MAY 2015


MAY 2nd

The impetus gained by last weekend’s max points bonanza were sadly drowned in the wet stuff as the forecasters got it wrong again and only 60 legal balls were bowled in the three senior matches. Those balls were delivered by Crompton’s 2ndXI bowlers Pertoldi and Sultan and saw Jim Ainscough and Chris Lord progress to 37 without loss. 



The secret planning committee have devised their plans for June 27th when the firsts next meet Norden. It involves a kidnap and a day locked in Jeff Griff’s garage for Norden pro Danny Salpietro who took his aggregate score to around 500 not out in the last four games against the shellshocked firsts. He scored 153 not out and then took 4 for 20 in a one man show that ended in the dark at Norden. Without him, it’s fair to say that it would have been a good contest with five points possibly going begging, but at 127-0 Dean’s side were staring down the end of the barrel again. Chasing 250, Will Davidson started brightly before given Text Box:  
Yes, there are some cricketers out there somewhere !!
given out to what appeared to all and sundry, to be a bump-ball. Chappy battled away at the other end and had to watch as the skipper, possibly affected by a bang on the bonce, holed out later in the over. Gaz introduced himself with a big six to add to yet another leading wicket taker role (it’s now 16 in three games) but was then deceived by a seaming ball. Harvey Fitton, on his first return to Norden since his move to Clifton in the close season, then scored 24 in boundaries in quick time, but the pressure of chasing 250, like other batsmen before him, possibly led to poor shot selection and he went for 38. 13 year old Sam then held together the rest of the innings as the remaining batsmen toiled in the gloom before the umpires called in a day with 1.5 overs remaining. With Duckworth Lewis waiting in the wings, this didn’t affect the final result but did prevent Norden possibly grabbing the last wicket. Strangely in the circumstances, there were a lot of positives in the performance. The bowlers and fielders never showed any signs at all of heads going down and without the pressure of the huge score, the batting looked solid, well balanced and deep. Forward planning for next season involves the CCC mob ‘persuading’ Sal to come to us as overseas amateur.


The 85 run defecit posted by the firsts was more than obliterated by Mozzer senior’s seconds who smashed Norden’s usually very powerful seconds by 155 runs. A promising opening partnership (Chris Lord 33, Jim Ainscough 25) fizzled away as James, Ollie and Chris Thorpe managed just five between them and Norden were buzzing as 67-0 became 87-5. Enter Toch to join the skipper and his mixture of the unorthodox, especially against the wiles of leg spinner Ahmed, and raw power helped create a 91 partnership with the skipper who limped his way to 57 after a problem with his knee. That allowed the tail the freedom to do their own thing and a challenging 214-9 was posted. The rest revolved around war-horse Rob Meredith who ended the game as a contest with a devastating spell of 6-11 off 12 overs, including a hat trick and without the donation of a single wide or no ball. Danny Hill then weighed in with three wickets as the old man tired and Norden were sent packing two short of Mozzer’s individual score. Providing that the seconds can manage a reasonable level of commitment and a settled side, there could be silverware in abundance on offer this season for Ian’s talented side.


PIC: Toch and Moz plan their 91 run partnership

MAY 4th


It’s getting a bit tired talking about the Rochdale jinx at third team level, but once again they edged a close game with an eleven run victory at Manchester Road on Bank Holiday Monday. Batting first, the visitors stuttered and stumbled their way through Jack Barton and Alex Cunliffe’s opening spell, assisted by a number of dropped catches, before wily Will Avery scored what turned out be be a match winning 40 and Rochdale reached 121 despite 4-20 from Andy Lord. The batting then followed the Rochdale pattern in the face of some tight bowling, but Rochdale took their chances when they arose and did not have any weak links in the bowling attack. Despite this, Nick’s side clawed themselves into contention befor a disastrous run out saw Harry Southern back in the pavvy for a spirited 20 just as the game was swinging our way. Barty scored a quick dozen in his own inimitable way, but Andy Toch wasn’t able to repeat Sunday’s heroics and the innings closed eleven runs short.

May 9th

Will Davidson and Nitin Srivastava produced the perfect partnership at Heywood on Saturday after coming together with the scoreboard showing a demoralising 1 for 3 after almost ten overs as Heywood responded aggressively to being bowled out for 107.

