The firsts produced a consummate team performance on Saturday at Rochdale to gain revenge for two earlier defeats and show how far the side has matured in the last few weeks. Even without Boz, Greg, Willo and Tom, the side rarely looked in any bother, even when Wes Lansdale was threatening to take the bowlers apart.Deano and Callum aren’t quite the Price and Potter of the eighties and nineties just yet, but bowling in tandem they have the look of a potent partnership in the making as for the second week in a row they prevented the opposition from getting right on top and, despite a couple of decent partnerships, Rochdale’s 215-7 was nothing other than par for the course at tea. Griff and Mass then started like an express train as they took 30 off the first three oversincluding 18 scored from the first four balls faced by the re-born professional. Sensibly, they then bedded themselves in and the 75 partnership which ended with Griff out for 46, was just the platform needed despite a rare failure from Dean. Mass (64) played a remarkably composed innings after his lightning start and held the innings together in a way that shows he’s getting to grips with CLL cricket. Around him, Callum (45) took the score to within striking range and Ben and Joe DSCF0073.JPGplayed their own game in a partnership of contrasting styles which remained unbroken for a six wicket win and Ben ending the game in the best possible way with a massive six that almost carried the boundary fielder on to the lacrosse field.

Pics: Joe likes a nice easy stumping but that’s ridiculous..... Ben ends the game as only he can.

The seconds and thirds both had bad days at the office and suffered heavy defeats. It seems to be becoming a regular bad habit for the seconds as, once again they found themselves in a strong position with Rob Meredith taking six wickets, but Rochdale’s lower order smashed their way to 230 having been 110-7. The batsmen then consistently under achieved with only Chris Royle (35) providing any resistance. The thirds fared equally badly in responding to Prestwich’s 215-7 with a disappointing 120. Alex Cunliffe had a decent day with bat and ball, George Rudd batted nicely and was good in the field, Jack Barton bowled a decent long spell and Alex Myall bowled a promising spell in his season’s debut but, apart from Gary Royle’s 25, it was otherwise a day to forget.










A win against Walsden may not completely dispel the angst of the early season traumas, but after eight successive defeats against the Yorkshiremen that stretched back to August 2011, it won’t do confidence any harm as Manchester Road witnessed another terrific game of cricket. The ding dong battle started well as Mass and Griff started at seven an over to post yet another half century partnership but the wind was taken swiftly from the sails as nobody seemed able to stick around with Callum Parkinson after Mass went to a loose shot after scoring 51 off 48 balls. When Cheets  loped to the wicket at 123-7, Parky looked like he would be stranded but Cheets produced a determined 13 runs that took the score to 151 and the last two managed to hang on to allow Callum to reach a match winning 59 off 100 balls as he carried the side to 176. The start of the Walsden innings was quite bizarre as by the time the nineteenth ball was bowled, they were 28-2. Further inroads took the score to 46-4 before a century partnership seemed to have sewn the game up for the visitors, but a blistering final  blast saw six Walsden wickets fall for seventeen runs with Cheets taking 5-68 and Callum 4-41 to seal a memorable fourth win out of five with Walsden ending eight runs shy.

The seconds did not fare so well as a depleted team recovered from 40-4 to score 197 with Sean Marsh scoring a maiden CCC half century ably supported by Gary Royle. However, the bowlers could not defend their score and the home side ran out five wicket winners.

PIC – Controversy as Cheets appears to be run out, but was he in mid-air because he was avoiding the ball and therefore not out? Answers on a post card.




The job of match reporting became that much harder on Sunday as 14 year old Christopher James John Royle joined the senior ranks along with his namesake Christopher William Royle and celebrated with the first catch in an entertaining 3rd XI game against Elton. The thirds had lost the away fixture a couple of weeks ago but gained revenge as they warmed up nicely for next week’s semi final with a four wicket win. It was a game that saw an Elton player scoring 98 not out and Andy Lord 49 not out as Elton’s 183-6 was eclipsed with an over to spare with George Rudd scoring a second half century in a comfortable win. Nick Flaxman rotated six bowlers on an easy paced wicket and although nobody stole the limelight, nobody bowled badly either. George was supported well by Mike Ferry and Matt Tye and despite a couple of unfortunate ducks later on, the result was never really in doubt.

