Season 2024 – Week 4 Match Reports – Weekend 18th & 19th May

Grundy to the Fore as Marple Too Hot For Lindow!

Marple 1st XI 155 all out (46.3 overs) 20 points, beat Lindow 110 all out (37.2 overs) 5 points, by 45 runs.

Marple visited Lindow’s attractive ground last Saturday, and skipper Andrew Hall once more elected to bat first after winning the toss. Despite the glorious May warmth and sunshine, batting conditions were difficult for the fourth game in a row. The very wet early spring, and lack of consistent drying weather has left opening attacks licking their lips, and keen to get into the action.

This game, however, saw Marple get away to an excellent start. Jacob Noakes and Matt Barrow were, though, not at ease against the Lindow attack of Dan Newton, acquired from Sale, and the whippy left arm seamer, Will Espley. Scoring proved difficult, but Marple did not lose early wickets, as they had done in the previous three games. In an attempt to make the breakthrough, home captain Alex Matthews changed his bowlers around. Despite Matthews himself bowling two challenging spells, neither Hodge nor Farrell were able to settle, and Barrow seized his chance to advance the score. He took 14 from Farrell’s loose opening over, and Noakes followed suit with several nicely timed boundaries of his own.

Marple’s travelling support began to breath a little easier, and even dared to think of a total in excess of the magic 200. However, Noakes (29) fell lbw to Farrell at 80 for 1, and although Ramsay began his innings confidently, Barrow was also adjudged lbw to Matthews for a determined 42 at 103 for 2. After this point, the home attack took control, with Matthews, operating from a shorter run up, and Isaac Brooks, the left arm spinner also having moving clubs from Sale, bowling the ball into the pitch just slightly short of a driving length. The balance of the game swung dramatically, as Marple collapsed to just 155 all out. The bowling was awkward, but some of the batters were guilty of gifting their wickets away with several loose strokes. Only Ramsay, 17, and Mark Makin, 15, were able to reach double figures after the opening stand. For Lindow, Matthews had 3 for 35, Brooks 2 for 27, and Sam Battersby cleaned up the innings with 3 for 2 in no time.

With Rob Kingham missing this game, Ed Saxelby came in for his first league game of the season. He bowled very tidily in combination with Jack Grundy, slightly quicker, and with good shape away from the right handers. A beauty from Saxelby to Bradley Wisnewski, saw the Lindow number one edge to second slip for 4, where Makin pouched a smart catch. Makin had two further slip catches in no time, as Grundy followed on with two quick wickets, Herriot for 3, and Newton for just a single. At 18 for 3, in still tricky conditions, Lindow were up against it. Boundaries were hard to come by, and no batter found any fluency. Keeper Wild also continued his fine start to the season, with a brilliant grab to remove Finn Gavaghan, also off Grundy for 9, at 37 for 4.

Lindow never threatened to re-assert their dominance from earlier. Despite first Battersby, with a determined 25, and later Hodge a solid 22, the Marple attack proved irresistible. Zac Phair followed Saxelby with a further challenging spell, gaining his reward with the wicket of the dangerous Matthews, bowled for 9. Joe Cash was his usual accurate self, proving very hard to get away. He ended with 1 for 20 from nine tight overs, and his spin twin, Makin finished things off, once more, with 3 for 14 from 4.2 deceptive overs. Marple’s most penetrative bowler was Jack Grundy however. The still young but experienced wicket taking seam and swing bowler has started the season in fine form. He bagged 4 for 33, bowling his ten overs straight off the reel. His final delivery was a beauty which shattered the stumps of Battersby at 59 for 5, and put Marple on course for a fourth consecutive victory in the Cheshire County League first division.

Next Saturday, May 25th, Marple play just their second home game of the season, with unpredictable Urmston the visitors, start time 12noon. The win against a competitive Lindow side, was possibly the best of the season so far. The opposition batting was kept under control at all times, and not allowed any respite.

