30th - DORS RELINQUISHES HOT SEAT
Soon to be married Liam Dorsey has given early notice of his intention to stand down as captain for the 2013 season at the AGM. Liam, who is due to marry in August, was concerned that wedding plans along with domestic arrangements, plans to enhance his coaching qualifications and changes in his working commitments would impinge upon his ability to give 100% to the captaincy. The club would like to place on record it’s thanks to Liam for his efforts this season in securing 7th place in the face of some challenging times, not least the weather.
THE AGM will take place on the first Thursday in December
23rd - ROB WELL DONE
The third team finished the season with a win in Autumnal conditions on Sunday against Saddleworth who collapsed from 38-0 to 80 all out with Rob Read taking 7-51. Not to be outdone however, after Ollie Dunn (31) and Geoff Griffiths (34no) made a great start, there followed an equally spectacular collapse before Griff and his ninth partner of the day finally knocked of the runs with only one batsman left in the pavilion. It was however, enough to secure victory in the last six competition for division 2 of the NMCL. A great achievement for the side who languished at the bottom for most of the season.
Then it was off for the traditional end of season curry to celebrate the wettest season on record with some hot and spicy fare.
Barty enjoys a traditional meal of orange and chips
Do you think that thing with legs is part of the meal?
Jack finally reveals the name of his one true love.
16TH - THE END IS NIGH
A couple of dozen Clifton players sat around the clubhouse munching Pizza and drinking beer on Sunday night, reflecting on the season. The wet, steaming array of garments on the radiators aptly summed it up however.
Despite this, the final weekend of the season for the club had been successful in that the second XI game at Littleborough had brought the win that cemented a top eight place in the new 2 division set up for 2013 that we had fought and continue to fight against, despite both sides finishing in a top eight place. It was not to be for Monton & Weaste however, as our 1st XI’s defeat to Littleborough consigned them to the bottom eight. So, no local derbies next year unless the proposed two division set up can be overturned at the league’s Annual General Meeting.
Sunday’s local derbies between the two sides were both rained off, but not before some revenge had been gained for last week’s results between the two sides. Monton & Weaste rattled up 235-7 at Manchester Road with Paul Green scoring a magnificent 119 despite career best figures of 6-72 by Deano. The rain ended the game with the firsts struggling on 19-1, but at least the visitors could take some solace from a great batting performance.
The 2nds gained some revenge as well for last week’s shock 100 run defeat against Monton & Weaste’s second string. They had reached 168-3 with 9 overs to go when the rain party-pooped the match. Moz was 53 not out and Chris Lord had scored 59 when the players dived for cover for the last time in 2012.
On Saturday, Monton and Weaste’s fate had been sealed when the 1sts lost to Littleborough who posted 201-7 batting first at Manchester Road. Tom Derbyshire’s composed 44 was the best effort in Clifton’s reply which ended eight runs short of a bonus point on 143 despite Andy Lord’s 21 run cameo at the death which saw him loft Littleborough’s tetchy professional Perren for six and add a further 15 runs in quick time. The only meaningful game of the weekend, was the second XI’s game at Littleborough where they went needing the full five points to ensure a top eight spot after a run of defeats which saw them drop from 2nd to 7th in quick time. They secured the win thanks to four batsmen scoring over 20 in difficult wet conditions after the hosts had posted 124. Jamie Royle top scored with 30 not out as the five points were secured with 7 overs to spare.
As the pizza disappeared and the beer took hold, everything seemed a bit rosier in the Clifton clubhouse, but the memory of the wettest summer for over 100 years will take a long time to expunge.
Don’t forget that the 3rd XI aren’t done yet. The final game of the season will be at Manchester Road next Sunday at 1pm against Saddleworth – weather permitting !!
Pic: Jack Unwin tickles one to leg and ends up with five to his name as a wild throw found its way to the boundary!
Pic: Lordy’s foot is firmly planted and the stumping is given not out.
14TH - D DAY FOR SECONDS
With the firsts safely ensconced in the top half of the league, the battle for a top eight place couldn’t be more exciting in the second XI division as the last weekend dawns. Five clubs know they have secured a top eight finish and five cannot escape the bottom half, but for the other six, the last weekend holds the key. Even victory over Littleborough will not make it certain, but a further point on Sunday would. 6 points has to be the minimum target for Mozzer’s men. Milnrow would seem to have the impossible task, but maximum points from games with Radcliffe and Oldham is a distinct possibility. Unsworth maybe have it easy as well on paper as they face Ashton and Oldham. Littleborough’s fate is definitely in their own hands with their other game being at Royton which will make Werneth sweat a little as they only have one game left, against championship chasing Rochdale.
Now watch the weather spoil the excitement !
9TH - MADU IN THE WINDOW
Despite the weather, professional Madu Perera has expressed a wish to return to England next summer. Any clubs interested please contact Clifton (see officials page) who will happily provide a reference. Sadly, plans for next year mean that Clifton will be engaging a batting professional, but have no hesitation in recommending the pacy Sri Lankan.