Heywood batted first and Dean’s side got off to the perfect start when Cheets castled bogey-man Bobby Cross in the first over. 0-1 became 1-2 and then 14-3 as Crossy joined in, resulting in both openers making ducks and the dangerous Danny Pawson back in the pavilion. With Ben Chapman then having New Zealand pro Nicol caught behind (although he wouldn’t agree as it appeared to miss the bat by some distance), the other bowlers made it the perfect bowling performance by capturing wickets of their own as the unrelenting pressure reduced the hosts to 107 all out with all five bowlers tasting success.

The aggressive response by Heywood should have been anticipated, but it seemed to catch the early order with unfinished cucumber sandwiches in their mouths. Heywood’s opening pair of Dawsons tore in and with dark looking ball seaming around, Heywood had soon floated two ducks of their own and with Dean going in the same way, all caught at slip by Bobby Cross, for the only run conceded, suddenly the scoreboard showed 1-3. There followed a perfectly judged partnership between Nitin Srivastava and Will Davidson, earlier plucked from the school playing field and sportingly allowed to play by the hosts. It was their willingness to grind out maiden after maiden that allowed them to master both the wicket and the bowling as they began to pick up ones and twos on the big field, picking off the occasional boundary as well. Will then settled onto his bat providing the perfect foil for Nitin to get stuck into the Heywood change bowlers who had nothing like the impact that Joe, Harv and Ben had earlier. The unbeaten partnership of 107 was definitely the highlight of the 1st XI season so far and the entire team performance should give the side enormous confidence in the weeks to come. Pic: Third change Joe bowls Simon Dawson and finishes with 3-10.

May 9th


The second XI had no such heart in the mouth moments in picking up yet another win that puts them just a point behind Walsden at the top and a full 6 points in front of 3rd placed Norden. The manner of the win was similar to the firsts though as teamwork in the field proved key. Once again all 5 bowlers tasted success meaning that the nine Clifton bowlers used in the two games all took wickets. Batting first, the batters also provided a solid team performance with none of the house of cards type collapses of recent weeks. The score of 172-9 was deemed pretty adequate in the conditions with Chris Lord top scoring with 45 and six batsmen getting into double figures. The icing on the cake was an eleven ball 25 from Shuja who bashed three 4s and a 6 in no time. Shuja and Rob then made the usual start putting all the top three in the shower with 33 on the board. This week though, neither went on to tear the visitors apart, but it mattered no as Danny Hill, Rob Reade and Andy Lord finished the job with Heywood bowled out for 126.

May 16th firsts were dumped into the bottom two on Saturday after a disappointing batting display in the face of Mo Bux’s slow medium line and length bowling in conditions that suited him down to a tee. After Ben Chapman had turned 70-1 into 70-3 in four balls, the Rochdale innings looked like crumbling away at 99-6 and 116-7, but a stubborn eighth wicket partnership took the score to 190 with, for the second week running, all five bowlers taking wickets. Sadly, also for the second week running, the top order crumled quickly and despite Dean Morris’ attempts, he lost partners regularly. Joe Brown then provided the brightest spot of the innings with eight fours and a six in his 44 before being last man out and the under strength side went down to a 81 run defeat with eight batsmen failing to reach double figures.Pic Dean tries to rescue the situation.


Once again there were no such blues for the seconds who also managed to eke wickets from every bowler used in an attack which must be the most potent in the division having taken 49 wickets in five games and conceded only 539 runs. This time it was Danny Hill who caught the eye with 3-31 as Rochdale managed only 123 in response to 204 in which Liam Dorsey and Ian Morris scored half centuries. The only down-spot was the poor showing of the lower middle and late order which took the score from 145-3 to 189-9 before Danny Hill unleashed two fours and a six to take the score past 200. Moz would have been disappointed though, to see the innings close with 11 balls still remaining.


May 17th



The thirds continued the poor batting theme by only posting 103 at Westhoughton on a decent looking wicket. Gary Royle (38) and Sam Brown (29) were the only ones who showed any mastery over the bowling and despite two wickets in successive deliveries from debutant 14 year old Sarfraz Jan, they went down to a comprehensive 7 wicket defeat. Pic – Barty also chasing a lost cause.


May 18th




The traditional Bank Holiday Monday 3rd XI game at Rochdale ended in defeat but was put in the proper context as young Chris Royle and dad Gary ended up in Oldham hospital. Chris collided heavily with Matt Harling as both committed themselves to a steepling catch and lost consciousness for a few seconds, so the ambulance was called as a precaution. Happily Chris is fully recovered and was happily heading a football a few hours later (much to Gary’s disgust) but he has to be closely monitored for a few days. Just for the record, Rochdale were restricted to 127-5 and the thirds’ nine batsmen managed about 90 with Ollie Dunn scoring half of those. Oh – and Chris held on to the catch as well !!

