Under 17s Capably managed by Elliott Simmonds

2015 Statistics

Batting        Inns    N.O.  Runs    HS    Average

I. Heathcote     2       1    73     50*    73.00

B. Stones        2       0    78     48     39.00

O. Madden        2       1    33     19*    33.00

T. Daley         1       1     7      7     --.--

C. Kitchen       1       1    11     11*    --.--

W. McIlveen      1       0     8      8      8.00

H. Elms          1       0     5      5      5.00

G. Holden        1       0     4      4      4.00

Bowling        Overs    Mdns    Runs    Wckts    Avge      Economy

C. Kitchen        6        1      17       4     4.25        2.85

O. Madden         9        1      27       3     9.00        3.00

B. Stones        10        1      37       3    12.33        3.70

E. Williams       5        1      18       1    18.00        3.60

D. Burt           3        0      23       1    23.00        7.67

H. Elms           4        0      34       1    34.00        8.50

T. Daley          3        0       8       0    --.--        2.67


D. Burt           1

O. Madden         1

2013 Statistics

Batting        Inns    N.O.  Runs    HS    Average

H. Holden        5       2   246    82     82.00

JJ Goldfinch     4       0   156    61     39.00

H. Bold          3       1    77    48     38.50

B. Stones        2       1     2     2*     2.00

R. Cutts         2       1    20    20*    20.00

O. Madden        2       0     7     7      3.50

J. Kitchin       1       0     0     0      0.00

N. Wild          1       0     0     0      0.00

M. Bingle        1       0     0     0      0.00

C. McIlveen      5       2   210   104     70.00

C. Kitchen       1       1     1     1*    --.--

I. Heathcote     2       2    30    24*    --.--

E. Williams      3       1    12    10      6.00

B. Glover        1       0     1     1      1.00

Bowling        Overs    Mdns    Runs    Wckts    Avge      Economy

H. Holden       22        1      104       10   10.40        4.73

B. Glover        9        3       19        6    3.17        2.11

R. Cutts        18        1      100        5   20.00        5.56

B. Stones       11        1       51        4   12.75        4.64

O. Madden       26        1      163        6   27.17        6.27

JJ Goldfinch    16        1       81        4   20.25        5.06

I. Heathcote     4        1        9        0    -.--        2.25

E. Williams      4        1       15        0   --.--        3.75

J. Kitchin       1        0        5        0   --.--        5.00

M. Bingle        1        0       11        0   --.--       11.00

C. McIlveen     14        1       85        2   42.50        6.07

D. Burt          2        0        5        5   --.--        2.50

W. McIlveen      2        0       11        1   11.00        5.50



R. Cutts        3

O. Madden       2

H. Holden       4

E. Williams     2

B. Glover       1

C. McIlveen     1

JJ Goldfinch    1


JJ Goldfinch                1

Under 17s v High Lane (home) Monday 22nd July 2013

I think first I should apologise for not providing a match report for the cup semi-final on Thursday. To be honest, I actually took it quite badly, and proceeded straight to the pub, so there was no time. That said, there is time now.


We did not bat well enough. That is the simple answer. Needing about 115 to win, we certainly had the quality to make it a fairly easy task. I genuinely wish Hawk Green all the best for the final, as it was a huge piece of character for them to come out and win when they must have known they didn't have the runs the pitch merited, but it is telling that following the game, one of the umpires said: 'You should have won that Elliot – you had the better players.' He was right. It seems wrong to say it about your own team, but we bottled that semi-final. JJ bowled a couple of beamers, having not bowled one since about our second game, Ivan got badly underneath a catch that tonight (Monday 22nd) I have seen him take about 20 times in a row...even if he did also fall over on most of them, he still caught it – even claiming the falling made him better, which seems fair.


Our batting was abysmal. I appreciate that for the majority of games, Callum and Henry have scored big runs and we have had solid bases to build from, but moving in to next season, whoever takes over (see later), must not rely on this – and must not encourage reliance on this fact. Indeed, for much of the season, it wasn't the case! Yes, Henry and Callum have scored big runs, but until Thursday, whenever they failed, someone else from among the senior players had always stood up and done what was needed – Harry at Buggy, JJ at Birch Vale, Ivan at Dove Holes etc.  You'll note that two of those were losses, but they were games when we represented ourselves well nonetheless; Thursday, the cup semi-final, would have had me asking exactly how we had made it that far in the first place if I'd been the opposition.


In light of the cup failure, and Buxton's refusal to play our abandoned league game, tonight was always going to be a bit of a nothing game. I was very pleased to see Charlie Holden (think that should be Kitchen - ed) bat however, and very very surprised to learn that he's younger than Will (Big) Mac. He batted well against first team bowlers and, had he been fitter for longer, would certainly have featured more this season. That was one of the few highlights from tonight's game – the only other, really, being that Henry Holden batted superbly once again.


