SATURDAY DISMAY FOLLOWED BY SUNDAY SUCCESS!
It was another mixed weekend for the senior sides, with double disappointment on Saturday followed by a resounding win for the 1sts on Sunday!
The 1sts travelled to Irlam on Saturday to discover the torrential rains affecting Bury hadn't made it round the M60 - the pitch was hard and dry, though very uneven to start with. Having won the toss the 1sts batted and really never got on top of the hosts - a very slow start was hampered by the loss of Kieran and the returning Doc, and with Stu Batigan hanging on for dear life at one end, the run rate ground to a near halt. An injection of pace from Russ Brooks and Nick Marsh helped later on, but a total of 120, based around Batty's cautious 40, was never likely to be enough. With Asif missing and Si injured, the attack lacked penetration and with the hosts content to block the Doc, runs flowed at the other end. Irlam raced to the total with around 20 overs to spare - a very disappointing performance.
Sunday was a much different story, however. On what looked to be a minefield, Totts were inserted by the Lakeside skipper, but thoughts of a collapse were eased, with Paul finding some fluency; an opening partnership of 50 came up inside 12 overs, with Kieran also finding runs easier to come by than on Saturday. When the skipper departed, Nelly B took up the mantle and the score progressed to 129-1 with 13 overs left before Doc was out for a decent 67. Nelly and Russ continued to score well, but the loss of quick middle order wickets brought the rate back down. The final score of 181-7 was a reasonable one on a testing pitch but could have been a lot better.
The bowling was bolstered with Asif back, and with pressure exerted at both ends, wickets soon started to fall. Asif took the first 4, removing a couple of Lakeside big hitters with cracking deliveries (and one appalling shot helped); Kieran took a smart catch in the outfield having earlier missed a skier hit into the sun. Doc finally broke his season's wicket duck with two quick strikes, and from then on the end was inevitable. Rob Holt came on to offer some variety, but the innings belonged to Asif who continued to bowl with decent control and swing, ending with a season best 7 wicket haul as the visitors were hustled out for 99; a very welcome 5 point haul!