The seconds once again flew the flag on a dismal batting weekend, as they eased their way to the top of the league with another comfortable win. Again it was laregly on the back of another masterclass from Rob Meredith, who blasted his way through the top six as he reached 20 for the season already. Shorn of the services of Danny Hill and with Shuja having a rare off-day, Andy Lord and Rob Reade then built on warhorse Meredith’s start and Werneth finished 84 runs short. Earlier, Chris Lord looked in one of those moods where it didn’t matter where you bowled to him as he strolled to 66 with seven 4s and a six.

Royton proved to be a double graveyard for the firsts and thirds with two games that were incredibly similar in nature. The firsts took the Saturday slot and were unable to graft through the bowler friendly conditions as Gareth Cross frustratingly ran out of partners in a dismal score of 89. But for Royton’s Geeth Alwis, that would have been a winning score, but he punished every bad ball (and there weren’t that many) in a decisive 44. Joe McCann’s introduction was spectacular as he managed to keep the ball dry and started to spin it profusely, finishing with three wickets for six off five overs. But in the final analysis it was runs, not wickets, that were in short supply and it was a similar story next day as the thirds were 92-9 despite 53 from Chris Thorpe. A patient 19 off 35 balls from Jack Barton (is that his longest ever innings?) made for a last wicket partnership of 19 resulting in Nelson 111, but again it wasn’t enough as they went down by two wickets. Same old story – another twenty runs and 5 points apiece were there for the taking.

Sunday’s T20 witnessed one of those rare occasions where a side decimated to 25-5 goes on to win the game. Monton and Weaste recovered to 105 but again it was too many for the out of form batsmen who finished 9 runs short despite not being all-out.

Pics: (1) The Meredith stare  (2) Joe 3-6 but not enough runs to play with.


After due consideration and a number of very positive meetings, the club announced its intention to make an application to join the new Greater Manchester Cricket League for season 2016. We placed on record that we have been proud of being part of the Central Lancashire League having joined from The Bolton Association in 2006. We thanked the CLL for their support and encouragement over the ten years of our membership and the clubs for providing us with an excellent standard of cricket which we have thoroughly enjoyed. We are a progressive club and we can now look forward to an exciting future in the GMCL which we feel is the best vehicle to support local cricket for the foreseeable future. firsts registered a much needed and morale boosting Wood Cup win over Elton on Sunday, but it was not without some of the batting jitters that have plagued the side recently. After inserting the visitors, Dean’s side saw Elton race to a fifty opening partnership during the fifteen over fielding restrictions. However, once that was broken, the bowling attack ground down the middle and late order, stifling them of runs and eliciting risky shots resulting in Elton being dismissed for 138. Nitty Norman and Willo then made a patient start despite the fielding restrictions, made possible by the low score. Crossy joined the fray at 38-1, but when Norm was out, Dean went almost immediately (47-3) and when Crossy went at 86, Joe Brown went quickly after (90-5) and the assembled Clifton contingent let out an almost audible groan. However, Ben Chapman and Sam Dorsey played the trump card with their contrasting styles complimenting each other perfectly in a vital match winning 50 partnership with Ben finishing on 58 not out and Sam on 16 not out. If there are any remaining doubters that Sam is too young, having only recently reached 14, to be playing 1st XI cricket, then the maturity and ease with which he prevented catastrophe should have dispelled any remaining doubts as he gave Ben the confidence to play his own game and go on to win the match.

Pics at The second XI game at Elton was washed out.


It was a different story on Saturday as the firsts bowed out of the T20 comp on a testing wicket at Littleborough, despite restricting the hosts to 94. ‘Boro found themselves 5-3 as Cheets and Crossy made hay on the seaming wicket, but Clint Perren’s 40 took them to 94-5 with Cheets conceding only 11 from his 4 overs. We then made an equally dismal start as 4-2 became 25-5. Joe Brown (34) then continued his recent run of good form and supported by Willo they took the score to within a whisker, finishing just five short.


Just over the hill at Fothergill & Harvey (where, with a favourable wind, we could hear the appeals from Littleborough), the 3rds had a thoroughly abject day in which absolutely nothing went right with the home side lobbing catches into spaces between players on an incredible scale and slogging six after six off thick edges on the tiny ground. For the record, Jack Barton fired on all cylinders for over after over and deserved his 5-92 and it was good to see Harry score 35 and eke some revenge by lobbing a couple of his own into spaces. The final analysis was a 120 run defeat and a match to quickly forget.