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Whaley Warriors

Warriors edge close encounter at Hadfield (6/09/15)

Rarely do you see the momentum of a match change so much in a format so short. Both Hadfield Heat and Whaley Warriors did their best to throw the win away, but it was the Warriors who were ultimately victorious.

Buxworth firsts clinched promotion to the first division yesterday, and when James Gemmell chipped the day’s first ball to gully, Hadfield joined the celebrations. The effects of the night before were all too clear in the field, with a plethora of1 catches put down. Culpability for this was spread across the team though, and ironically it was left to debutant Ivan Heathcote to set the fielding standard with a sharp reaction catch off the bowling of Reuben Cutts.

The Warriors were defending a mere 119, owed largely to late onslaughts from Henry Holden (43*) and Nathan Critchlow (26), who forged together another fine partnership. Hadfield rushed to 65-0, but frailties were showing. Ryan Murray was fortunate to be dropped at long-off before being bowled by Critchlow – once more excellent with figures of 4-1-16-1 – for a brilliant 49. Cutts then took the first of his two wickets, deceiving Liam Doyle with the flight of his slower ball.

Callum McIlveen – who stuttered with the bat for his 15 from 13 overs – then decimated the long Hadfield tail for his second five-fer against the Longdendale club in as many games. Last year his wickets claimed the Compstall Cup; this year his spell may send the Warriors to the Derbyshire finals day. Inclusion at next Sunday’s event will depend on the points allocation from Hadfield and Glossop’s unplayed fixture. The Warriors currently sit top on 16 points, Hadfield second on 13 and Glossop third with 11.

Whoever makes it to the final, the tournament has been highly enjoyable, and the standard excellent. The Warriors scored just 33 runs from the first nine overs; the Heat had almost double from their first nine. These shifts in the game’s flow provided fabulous entertainment. As the Heat crumbled from a second position of dominance, their renowned twelfth man began to exert influence. The shouts of ochlocracy – the fickle crowd – were of great authority.

In ancient times the lone Warrior would always come out on top. Fast forward a few thousand years, and the parallel is uncanny! Eleven men defied expectation to win in the face of adversity.

Hadfield had started both innings fabulously: seamers Doyle (4-0-11-0), and captain Alex Ball (4-0-19-1) saw the explosive Warriors top-order under close wraps on a deceivingly difficult wicket. The finish provided the most entertainment as Holden and McIlveen closed out the edgy game with some excellent death bowling to complete a thrilling comeback.

It was credit to Hadfield’s U19s that they were extremely gracious in a seven-run defeat that must have been bitter to take. The game was played hard, but the subsequent spirit was commendable, befitting the competition. 

Fantastic run chase gives Warriors first victory (16/08/15)

In a brilliant advert for local cricket, the Warriors chased 162 at home to Glossop Lions to record their first victory of the season.

Captain Henry Holden won the toss and boldly elected to bowl first, and with Glossop 70-0 after 8, the vultures were circling. Nathan Critchlow brought the run rate back under control, and bowling in tandem with Reuben Cutts, ensured that the Lions did not get away from us during the middle overs.

In the ninth over, Critchlow had the excellent Chris Laker caught at cow corner for 49, and the momentum was beginning to shift. Kieran Lawton and George Dyson continued to bat well, but the impetus Laker had created was lost.

Dyson fell to Cutts when he holed out to Dan Gilbride in the 16th over, and there followed a string of wickets. Callum McIlveen had two fine run outs – the second assisted by an excellent half-volley pick up by keeper James Gemmell.

Although the Lions lost three batsmen to run outs, they rotated the strike exceptionally during the middle overs. This ensured they posted a very good 162.

Holden and Gilbride came back in to the attack with far more success, to each finish economically. Gilbride bowled Lawton, whose prudent 40 anchored the Lions innings. It was McIlveen though who took the seventh wicket, caught by Cutts for his first catch in eight.

McIlveen then facilitated a magnificent run chase for the Warriors, smiting 34 in just 4 overs before he was stumped well by Jak Megram off a smart Dyson wide.

Gilbride (unequivocally LBW for 28 off a Dan Senior full toss), Gemmell (27) and Holden (42*) all batted intelligently to ensure that victory was made comfortable with 2 overs to spare. The three batted with remarkable maturity to punish the poorer bowling, while sitting tightly off the stronger bowling of Laker and Senior (whose figures were spoilt by a poor first over).

Critchlow (19*) provided Holden with strong support to see the Warriors home in an unbeaten fifth wicket partnership of 53. The victory vindicated Holden’s decision at the toss, and gave the Warriors something to show for the season’s hard work.

The day was once more an incredible success with strong support and an excellent match-day experience. The final word for this must surely go to Ivan Heathcote, who donned the Warrior outfit superbly, and will of course claim his confidence in interview for the Lions’ run defence was said in inspiration for his team.

