After a disappointing loss to Darcy the week before, the 1sts got straight back on track with a thumping league win before a comprehensive win against Championship side Mottram in the cup.

This was very much a weekend when the team stepped it up, with excellent contributions throughout. With the squad somewhat depeleted by the half term break and Marshy's "Jackie Chans", some reshuffling was required. However one thing we do have is some strength in depth, despite 8 or 9 absences. A new look opening partnership of Niko and Bret got Saturday's game against Worsley off to a positive start. Niko would top score with 47, and there were useful contributions from Bret (32), Dom and Callum as well as various others getting starts.

A total of 198 was always going to be competitive with our bowling attack, and so it proved. After Lenny's bagful of wickets in recent weeks it was over to pro Burnsy to step up and he duly delivered with a terrific 5-10 from 11 overs as the visitors capitulated to just 61 all out; only Brocklebank got into double figures as the innings was wrapped up inside 25 overs with Lenny picking up three more wickets.

Sunday's trip to Mottram was going to be a challenge given their championship credentials and with four or five players still away. However this side knows no fear, and despite the home side knocking up a creditable 208 all out, belief never wavered. Burnsy completed a fantastic weekend with the ball, picking up 6-16 for a combined weekend haul of a ridiculous 11-26! The Totts reply was once again led by the returning Bret who run a ball 45 before falling. JB and Burnsy then guided the middle order expertly and at 168-3 the run chase looked to be all over. A couple of minor wobbles ensued but then Ruffers stepped up and dominated with 48 not out form 42 balls to lead us to a superb win with plenty of overs to spare.

Given so many absences, the 2nds were also going to find it tricky in their trip to high-flying Woodbank. The early going proved very difficult with Chris Murray's hard hitting getting the better of the Totts bowlers. His dismissal for 98 spurred a late collapse from 231-3 to 244 all out with Awais (5-40) and Bradders picking up eight wickets between them. A makeshift bowling attack toiled hard but a total of 244 looked to be pretty substantial.

However a much-changed batting line-up gave it a good go. KC, Tom and Donny all got off to solid starts and at 108-3 there was a glimmer of chance of a late charge. The top seven all got into double figures, and a late flourish from Awais, completing an excellent all-round game for him, saw the total past 200. The innings closed at 203-7, a really good effort.

On Sunday, the 2s faced an even bigger challenge in the cup against the same Thornham outfit that had beaten them the week before. Once again there were opportunities for some of our Sunday players to step up, with Nick T capturing 3-30 in a promising effort. The visitors managed a useful 233 in their overs, more than doubling their score in the last 15 overs, somewhat reminiscent of the previous game. With Rowdy and Johnno leading the reply, the innings had some highpoints, notably Raahil and KC both hitting a pair of sixes in defiant efforts, but unfortunately nobody was able to get past 30 and the innings ended at 168.

Despite back to back losses, the 2nds still put in a very creditable show on both days and there were good signs from players who will be looking to step up regularly. The firsts return to league action once again atop the table and looking to cement their march to the championship at Heaton, while Crompton Meadows plays host to the 2nds and 3rds on the Jubilee weekend.

To view scorecards from all our games, view the TSJ fixtures and results on CricHQ or check out our fixtures page.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC