CLIFTON CRICKET CLUB

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LINK TO ALL THE CLUB’S 2017 RESULTS (JUNIOR AND SENIOR) HERE

 

MATCH REPORTS

WEEKS 7,8,9        WEEKS 10,11,12     WEEKS 13,14 15,16   WEEKS 17,18,19

 

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The firsts flew the flag in the season opener against a Bury side that escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season. With the ground bathed in sunshine, Will Davidson and Adam Holt set about the Bury attack after a measured start before Will tried to sweep a full delivery and was bowled. Crossy then chased a wide one and was caught in the cordon bringing Sam Dorsey to the wicket to herald the start of a 97 run partnership in just over 20 overs before Adam got ‘giddy’ (his words) and was out for 89. Sam also got to 50 before perishing in the late order run chase that took the score to a challenging 211-9. Bury then made a decent start before effectively handing the game to Crossy’s men with three match defining run-outs resulting from stuttering running and some decent fielding. After that, Bury could only huff and puff their way to 124 with wickets for four of the five bowlers in action with Joe McCann perhaps being the pick with 2-22 off 10.

 

The seconds had a day to forget down the road in Swinton on a typical April wicket which none of Chris Lord’s line up came to terms with. Jim Ainscough (32) and Rob Reade (22) scored the bulk of the 94 which was never going to be enough and so it proved as the hosts saw off the required runs in just over 20 overs with Rob Meredith and Sarfriaz Jan taking a couple of wickets apiece.

 

The thirds enjoyed their own sun-fest at Gin Pit, though in truth there was more than a bit of a nip in the air. A young side, led by Andy Tocher after Nick Flaxman pulled a fetlock opening his car boot, were well beaten, despite a measured 65 not out from Robert Lord which included eleven fours. The final total of 152 looked a forlorn hope at 76-6 but sadly the bowling and fielding was not up to scratch and Astley & Tyldesley eased to a six wicket win. Lots of positives though with a number of young players featuring at the start of career defining seasons for them as Nick and Andy will give them every opportunity to flourish.

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It was a thriller in every sense at Glossop on April 29th as the firsts showed that they may well be developing that vital quality of never knowing when they are beaten. Egerton had that last season and finished champions and Crossy’s men went top of the embryonic league table with a three run victory that really was snatched from the jaws of defeat. The skipper was at the fore throughout, with his astute captaincy adding to an innings of 68 during which he never looked like getting out despite joining Sam Dorsey for an 86 run rescue act from a score of 5-2. He then re-entered the bowling fray for a match winning second spell that, supported by Joe McCann, strangled the life out of the Glossop reply when they looked odds on with two set batsmen at the crease needing 45 off 12 overs. With Adam Rodzoch and Steve Cheetham missing and Liam Hurt misfiring and unable to repeat his eight wicket demolition of the same opponents last season, Joe McCann 1-28 off 10 and Greg Jennings 2-27 off 15 stepped up to the plate. Joe had possibly his best game in a Clifton shirt, as he had earlier replaced the skipper to hold together the batting attack at the death with a well planned and executed 32 not out. Sam Dorsey’s 24 was supplemented by three composed catches in the outfield and Robert Lord added to the existing cohort of mid-teens by making his debut in a thrilling win.

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The seconds managed to provide the absolute antithesis of the firsts performance as they dominated the game for almost its entirety before the cavalier Littleborough Lakeside rearguard provided their own thrilling finale to a game they never looked like winning. A last wicket stand of 36 put the icing on the cake after a recovery from 175-8 saw the visitors overhaul a total of 225 that had looked good enough throughout. Rob Reade added to his performance last week with four wickets and 28 runs and Andy Tocher scored a welcome 59 off 80 balls after Chris Lord’s 44 had provided the platform. Andy Lord (32) added to the lower middle order contribution as 85 runs were scored off the last 13 overs. So, the seconds are yet to break their duck but the signs are there that the first vital win is not far away.

