26th - Spike Milligan may have claimed the epitaph “I
told you I was ill”, but Adam Holt ran him close with his own “I told you I
could bowl”, when he was thrown the ball in the T20 victory at Radcliffe on
Friday evening. Half an hour later he was enjoying figures of five for six as
Radcliffe were sent packing for just 88. His evening will not have been spoiled
too much by Milla’s classic “Yes…No” that saw Holty
comprehensively run out as the score collapsed from 36-0 to a worrying 36-3,
but Madu Perera clouted several impressive boundaries
and unbeaten Dean Morris added a big maximum of his own to add to his two
wickets as the firsts ran out victors by five wickets.
Pics – Dean about to snaffle a caught and bowled. Madu launches another missile.
It was back to square one on
Saturday though, as the batting blues returned, though not this time on a
sticky one like at Crompton and Milnrow. The Walsden wicket may have still been
suffering the effects of the April and May deluge, but it was a country mile
better than anything else this season and it didn’t stop Walsden piling up 233.
Credit was due there to Madu and Greg who recovered
the team’s position from 181-1 with 12 overs remaining by taking four apiece as
the last nine wickets fell for 52. There the success ended as the first three
fell with 15 on the board. Madu compiled a decent 34
and a few others got into double figures but nobody carried it on and once
again the team was all over for just over 100.
It was therefore left to the seconds to fly the flag in
what Normski described as a cracking match. Walsden set
212 but born again cricketer Jamie Royle returned like the prodigal son with a
measured half century as the seconds knocked off the runs.
It seems like déjà-vu when we talk about Rochdale knocking
the thirds out of the cup, but they did it again, though they can count
themselves a little unlucky in some respects. Having lost the toss it was some
consolation to know that, being a cup tie, it was only 40 overs to toil in the
heat, but even then some players flagged and found it difficult. Credit then that Rochdale were bowled out for 226 with Will
Davidson again being the pick of the bowlers with 4-37 after a whirlwind start
saw the visitors with 30 on the board after just 14 balls. However, the early
order batted as though still weary from their toils in the field and at 23-4
the game was affectively lost. Another stroke of bad luck ensued when Geoff
Griffiths had to drop down the order due to illness, because when he did get to
the wicket at no.8, he batted with an ease that made the rest of the side look
a bit silly. He finished 61 no when, with the score on 181, he finally ran out
Andy Tocher about to be castled with bat and elbow facing
square leg….. Jack Unwin wasn’t able to follow up last week’s 50.
19th - Both sides crashed out of their
respective cup competitions on Sunday in topsy-turvy games which could have
gone either way.
It was the seconds who had the unluckiest breaks; literally
in the case of Rob Reade who ended up in hospital with a badly broken thumb to
add to the club’s current unavailability list. Heywood 2nds got away a little
at the end to post 171, but at 120-0 with both Matt Derbyshire and Chris Thorpe
passing 50, things looked reasonable although they had used up a lot of overs
to get there. Panic set in as the run rate climbed and wickets tumbled at an
alarming rate with the reply eventually floundering 13 runs short.
firsts were even closer to Heywood’s 152, but in their case it was wickets
falling at the wrong times which set back the scoring rate. Batsmen then seemed
to develop a red mist even the run rate was only around 7 per over and instead
of guiding the ball into the copious spaces of Heywood’s vast arena, they
suddenly started to try to hit the ball into the adjoining duck pond and a
succession of play-and-miss shots resulted in the rate becoming more and more
difficult. Earlier Greg Jennings had mopped up the tail with four quick
wickets, but Madu suffered his first wicketless weekend as a Clifton player. Matt Wright took
the prize wicket of Bobby Cross and followed up with two more including the
Heywood pro, but by the time he came to the wicket, the tie was lost and he was
last out, run out by three yards.
Pic: Liam makes a good stop.
