It was a miserable old weekend for the club despite two wins from the five games played.

Both firsts and seconds crashed out of the Wood and Burton Cup at the semi final stage in games that both sides could have won. Certainly the seconds will be rueing a batting collapse of epic proportions after being 106-2 chasing 160. Ian Morris’ first baller then precipitated the sort of ridiculous panic attack that was typified by Ollie Dunn being run out attempting a highly improbable fourth run as they fell an agonising 6 runs short.

One look at the ivory coloured strip and manicured outfield and you sort of knew that there’d be a few runs about in the firsts clash at Manchester Road. So it proved as Heywood set off like a train, paused for breath in the middle and them engaged overdrive again at the end to post 295. Lachie Mason then set about the reply, promoted to opener with Ben Chapman cup-tied and smashed a quickfire 79 to provide a base for the rest of the batting order. When 200 was reached with more than 11 overs to spare it was game on, but just as the seconds were in the throes of a collapse, the firsts provided one of their own, eventually closing on a disappointing 234.


Fixtures were reversed for Saturday’s league encounter with the firsts travelling to Heywood where dismal batting was again the downfall, managing to post only 139 with Lachie Mason again top scoring with 29 no. There was the odd hiccup in the reply but the home side managed to secure the points with an alarming degree of comfort losing four wickets in the process. Pic Lachie in action

The winners were the seconds on Saturday and the thirds on Sunday. The seconds managed a daunting 260 batting first with James Evans and Ian Morris completing half centuries. Heywood then lost two wickets in the first over to Danny Hill which was effectively game over. They did manage runs lower down the order but were never able to threaten Mozzer’s mens’ total and the seconds picked up a welcome 5 points.


The thirds managed to put out a presentable side to go to Littleborough despite the cup commitments and they pulled off a good win in a a good game of cricket. Michael Ferry, Chris Royle and Harry Southern all scored in the forties and others chipped in as 215-9 was posted. Littleborough lost a wicket to Rico Phiri in the first over, but then put together a couple of partnerships that took them to 140-2. However, good tight bowling and pressure in the field elicited some risky shots and the hosts collapsed to 170 all out. PIC Gary Royle feathers one to the keeper

Littleborough in the sunshine.




The firsts looked decidedly out of sorts on Saturday as Milnrow repeated their easy victory from last month with almost identical scores and with Milnrow pro Babar Naeem again looking a class above everyone else on the park. Milnrow had the edge with ball and bat although it might be some consolation that the fielding was a cut above Milnrow’s; though then again, perhaps not. The early order, apart from Lachie who played in his usual flamboyant style for 32 looked like they hadn’t held a bat for months and the batsman friendly conditions were confirmed when the lower order, especially Greg Jennings and including Andy Lord, Liam Dorsey and Matt Wright, stroked the ball around with ease as they recovered from 90-7 to post 153. It became apparent very quickly that it was only going to be a matter of time as the bowling attack, shorn of groin strained Cheets and holidaying Boz, failed by some distance to make up the deficiency. Indeed, but for two needless run-outs brought about by calmness in the field and good returns to the wicket, it could have been even more embarrassing. The side need to re-group now for the second half of the season and target at least a Lancs Knockout place. Three weeks ago, a win at Walsden would have seen the team top of the pile but now the bottom two have us firmly in their sights. PIC: Lordy goes walkabout and the innings comes to a close. More pics on facebook.

The seconds fared little better, suffering their own cup hangover at Werneth after being dumped out for a dismal 127. Chris Lord top scored with 28 and the rest of the top order of Messrs Ainscough. Royle, Morris and Evans all got into the teens before perishing and the innings then simply fizzled out. Any hope that remained after Danny Hill had been dragged away to work, disappeared as Rob Meredith pulled up after 3 overs and had to come off, ruling out of any further action not to mention Sunday’s CLL 2nd XI contest against the Bolton League (see below). Werneth ran out comfortable 6 wicket winners in the end with Moz, Rob Reade and late fill-in Mike Ferry adding to a run out.