 

On Sunday, their fortunes were more positive as Deane & Derby were summarily dispatched in the 2nd XI Cup Preliminary Round. Batting first, the visitors made early inroads to 52-3 but a partnership of 96 between old hands Ian Morris (66) and Jim Ainscough (26) eased the nerves nicely. The lower order then went berserk with Rob Reade picking up his maiden 50 at better than a run a ball and Liam Dorsey muscling in with 53 off 28 balls including 24 off the final over taking the score to 315-8. Shellshocked D&D had no answer after the break as all six bowlers struck to reduce the visitors to 138 all out and secure a place in the first round.

 

The thirds will not be gracing the 1st round of the Sunday Cup however in a game that produced few positives; the exception being the performance of 14 year old Ethan Harding who hit the timbers three times in a spell of 3-19 off eight overs followed up by six boundaries in a score of 36. However, in a game that incredibly yielded 105 extras including 81 wides, the 47 wides given away by the Clifton attack proved decisive as the reply to Astley Bridge’s 206 fell just two runs short as the skipper was caught in the deep off the penultimate ball. Sound like another thriller, but in truth it was a poor, low quality game.

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Sam86.jpgA sensational game of cricket dominated by a fifteen year old batsman saw the firsts go top of the Premier Division after yet another nail biter, this time against previously unbeaten Prestwich. Last year’s runners up won the toss and batted and for the first few overs looked like they might post a massive score, but Liam Hurt was extracting some pace and managed to pick up two crucial wickets within the space of five deliveries and suddenly the visitors were 24-2. The game then entered a phase where partnerships were broken at vital stages, a trend that continued in the second innings. A partnership of 57 took Prestwich to 148-6 and the tail wagged annoyingly as they finally posted 189-9. However, that was a total that Crossy’s men would have taken at 1.00pm and they would probably have been the happier at tea. That joy quickly evaporated as the visitors bullied their way to 17-4 with both openers, Gareth Cross and Joe McCann back in the hutch. However, still there and growing in stature with every shot, Sam Dorsey set about his one-man rescue act. The key partnership in the second innings was the 86 between him and James Evans (48), then, as in the first innings, partnerships were broken at vital moments as the game swung back and forth. The big difference was that Sam Dorsey remained rooted at one end as his partners came and went. Overs were never really an issue, but when Steve Cheetham came out 165-8, 25 runs were still needed. He provided the perfect foil for young Sam with a vitally important 12 not out but it was the 86 runs superbly crafted by Sam in a minute short of three hours at the crease that really caught the eye in what could be a season defining victory.

The seconds made it two wins on the day, but their victory ©was more on the emphatic rather than nail-biting scale. Once mighty Radcliffe boasted professionals such as Sirs Gary Sobers and Frank Worrall and it was good to hear that the club that almost folded is now showing green shoots of recovery. On the field, Chris Lord and Chris Royle put on a swift 80 before the middle order struggled and the next 60 took 20 overs for the loss of five more wickets. Rob Lord and Rob Reade then rescued things with aplomb, putting on an unbroken 57 in the final nine overs. The third Rob (Meredith) nipped out a couple as Radcliffe replied and the rest of the attack then took wickets at regular intervals with re-born spinner Jim Ainscough and Sarfraiz Jan taking three apiece for 26 and 27 respectively. So a morale boosting win for Lordy’s men against a previously unbeaten 1st XI should provide the impetus for a climb up the table in the weeks to come.

It looks like the thirds will be embroiled in a relegation tussle after defeat to Glenn Bullock’s Westhoughton, despite their, once again, being nothing to choose between the teams on the day. Some poor bowling, shot selection and especially fielding according to the skipper, led to their downfall in an entertaining game. Bully’s boys posted 220-9 with the big man smashing a quick 26 not out, but that was forty more than they should have got and that and another plethora of wides (20) was the difference despite Sam Brown (40) and Alex Cunliffe (31) putting on 82 for the first wicket with few alarms. That quickly became 87-3 before debutant Roman Slusarenko and Liam Dorsey put on 84 in 19 overs. However, they both fell on 171 and despite the best efforts of the tail, overs slipped away as Bully strangled the batsmen and a 22 run defeat ensued. The best two partnerships of the innings saw both partners fall without a run being added, so perhaps something to discuss in the dressing room next week.

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