Back-to-back defeats as pressure mounts on Warriors (5/08/15)

Another poor batting display from Whaley Warriors saw them lose their second game in the NatWest U19 Club T20 away at Glossop Lions.

With the Warriors bowling first, Glossop Lions were 8-0 without a legitimate ball being bowled, as Dan Gilbride failed to adjust his line to the left-handed batsman. Remarkably, his six legitimate deliveries only went for 1 more run, but once again our opponents got off to a quick start, and were 37-0 after 4.

Reuben Cutts was brought into the attack, but problems with his run-up led to a warning for batsman George Dyson, who was caught yards out of his crease.

Ben Stones replaced Henry Holden and was immediately causing problems, but Cutts spurned a regulation catch off Dyson. The charity continued in the next over, with Dyson once more out of his crease as Cutts lost his delivery stride, but mercifully the bails were not removed.

The misery was ended in Stones’ next over, when Dyson this time holed out to George Holden at short third man. Will Coates came to partner Kieran Lawton, and both batted smartly taking singles to keep the scoreboard moving. Lawton added boundaries, and the Lions were mounting an impressive run rate.

Lawton’s commanding innings was closed as he quickly retired on 50. His innings – disparaging with a reverse sweep and belligerent drives – got Glossop off to an excellent start, and provided Jak Megram and Dan Senior with a solid foundation from which to make 150.

Nathan Critchlow provided control in the middle overs, with his four overs going for just 17, and he also picked up the wicket of Derbyshire’s Cole Turner. Gilbride and Holden finished the innings strongly (helped by a smart stumping by Charlie Edwards), and on a fantastic wicket, 149 was not insurmountable.

Missing Cam Ball and Matt Sonczak away at Yorkshire, Glossop opened the bowling with Alice and George Dyson. Alice Dyson seemingly troubled Gilbride for pace, but he and Harry Bold soon acclimatised to hit several boundaries.

After a good start, a spate of wickets fell to the spin of George Dyson, Dan Senior, and then Charlie Megram (4-13). Cutts and Critchlow sought to rebuild the innings, and both rotated the strike commendably. Boundaries were hard to come by without pace on the ball, and the run rate was increasing as the Lions’ spinners were exerting a strangle-hold on the game.

Cutts was first to go with a leading edge back to Megram, and catalysed the second collapse of the innings as the Warriors lost five more wickets for only 13 runs – seven of which went to Critchlow, whose 19 – along with Gilbride’s 22, were the only real offerings of resistance.

Finishing seventy runs astray of victory for the second consecutive game, more fight will be required if we are to finish the group stage with any respectability.

Warriors capitulate as Hadfield Heat record first victory (12/07/15)

Hadfield Heat were worthy winners in the first match of NatWest U19 T20 Cup. After losing early wickets and with an inexperienced batting line-up, the Warriors finished 60 runs short of the victory post, and will need to improve if they are to stand any chance in a tough group.

The Warriors started well as Dan Gilbride — as fresh as could be after a week in Magaluf — dislodged opener Bradley Rawlinson with the second ball of the day. Tom Wyche came to partner Ryan Murray, and both dampened Whaley's good start with some powerful stroke play.

Henry Holden took the wicket of Wyche with his third over, as Harry Elms was introduced from Gilly's end. Harry ensured that wickets continued to fall, helped by some excellent fielding from Ole Madden.

Reuben Cutts replaced Henry, and although he bowled in tight areas, anything over-pitched was dispatched for 6 by Murray.

Murray was beginning to run out of partners as Alex Ball came into bat, but the onus on his scoring did not affect him. Ball was promptly bowled by a smart James Gemmell full toss, which led to the articulation of a string of profanities. 

105-6 and Murray close to retirement, we should have restricted the Heat to a low score. However, Sam Clegg and Sam Whiteman guided the Heat to a very respectable 165-6.

With paella served at the interval, the focus of the Warriors batsmen began to sway away from batting. Gemmell was dismissed early, and Cutts arrived at the crease. Opener Ball was hit with distain, and he did not remain in the attack.

At the other end, the self-proclaimed inflictor of pain Finan was causing havoc. Having already removed Gemmell, Cutts was then caught trying to cut the ball over the offside. Runs-wise, we were off to a good start, but as Henry came and went, we were in trouble.

When key batsman such as Callum and Critch are missing – and dare I say it Ivan and Will –  bigger players must stand up. That didn’t happen, and we were made to pay.

We managed to stumble to 91 in 15.2 overs, but we were outplayed. We were not helped by three of our players leaving early due to U15s finals day commitments, so our batting order was always stretched.

It was excellent to see the return of Dan Mulholland, and there are certainly positives to take from a difficult match.

Warriors! What Is Your Profession?