A glorious weekend of sun, and yet more records to contemplate. Friday's T20 with Elton proved a non-event with the Totts batting line up unable to keep out the Elton attack. An innings total of 56-8 was by some way the lowest of this year's campaign, while Elton managed to knock them off in just 5 overs. Still, this was very much the aperitif ahead of a return to league action on Saturday. Mooro's men can be pleased with a campaign that saw a number of mixed sides turn in some great performances, not least the astonishing run chase against Brooksbottom and a gallant effort at Walshaw.

Saturday's reverse fixture with ELPM was always going to be important after last weekend's double disappointment, but with both sides having late cry-offs it was all hands to the pump. At the Meadows the firsts had a slightly shaky start despite Deardo's 37. In an innings dominated by pro Burnsy's unbeaten 94, the lads managed to post a creditable 188 in their overs. Early wickets put the Millers on the back foot, with some ribald cheering on from young Brooky in particular on the sidelines. Burnsy once again took the bowling honours with 5-33, with Ruffers picking up useful wickets to stop the late charge from old boy Ry Wilkes and Kenyon. In the end a 60 run victory was important and sent the 1sts back to the top of the table.

An absolute run fest was on the cards at Croft Lane, where the 2nds racked up what could possibly be an all-time TSJ 2nd XI record of 306-5. Everyone chipped in, but the innings was dominated by Ry Marsh who returned to the side to blaze 96 and Sam Collins who regained form after a couple of ducks to score a career best 87. There was a late flourish from Daz and Proops before Si Marsh, arguably the world's best number 7 (and 8, 9, 10 and 11), smacked 22 from just 7 balls. After last week's batting woes, and in the absence of a couple of top order players, this was a really good effort.

With a short boundary to defend, the score could still have been under threat. However opener Birtwistle's approach to knocking off 300+ was to nudge his way to 7 from 71 balls, effectively ending the challenge. To be fair he did cop one in the jacks crackers which may not have helped! Old boy Dan Moriarty will have been thrilled with his knock, but like Sam and Ryan also missed out on a century, falling to a stunning catch from Watty for 84. Both Marshys and Nick T kept things tight, leaving the home side some 130 runs short at the close. Another significant win which keeps the 2nds in the mix at the right end of the table, though leaders Woodbank and Bradshaw may be inching out of sight now.

Sunday's glorious hot weather provided the backdrop for the 1st XI's huge home cup semi final against Hadfield St Andrews as well as the rearranged 3rd XI game at Astley Bridge. At the Meadows the firsts were in for a stiff test against a strong Hadfield side, but this has been a campaign in which our lads have knocked off two championship sides and put in a string of superb performances. Amid temperatures topping 80 degrees, supporters turned out in force to cheer on Fuller's men. The lads took some early wickets but the entrance of Van Zyl proved a difference maker. The South African managed to achieve what our three lads had just failed to do on Saturday and reach his century, moving to an impressive 109 not out from 99 balls with a smattering of sixes to boot. The Totts bowlers toiled away in the heat and still kept the runs in check with an eventual total of 243-6 perhaps a little too many with several batsmen absent.

Having said that, the TSJ reply got off to a roaring start, with Matty, Niko, JB and Smalley all going at a run a ball or better early on to leave the score at 101-2 after 15 overs; a massive victory was still in sight. However the loss of JB, Burns and Fuller in the space of a few runs proved crucial. The middle and late order chipped in and the score passed 200, but ultimately the lads fell just 40 runs short of pulling off another superb win. Plenty of batsmen got starts but a top score of 37 perhaps indicates that it only really needed one substantial innings to challenge Hadfield more closely.

Skipper Fuller and others rightly praised the monumental efforts of the side this season; it's been a highly impressive cup run against a slew of tough opposition, and those lads who have come in to do a job during the run have performed admirably. Support for all our sides has been wonderful this year, both on and off the field, so let's hope that now switches to the league as the firsts continue their push for title glory and our other sides look to end the season strongly.

The thirds meanwhile were over at Astley Bridge in a rearranged fixture, and came up against some strong batting. The home side pummelled 258-5, with Katie the only bowler able to keep things in check in her overs. Ben Baker, making his first appearance in some time, picked up a couple of scalps and the ever-reliable Awais also chipped in with a brace. The early loss of Sam, fresh from his Saturday heroics, didn't help the run chase and despite some big hitting from Tatts (40 from 29) and a cameo from Ben, the batting couldn't get close to the massive target. The innings closed at 114-9 despite some strong efforts.

So a blistering weekend of ups and downs, with more impressive league victories and a creditable cup effort. As always thanks to the many, many people who helped "get the game on" and turned out to cheer on our lads and lasses, and we go again next week!

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

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