2nd XI correspondant Oliver B Dunn). After losing the toss Clifton were asked to have a bowl on what was a very good batting wicket. Starting with 10 men Clifton's opening bowlers, Robert Reade and Robert Meredith, bowled a fantastic opening spell. Reade was very unlucky not to finish with a wicket after beating the bat on several occasions and finished with figures of 11-3-13-0. The pressure built by the opening bowlers allowed the late arrival of Clifton's Mr Cricket, Ian Morris, to earn himself 2 wickets drawing the Middleton batsmen into some false shots with his off-spin. Danny Hill then entered the attack and ripped through the middle order with a great display of fast bowling hitting the stumps on several occasions and earning himself a 5 wicket haul. As the first innings was drawing to a close the reliable Robert Meredith was re-introduced to the attack taking a further 2 wickets and taking his match total to 3. The impressive bowling display was backed up in the field and Clifton were happy with their first innings performance bowling Middleton out for 161 in the 49th over.
The foundation of Clifton's run chase was set up by a solid opening partnership by Chris Thorpe and Chris Royle which was worth 52 runs. Both players played some glorious strokes showing the depth in this Clifton squad with the absence of both normal openers Jim Ainscough and Chris Lord. Chris Royle was the first to fall for 21 and was slightly unlucky to find the fielder after looking to dispatch a full toss. Chris Thorpe (30) and James Evans (4) then fell in quick succession and there was some slight concern in the Clifton dressing room. This was soon eased as Ian Morris and Jamie Royle arrived at the crease and put on a fantastic century partnership. Both found the boundary on several occassions with some great shots all around the ground which the Middleton bowling attack had no answer to.
Clifton finished with an impressive 7 wicket win and with 12 points from a possible 15 the second IX will now be looking to push on and finish the season strongly.
“TEST”ING TIME FOR JUNIORS
By Jim Ainscough
Ten of Clifton's youngest cricketers were invited to take part in the lunch break displays at the Ashes Test Match on Friday August 9th.
Accompanied by the Club Chairman and U10's manager Ian Morris, and Club Coach and U11's manager Jim Ainscough, the children got the chance to take centre stage at Old Trafford with a game of kwik cricket on the outfield at lunch. They were encouraged to hit the ball as far as possible, with two managing to reach the top tier of the recently redeveloped Old Trafford stands!
It was a great experience enjoyed by all as the photos show
MILNROW MAULED, WERNETH WHUPPED!
Both firsts and seconds registered comprehensive wins on Saturday as Milnrow’s recent run of wins over the firsts was well and truly dispatched to the history page. It was the bowlers who caught the eye on the day, but only two of them as it happens as Rob Meredith took 8-53 including a hat trick against Werneth, who are Milnrow’s ‘partner’ side in the premier division. This was after Ian Morris (61) and Chris Royle (46) had helped them to an imposing 247. However, Rob’s efforts were usurped by Steve Cheetham who showed that his groin problems are behind him as he dispatched NINE Milnrow batsmen in an amazing game, with only a solitary Greg Jennings wicket standing between Cheets and another 10 wicket haul. His tally was just five before he started what would prove to be his last over as he ran through the remaining four batsmen in just four balls to register a second hat-trick of the season (and his career). Babar Naeem scored 45 in a total of 57. This meant a 133 run win for the firsts who had posted 190 in which Ben Chapman top scored with 48. This meant a double set of wins at Milnrow for the firsts, to avenge the double set of defeats suffered largely at the hands of Naeem at Manchester Road. The seconds margin of victory was even better as they won by 161 runs with Werneth all out for 86.
Sadly, the thirds could not round off a perfect weekend as they went down disappointingly to Rochdale Catholic Club on Sunday. After the visitors posted 190, Dave Jennings’ boys managed only 114 in reply.
Thanks to Chris Royle, Norm and Maria for the info.
AUGUST 12th - DENNIS MARKS
Long-time member and supporter of the club, Dennis Marks, passed away during this week. His funeral took place at St Marks’ church on Tuesday 20th August at 10am.
AUGUST 17th - SAME OLD…. same old
The top order capitulated once again as champions elect Walsden completed a double double of five-point wins for the season. The high points were few and far between, but a lengthy spell and five wickets for Dean Morris will have done him no harm at all and Cheets grabbed another four to add to his growing collection, as the hosts were restricted to 217-9 despite a bowling attack shorn of Matt Wright and Greg Jennings. The top six though, needing just one of the talented array to stick around and have the innings built around him, failed to find a candidate yet again as the scorer registered a succession of teens and twenties. The final score of 122 brings to an end a miserable set of fixtures against Walsden in 2013.
AUGUST 20th - ACCI FOR OCKI
Ockert Erasmus who made such an impression in his two matches as deputy professional earlier in the season, has accepted “an offer he couldn’t refuse” from Lancashire League champions Accrington for season 2014. Ocki spent four years at East Lancashire and replaces Ashar Zaidi at Accrington who, it is rumoured, has accepted an offer from a CLL club.
