An absolutely thrilling win at Radcliffe cemented the 1sts stranglehold on Division 2, while holiday absences and bowling woes put paid to the chances for our other senior sides on another rain-hit July weekend.

With new baby Burns born in the early hours of Saturday (many congrats to all concerned) and the remaining frontline seam attack all missing, an unusual looking 1st XI bowling attack was left to contend with near-neighbours Radcliffe on Saturday. Ruffers and Niko bowled well but couldn't restrict the home side, with the top three getting the score above 120 for just a single wicket. To then restrict Radcliffe to 171-7 was a monumental effort, led by Niko with 4-41 and ably abetted by the returning Ry Marsh (2-34), Callum, Ruffers and Nathan.

With rain about, the Totts reply was restricted to just 36 overs, but a run rate pushing 5 was easily dealt with early on by Dasher Dearden and Niko. After Dasher fell agonisingly one run short of a half century, the middle order imploded, the score going from 89-1 to 119-6 in quick time. With the rate rising, Ruffers and Callum pitched in and it was a heroic effort led by Nathan (33 not out from 26) that took Totts to a very important win with just 5 balls remaining. The 1sts now lead Daisy Hill and United Stars by 11 points with just 7 games left to play. Great effort guys.

At the Meadows the 2nds were also very short of players thanks to holidays and 1st XI call ups. They were also battling persistent rain showers. Kev and Danni put on an impressive 66 run partnership, with Kev passing 50 for the first time this season as the clear TSJ innings highlight. Useful contributions from Danni and Watty took us to a reasonable 131 in a shortened innings. The visitors batting depends heavily on the opening pair, as shown in our defeat at their place earlier this season, so early wickets were vital. Unfortunately with the seam attack depleted and Katie and Awais unable to break through, opener Tasker was brutally effective, smashing 71 from just 42 balls. Tom had his first bowl of the season and picked up a wicket, while Clive also picked up a brace of stumpings off Kev. However the target of 136 was reached with just 17.5 overs bowled to leave the seconds with back to back defeats heading into a really tricky run of games.

Sunday's 3rd XI game was also a struggle. The Totts batting couldn't fire, with only Sam (29 not out) and Donny (22) making double figures. The target was reached with just two wickets lost, although there was another wicket for young Jack Kenyon and a consolation for Awais, playing his 423rd game of the season. Well done to those who were able to turn out, especially those pulling double duty on Saturday and Sunday.

Hopefully better weather and availability will boost all our sides as August's campaign gets underway next weekend. Thanks as always to those who toiled throughout to make the grounds fit for play, worked on the bar and to the usual spectators at the Meadows and elsewhere.

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