For the second year TSJCC were asked to play a friendly versus Bradshaw. A mixture of 1st / 2nd teams (on both sides) were glad of a dry week's lead up and, despite a thin wind, great conditions to play cricket. A minute's silence was held before the game as both clubs paid tribute to Derek Kay who organised the fixture in the first place.

Tottington offered the Bradshaw lads first bat and that looked to have backfired when they were around the 60 mark with no loss after only 7 overs! But a masterful bowling change brought on Stephen Brooks' off spin and he proved he could step up to this level with a great spell of tidy bowling. Other good bowling contributions were from the two Ryan's (Stoney and Marsh) and skipper Simon Marsh showed that his return to the attack will pay dividends this season. Ending on 179 off their 35 overs was a really good effort by TSJ and a testament to good fielding - especially from Ryan Stoney and Ian Crabtree (who caught a stunner but dropped a sitter!).

180 looked gettable as several partnerships got going, but too often 'in' batsmen got out to early season shots when trying to keep up with the required run rate. Contributions from Stephen Brooks (15), Kieran (39), Nick Marsh (41) and some lusty hitting from Ryan Marsh at the end could only get us to just short of 150. There was another blow as 2nd XI skipper Mike Watts limped off with a possible hamstring injury ...

This is an excellent preseason fixture and the all players benefit from playing on grass after so long artificial netting. Massive thanks to Bradshaw for the hospitality and the great sportsmanship the game was played in - Derek would have definitely approved.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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