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Whaley Bridge v Birch Vale (home) 18th June 2016

posted 21 Jun 2016, 12:21 by Mike Madden
Second XI games against Birch are always welcomed, and this one was no exception. We were greeted by Johnson & Johnson, Burns, Platt and a trip down memory lane in the form of Chris 'caught Crompton bowled Shaw' Read, villain (at least as far as Birch are concerned) of the 1995 Bissenden Cup Final. 'He's not played for 12 years' was the claim, though despite this absence he was still considered to be in enough form to bat at 3. He was soon called into action as Will Weston bowled one of the Birch openers, but that was the most success Whaley had for quite some time. Ole Madden came into the attack and bowled his usual opening burst of long hops and full tosses, and once again he struck lucky as the visiting Aussie dollied one up to Will Weston in the covers. Andy Johnson showed no mercy, and whilst Burnsy played the more cultured innings, Andy crashed the ball for fours and sixes with effortless ease. Ed Kitchen suffered more than most, but he took 3 late wickets including Burns for 94 and Johnson for 116. Birch closed on 264 for 5, and it was always going to be too many, particularly when the ex skipper was caught for 5. Harry Bold made a welcome return to the fold, fielding very impressively. He was also striking the ball well, and this seemed to spur on David Lomax who hit two fours in what was for him a swashbuckling innings. When David went Ivan soon followed, and as Harry departed we were just about within 200 runs of our target on 73 for 4. Ole Madden was joined by skipper Thompson, and they never looked back. 100 came up, then 150. Ole reached his maiden 50, then Tommo also passed that milestone. We reached maximum batting points for the first time this season, and went on to reach 221 without further loss. Ole finished on 83 not out, with Tommo 11 runs less. Seven points were useful, but the return of Bold and Madden will probably prove to be more significant.
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