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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Hazel Grove (home) Saturday 5th July 2014

posted 8 Jul 2014, 03:22 by Mike Madden
It was a suspiciously strong second eleven that arrived from Hazel Grove on a warm Saturday afternoon, but after the recent rain we were expecting a damp pitch. However, the powers of Mr Latham should not be underestimated, and we rolled back the plastic sheet to reveal a firm surface that looked like it should favour the batsmen. Just not ours. With seven of the top eight still in the juniors we needed solid contributions, so when Harry Bold was caught for 5, Ben Stones for 3 and Ivan Heathcote was bowled for 0 we needed a saviour. George Holden joined Bruce Glover and proceeded to smash the ball around, including a couple of huge sixes. Bruce was bowled for 4 and the captain came to the crease. The first real partnership developed until George was caught for a magnificent 37, then the captain was predictably given out lbw for 24. Will McIlveen shone briefly until he was caught for 12, then Gibbo did what Gibbo does these days as he was bowled for 0. Colin Wild went for one big hit too many and was caught for 2, then Gareth Hill was caught for 1, leaving Ethan Williams not out 3 and the score an agonising 1 run short of a point on 99 all out.

Colin Wild looked menacing as he opened the bowling. So much so that at the start of his second over the captain made some adjustments and positioned himself at second slip. Second slip? At second team level? Yep, and the first ball of that second over was edged straight into the captain's hands. Next over Gibbo almost got in on the act, but Ivan dropped a simple chance at mid off. Again, that first point was just out of our grasp. And so it remained. The toils of Colin, Gibbo, Ben, Gareth, Bruce, George and Ethan went unrewarded, as ex first teamer (not sure he is still "ex") Nick Heyward, yes the one that we dropped, raced to 68 not out. At 100 for 1 Hazel Grove won by 9 wickets, and as I look at a very strong second team for this weekend I wonder just how many will still be in situ when we travel to Compstall on Saturday.