CLIFTON CRICKET CLUB

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LINK TO ALL THE CLUBíS 2017 RESULTS (JUNIOR AND SENIOR) HERE

 

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The firsts returned to the sort of form that we know them capable of just at the right time as Egerton were in town and defeat would have seen Crossyís men drop into the bottom four. There have been some real dire performances over the season alongside some belters. Thankfully, this came into the good category as Egerton were restricted to 127 despite an annoying last wicket stand after 110-5 quickly became 110-9 with Crossy taking 4-29 as all four bowlers took wickets after Liam Hurt struck in the first over for the umpteenth time this season. Joe McCannís stand in role as opener came to an unfortunate end when Holty turned his back on him and he was run out. Sam and James then failed to make double figures but Crossy was in imperious form and his 75no, which took him to third in the run scoring chart, saw his side through to an important five point win. Including T20 and other Cup games, Crossy has now passed 1000 for the season and is looking like adding to that with a vengeance.

 

The seconds had a regulation win against bottom side Edgworth when the ground finally shooed away the clouds and rain. Edgworth took first knock in what transpired to be a 25 over thrash and struggled to 107-7 with the two Robs, Lord and Meredith producing the pick of the spells. The top five then all contributed to a seven wicket win with four overs to spare and VC Chris Royle top scoring with 29 and Chris Lord passing 600 in all games. The table shows that, a better batting display last week against Elton Vale, would have seen the side topping the table.

 

The Kingfishersí T20 side produced another stunning display at Northern League leaders Netherfield to take them within touching distance of being crowned the England and Wales Cricket Boardís National Champions. The hosts posted a more than respectable 151-5 with two or three expensive overs rescuing them from being uncompetitive after Liam Hurt again repeated his party trick by taking a wicket in the first over. The reply was again masterminded by Gareth Cross whoís 99no had the hosts puzzling about where to bowl to him. Supported by Adam Holt (20), who played the supporting role in a vital opening stand of 81. Crossy was then joined by Will Davidson (33no) who almost matched him stroke for stroke in an unbeaten stand of 74 and they saw the team through to the national finals with 13 balls to spare. The stats involved in the three finals games so far are impressive as well. They have scored 380 runs in 43.5 overs, thatís a run rate approaching nine per over and lost only five wickets in the process. In reply, against the T20 champions of the Cheshire County, North Wales Premier and Northern Leagues, they have captured 22 wickets for 369 in 60 overs (6.15 rpo). So itís on to Derby on September 11th and two games away from the biggest achievement in the clubís history in front of the Sky TV cameras.

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The euphoria experienced last weekend was quickly drowned out by incessant rain, wind and heavy clouds that wiped out any chance of play at wet and windy Walshaw. However, the seconds had the good fortune to be playing on the thirst pocket known as Manchester Road and lost only three overs before picking up an important win against Irlam. Rob Meredith bowled the meanest of spells yet again, leaving the batting line up from Irlam chasing the game after his 3-18 off 13 overs. All the other bowlers chipped in with wickets (except a two over cameo from Jim which he would rather forget) as Irlam finished on 133 all out, with the only disappointment perhaps being another concession of 30 extras. Chris Lord then cut hard at a long hop and directed the ball straight into pointís hands first ball and was swiftly followed by Alex Cunliffe making it 9-2. That was the end of the alarms though as Ian Morris (34), Jim Ainscough (36) and Dan Ainscough (48) knocked off the runs with more than six overs to spare.

 

The thirds however, proved to be the team of the weekend with a terrific win against table toppers Greenmount in a game restricted to 36 overs. The hosts took first knock and despite an early strike by Jack Barton, compiled a more than useful 177-7 with all five bowlers tasting success. Joe Parker and Alex Cunliffe started cautiously but provided a stable platform for late assault that reached ten an over. In those circumstances you badly need one good over and that came when Sam Brown clattered 16 just at the time when he and eventual match winner Chris Royle were starting to click. The reduced run rate was then met with some ease with young Chris finishing with an impressive 51 not out off 45 balls as the required target was reached for the loss of four wicketswith just two balls to spare.

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The firsts took a huge step in avoiding relegation with a 77 run victory over second placed Denton St Lawrence. Will Davidson anchored the first innings superbly, carrying his bat for 69* as his team mates set the league championship pretenders 178 for victory.Greg Jennings struck first in the visitorsí reply, before he was himself struck a blow that shattered various bones in his left hand and sent him packing to hospital. By that time, Liam Hurt had struck the timbers spectacularly on four occasions leaving him with an impressive 4-27 haul and as Cheets and Crossy also disturbed the woodwork and added three lbws and a run out, the visitors were sent packing for 95 without a single catch being recorded in the innings. That opens up a nine point gap with fourth bottom Walshaw and, in this tightest of tight divisions, also moved them up to fifth spot, although mathematically, nine of the twelve teams could still be relegated.

 

 

 

Will Davidsonís direct hit removes Williams and despite his protests, itís clear that his bat is a long way from being grounded. Well done Ump !!