His was the stand-out innings in the cup semi, and at least gave our effort some vestige of credibility, and the same was true of tonight. Take nothing away from Callum – he is 16 and already has a first team top score of more than double my own, and also a century for the U17s, which I (I'm 22) also lack – but Henry shows the grit and determination (again, which I also lack at 22) required of a quality player. Henry, this year, has been a match winner on a couple of occasions – so has Callum, so has JJ and so have many of our more junior members (Bruce's hat-trick at Tintwistle for instance) – but Henry has also been our...Ashton Agar...maybe not winning us the game, but saving us from absolute total embarrassment when we have needed it. A loss is a loss some would say, but as I have said from the start of my time as coach of the U17s, what we are doing here is preparing people for senior cricket, and the difference between 99 all out and 101 all out is a point – and as we all know, points mean prizes.


Tonight was the same really. Henry dug in when needed and I was bitterly disappointed that he wasn't able to make a 50 in his final junior game for Whaley. In fitting fashion, Reuben Cutts also batted well, finishing his junior career with a 4 and a 6 and ending not out.


However, prior to the batting was our fielding. I have drilled in to this team that quality fielding is worth about 40 runs a game, and generally we have been excellent all year. Tonight was an embarrassment. Numerous mis-fields, a severe lack of diving and putting bodies on the line and ten (10) in over throws. I have literally, before tonight, never seen two sets of overthrows in a game. Tonight I saw two go for four. Fielding like that is embarrassing, and unbecoming of a team that includes some excellent fielders. Essentially, our poor fielding lost us the game. Even with the slow start, we were not far off, and the amount of easy singles, extra runs from poor ground fielding and just unnecessary boundaries we allowed tonight was the reason for our loss.


Still. Despite the last couple of performances we have had a fantastic year all things considered. That only two of our players have now finished their junior cricket in testament to the youth of the team, and I am disappointed to not be coaching you again next year. Unfortunately, I have been offered a scholarship to do a Masters degree in Reading, and it runs from October to October, so I will not be here next year. I will however be back in 2015, and would hope to be able to take over again if at all possible – I see big things coming from that age-group and, in all honesty, I'd like to be able to take credit for as much of it as possible.


This will be my last match report for a while (although I hope they'll keep the 'The World According To...page) and so I would just genuinely like to say what a great group you have been to coach, and what a great team you've been. There are very few egos – and those that are generally aren't your own – which is such a brilliant situation. You all want to win, which is something you should have in life; and which is a great aspect of being a team. And your also a particularly young U17s team – going off our performance this year, I can only see great things for you.


 Finally, all that remains is for me to say thanks – I couldn't have done it without you, but you most certainly could, I'm sure, have done it without me.

Under 17s v Chapel (home) Monday 8th July 2013

It's a commentator's stock phrase that, in football, 'ten men are harder to beat' than eleven. Whilst this is obviously a ridiculous attempt to try and keep some excitement in a game that is often spoilt by a dodgy sending off, it seemed to ring true in some ways tonight. (On a totally unrelated note, I am of course writing this following a bottle of celebratory wine, as protocol demands – but Spotify is on, so I'll also provide a track listing at the end, so you can follow the ebb and flow.)


I say in some ways, because, let's get it out of the way, some of our fielding tonight was poor. Balls bounced off knees like oh so many ping pong machines, and off thighs like...well...oh so many of Darren's favourite videos. (Yes, Darren, for the first time in these articles, you've hit the spot.) Still, whilst our ground fielding may have been fairly poor, our catching was beyond reproach with the exception of a mis-communication on the boundary. Harry Bold, Will Mac, and Reuben all snaffled chances, along with our stand in wicket-keeper, Mr JJ Goldfinch.


As an aside, I'd like to draw attention to Will Mac who, aside from having the misfortune of me christening him with a nickname which can only possibly turn in to 'Big Mac' when he grows a bit, has been a real asset to our team in recent weeks – not only in terms of performances in the field and with the ball (no Darren, back off track again I'm afraid) - but especially in terms of being vocal and enthusiastic. Anyone who's played cricket with me will know I'm fairly vocal, and generally talk absolute nonsense; it's nice to have found an apprentice.


Still, the wine has taken me and we're slowly drifting away from the point at hand. Somehow, it's taken me four paragraphs to mention that for the majority of the first innings we only actually had 8 men. When this is considered, it is a huge testament to the team that we were able to hold Chapel to  102 and actually bowl them out. Bruce Glover and Ben Stones opened the bowling for us, and Ben in particular was fantastic – swinging the ball in and then nipping it back. I actually don't think I've ever seen a batsman play and miss at the same delivery so many times – and this from a man who spent his formative cricketing years playing in the same cricket team as James Bradley. (As an aside, great to hear that Bradders is doing well, working for a major pharmaceutical company). Ethan Williams also contributed 5.2 (yep, I'll explain later) excellent overs and will certainly be someone I will be calling on should I be allowed to continue in this role next year.


Still, the man of the hour in a bowling sense must surely be Harry Bold. To be fair, having kept to him on Saturday it shouldn't have been a surprise. A 5 wicket haul is a phenomenal achievement, and all the sweeter for the fact that probably the quickest bowler (sorry Des) in Whaley Cricket Club was actually behind the stumps. Many people maintain that Junior games are not subject to the 'five wicket haul buys a jug rule', but as far as I'm concerned, Parents pick up the debt. I await presentation night with trepidation.


