CLIFTON CRICKET CLUB

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

 

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The firsts plumbed new depths at Flixton, going down to a club record defeat whilst batting second, despite a promising start to the game. Four Flixton wickets fell in quick time with little more than sixty on the board, but at that moment, Crossy’s side slipped and then crashed out of the game in spectacular fashion after a partnership of 140 was followed up with more bludgeoning of the leather resulting in a formidable total of 285-7. The less said about the reply, the better as five batsmen contributed nothing at all to a total of 64 and an embarrassing 221 run defeat which leaves April’s table toppers looking perilously at the relegation trapdoor.

The seconds’ league form continued to impress with a trouncing of Denton West that cemented their place in the top 4, but the real prize for the weekend eluded them as they narrowly lost their semi final against Prestwich. Rob Meredith’s mean 3-14 off 12 overs set the die on Saturday as the Wests were sent packing for 84 with only Robert Lord unable to share the wickets that were distributed between the other five bowlers. The early order then decided to make life interesting by slipping to 24-4, but another mature innings from CJJ (35*) in an unbroken partnership of 61 with Andy Lord (21*) sealed the win.

Rob Lord did his level best to win a cup final place on Sunday, but received little support from elsewhere as the seconds went down to Prestwich by four wickets. Five batsmen failed to trouble the scorer as only 94 was posted with skipper Jamie scoring 38 of those before being last out. Rob Lord then blitzed through the early order with four wickets in no time leaving the visitors dazed and confused at 25-5. Continuing the Led Zep analogy though, partnerships of 47 and 26 concluded Prestwich’s stairway to heaven and a place in the final.

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It couldn’t get any worse than last week and indeed it didn’t as the firsts meted out their own taste of the drubbing medicine to Denton West who managed exactly half of the hosts impressive 252-4, with Joe McCann filling in admirably for holidaying Will in an opening partnership of 117 with Adam Holt (54). He then added another 76 with Crossy before getting run out for a smashing 82. Given that sort of platform, the skipper did what he does best and went berserk, smashing five maximums in his 78* scoring at an average three runs from every two balls. Any remnants of stuffing were then disembowelled from the West’s reply as Liam Hurt struck first ball. Cheets repeated the first ball treatment when he entered the fray to dispel the memories of being carted all over South Manchester last week and Crossy toiled away uphill for 14 overs that realised 4-50 as the visitors were bowled out for 126.

On Sunday, the firsts showed how things can change in cricket as within the space of a week they went from Zero to Hero with a quite stunning performance in the area finals of the National t20 competition at Neston on the Wirral. In the semi-final they broke the hearts of the Cheshire County League hosts by destroying their hopes and the hopes of their many supporters by knocking off their 133-7 without loss in fourteen overs with Captain Cross (90*) and Adam Holt (40*) silencing the home contingent. Rob Lord stepped up superbly with three wickets and he repeated the feat in the final where the North Wales league representatives, Brymbo CC from Wrexham, were bowled out for 85 having been 61-9 at one stage. Despite the loss of four batsmen, there were eight overs to spare when James Evans hit the winning runs to secure a place in the regional finals in two weeks’ time.

The seconds moved up to third courtesy of a comfortable eight wicket win at Dukinfield. Ian Morris returned to form at last with an unbeaten half century and stand in skipper Jim obliged with 30* in pursuit of the hosts 113. Rob Reade and Joe Parker nibbled out three apiece and there were a couple each for Rob Meredith and ever improving Ethan Harding.

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The euphoria that followed possibly the best weekend the club has had for many years quickly disintegrated at Woodbank who recovered from a poor start with the bat to win comfortably. When the dangerous Nichol was out, the score was 22-3 with Liam Hurt too hot to handle yet again. He finished with 5-35 off 15 overs and was well supported by Crossy, Cheets and Macca, despite a stubborn rearguard action which took the total to an unlikely 164-9. Like Denton West last week, the batting line up managed just half of that total with the unlikely figures of Chris Lord and Kurt Davies being the only ones to reach double figures. The sight of Liam Hurt smashing into the stumps on four occasions was the only real positive to take from the game though as Crossy’s inconsistent side were again beaten by a very average looking side. Suddenly, Crossy’s side find themselves just a point above the relegation places with 4th bottom Egerton the visitors next week. Dr Jekyll needs to turn up for the rest of the season now, with Mr Hyde consigned to the dustbin.

Speaking of average sides, the Little Hulton side that turned up on Sunday for the Cross Cup Quarter Final, were a pale shadow of the LH sides that had been embroiled in many a bitter battle fifteen or twenty years ago. They were dispatched in no time for 83 and with rain threatening, a nine wicket win was secured inside 11 overs with James Evans’ cheeky scoop finishing the game.

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The seconds also did everything right with the ball and pretty much nothing right with the bat in their disappointing defeat at the hands of Elton Vale. Remarkably, they too managed exactly half of the opposition total after bowling out the league leaders for 130 with Punk Rockin’ Rob Meredith taking 4-25 which reduced the visitors to 74-8. Again, only two batsmen managed double figures and again, in a mirror of the first XI game, neither of them were in the top 6. Still all to play for though, with five teams now confirmed as being promoted in the new-look pyramid set up next season.

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swec.jpgThe thirds played half a game for the second week in a row as the rain descended as forecast at Westhoughton with Nick’s team having posted 129-8 with the main batting talent still in the dressing room(?). Sam Brown and Ethan Harding both contributed 27 with Ethan being not out.

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