Season 2024 – Week 7 Match Reports – Weekend 8th & 9th June

Solid Marple in Control!

First Team

Marple 192 for 8 (50 overs) 20 points beat Oulton Park 177 all out (48.3 overs) 5 points by 15 runs

On a cool, but mercifully dry and occasionally sunny June afternoon at a superb looking Bowden Lane, Marple saw off the threat of a handy Oulton Park side. The margin of victory might seem quite tight, but under Andrew Hall’s astute leadership, the visitors’ reply was largely kept in check after the dismissal of the experienced and classy opener Danny Leech for 31 at 62 for 2.

Earlier, Marple had struggled, yet again, at the start of their innings. The opening attack of Lascu and Porter proved taxing, and the former had Noakes bowled for 2 and Schofield lbw for a duck. It was a case of “déjà vu” at 7 for 2. When Matt Barrow (10) was also bowled playing loosely at Porter at 25 for 3, Marple looked to have an uphill struggle on their hands once more. However, Zac Phair was in very determined mood, and Max Fitzgerald looked in good touch, timing the ball nicely. They added a largely untroubled 45 for the fourth wicket. They looked to be setting a really strong foundation when Fitzgerald pulled a short delivery from Nick Ball straight to deep square leg for 18. His disappointment was clear to see as he had looked on course for a substantial score. The arrival of Mark Makin at number six calmed any nerves there might have been in the home dressing room though, despite the batter almost edging Cheshire off spinner Dufty after flailing at fresh air a couple of times.

Phair is a tall and elegant left hander, and whilst he has obvious power, in this innings he caressed the ball away on the floor through the off side several times, perfectly bisecting the tightly set field. With Makin, he added 64 attractive runs, before a mix up resulted in Phair being run out. A hundred had looked a distinct possibility for the Tasmanian, but his 57, with six fours had class written all over it. A confident Rob Kingham now joined an increasingly aggressive Makin, and the run rate did not flag. Makin also reached his half century, 54, with a straight six off Lascu, but fell next over, caught behind by Farrington off the returning Porter. Kingham (30 not out) continued his rich vein of form with the bat to see Marple up to a very competitive total of 192 for 8. For Park, Porter had a testing 3 for 27, and Lascu, a little expensive towards the end, 2 for 44.

The visitors’ reply started well, with Leech and Mckenzie putting on 52 for the first wicket. A number of wides were sent down once more though, and the strong north westerly breeze caused problems for Kingham and Grundy. Ed Saxelby came on first change and was, yet again, right on target. After Joe Cash had taken the first wicket, that of Mckenzie for 12, Saxelby bowled Leech, and then Lascu  first ball for a duck.

From 62 for 3, the Park reply fell away dramatically. A fired up Grundy returned to weave his magic, taking three wickets in four balls. Porter was lbw for 7, then Dufty was bowled first ball, and Ball lbw second ball, also for a duck. At 83 for 6, the game looked to be up for the visitors. Farrington, at number three, had grittily batted through the collapse though. He added 24 with Ben Kettle, and then a spirited 51 for the 8th wicket with George Moss, who struck a forceful 31. It was Mark Makin who swung the game back Marple’s way. He deceived Moss with a quicker delivery to bowl him at 158 for 8, and then took a stinging caught and bowled to remove Bell at 172 for 9. By now, time was running out for the valiant Farrington (58), and in attempt to clear the ropes, he only succeeded in finding Grundy at long on, to give Makin his fourth victim. Makin, thoroughly enjoying his cricket this season, had 4 for 43, Grundy a vital 3 for 25, the accurate and testing Saxelby 2 for 25, and Cash 1 for 37 in an excellent Marple performance in the field.

Next week, Marple travel to Sale with a 12.00 noon start.

Second Team

Marple seconds produced their best performance of the season with a 17 run win away at Grappenhall.  A determined effort with the bat saw them post 162 for 9, Tom Lloyd top scoring with a hard hit 40. James Crisall, 20, and Dan Cox, 25 had earlier put on a handy 48 for the first wicket. All of the lower order chipped in with useful runs, and 162 was a fair target. Zac Tully, with 3 for 32, and Luke Milligan 4 for 32, were the most successful bowlers for Grappers.

The home side got away to a bad start, falling away to 14 for 3, but determined efforts from Ross Arrowsmith, 25, George Rowlands, 21, Tully, 25, and Sam Pennington 33, saw them get fairly close. Marple were consistent in the field, James Hirst 3 for 32, Ben Bradley 2 for 38, George Bailey 2 for 32, Lloyd 1 for 11, and Sam Stretton a nagging 1 for 27, all doing a fine job.

Third Team

A much changed 3rd team lost a crucial toss and eventually the game away at Over Peover. Having being put in, Marple made a steady start and were 44 for 1 at the halfway stage. They managed to up the run rate in the second half of the innings to finish on 153 for the loss of just 6 wickets (and this included 3 in the last 3 overs as they tried to set a defendable total. Run machine Will Darby too scored with 46, and Paul Hodgson made a good 42 on debut, while another debutant Jonny Wiedemann, made a quick 19 at the end of the innings.

With the home side at 10 for 4 Marple looked to be in control, however a hundred fifth wicket partnership turned the game as batting conditions eased. Marple still had the chances which, if they had taken, surely would have turned the game the other way. Over Peover got to the total with 4 wickets and 5 overs to spare. Marple were led as ever by the magnificent Neil Hurren (3 for 23) who was well supported by Chris Lloyd who bowled some great ball in his 10 overs to finish with 3 for 38, but it was not to be for the away side, but great to have been able to give 5 players their season debuts for the team.

Fourth Team 

On a wet Sunday at Bowden Lane, Marple/Compstall fourths made an excellent 181 for 5 against Stockport Georgians in an innings reduced to 32 overs. All seven batters reached double figures, Dan Cox, 39, Alex Nuttall, 36 and George Bailey 28, leading the way. Fred Raynes, with 2 for 36 proved challenging for the visitors.

Rain reduced the target to 164 in 27 overs. A nail biting finish saw M/C edge the game by 11 runs, as Georgians fell to 153 all out, Bashir top scoring with 64. Chris Lloyd, 4 for 44, Tom Swarbrick 3 for 15 and Tom Reeve 2 for 31, were outstanding for M/C, who move up to mid-table in the Sunday third eleven premier division.

Fifth Team 

Marple’s Development (5th) Team were unfortunate to have their game abandoned at top of the table Hawk Green looking well set for victory. The away side bowled the home side for just 88 with a quarter of the runs coming in their last wicket partnership. 

All Marple’s bowlers performed well and it was great to see yet another u13 debutant in Max Powell taking a wicket. The bowlers were led by the talented duo of Ben Bailey & Thomas Bradbury with 3 wickets apiece, both bowling with good rhythm. Sophie Sanders continued her good form with 2 more (both bowled again) wickets and the pacey Liam Tanker took the other.

However leaking covers left the away side’s efforts in vain and a real shame after both sides had ably battled the wet conditions throughout the first innings.

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