Following Callum and Reuben's arrival (an hour late) JJ managed to get a solitary over in, but then had to quickly be removed as the opposition's number 11 was barely bigger than the stumps he was hoping to protect and I'm nothing if not merciful. I stress here that I genuinely think a bouncer from JJ could have killed the lad. 


Anyway, Callum also sensed the potential threat to safety and promptly ran him out – following a great throw from Bruce Glover in the deep. As noted above, Chapel finished on 102.


Following a quick turn around, we opened with Callum and Harry Bold. I feel like I've written this so many times this season that it is actually becoming tedious, but Callum once again scored a half-century. That said, this time he was called on to retire, a rule which has been outdated in the the U17s league since at least last year, but it was such a nice change to normal and, we were doing so well, I decided not to query it. Harry had been run out just prior to this, but it must be said he batted fantastically – playing backward of square on the offside is the mark of a quality batsman, and Harry does it very, very well; in fairness he was run out and it looked like that was the only way he might have been dismissed.


That left Ben Stones and Bruce Glover at the wicket – both of whom are veterans of senior cricket. We won with a beautiful shot through the offside from Bruce; and I feel we fully deserved to win what was a very good game of cricket from both sides.


We have a lot to learn from Chapel in terms of the noise they made. For me, one of the true highlights of the game, and I do actually say this seriously, was when Harry hit a bowler for three fours in three balls, and backward point shouted, 'Come on James [BOWLER], there's a wicket here'. Blind belief works in so many aspects of life (I have actually managed to kiss a girl once or twice) and I see no reason why cricket should be immune.


In closing, speaking directly to the U17s, and the elder members of the team in particular, yet another great game for us. I have sat down and reviewed the league, and there is a possibility we may be able to sneak in to finals day. We may need to speak to the league secretaries, and it may well require traits that some people sometimes don't value, and which might sound a little corny, but I promise you, there are few things you can experience that ever make you feel a better person than the following:  Belief, Longing, Organisation, Ownership, Judgement, Willingness and Blind Stubbornness.


We next play High Lane at home. Many of you may not know that this is actually major grudge match.


You know now.


An Aside: Just in case anyone was wondering, Henry Holden was unavailable tonight due to other commitments. I also completed the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award and wish him all the best – I'm assuming he's been OK, as I've not noticed it on the national news.


A second aside: On a totally unrelated note, some of you know I've been dating an American girl recently; I'm looking to take a trip to Santa Barbara , California – has anyone travelled on route 101? Worth a go?


Tracklist to this Match Report:


Can't Hold Us – Macklemore

Float On  - Modest Mouse

Sweet Serendipity – Lee DeWyze

Rock n Roll Queen – The Subways

Main Offender – The Hives

Kids - MGMT

Paradise City – Guns n Roses

Editors note: My thanks as ever to Elliot for his always entertaining, occasionally controversial, and very much dallying with the line match reports. I have changed the order of a couple of words without anagrammatically removing their intent, but I would like to know about Ethan's 5.2 - it never was explained!

Under 17s v Buxton (home) Thursday 4th July (Compstall Cup Quarer Final)

Having been rained off last week, I was glad to see the Sun shining for the majority of the day on Thursday in anticipation of this quarter final match. Less pleasing, was the realisation that no one at the ground at 5.40 had a key, and even Luke’s directions to GIbbo’s house were hardly fool-proof. Luckily, Rigger was ascending the hill as I headed off to Macc Road and he was able to step in.

Yet again, the Head Groundsman had prepared a marvellous wicket – Henry was determined to bat but, having won the toss, I elected to bowl with a plan in mind. The winning continued from there on in really, with Henry and JJ in particular proving too hot to handle; I believe we had 4 slips in at one point which gives a good general idea of how the game was going. Reuben Cutts, if Henry and Callum are to be believed, then upped the pace dramatically – with Ole, Bruce, Ben, Ethan, Danny, Will-Mac, all contributing to a fantastic bowling and fielding performance. Only Ivan and Callum did not bowl in what was a really good all round effort from the entire team. Buxton ended their innings on 52 for 8.

In short, we proceeded to knock these off for the loss of a couple of wickets, with 10 overs to spare. Callum top scored, Ivan carried his bat, and Ethan Williams in particular played some great shots – one of which was beautifully timed to the boundary.

However, there was an incident.

I have always maintained to this team, and I’m sure if you ask any of them they will agree, that we look to win first, but when possible it is about giving people experience. I have noted in a previous match report that the U17s is, in my view, about preparing people for the senior teams – and if you look at our second team for most Saturdays, this is becoming an increasing priority. Given this, I was somewhat disappointed to be challenged, in front of the entire team, on my batting order decision.

In every team, there are some stand-out players. Lebron James of the Miami Heat. The young Sachin Tendulkar. Bono.

Still, regardless of any standout players, cricket is if nothing else a team sport. You can’t play a game of cricket with just 4 players, however good or deserving they are perceived to be – you wouldn’t be allowed.

Every single person who turns out to play for my U17s team is part of that team, and when we have the opportunity to do so, every single member of that team deserves the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. If one day this thinking back-fires, and we lose a cup game through it, I will gladly stand down and let the first volunteer to take over from me step in. Just to re-iterate, I do this with the best intentions, and I do it to the best of my ability, and I would like to be able to do it my way (which I might add has put us in the Semi-final of the Cup).