18th - Greg Jennings
consigned champions Norden to a rare second
successive defeat on Saturday taking 6-67 and then smashing the penultimate
ball of the game for a match-winning six. The visitors were bowled out for only
132 but the batsmen once again huffed and puffed their way to the winning total
as the game swung one way and the other. James Evans scored a composed 24 and
others chipped in but nobody was able to provide the solid backbone to the
innings which would have made the victory more comfortable. The seconds
severely weakened bowling attack did well to restrict
the hosts to 210-4 with Will Davidson the only shining light taking three
wickets and only being robbed of a hat trick by a not out decision which
followed an extremely confident appeal for a catch at the wicket. The reply
started reasonably well, but some inauspicious shots to some ordinary looking
bowling resulted in a disappointing defeat by 107 runs.
16th - ico Phiri celebrated his recent elevation into the senior
squads with a devastating 7-6
spell to destroy Royton under 18s. Full match
report on that and the under 11s victory over Radcliffe on the junior pages.
12th – It was back to the drawing board as the
20 point blitz of last weekend turned very quickly into a big fat zero on
Saturday and Sunday as all three teams came a cropper. The firsts did well to
restrict Milnrow to 143 with Dean Morris taking five wickets, but there the joy
ended as the batting line up collapsed in the face of Milnrow’s
two left armers. Despite the arrival of Milindu Athauda some thirteen months later than expected, the side
collapsed to a miserable 68 all out. The seconds posted a competitive but
disappointing 171-8 at Manchester Road with several batsmen getting a start but
not going on. Milnrow then put together two telling partnerships which saw them
home by four wickets. On Sunday, the firsts went to Chorley on a hiding to
nothing with a severely weakened bowling attack. Chorley racked up 234 before
tea and despite several batsmen getting into double figures, the reply folded
to 158 all out. The thirds were put to the sword by a strong Rochdale Catholic
Club side who rattled up 210-4 at windy Manchester Road. Jack Barton bowled
well up the hill into the teeth of a gale and Jack Unwin scored his first
senior half century in the 132-7 response.
Pic – James Evans scored 40 for
5TH – It was a 20 point max weekend for the first and
seconds at the weekend. On Saturday, the firsts turned almost certain defeat
into victory thanks to an unbroken last wicket stand between Jim Ainscough and
Matt Derbyshire that took the score from 98-9 past Oldham’s 141. Madu Perera scored his first Clifton 50 and took three
wickets and there was a four-fer for Dean Morris. Madu followed that up with a second half century on Sunday
as victory over Ashton was a lot more straightforward. He also picked up four
wickets and Tom Derbyshire finished on 47 not out as the side passed the 200
mark for the first time this season.
The seconds had a comfortable six wicket win on Saturday thanks
to half centuries from Dave Barton (61no) and Chris Thorpe (51). Promoted third
teamer Gareth Lloyd picked up five wickets in Oldham’s response and it was a
similar tale of third teamers stepping up on Sunday as Ashton were beaten by 50
runs with Steve Eccles taking 6-33 and debutant Rico Phiri
taking two excellent boundary catches. Earlier James Evans had scored a mature
58 and Rob Read 41 followed up by a couple of wickets apiece.
The youngest ever third XI were unceremoniously dumped out for
just 30 at Elton Vale and lost by 9 wickets.
The weather forecasters got it wrong again on Monday and the
threatened deluge didn’t materialise until the thirds game was long finished.
The game was well balanced until Littleborough’s
overseas import indulged in a bit of Pom Bashing in
the gloom, reducing a promising 83-4 to 89 all out with some fiery bowling that
was too much for our tail end. Quite why a club would want to bring in an
Aussie to play 3rd XI cricket is a mystery but his figures of 7-22
turned the game on its head after the table toppers were bowled out for 120.
Sam Brown, Chris Royle and James Evans scored in the twenties and Andy Lord and
Steve Eccles took three wickets apiece.
Pics. Chris Thorpe about to hear
the death rattle. Dave Barton pulls to reach his maiden Clifton 50,
Christine’s tea-making activities are rudely interrupted.