Home defeat for the seconds

Marple seconds lost a high scoring game at Bowden Lane against Nantwich seconds by four wickets, with the winning hit coming from a thick edge over the wicket keeper from the first delivery of the game’s final over. Marple’s batting got back on track with a solid effort, led by Mike Schofield’s aggressive 71, raising the total to 226 for 5. James Crisall, 38, Sam Stretton, 34, and Jamie Massey with a rapid 34 were all in good form as the sun shone. Denny Morgan, with 2 for 41, was the pick of a struggling visitors’ attack.

A combination of some powerful lower order hitting from Sam Cork, 37 not out, and a couple of tight decisions saw Nantwich just edge the victory. They had earlier reached 168 for 4, with Owen Silvester, 33, Ben Wright, 74, and Nick Bentley 44, seemingly setting them on course for a comfortable win. However, a couple of run outs got Marple back into things before the Cork onslaught took the game away from Marple. Tom Reeve had 2 for 63, Stretton 1 for 52, with George Clarke and skipper Hirst being accurate, despite taking only one wicket between them.

The seconds have yet to register a win this season, but luck has not been on their side up to now. There is plenty of ability in the side, and it is a question of sticking at it. Things will certainly turn at some point.

Third Team suffer first defeat of the season

Marple’s 3rd team suffered defeat to Brooklands in a low scoring game at Compstall. Bowling first the home side did well to restrict Brooklands to just 106 for 7 off their 40 overs, but will rue a few dropped chances that could have meant an even lower score. Neil Hurren was economical as ever conceding only 9 runs from his 7 overs. The wickets going to Andy Hayes 3 for 26, Lee Sanders with 2 for 20, Greg Marsland (1 for 28) and Sam Ittig (1 for 18). Mark Vessy top scored with 39.

In reply a young top order saw Marple slump to 22 for 6 against some very tidy bowling from the away side. Marsland (19) and Captain Sanders led a recovery and victory was still in sight but the final 3 wickets fell for 7 runs leaving Marple just 34 runs short and Sanders stranded. Barry was the pick of bowlers taking 4 for 19 as Marple lost by 34 runs. 

Marple Sunday fourths registered their first league win of the season on Sunday, defeating Grappenhall thirds by 26 runs.

A high scoring game saw M/C post 214 for 7 in their 40 overs, Tom Lloyd, a very fine and career best 78, Matt Leech 31 and George Bailey a cultured 43 not out the main contributors. The Grappers attack was mainly expensive, but Zac Pomfret had 5 for 47 and was always a threat . In reply, the visitors then lost two early wickets to Ben Bradley and Chris Lloyd to leave them on 8 for 2. A hard hit 83, including four sixes, from Ian Wright and 35 from Pomfret then got them back in the game. A fine spell from Dan Davies swung the game back the way of M/C though. He took 2 for 30 from ten overs, and although battling valiantly to reach the winning post, Grappers were bowled out for 188 in the final over. Ben Bradley had 3 for 22, and removed the dangerous Tully for 27 at a crucial time.

Fifth Team finally get a game in!

Marple’s 5th team finally got their season underway with a home game at Compstall against an experienced Wilmslow side. Fielding first Marple’s youngsters bowled well to contain Wilmslow to 148 for 7 off their 35 overs. Sophie Sanders was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 24 from her 7 overs. Marple’s other 6 bowlers were all under 15 and included a first senior wicket on debut for Tommy Sergeant (1 for 23), with Luke Leighton, Liam Tanker and Tom Bradbury picking up a wicket apiece.

Marple’s reply was hampered by 2 early run outs and they did well to recover from 19 for 4 with young Sammy Grover and ‘veteran’ Will Darby putting on 89 for the fifth wicket. Darby’s dismissal for 28 left the youngsters with too much to do as they finished 17 runs short on 131 for 7. The highlight of the innings was opener Grover’s maiden half-century, to make an accomplished 51 not out, a super effort.

Marple’s young team can be proud of themselves and the game was a good learning process for them all.

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