The thirds may not have continued their run of six successive scores of 200+, but being asked to field first and then proceeding to bowl out the league leaders for 95 on a good wicket, is consolation enough. It was a superb all round display from a team that integrates 50+ players with teenagers (and young Sam who hasn’t even achieved that milestone) as not one player can claim to be a match winner with all five bowlers taking wickets and the runs being shared quite evenly in a five wicket win. Mike Ferry edged the bowling with 3-10 and Sam Brown scored 23, but the real winner on the day was teamwork, which hopefully augers well for next week’s cup semi-final.

PIC: Jack Unwin is plum lbw to a ball that kept very low.



Chris Lord returned to one of his old stomping grounds on Sunday whilst representing the CLL’s second XI side in their annual challenge game against the Bolton League and made the short journey home from Kearsley with a nice ‘ton’ under his belt. Chris has played the vast majority of his career in the BCL and returned with a vengeance with 102 as the CLL posted 241 which was 82 runs too many for the hosts. Ian Morris also represented the CLL on Clifton’s behalf but selflessly ran himself out so that Lordy could continue to plunder runs (according to Moz anyway !)



The Indian sign that the firsts seem to hold over Littleborough continued on Saturday despite a century from former England all-rounder Chris Schofield. Dean’s boys had their own centurion hero though in Ben Chapman who scored 103 in a match winning partnership of 164 with Cam Murray who holed out just six short of his own ‘ton’. Schofield and Littleborough pro Clint Perrin then shared their own century stand (124) before Perrin fell in pursuit of a mammoth 306-9. In the end they fell 77 runs short as the firsts picked up a much needed 5 points.


Things started sedately with 28 coming from the first 8 overs on a dry hard wicket surrounded by a typical super-fast glassy outfield, but after the early order rashness of recent weeks, it was good to see Holty and Lachie being more circumspect. The addition of 18 in the next eight balls precipitated a chance from Lachie’s bat that was taken. Cam Murray replaced him and immediately both batsmen went onto the attack scoring 41 in the next 4 overs before Holty went. The locals fears of another innings in which the top six got in and then got out were dispelled as Cam and Ben set about building a partnership with Ben getting himself in sensibly whilst Cam played like Cam plays. At the halfway stage things were looking ominous for the visitors at 142-2, but the pair weren’t done and piled on another 105 in the next 14 overs before Cam holed out to long on. The last nine overs yielded 48 runs as 7 wickets tumbled in a run chase that took the score over 300. Ben Chapman and Steve Cheetham then removed both openers with only seven on the board, but there was no complacency in evidence as this brought together prolific pro Clint Perrin and Chris Schofield who has over 100 first class games and two test matches under his belt. Perrin has never thrived against the Clifton attack and it was his wicket; a good catch by Jim Ainscough off Matt Wright, that saw the game shift as their century partnership ended and despite Schofield (114) continuing to plunder runs they never really threatened again once Perrin had gone. Wrighty went on to bowl 18.5 overs in the heat taking a creditable 5-82 on a day that bat mastered ball in a game of 535 runs. To add insult to injury, Wrighty removed the final Littleborough batsman on 229, just one short of a bonus point for the visitors


The seconds had a really bad day at the office as their much weakened side were dumped out for 78 chasing only 146. Rico Phiri picked up 4-16 but there the good news ended. There was no good news either for the thirds on Sunday as they became the third senior side to crash out of a cup semi-final. It was a case of fifth bowler syndrome as the league rule on eligibility meant that only four recognised bowlers could be picked and one of those was 12 year old Sam Dorsey. Andy Tocher tried juggling the eight overs needed but the three extra bowlers used went for over ten an over as Rochdale posted 230. Disappointing lbw decisions then removed three of the top four and the game was over as a contest, but it could have been a different story as the middle and late order carved the ball around with Jack Barton contributing an entertaining 35 not out as they fell 50 short on 181-9.


Deano has a chuck and gets a wicket first ball up.

More pics on the clifton cricket facebook page