Just to finish on this issue, because it’s an important one, the thinking about involving everyone works both ways. This fixture was rained off last week, but prior to that, for the entirety of week previous, I had been on the phone to Buxton, Buxworth, and the League trying to re-arrange dates for two games so that two lads who wanted to play could do so. In the end, the League refused us, and it didn’t matter anyway as the game was rained off. But my point is, there are some lads who turn up every week, field for 20 overs, don’t bowl and don’t bat. It would be very easy for some of them to turn round to me and say ‘I don’t fancy it this week mate, sorry’ – and some of our first team players have actually done that recently if you think about it – so I make absolutely no apologies for giving them as much of a game as I can.

On a totally unrelated note, I’d like to thank everyone who came to watch last night – particularly Henry Holden’s grandparents who attend pretty much every game and are always very supportive. Mrs Glover / Madden and the Whaley Age Group Supporters (WAGS), the Dads (no acronyms unfortunately, but feel free to send one in) and of course the playing members – Lukey, Pete, Wingy, The First Team Captain and his dog, Denby. A huge thanks to you all for coming and I hope to see you in the Semi Final, the draw for which will take place this Thursday.

Under 17s v Buxworth (away) Monday 24th June

"We lost. It was one of the best games of cricket I have ever been involved in, and if you weren't there to experience it, nothing I could say will be worth it. A rollercoaster ride, and horrible to be on the losing side - but as always, we win and lose as a team."

Under 17s v Hayfield (home) Monday 10th June

Having beaten Hayfield away only four days prior, I had high hopes for this game. However, these were not to be fulfilled. Without Harry Bold, we once again asked Callum and JJ to take turns behind the stumps, and in fairness both did well. However, for our first innings fielding performance that was, to be fair, about where the positives ended. I try to be someone who finds the positives in our performances, and I wouldn't say we were particularly bad, but we just did not have the same aggression and levels of execution in our fielding on Monday that I'm used to seeing.


In fairness, this wasn't particularly helped by the fact that Rigger had prepared an absolute road of a wicket – that's not a criticism of him, it's the same for both teams and I would argue we are the better side on both sides of the ball on our day, but we just did not use those advantages this week and the 168 they achieved was about 40 more than they should have.


This actually brought about the first time I have ever had to give a less than positive team talk to this team. And, as I said to them, I make no apologies for once again asking Henry and Callum to open the batting. I maintain that when we feel we are comfortable, we will move the batting order, but until then it would be unfair to drop players who have been scoring runs and setting a solid base – and this includes JJ and Reuben as well.


As it turns out, JJ and Henry both got half-centuries, one of which was only apparently applauded 18 runs later, due to a mis-calculation from our journeyman scorer, Mr Decland Ryan whom, along with Mr Luke Schofield, I would very much like to thank – and the same goes to all the parents who attended our first home game. I can only say that I'm disappointed you had to see a loss and, even though our fielding let us down, I was somewhat disappointed to see the Hayfield fielders on the boundary from the 6th over, and for the last 4 overs there were 9 men out – I feel if that had not been the case, we were still in with a very good chance, as both Henners and JJ hit some great shots.


I should expand a little. Those of you who know me, I hope, would agree I will speak my mind. Hayfield's fielding tactics were perfectly within the rules, and they won the game, and I have no problem with that – I am as competitive as the next person, and probably more competitive than the person beyond him. However, I do think that at U17s level the game is about preparing players for senior cricket. Sometimes that will result in your nominated captain chasing the ball with fielders, every ball, and taking 90 minutes to bowl 12 overs (Henners). What it should also mean though, I believe, is that you try and assimilate senior strategy in to your game. Yeah, you might lose the odd game, but bowlers will learn the value of putting the ball where it needs to be and bowling to a field – because if they don't there is no one back at (literally) every point of the compass to cut off the boundary. This is a point of cricketing philosophy and this isn't really the place, but I do understand my players' frustration at the result and I make no apologies for some of the loose comments that went on in the final overs – again, we have sledging in senior cricket.


On a more positive note, I was thrilled to see Bruce's sister in attendance. To be honest, I did have a sneaking suspicion and so wore my best checked shirt for the occasion, and insisted that Rigger and Dec painted the wicket; no better wing-men has a man ever had. It is, I suppose, unfortunate that I was so enraged by the end of the game that we didn't get chance to share a ginger-bread treat baked by Mrs G, I assume they were in attendance this time?


On a radically different note, I was happy, and eternally mortified, to be able to introduce my American intern to some members of the cricket club this weekend. In particular, Darren Crompton made it his mission to single-handedly introduce Casie to the UK, which was fine. Less fine was his send off, 'Give her one from me Ellybaby'. The nickname issue (which has already been discussed) aside, the result was that Casie was quite puzzled, and I had to resolve the situation – without Darren's help, or indeed, mention.

Under 17s v Hayfield (away) Thursday 6th June 2013 - Cup

I'd like to start this match report with an apology for its lateness - I know it must have been hard for you all to bear – but when I arrived home we had no wine and, apparently, no alcohol of any sort. Unfortunately, tradition dictates that I celebrate a victory, and thus celebratory report writing was postponed.


