DOUBLE BANK HOLIDAY DELIGHT AGAINST EAST LANCS
It was a cracking weekend for the men's senior sides, with a double win against old rivals ELPM. Both 1st XIs arrived at the Riverside below full strength and it was set to be a test of which team could bat better. Watty won the toss and elected to bat on what looked a decent track. KC and the Doc set off at a good rate, bringing up 50 inside 9 overs, with some lovely strokeplay, despite good bowling from Matty Partington in particular. KC departed on 81 for a well made 30, which set the scene for the day's dominant partnership. GT is gradually improving as he finds his feet in the GMCL, and his innings of 40 off 55 balls apparently included his first ever six - which brought no end of abuse from Wadey! Doc and GT put on 141 in 21 overs, with Paul bringing up back to back centuries with a six and four off successive balls. Doc fell for his highest ever score of 163, made from 136 balls, and the innings faltered a little, with just 18 added in the final 5 overs. Nonetheless 264 was a formidable total, though one which would require some defending against the Millers' big hitters.
The ELPM innings got off to a disastrous start with Holt run out attempting a suicidal single to Rick; his furious reaction was somewhat unexpected, prompting one teammate to actually leave the game, and leaving us one less player to dismiss. Gav Greaves came in and hit some classy drives, but lost opener Robinson to a great ball from Marshy, who was putting in a tremendous tight spell. Farhan was faring less well, though he did produce two absolute snorters in one over which were unlucky not to bring wickets, plus a very sharp chance to slip which Watty couldn't quite hang onto. Wadey came in all guns blazing and hit a couple of sixes (including one that missed Watty's prized car by inches), was dropped by young Brooky but then was bowled by Si Marsh as he swung for the hills. We knew then that one more wicket would probably do it; Gav became the third player cleaned up by Si, and when Matty Partington hit Doc for two sixes but missed another attempt and was bowled, the gig was pretty much up - or so we thought!
At 138-7 the innings was faltering, but the two Saripallis and Danny Pearson stuck around to frustrate the Totts bowlers. Ste Brooks was brought on to try and prise out the tail, but ended up being despatched for several huge sixes before earning a couple of scalps. Rick dropped the last man but made amends 20 runs later by holding onto another steepler off Saripalli to bring the innings to an end on 207. A terrific win, celebrated in style.
One amusing note - there's a running gag about GT and his somewhat Oriental looks, hence plenty of jibes in game - Farhan apparently missed the point somewhat when he shoulted over at George, "Well done, chicken Madras!" We think that'll stick ...
Back at the Meadows, a much-depleted 2s did have some welcome news in the return to the game of Andy Walker, after several years out with illness and recovery - welcome back sir! Totts batted first in overcast conditions and totalled 174-5, with veterans Boris (51) and George Green (58 not out) anchoring the innings. A tight bowling performance saw the visitors dismissed for 132, with Sail picking up 5-34.
Some great photos from the 1sts match are available in our GMCL gallery - thanks to Paul Thomas!