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Whaley Bridge 2nd XI v Offerton 2nd XI (away) Saturday 27th June 2015

posted 30 Jun 2015, 12:09 by Mike Madden
We were a confident bunch when we set off for Offerton, albeit without Will Weston who had gone camping for the weekend. Charlie Kitchen stepped in, and we aimed to build on our back to back home wins. Winning the toss was a good start, at a ground where I have fond memories from 30 years ago. It hasn't changed much. There's still an expanse of green outfield to one side, heavy rough that dictates a large proportion of the game is spent looking for balls, and a treacherous slope down to the tranquility of the pitch from the highways of Offerton above. We decided to bat, and with the newly restored Harry Bold in the side it looked like our familiar line up from earlier in the season. We also had a new scorer, Zac Mason, and he coped admirably in the unaccustomed heat. Ben Stones gave us an early setback when he mistimed a lofted drive and was familiarly caught for 5. Harry was finding the boundary with ease, but he got one that popped and was caught for 18. Ivan was the first victim of JJ Smith, complaining about his lbw decision having scored just 8, whilst Marc Thompson seemed to want to send the ball to all corners of Stockport but made very little contact early on. Rob Hill missed a full toss and was bowled for 0, But Marc and Ben Williams set about repairing the damage with a 50 partnership. Marc was caught for 27, and by this time Charlie had arrived so he joined Ben at the crease. Not for long, as Ben was another lbw victim for 28, then the captain got perhaps the dodgiest lbw of them all (according to the equally astonished Offerton faithful), for 6. Charlie continued his assault, ably assisted by his father, Ed. Ed was caught for 2, then Dan Burt stepped up and helped to build a stand of 28 before he was bowled for one of the better ducks. Charlie was finally caught for 39, leaving Colin unbeaten on 7 and the score on a challenging 170 all out. We would have liked 180, we would have liked 175 for an extra point, but we had a few good bowlers and Colin had passed 50 runs at precisely the half way point of the season.

The Offerton innings started well for Whaley, with Ed Kitchen opening with a wicket maiden thanks to that man JJ again and another lbw. A short time later Ed had doubled his tally, as had JJ who couldn't resist, and to be fair this one was absolutely plumb. Harry dropped a simple chance at square leg, and it proved to be costly as the fortunate batsman lost our new ball that was just 10 overs old. He then lost our spare, but at least we found that. Colin struck thanks to a well judged catch from Charlie Kitchen, then Ed KItchen removed the dangerman clean bowled, denying JJ the chance of his second "three for" of the day. Dan Burt replaced Colin, and despite being warned for high no balls he was effective with a wicket clean bowled. Charlie Kitchen replaced his dad who took 3-23, and then we suffered a fatal blow. Stonesy had to leave the field ill, just as he was about to come on, and plans were hastily shuffled. Ben Williams, with heart fluttering, came on for Danny, and my mind was working overtime trying to figure our how long Stonesy had been off the field. This was rendered academic, as Pete Stones' car left the ground, complete with son in passenger seat. We would have to finish the game with 10 men, and at least one bowler light. Charlie's 5 overs went for 21, then I remembered Harry Bold's leg spin. Unfortuantely Harry didn't, and he decided to bowl pace. Four wides later he finally got one on target, and we persevered with three overs for 21. Wickets were needed, and Colin returned to take a one handed caught and bowled. He had figures of 2 for 42, and at 128 for 6 we still had a good chance. Dan came back to finish with 1 for 38, whilst Ben switched ends to complete 5 overs for 17, but our lack of options told and we went down by 4 wickets. We had played better than our six points would suggest, and had the rub of the green been slightly different we might have saved a ball and the game.