Pic- George on his way to 69 priceless runs.





Pro Thilina Masmulla turned out to represent Thurstan College Colombo OBA in the Sri Lankan Festival of Cricket 2014  held at Merchant Taylors School on Sunday and despite losing in the Cup Quarter Finals to St. Joseph College OBA, came away with the Player Of The Series 2014. The basis of his reward was an astonishing innings in which he recorded the first ever Century in the 26 years history of the 7 a side, 5 overs a team competition. Mass scored 107 taking Thurstan College to a record 148 in their 5 overs. During his innings, Mass hit the maximum 36 off an over twice, in 3rd and 5th overs and then repeated the feat in the 4th over of the Quarter final which they eventually lost.






In one remarkable hours play, the thirds destroyed Rochdale’s batting line up with Sam Dorsey capturing a sensational eight wickets for ten runs as the home side careered from 71-2 to 79 all out. Whilst Andy Tocher toiled away in a rare bowling spell at one end, he could only watch on in amazement with the rest of us, as young Sam took his last seven wickets for no runs. It had been nip and tuck up to then as the earlier bowlers strangled Rochdale’s early order, keeping them to less than three an over in the stifling humidity of the Rochdale bowl. The sight of a 13 year old spinner entering the fray at this point must have had the waiting batsmen licking their lips in anticipation of a late burst, but that was quickly dispelled as wickets tumbled so quickly, that the scorers struggled to keep up.


That wasn’t the end of the drama though as Rochdale, as expected and predicted in the dressing room, tore into the Clifton batting line up with some pretty impressive bowling of their own as another bout of tumbling wickets ensued. Matt Harling steadied the ship after George Rudd, Chris Royle, Sam Dorsey, Andy Lord and Mike Ferry disappeared into the dressing room with less than 25 on the board. Gary Royle then stuck around for a while as the score crept snail-like towards forty before getting his pads in the way of a quick delivery and that heralded the arrival at the crease of Andy Tocher who promptly ran out Matt leaving the shell shocked Cliftoners staring down the barrel. A very determined Nick Flaxman then scored the best 7 not out of his career as Toch more than made up for his boob by playing a mature match winning innings of 27 not out to effectively win the game in front of a large gathering of the Clifton faithful who had earlier gnawed their fingers to the bone. So August 17th beckons and a final at East Lancs Paper Mills after the selection committee have struggled through the complicated NMCL eligibility rules to see who can play and who can’t.   More pics on facebook.




The firsts and seconds won a game apiece during a busy weekend for all three sides with the firsts winning on Sunday and the seconds on Saturday. The seconds took an unexpected thrashing on Sunday against Werneth after winning so convincingly on Saturday that the Littleborough skipper said his team came third. The firsts game at Littleborough hinged on a highly contentious run out decision which saw Chris Schofield go on to make a match winning 125 for the home side. There were plus points in the 30 run defeat though, with Will Davidson taking wickets and giving the skipper another potent option when the pace needs to be taken off the ball. Sam Dorsey then became the first 13 year old 1st XI debutant since either Gary Garner or Andy Kilner (can’t remember which way round they came) in the 1980s and Sam didn’t look at all out of place, finally ending Schofield’s innings with a neat catch. Dean Morris then came within an ace of being the third centurion of the season with 95no after a rare failure by Callum Parkinson and loose shots from Mass and Will. Big Ben put on 100 with the skipper to keep hopes alive but Littleborough’s 245 proved a bridge too far. On Sunday, Werneth proved no match despite their win over Royton on Saturday and were bowled out for 96 with 4 wickets for Cheets, a welcome 3 for Greg and 2 for Big Ben. Ben (31) and Will (21) then steadied the side from 56-3 to knock off the runs. The seconds had their own share-out on Saturday with Littleborough destroyed by 4 from Danny, 3 from Rob and 3 from Liam.

Pics: Young players with a combined age of 47 celebrate.


The thirds lost a close game at Lakeside, but again there were positives from the game, not least a great opening bat maiden half century from Alex Cunliffe who is looking every inch a future 1st XI all-rounder. Jack Barton provided the widest smile of the day after a maiden hat-trick performance which was fully deserved both in terms of the match and his overall contribution to cricket at the club. The rest of the young side attacked the 199 total with maturity and were unfortunate to fall 10 short in the end.