In many ways though, that has actually helped. Not in the quality, or acceptability, of the writing – I assure you – but with a day to think on it I think it would have been far too easy to dwell over-long on Callum's 102. This was much more of a team victory, and I would say far closer than the eventual scores showed.


Still, 'dwelling over long' on Callum's century would be difficult. I'm not someone who finds it over easy to praise other people, I promise you, but I would say Callum's hundred yesterday was up there with one of the most controlled, sensible and mature innings I've ever seen. To score at such a rate, and only give away one chance (the ball he actually went to 100 off, a difficult dropped catch in the deep) is a fantastic effort. In fact, apart from the old man next to me, who seemed (far) more capable of swearing than standing anyway, I was disappointed that more people at the ground didn't stand for that. Even more refreshing is that Cal is actually one of the nicest lads I've ever met, if I had been half as talented at that age, or now, I would have been as or even more arrogant as I was, or am now.


Still, 102 would not have won us the game, and as I continue to stress, every single player on the pitch counts in a game of cricket. Henry Holden and JJ Goldfinch both scored runs, the majority of JJ's coming via the gap between the square leg fielders' legs, and Harry Bold played sensibly and kept the score ticking. We scored 177, thanks to all the above and a few byes from who I am informed was a stand-in keeper playing against some quick bowlers, so entirely his fault.


Regardless of that score, we still had work to do, although the burden was eased somewhat when Callum took an apparently dubious (not from deep mid-wicket, I assure you) catch down low off the bowling of Henry Holden. The decision was upheld, and one of Hayfield's openers departed. Still, we then made it difficult for ourselves. I have no issue with saying that on the night the Hayfield batting attack needed a certain player to stay in, and when he was in, they kept up steadily with the 9 runs an over target. Both Henry and JJ dropped the said batsman, and at that point heads were dropping a little.


This brings me to what I see as a key turning point in the match – which you'll recall I said was a team game. The bowler was Ole Madden, and the catch was taken by Ethan Williams – who for most of the night, in front of his father, I could not stop calling 'Will' (it's the last name thing). Ole bowled one of the best spells I've seen him bowl for the U17s, perhaps not in terms of looking hugely 'likely', but in terms of control and taking the pace off the ball – he should have had their key player caught in the deep, and the frustration eventually told when the other Hayfield batsman holed out to Ethan. At this point, the pressure finally told, and Reuben was able to clean bowl the Hayfield danger man. Our confidence noticeably lifted following that dismissal, and everyone started talking again. Ivan Heathcote, Ben Stones and Bruce Glover finished the remaining overs from the 'Pub End' (my favourite end), with Ben getting a stumping courtesy of Callum (or was it JJ?) and Bruce taking a wicket with the final ball. Henry Holden bowled out from the 'Other End', and was at one point on a hat-trick, although by then the game was, in fairness, pretty much won.


Apart from a couple of catches, we fielded very well – aggressive in attacking the ball, particularly Will McIlveen, who gave a great account of himself...perhaps not lace everything at the keeper though mate!


Before finishing, a few points of house-keeping.


We next play this coming Monday at home to Hayfield, and if at all possible I would like the same team. Please be at the pitch for 5.45 latest. Whether or not that will be possible however, is as yet unknown – Harry Bold having had to visit A&E following a vicious ball from JJ which caught him awkwardly. I for one wish Harry all the best and hope he's back with us soon.


As soon as I know, I will update Facebook with the draw for the Quarter-Finals.


And finally, I can confirm yet another stage in the epistolary saga featuring myself and Bruce's sister. Apparently she has seen an article in the Review featuring my climb to Kilimanjaro – my thanks must go to Mrs Glover for making it clear that 'isn't how he actually looks'; it's a fairly awful picture. Alas, Mrs G did not come equipped with ginger bread men as she did the last time we talked about this topic together, and if she hopes to continue match-making, I shall expect better in the future.


Under 17s v Tintwistle (away) Thursday 16th May 2013 Compstall Cup 1st round

After Monday's disappointment, we were looking to get back on track and catch that illness that means you're doing something right – no, Darren, not chlamydia, Cup Fever.

Still, before we could back on track, we first had to actually make it to Tintwistle. Now, apart from Bruce, I'm fairly sure everyone else got there OK and on time. Unfortunately, this was only my second day with the Saxo, and at 8.24am, it had decided that reverse was a gear too far. 1st to 5th all work marvellously, but reverse is a no go. As a result, I not only found my self pushing the car in neutral in order to park at work – the car park's not big enough to do a full turn, so three points are necessary -  I had to park in the canal basin (a big enough turning circle). Fairly inauspicious. The journey continued in this vein. With Henry Holden navigating, we set out for Tintwistle, and all was going fine, until we had driven all the way through Glossop. I was fairly sure that was the wrong way and asked Henners if he'd followed the directions...'What Directions...there's a map?' were disconcerting words to hear. The directions were actually on the back of the map, but this was of no help when Slacky was almost in the back of my car, crying with laughter, as I'd stalled on a roundabout. Incredibly inauspicious. Still, we did eventually get there, ten minutes late, and I had to abandon plans of parking somewhere which wouldn't require reversing.