AUGUST 24th - DECIMATED
The 1sts and seconds took on Norden on Saturday with NINETEEN of the players featured on the playerpics page unavailable for one reason or another and were unfortunate to come away with two narrow defeats by seven and seventeen runs. The firsts bowled well to restrict Norden to 160 and but for the usual poor stuff from the early order, could have pulled off an unlikely win. Exempt from that analogy is Adam Holt who batted for 49 overs and four balls whilst all around him perished, until he fell chasing eight from the last two deliveries. The seconds featured only four regular players and Rob Reade stepped up to the mark with 7-43 bowling up the hill. Sadly, the rest of the bowling lacked any penetration and Norden racked up 247, but after James Evans fell for one, Chris Lord amassed a swashbuckling 93 and supported by Matt Tye (37) they put on 130 for the second wicket. The makeshift batting order then battled gamely including the two 12 year olds in the line up; Sam Dorsey scoring 24 and Robert Lord 16 not out, but had to give up the chase with around five overs to go, settling for 230-7 and a point
AUGUST 25th - FIRSTS EDGE THRILLER
Heywood’s championship hopes were dashed on Sunday as Greg Jennings and Adam Holt produced the batting and bowling performances that were too much for the title pretenders on the day. On a weekend that produced four close finishes, the four run victory was extremely satisfying for Greg and his men, particularly as he produced an unprecedented fourth hat-trick of the season for the club during his devastating spell of 8-59. Earlier, Holty had added to his 92 on Saturday with a well constructed 79 after two wickets fell in the sixth over. Ben Chapman (30) and Tom Derbyshire (21) continued the good work alongside Dean Morris who finished with 44 not out, but a score of 219-6 looked below par. So it proved as a third wicket partnership took the score from 78-3 to 172 and 200 was passed with five down. However, Greg was settled into his second spell by then and he came up with a match winning hat trick with the final two balls of his nineteenth over and the first of his twentieth as panic set into the Heywood dressing room. A last wicket partnership took the score from 208 to 215 before the skipper rattled the stumps for a final time and the match was won.
Pic: Holty pushes a single as his fan club look on.
The seconds had a marginally stronger side than on Saturday but went down by three wickets at Heywood. Jamie Royle scored 44 but 114 was not enough even on a dodgy wicket and despite Ollie Dunn’s four wickets, the seconds suffered a double defeat for the weekend.
AUGUST 26th - The thirds Rochdale hoodoo continued ON Bank Holiday Monday as the batting failed to capitalise on a good bowling and fielding performance, including a remarkable juggled boundary catch by Dave Jennings and a successful cobweb removal exercise that brought five wickets for Paul Edwards, that restricted the home side to 171-9 on a good wicket. Several players got starts but then gave away their wickets with loose shots as they ended 23 runs short.
Pic: Chris Royle troops off after his dismissal
27th - CATHOLIC CLUB EXPUNGED
Rochdale Catholic Club 2nd XI have resigned from the league and their record expunged. The thirds still need a couple of wins to ensure their 2nd division status.
31ST - JUNIOR JUBILATION
The U13s and the U18s both emerged victorious from their respective finals on finals day at Manchester Road.
Following a superb league campaign this season in which they topped their group and won the Watson trophy, Clifton U13s faced Crompton U13s yesterday (Sat 31st August) in the Edwin Kay Cup final. The match was played at Clifton CC and commenced at 10am in sunny, if a little cold, conditions. The large crowd, by now munching on Bill's bacon baps, eagerly awaited the result of the toss which was won by the visitors who decided to bat.
Crompton started steadily with a couple of runs from Bradley Paul's first over. But Clifton struck with the first ball of the second over, Ben Sykes clean bowling one of the Crompton openers. There then followed a piece of fielding that can only be described as spectacular. The tall Crompton number three batsman pulled a short ball powerfully towards the square leg boundary and it looked like the first boundary of the match would be registered. But Taylor Schofield hurtled round from fine leg, acrobatically flicked the ball from just inside the boundary line to Dan Ainscough who fired it in over the stumps to wicketkeeper Chris Royle. The batsman was left stranded halfway down the pitch attempting a second run and that set the tone for the rest of the innings. Ben Sykes took two further wickets to register figures of 3 for 10 off his 4 overs, Joe Parker took 3 for 7 including a great catch from Elliot Hogben, there was also a wicket for Sam Dorsey and a further run out, leaving Crompton 57 for 9 off their 20 overs.
Clifton lost an early wicket when Chris Royle was bowled but Sam Dorsey batted beautifully hitting five boundaries in his 27 retired. He was supported by Ben Sykes (17 not out) and Joe Parker (12 not out) as Clifton passed the 58 runs required in less than 11 overs for the loss of just one wicket.
A fantastic end to a very successful season.
All that remained was the presentation of the trophies and man of the match award, which deservedly went to Ben Sykes.
Then at 1.30 pm, the under 18s took centre stage for their knockout final against Werneth in a 40 over contest in which the visitors batted first and scored 158 with man of the match Dean Morris taking five wickets. His 42 runs and Tom Derbyshire’s 50 not out then saw Phil Royle’s lads home.
3rds BACK TO EARTH
The thirds failed in their attempt to beat high fliers Royton three times in the season on Saturday. After beating the 2nd placed club easily in the league game and knocking them out of the cup, things looked good as Geoff Griff rolled back the years with a 16 over spell that brought him 6-48 as Royton posted only 125, but poor batting and shot selection was again the undoing of the side. A feature of the game was the performances of a clutch of twelve and thirteen year olds who showed that both clubs have some burgeoning talent in their ranks.