2STS GO TOP WITH GREAT WIN; 1S NARROWLY BEATEN
The 1sts were involved in a thrilling match with unbeaten league leaders Irlam at the Meadows on Saturday. Kieran (81) and Big Bird (65) continued their fine form with the bat, leading Totts to a decent 201-7 from their 45 overs. However Irlam's batting proved very strong, with Harris striking an unbeaten 83 not out to see the visitors edge home by 3 wickets. The match was played in great spirit and the scene is set for a reurn in the cup next week!
Unbeaten skipper Watty provides the 2s report ...
The seconds had another away fixture this weekend, a trip to Springhead on Sunday without last week's star man Rob and Ryan Stoney could have been a tricky fixture to contend with. With some fairly dark clouds circling the ground and a traditional chill in the air at times, skipper Watty won the toss and rightly decided to invite the home side to bat first.
As Ryan and Farhan opened the bowling, it quickly became clear that there was very little life in the pitch, and you would get nothing for anything short. Ryan was bowling with real intent from his end and getting great movement off the seam, beating the bat numerous times and bowling a full length. After just seven overs, Watty replaced Farhan from the Pavillion End and after seeing the first two balls stray down the slope and disappear for four, the skipper turned the screw. Only seven more runs came from his next six overs, with three being maidens. Ryan continued to bowl well from the opposite end and finished an excellent opening spell of 7 overs with 1-22; perhaps harsh figures reflecting how much he troubled the Springhead openers. Indeed, had Sail held a real rasping strike at silly mid off, two wickets was well deserved. Replacing him was the evergreen Sail, who quickly got into a rhythm.
Despite some big appeals for three LBWs against Springhead's skipper (and Watty asking the umpire if he needed an extra £20 to give one), a wicket seemed to elude the skipper despite bowling a very disciplined line outside off stump, consistently beating the bat and keeping the batsman firmly in their crease. Eventually (and more through fortune as he slipped on his delivery stride), he got his rewards as he bowled the number three with possibly the worst ball of the season. Finishing his spell with 1 for 32 off 12, with four maidens, Watty replaced himself with Mahmood who bowled with real flight and guile to claim two wickets as he bowled the remaining 9 overs from the Pavillion End.
Consistent bowling was the key to the low run rate; Sail was putting the ball in the right area every time and his reaped his rewards and finished with figures of 4-32 off 16, including one which turned from well outside off stump to completely fox the batsman who'd shouldered arms; and had he held a caught and bowled effort which was drilled back at him from Keith Lees, he would have claimed a well-deserved 5 for. Springhead finished on 124-8 off 45 overs; a challenging yet achievable score on a difficult wicket. Huge well done to the bowlers who kept things tight, and some excellent fielding from Danny Ashburner really kept the score down on the slope side of the ground
As George and Mick Jones went out to bat in a new look batting order, we made a steady start and kept the run rate above the required 2.7, Mickey found the boundary a few times when offered and width and George was finding his feet quickly. With the score into the 40s, Mickey was first to fall and Mahmood made the mistake of leaving a wide one off Malcolm which cut back in sharply; the last thing needed was panic and in came Ryan Marsh who, after playing himself in with solid defensive shots, began to reach the boundary and blasted a quick 17 before being caught with an excellent piece of fielding in the covers; George was still going strong and was greeted with Mick Durrans who took no time in finding the middle of the bat – with George well into the 40s and Mick progressing through the teens, Totty were approaching a solid victory and George another 50 when Springhead claimed a wicket, George playing across the line was bowled; leaving the field with 47 runs to his name and warm applause in appreciation for yet another excellent innings.
As the light started to disappear in Oldham, the final few runs were knocked off by Ady with a stylish drive through the covers securing a five wicket victory and four points; an excellent win against traditionally strong opposition and the top spot in Division 4 – a home tie to Greenfield on Saturday is up next.
Up the seconds!!