Tintwistle chose to bat and, looking at the sky, I was thankful. as I told the lads, that decision would hopefully make it a fairly short game. Henry and Callum opened the bowling for us, and both kept it tight – although Tint's openers certainly looked more than capable. I must also give praise to Keiran Connell here, who once again put in a great shift behind the stumps once he got an idea of how the ball was carrying and made some fantastic one handed stops. It was during this first few overs that I failed to signal a bye (again) and was hailed by the scorers. At this point I'd like to point out that I was distracted with amazement by the fact that Ivan Heathcote's sister had braved the sub-arctic temperature's  - top effort, but I'm wondering how any more sister's can be mentioned in these reports, two mentions is considered flirting in some circles, and no one wants that. Still, I have requests from several team members and will do my best to continue.

Ben Stones, Reuben and Ole Madden sequentially replaced Henry and Callum, and again, all bowled well – keeping it very tight (Tint's total of 78 was less than 4 an over overall) and taking wickets. Danny Burt also chipped in with a wicket in  the18th over – a well deserved one given his fielding over the last couple weeks, and he bowled well once he settled. However, the praise for today's bowling performance must surely go to Bruce Glover – who not only dismissed what looked like one of Tint's dangerous batsmen, but went on to take a hat-trick and narrowly missed out on 4 from 4 (about a yard short of short-mid-wicket). We've kept the match-ball and I look forward to presenting Bruce's hat-trick trophy at the end of season presentation night. Callum and Henry bowled the final overs of what was an excellent fielding performance by all – Ethan Williams and Ivan both demonstrated great arms for their age, and Matt Bingle kept cover quiet throughout. As I said above, Tintwistle finished their innings on 78 – but not before the lightning came, giving Reuben the chance to make a terrible joke about the pace of bowling, which I won't deign to repeat here.

With little light remaining, and moisture in the air, we opted to open the batting with Henry and Callum. In the event, they saw it through, both looking fairly comfortable – with Callum flicking a couple of boundaries off his legs, and Henry smashing two huge sixes (although one was a top-edge over fine leg; a shot John Hitchen is famous for I might add – what a man). The running between the wickets was also great to see, especially when we didn't have a huge run-rate to chase. In the end, it was a comfortable victory (by 10 wickets, with almost half the innings to spare). The good news doesn't end their either – Slacky somehow found reverse on the Saxo, and I was able to produce a masterful 9 point turn; applauded by Callum, Henry, George, and (possibly?) Charlie Holden. Obviously, a clean run home would be too good to be true, so Reuben (replacing Henry as navigator) took us through a particularly run-down Glossop housing estate, and then Danny Burt suggested going all the way to Chinley, in order to come all the way back along the bypass. Still it gave me a chance to see the Saxo at full-whack, and I didn't even need to use reverse. Our next game is away at Buxton on May 30th, completing a run of 3 away games to start the league season. Cup fever continues on June 6th and based on tonight's performance, it's certainly something we could suffer from for a while.

Marvellous, but come on...whats Reuben's joke? Ed.


Under 17s v Dove Holes (away) Monday 13th May 2013

And so it proved as predicted. Dove did indeed have a solid team waiting for us on arrival, and if I had to guess I'd say they were probably a couple of years older than us on average. Still, if age were the determining factor in a cricket match, Darren Crompton would be having a much better season, and Luke wouldn't be so worried about his salt n' pepper styling.

Our first aim had to be to post a defend-able target, I had my suspicions that 80+ would see us give them a good game, and Ben Stones and Reuben Cutts set out in search of a comparable score. Both played well, and batted sensibly, until Ben was dismissed through what was a very avoidable run out; this brought Ole Madden to the crease. Once again, both batsmen continued to play well, but runs were hard to come by. Reuben perhaps misinterpreted my advice to 'think about it' – noticing that we only had 6 overs left instead of the gap at fine leg, and danced down the wicket only to be bowled. Jack Kitchin was in at 4, followed fairly quickly by Ivan Heathcote at 5. Ivan, who I have christened Mr Tickle in respect to his 'arms all over' approach to the game (there's a veiled reference to a 2010 pop album , photographed by a Buxton photographer, gold star to the person who gets it) proceeded to dispatch the ball to all areas. He ended up on 24, including a couple of sixes, so a cracking effort. Nathan Wild also made his way to the middle, following the dismissal of Matt Bingle – unfortunately, both had come in at a late stage of the innings and had to try and score quickly, and didn't really have time to play themselves in. Our innings ended with Ethan Williams at the wicket, our number 8. Ethan played well, and I'd like to have seen him bat for longer – but the 20 over format defeated us, leaving Ethan and Ivan not out, and Whaley with a total of 66-6 [ alarmingly close to the number of the beast - ed].

As we went out for the second innings, I made it very clear that if we fielded well, and concentrated, we were well within our rights to come away with something. I'm pleased to say that the whole team really took this on board, although I would like to give a special mention to Danny Burt, who had to be persuaded to play by his sister (a big thanks to Verity). I hope his performance in the field has given him the confidence to put himself forward more often – absolutely superb. Jacob Holland also did particularly well, fielding at close in at extra cover and mid-wicket, both of which were busy areas during this game.