On Sunday, the firsts made the once familiar trip to Adlington in the Cross Cup semi-final and came away with a comfortable seven wicket win despite the absence of four regulars and most of the rest still recovering from staying up until a ridiculous hour to watch a ridiculous boxing event. Cheets stepped into Liam Hurts large size 13s coming down the hill and conceding only 17 from his nine overs with a masterclass in line and length. That left Rob Lord replacing bloodied Greg coming up the hill and he capitalised from the squeeze at the other end by grabbing four wickets at just over three an over. Without spin twins Joe and Wrighty in the side, Will and Andy Lord took on the mantle and although Adlingtonís long time pro Majeed picked them off well, they went at less than five an over between them as the home side posted a decent enough 174-9 in their 45 overs. Holty then failed to get his bat in the way of a full delivery and was lbw (15-1) before Crossy (64) and Will (41) put on 103 in 22 overs to re-enter the driving seat. Both then went within the space of four runs, but with Majeed unable to produce the bowling magic that has brought him dozens of Bolton League wickets, Sam Dorsey (35*) and James Evans (14*) saw off the runs with four overs to spare.

The seconds managed to scrape together exactly eleven players at around 12-45pm with 22 registered players declaring themselves unavailable. Several batsmen got starts but none were able to push on and get the score over 200, but it was nevertheless a sterling effort by Chris Royleís makeshift batting line up, to post 166. The bowling attack then reduced the home side to 94-5, despite not bowling particularly well, as the batters played some pretty awful shots in getting themselves out when one steady head would have done the trick. As it happened, the fifth wicket partnership of 67 put paid to what would have been a remarkable win and the side went down to a four wicket defeat.

The thirds also struggled to pull in eleven players with Steve Birch being dragged kicking and screaming out of retirement to play three games over the bank holiday weekend and take six wickets in the process. At the end of the bank holiday Monday, the side had collected maximum points and moved imperiously into second place in the table. Mondayís win was particularly impressive with only eleven registered players available on the day, as table toppers Stretford had lost only once all season, that being on the opening day. Birchy dragged himself up to the crease to bowl a final three overs for the weekend, nipping out three batsmen for six runs. Joe Parker caught the eye with 4-46 and is staking his claim as a proper all rounder for 2018, with his gully fielding a bonus, not to mention him being a genuinely nice lad. There were alarms when the reply commenced after Chris Lordís amazing tea (and Jimís amazing washing up) putting certain people who turn up every week and gorge themselves on othersí efforts to shame, but thatís another story. At 53-5 with Charlie trudging to the wicket, things were in the balance despite Stretford only managing 128. Danny Ainscough and Charlie, having only lived on the planet for thirty years between them, dispelled any fears with Dan first bedding in and then taking the bowling to the cleaners with an imperious 83* securing a five wicket win. Despite Danís heroics, mention must be made of Charlie who contributed just 8 to the unbeaten 78 partnership, batting for over an hour and facing 50 balls. The normally impetuous Charlie batted with a maturity that we have never seen before and deserved his plaudits after the game, that were only soured by a remarkable tirade from a Stretford official who accused our club of fielding players who should not be playing 3rd XI cricket. Rightly, the umpires gave him short shrift.

The previous dayís win against Lakeside was more straightforward with the visitors just scraping to three figures thanks to Ethan Hardingís remarkable 3-4 off 6 overs and Danny Hillís triple; oh and 2-11 from that man Birch. Those runs were knocked off with ease by the youth aided and abetted by 33 from Sam Brown. The confidence and shot selection shown by the youth was a real pleasure to witness over the weekend and the future of the club is assured if others follow and of course, they can be injected with the sort of enthusiasm and love for the game that we oldies possess.

 

The firsts produced another steamroller of a display in their final away game of the season at Roe Green. Once again, Liam Hurt produced his first over party piece and it could easily have been two, but he had a short wait for his second in his next over. That made it 5-2, but a much needed recovery was achieved by the home side before Cheets struck in yet another mean and miserly 15 over spell that cost him just 32 runs. Wickets then tumbled at regular intervals until Andy Hough became Liamís fourth wicket at 90-7. The best partnership of the innings then ensued as the strip seemed to become noticeable more benign. So it proved as, despite Will Davidson playing a most un-Will like shot, Adam Holt (41*) and Crossy saw it through with an astonishing 23 overs to spare. The reason for that was principally a destructive and violent innings of 86 in 59 balls from the skipper who treated the bowling attack with utter derision at times. The points moved the side to fourth and means that the last game will be played for pride alone with relegation and championship both out of the question. A win next week though, could relegate Bamford Fieldhouse, one of five clubs who could perish in the final relegation spot, with Glossop, Bury and Walshaw already doomed.

The secondsí promotion ambitions to the re-vamped Division Two are intact after a run fest at Manchester Road. An opening stand of 83 in 18 overs set the platform for a total of 255-7 in which Jim Ainscough dominated with 80. Paul Greenhalgh moved to the top of the 3rd division strike rate table with his sole ball faced in the 2017 season being smashed over cow corner for four! Ian Morris (40) and Rob Reade (32) chipped in usefully and with 35 kindly contributed by the extras column, the visitors had a challenging total to chase at tea. However, Bill Dorseyís strip was bearing up well and the runs came quite quickly at first. The eight man bowling attack stuck to its task well though with big Rob Meredith having a rare off day and despite reaching 175 with only three down, the run rate had become unattainable and late wickets came in a rush with Rob Lord coming back for a second spell to capture 4-44. In the end, the Gin Pitters finished 38 runs short after a good competitive game of cricket.

 

 

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