Clifton 1st XI are at home on Saturday and Sunday and Madu will be in action on both days having recovered from his shoulder strain.
8TH & 9TH - SCHOOR THING
Deputy Pro Raymond van Schoor stepped in when the jitters were setting in at 36-3 in reply to Monton & Weaste’s 147, with an assured 67 not out which, with Tom Derbyshire’s 36 no steered the firsts to a vital win in the ten-pointer local derby. The hosts batted first and appeared to be in a hurry to get home as they scored at five an over whilst losing wickets regularly. There was also some good bowling and fielding, with Richard Borritt returning to first team action due to player shortages. Greg Jennings weighed in with his usual collection of wickets and Dean Morris took 3-19 and with less than 20 overs gone, Monton were 98-8. Kershaw and Gavin then batted with solid and untroubled patience and picked up one and twos in direct contrast to what had happened earlier. This resulted in a deserved but highly unlikely partnership of 50 which was ended when the rare sight of Adam Holt entered the attack and with two deliveries that would have looked at home in the third team, ended the home teams inning thanks to a smart stumping by Liam Dorsey off a very wide legside delivery (pic).
The reply started in quiet fashion with Dean and Milla compiling singles and putting only nine on the board in the first eight overs. Dean Morris and Adam Holt the perished on 18 and 22 and then Milla, who had played sensibly, played one of his rash shots and the score was 36-3. Tom and van Schoor then put together a stand of 112 which included almost 30 extras and the five points were secured with six over to spare.
Pic: Boz sends Lenihan’s bails flying as the third M&W wicket falls.
Below – Sandham looks plum as Dean’s LBW shout is answered in the affirmative
The seconds went down to an embarrassing 100 run defeat against the leagues bottom side in a performance described by Ian Morris as a shambles. An opening stand approaching 100 started the ball rolling, so with Rob Meredith having to very gingerly leave the action with a painful back spasm and on a wicket which was probably the best seen all season, the final total of 180 was very accessible. However, it was not to be as the batting line up crumbled to 80 all out. The skipper was much happier in defeat on Sunday as, with a severely weakened side, table toppers Heywood were in town. The batting looked much more competent as 200-9 was posted with Moz contributing 80 and Sam Brown and others making useful contributions. The visitors got off to a lightning start with fifty coming up inside eight overs, but Ian Morris and Geoff Griff eventually applied the brakes, but couldn’t find the penetration to take wickets. The table toppers eventually knocked off the runs in the last over for three wickets.
The firsts were also shorn of players at Heywood and in a difficult match, the hosts posted 220 before the reply stuttered its way to 147 in a game best forgotten.
1ST & 2ND - OLDHAM CHOKER
Oldham second XI will still be wondering how they managed to lose Sunday’s game after Ian Morris’ side were staring down the barrel at 80-9, but they reckoned without unlikely batting heroes Andy Tocher (54) and Jack Barton’s last wicket stand which doubled the score with the help of a bundle of extras. It was Toch’s first 50 and it came at the right time with the seconds putting out a severely weakened side yet again. Unlikely hero number two then stepped up to the mark as skipper Ian Morris’ new career as an off spinner saw him take four Oldham wickets for 21. He was supported by some excellent ground fielding which resulted in three run-outs and wickets for Rico and Andy Lord as the hosts succumbed for 90.
The firsts had a more straightforward win at Manchester Road, although it looked otherwise when Madu reported in injured at the start and could not bowl. Rob Reade who was expecting a quiet day in the field developing his tan, took two early wickets, but Greg Jennings again bowling up the hill, relished the sticky wicket and returned excellent figures of 6-45 as the visitors were all out for 106 in the September sun. Miller’s season of disappointment continued as he fell early, but Dean Morris (54no) held the innings together when a sudden couple of wickets tumbled and together with Chris Thorpe (14no), they saw the side home to a seven wicket victory. Pics: Dean flicks a single to reach 50… Chris smashes a four through the covers… Milla hides his disappointment
3rds WIN TEN POINTER
With only twelve players to choose from due to NMCL rules, holidays, injury and general unavailability, the thirds relegation nerves were eased with a comprehensive win over 10 man Fothergill & Harvey. An early wicket eased the nerves, but it was 13 overs before another wicket fell, both to 14 year old Will Davidson. Birthday boy Geoff Griffiths then stepped into the breach and grabbed four quick wickets as the visitors were bundled out for 118. James Evans then made a welcome return to form with an assured half century after a match winning opening stand of 78 with Chris Royle (36). There followed the usual Clifton collapse from 101-1 to 108-5 before 11 yr old Sam Dorsey crashed a lovely cover drive for four and Rob Reade bludgeoned another couple of boundaries to secure a 5 wicket win. A victory in the last match now assures the avoidance of relegation. Pic James Evans turns the ball away for a boundary on his way to a half century.