Anyway, the bowling was opened by Reuben and Ethan, and both kept it tight – Ethan bowling at least one maiden (although possibly two? He certainly didn't go for many). Mr Tickle then bowled what wasn't his best over, and was replaced by Ben Stones, whilst Ethan was replaced by Ole Madden. It was Ben and Ole who made the break-throughs, both dismissing one of Dove Holes' Danger Men who, despite sounding like a low-rent WWF tag team duo, we're starting to get set. Several tight overs then followed, until the Dove batsmen began to get their eye in. Jack Kitchin and Matt Bingle bowled the final overs but, once again by this point, they were bowling at batsmen who had had time to settle. Dove went past our score for 3 wickets (Ole got a second), and with about 5 overs to spare. Still, on a different day and with 20 more runs to play with, I think it may well have been a different result. And, speaking of 'runs to play with', a huge well-played to Kieran Connell, who not only stepped up to the mark to wicket keep, but certainly saved 10-15 runs in byes, and thus prolonged the game. A great effort.

We next play Tintwistle away on Thursday, so if you're a parent reading this, I'll probably be in touch Wednesday evening! I know we have Harry Bold, Henry Holden and Callum McIlveen back, so that bodes well, but the real question is; who's sister will feature in the next match report? Answers on a postcard - or a restraining order.

Junior Woes Revisited


The joys of management indeed. Despite King's School's best efforts, we have managed to field what should be a competitive team for Monday. Dove have a good youth system, and have always been decent at junior level, so it is somewhat annoying to have to play them at a time when most of our older players are sitting A-levels.


On the plus side, the 2nds game was rained off yesterday, giving me and The Secretary several long hours, and long glasses (in his case – I went straight from pints to shorts) to assess the situation. As an aside, I also learned that Danny Ashworth is to become a father – if King's continue their exam-heavy scheduling during the cricket season, Danny's unborn son may well get a look in, I'll keep you posted.


Anyway, foetuses aside, we may not have the correct average age for tomorrow's night, but I think we certainly have the talent available to have a good go if it's applied properly. A fairly decent poet once wrote that 'some have greatness thrust upon them' and, although I'm sure it's unwise to use the word 'thrust' in the context of a junior game, it may well be that that is what happens tomorrow at Dove – and let's not forget, Wigan have just won the FA Cup.


Meeting 5.30 at the Jodrell to be AWAY at Dove Holes for 5.50pm are the following:


Ben Stones

Reuben Cutts

Ivan Heathcote

Ole Madden

Ethan Williams

Matt Bingle

Jacob Holland

Jack Kitchin

Danny Burt

Nathan Wild

Kieran Connell


Many thanks to Slacky for volunteering a lift as well! I will have a car (with tax) by Thursday's game, so hopefully lifts will be less of a problem moving forward.

Monday 29th April 2013 v Birch Vale (away) Narrative by Elliot Simmonds

I've never particularly been someone to take note of scores, and I haven't got a particularly good memory, nor do I have the score book for tonight's U17s Match against Birch Vale – thus, this match report will likely come across slightly awkward and even, to be honest, fairly misleading. Thus, it will be almost a perfect reflection of my style of captaincy. There'll also be myriad digressions – but what is life is not a story, and what is cricket if not a game much like life?


Note: I've asked Mike to add in any scores he knows in square brackets – it'll be interesting to see how close I was. But first, let's set the scene...


The morning of the game saw a difficult decision – whether to dress like Tony Pulis or Paulo Di Canio – and in all honesty it came down to the fact I only own one suit which, had we won a stunning victory, I couldn't afford to replace. Pulis it was – and what a trouser-saving decision it turned out to be.


The mid-to-late afternoon prior to the game did not bode well for the evening, despite the fact the only thing I could ruin was a cheap pair of jeans. I'd come up against a particularly difficult project to do with the education sector, as had the guy giving me a lift back to Whaley, and thus plans had to be changed as Mike Glover had kindly offered to pick me up from the Jodrell and take me to Birch. Thinking it through, I called Dale Jones (1st team captain for those who don't know) and asked for the relevant numbers – which were promised but (much like the message about Peter's call up) never arrived. The resulting round of phone calls led me through Harry Bold's parents and, eventually, to Bruce's home number – which was answered by a very nice sounding young lady who  I can only assume was his elder sister, and whom I'd very much like to meet. Anyway, the message eventually got through and I met the team at the Birch without any further incident.


What followed was a fairly awkward round of introductions – due mainly to the fact that the majority of the team actually knew each other, and were in fact introducing themselves to me. Ivan got confused over precisely when he'd arrived, jumping from five-past 5, to 5 minutes before I had (about 5 to 5) and a couple of other times in between. I have to feel that both Luke and Zac may have a rival...or perhaps an accomplice? Time will tell.


Still, names and arrival times confirmed, I did what all the best leaders do and delegated heavily – in this case to Henry Holden. Following my lead, he opted to open with himself and Harry Bold, and then delegated to Jay-Jay and Ruben the decision as to who would actually come in at 3 and afterwards.


