Macclesfield 95, Marple 134-8
After a week of heavy rain, Macc travelled to newly promoted Marple looking for their first win of the season after a disappointing opening-day defeat to Hyde.
After several consultations between captains and umpires, play eventually got underway at 2pm with the overs reduced to 42 per side.
Marple skipper Matt Shelton won the toss and surprisingly elected to have first bat on a damp pitch. Melrose and Ward opened the bowling looking for early inroads and the latter got the breakthrough, finding the edge of Marshall’s bat which was well caught by Cutbill at slip. Andy Hall was looking good at the other end, punishing any loose deliveries on offer.
Rob Porter then claimed the second wicket, that of Marple’s Australian, stumped neatly by Melrose.
Hall then moved onto 50, with Garry Cash offering valuable support with 24, but fell soon after to the accurate Cutbill.
This triggered a collapse as Marple fell from 99-3 to 134-8 from their 42 overs, with Porter and Cutbill each claiming three wickets. It was a good effort from all the Macc bowlers and a much improved fielding performance from the previous week.
The team sensed the target was well within reach for their strong batting line up but knew it would not be easy in difficult conditions.
In reply, Robs Keen and Porter opened up looking to set a platform for the run chase. Porter was first to fall with the score on 23, bowled by one that kept low. Keen (pictured left) was playing cautiously, against accurate bowling from Wylie and Greasley as the score progressed to 31. Four wickets then fell in quick succession, including the key wickets of Sawas and Macc’s Australian Crosthwaite as Macc slumped to 37-5.
This brought Craig Melrose to the wicket and steadied the ship with a few lusty blows. Melrose was then bowled again by Wylie who was to finish with excellent figures of 6-33. Greasley then took the vital wicket of Keen for a hard fought 33, just as he was looking more fluent.
With Jim Melrose and Cutbill at the crease and the score at 76-9 with 12 overs left, they showed grit and determination but with three balls left of the innings, Greasley claimed his fourth wicket when Melrose snicked one onto his pad which floated up kindly to the silly point man who snaffled up the catch.
Bollington 119, Oulton Park 121-2
Following the abandonment of their first game of the season last week Bollington first XI got their season under way at Oulton Park.
New skipper Toby Ward unfortunately lost an important toss and Bolly were unsuprisingly asked to bat first on a wet wicket.
Only debutant Australian batsman Mike Rixon (35), Tom Barrass (13), David Paterson (11) and Aldo Palazzo (10), pictured right, reached double figures as Bolly struggled on a difficicult track against the accuracy of Oulton bowling pair Guy Emmett (4-36) and Craig Williamson, who finished with five wickets for 43.
Bollington were eventually bowled out in the 50th over for a idsappointing 119.
With such a low total and with the wicket drying out gaining a positive result was always going to be an uphill struggle.
Opening bowler Mo Jahangir gave Bolly some hope with two early wickets but former Cheshire batsmen Rick Moore was in good touch as he smashed a quickfire 80 not out to take Oulton Park past their target.
Bolly welcome Cheadle to the Recreation Ground in the Twenty20 Cup on Thursday and then Bredbury St Marks in the league on Saturday.
In Division Two, Poynton’s match at Stockport Georgians was abandoned on Friday evening due to a waterlogged pitch at Cromley Road.
Langley rearguard action falls short
Following last week’s cancellation, Langley travelled to Stretton to make their much anticipated Mellor Braggins League debut.
Langley’s Stevens won the toss and not surprisingly on a damp pitch elected to bowl first, and openers Betteridge and Frame struck early as both openers departed with five on the board.
When Betteridge claimed his second wicket Stretton found themselves in deep trouble at 13-3. Hill and Mullins fought back, aided by some dropped half-chances, but Betteridge though continued to take wickets as the middle order found scoring difficult.
Betteridge’s fifth wicket put the home side on 59-6, but 31 from Malik 31 ensured Stretton made three figures, Patterson skittling the lower order as Stretton were all out for 109. Betteridge took 5-37, Patterson 3-27, Frame 1-18 and Cook 1-19.
After tea Langley’s top order were torn apart by Stretton’s opening attack as they were skittled out and collapsed to an incredible 22-7, Little top-scoring at that stage with nine and Cook, Johnson, Westwood and Gay all scoring ducks.
Stevens, now lame with a hamstring pull, and the dejected Betteridge had a mountain to climb but they applied themselves and rebuilt the innings, adding 64 before Stevens was caught behind for a solid 42.
Betteridge then clubbed two huge sixes before being bowled for a stylish 35.
With Langley on 104-9, Barber and Frame were left needing six runs, but after two had been added Barber was adjudged LBW as Langley were all out, losing by three runs.
It was a valiant effort by Stevens and Betteridge but the damage had been done by the top order’s failure earlier in the reply.
For Stretton Amir took 7-41.
Langley can reflect on the day knowing there is vast improvement to made in all areas.