2012 was always going to be a difficult year, the highs of celebrating the 125th anniversary and continuing to expand the club off the field, tempered with the realisation that massive player shortages would probably leave us struggling to field sides, let alone compete. So the way the season's turned out on the pitch is a bit of a bonus.

Marshy, like several other senior players, has missed at least half the year, but he was back on Saturday to spearhead the charge to maximum points at Ashton. Never an easy place to go, it looked like this might be a game too far for the walking wounded and depleted ranks, especially after posting just 135-9. However, games at Ashton are rarely littered with runs, especially in damp conditions, and despite having 4/5 of the normal bowling attack missing, Si took 5-27 as the points were earned by just 3 runs!

The 1sts currently sit in 2nd place, but Catholics are making a game fight, winning at Champions ELPM, and they will take the runners up spot with a win in their final game. The fact that we've managed to end no worse than 3rd says a lot not only about the way people have rallied round the big absences, but also is indicative of the league weakening again. Let's hope Irlam can strengthen matters next year, and that other teams don't fall by the wayside over the winter. Of course the weather and generally poor state of grounds also hasn't helped, a massive twenty six 1st division games have fallen foul of conditions this year, which must surely be a record!

If Marshy was being leaned heavily on, the 2s bowling duo of Sail and Rob can always be depended on when fit. Both took 5 wicket hauls to back up Watty's 56 (taking him to 60 runs for the season) as Ashton 2nds were more comfortably despatched, scores of 147 and 92 there.

The 2nds have a final double header next weekend and with a maximum haul could finish a remarkable 2nd - not bad considering the influx of new players (young and old) and the loss of players to the 1sts most weeks. With a couple more batters and a regular squad, promotion could well have been achieved.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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