As I said, I'm not one for scores, but Henry batted superbly for (so he told me) his first fifty+, and Harry Bold also looked solid in putting on a first wicket partnership of quite a few (not 100, but probably more than 40, at a guess) [56 - well batted lads, Harry made 22 and Henry top scored with 65]. As it happened, it was Jay-Jay who came in at three to blast a very quick-fire 50+ (probably 70 – again, at a guess) [61 including 28 off one over] including several sixes. As I was umpiring, I thought that he was a bit like Djemba-Djemba as far as being so good they named him twice, but without the irony or (somehow) FA Cup winners medal. It was at this point that I missed a bye, and after the next delivery, had to go through the horrible vignette of trying to explain that I was signalling a bye for the previous ball.


Following Jay-Jay's dismissal Ben Stones came in to join Ruben Cutts at the crease with just a few balls to go. Ruben did his level best to run Ben out, and to be honest I was pretty sure he'd succeeded, but the umpire officiating for Birch said not out, and they scampered back for a deflected-off-the-stumps second. Not put off by this first failure, Ruben called Ben through for a third with the ball in the fielder's hand on the very next delivery; Ben rightly sent him back and, accompanied by a withering stare from the non-playing Captain, Ruben left the pitch at the end of the innings, followed by Ben (and more of a smiley look of appreciation for a job well done). We got about 160-odd [168 for 3], and all Birch's wickets were caught.


At this point I actually had a decision to make – although as the entire team was stood outside, I feel it may already have been suggested to them. If not, great show of initiative to whoever decided not to go back in to the changing rooms: it's exactly what I'd planned to do and only goes to show how far behind us the awkwardness of the name discussion was – by this time, we as a team had more gel than Jedward. In all seriousness though, light was becoming an issue.


Unfortunately, it's just not cricket to demand that the opposition is fully padded up and ready to bat within 27 seconds of the innings finishing, so to ensure we didn't suffer a cruel draw, we had to enforce a jog-back-to-your-mark rule whilst bowling – a rule which was exemplified by Henry Holden, who bowled reasonably well and took multiple wickets (I'm going to guess 4) [4 wickets for 2 runs off 3 overs] after replacing Ben Stones at the 'Setting Sun' end. Ben opened from that end and bowled very well [ 2 overs 1 for 20], showing exactly why he's already playing senior cricket; he was ably supported by Ruben Cutts [2 overs 1 for 8] and Ole Madden [3 overs 1 for 22], both of whom bowled from the 'Other' end. With the sun setting, I encouraged Henry to re-consider whether he needed to bowl another over, and in fairness to him he said he'd already decided to bring himself off – to be replaced by Ivan who, aside from a poor first ball, bowled absolutely magnificently [2 overs 0 for 3].


(I actually went in to the opposition dressing room following the game to thank them, and one of their lads said Ivan was turning it 'a couple of feet'. In fairness, he had just played around 9 or 10 of Ivan's balls, but praise like that should not be lightly thrown aside, so congrats to the man christened 'Ivan the Great' in one of Whaley Bridge CC's less cryptic nicknames).


Happily, Bruce Glover also deigned to bowl today. Bruce elected not to bowl in a recent second team game, and I hope he will now have the confidence to do so after a very controlled spell – bowling at alternating right and left handers – in which he got a couple of wickets including the winner [3 overs, 2 for 1].


The victory was conclusive (by about 90 or something) [Birch 61 all out - victory by 107 runs following zero victories last season], and to be fair, was for a large part of the game not in doubt. What was impressive however was that we continued to play hard and as a team. There was a reasonable amount of talking and encouragement (although that is one of the few areas for improvement) and our fielding was particularly good – with Ole, Jacob [possibly Jack - Jacob couldnt play] and Harry [Hunt](not Bold, who kept wicket) showing good ground fielding, and confident catching from both Henry Holden and, particularly, Ruben Cutts out in the Twilight Zone in to which deep mid-wicket had descended.


When we consider that both Callum McIlveen and Alex Cripps (again, imaginatively nicknamed Crippsy) are still both to return, the future bodes well for WB U17s.

 [Special mention to Kieran Connell, Harry Hunt and Jack Kitchin who turned up to play when others could not, and who contributed manfully in the field to this historic victory, their cricketing future is assured with such a good attitude to the game]



This week's questions of the week:


What time DID Ivan arrive?


Without looking at Google, in which  year did Djemba-Djemba win his FA Cup Winner's Medal?



Monday 14th May v Dove Holes (home)

The revision of age groups meant a reappearance for the under 17s, and Whaley kicked off the season at home to Dove Holes. On a cold night Henry and Callum steamed in, taking wickets regularly. Unfortunately the later Dove batsmen accelerated, and they eventually mustered 100 in their 20 overs. Reuben went early on, but Callum and Alex steadied the ship. Unfortunately they steadied it a bit too much as the run rate went up to five, six, seven and eight an over. With the skies darkening they Whaley boys started to hit out, but they fell agonisingly short finishing on 96 for 1.

I am expecting a more comprehensive report from the non playing captain, and I will post it here if and when it arrives.