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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Hazel Grove (away) Saturday 5th September 2015

posted 10 Sept 2015, 13:42 by Mike Madden
The season normally throws up one or two memorable games, and this one will live long in the memory for many reasons. Hazel Grove were aiming for promotion, whilst we still had the slim possibility that we could finish bottom if results went against us. We lost the toss and were asked to bat on a green, uneven wicket. Reuben Cutts and Harry Bold started confidently, despite Reuben getting a barrage of good natured sledging from ball one. He was dropped at slip by the Grove skipper, but that was the last one Wilkie put down all day. Harry was caught at slip by the same man for 11, whilst Peter Crowley became Wilkie's second victim for 1. Ivan Heathcote batted well for his 25, but he was another victim of Wilkie's safe hands. Reuben calamitously ran out Ole Madden for 2, then Will McIlveen took advantage of some friendly long hops. Reuben was eventually caught for 47, with Will falling to yet another Wilkie catch, this one quite outstanding. Bruce Glover was caught for 6, followed by the captain who was caught for 9. Nigel Morten hit a belligerent 12 before being stumped, whilst Ed Kitchen and Colin Wild saw us safely through to the close, unbeaten on 9 and 1 respectively as we finished on 166 for 9. Grove were reasonably happy with their 4 bowling points, little did they know that they would leave without adding to their tally.

The talk at the start of the innings was the two runs that Andy Oldfield needed to get to his 1000 for the season. We put together a cunning plan, crowding the opener from the start to get the runs to play on his mind, and when he inevitably reached his milestone we would heartily congratulate him, firstly because he deserved it, but secondly because it might just disturb his concentration. Colin limbered up to bowl as Reuben gave the game away in the field. I perhaps should have told him that we did not want to let And y know that we knew the situation, just keep him guessing with the field placings, but it was too late for that and we carried on with the plan. First up Andy drilled one straight back to Colin. His big hand stopped the ball, but he couldn't hold on to the catch. It seemed as though our main weapon would be out of the attack, but he soldiered on and Andy duly got his two runs. Colin's hand throbbed, and although there wasn't a Zeus like thunderclap, he was certainly breathing fire and brimstone. He got rid of the other opener with Nigel Morten taking a catch behind, and next ball he got his second victim with an identical dismissal. He couldn't quite get his hattrick, but 5 minutes later he removed the danger man with Ed Kitchen taking a rare catch at slip. Ed Kitchen got in on the act as Will McIlveen took a catch, then Ed took his second slip catch as Colin struck again. It was jug time as Colin claimed his fifth wicket clean bowled, Ed took his second after a very good catch from the much improved Ivan, and the captain decided to give his openers a rest. Peter Crowley struck immediately with a wicket clean bowled, and a shrewd field change saw Ole Madden take a wicket as Bruce Glover took a simple catch. He would have had a second as the captain moved Ed to fly slip, but that was the only drop of the whole innings. Peter finished things off as Bruce took his second catch, and Colin led us off with 5 for 18 off 9 overs. Hazel Grove were all out for 53, a remarkable performance in the field from Whaley Bridge and one that shocked us as much as them.