Season 2024 – Week 9 Match Reports – 22nd & 23rd June

Gritty Dixon Sees Bramhall Home!

Bramhall 194 for 6 (47.4 overs) 20 points beat Marple 191 all out (49.1 overs) 4 points by four wickets.

Local rivals Bramhall brought Marple’s unbeaten streak to an end last Saturday at Bowden Lane, as they maintained their own undefeated run this season. The margin of victory was fairly tight, and could have gone either way, but the visitors were indebted to an innings of 62 not out from wicketkeeper batsman Greg Dixon, who was on the field for the entire game.

Andrew Hall won the toss, the conditions fine, dry and the best of the season so far. He elected to bat first, and Marple made a reasonable start, despite the accuracy of the wily Simon Wilkinson, and Bramhall newcomer, the left arm seamer Will Metcalfe. At 42 for 2, with openers Crisall (6) and Barrow (15) back in the hutch, the home side needed a partnership on a batting surface that was a little sluggish and low, but was certainly possible to score runs on with good application. With Connor Ramsay, 50, and Zac Phair, 52, both passing the half century mark, the third wicket added 45, with Ramsay the more dominant. His highest score of the season so far, included some powerfully struck boundaries. Mark Makin came in at five this week, with the total at 87 for 3, and he continued his good recent form, supporting Phair in a stand of 57, as Marple reached their high point of the game at 144 for 3. Due to the far set field, Phair was only able to reach the boundary four times in his fine knock, but timed the ball beautifully. Makin kept the scoreboard ticking in his innings of 23, but absolute dominance eluded both players. Makin was caught by Jack Bridgeman off the bowling of left arm spinner Ryan Macciocchi, and after this the Marple innings fell away disappointingly.  

Phair had once more looked on course for a very big score, but got in a tangle against Wilkinson when the veteran off spinner returned, and was bowled after dancing down the pitch at 165 for 5. The Bramhall attack kept Marple well in check, and a final total of 191 was probably 25 to 30 under par in decent batting conditions, but also with the new regulations of only ten overs maximum per bowler. Rob Kingham hit 23, but had little support from the lower order. The Bramhall bowling was tidy. Wilkinson had 4 for 26, picking up some cheap wickets at the end, Metcalfe 3 for 37, probably the pick, Macciocchi 2 for 44, and the accurate West 1 for 25.

Bramhall openers West and Dixon got away to a sound start after the tea interval. Both are predominantly front players, and they successfully negated most movement from Marple seamers Kingham and Grundy, despite the latter teasing the outside edge several times. For once, wickets eluded the Marple openers, and it was Joe Cash who made the breakthrough when West was adjudged lbw for 25 at 62 for 1. From this point, Dixon decided that he was going to bat through the innings, eschewing risks. Mills survived a sketchy start to his innings, eventually striking some powerful boundaries in his 35, and adding 50 with Dixon. He was lbw to Makin at 113 for two, and Bridgeman then came in and confidently struck four boundaries in his brisk 16.

Zac Phair returned for a second spell, and immediately took three wickets in four balls, showing his all round worth for Marple, as Bramhall subsidided to 150 for 5. Visiting nerves were calmed though, as the experienced Macciocchi, 21, added 32 with the immovable Dixon. Even though Macciocchi fell at 182 for 6, he had done his job, and Dixon struck the winning boundary with time to spare. Phair was Marple’s most successful bowler with 4 for 44, with spinners Joe Cash and Makin also taking 1 for 21 and 1 for 34 respectively, Cash particularly needing careful watching.  

Bramhall were fully deserving of their win, with the Marple batting largely kept in check by consistent bowling. Marple were a little below the standards they have set this season so far. The batting collapse from 144 for 3 was particularly disappointing, and the fielding and catching was also below the levels they have reached this season, with a number of chances missed. Next week sees the first of two successive away games, with a short trip to Stockport Georgians, 12.00 noon start Saturday 29th June. Marple remain top of the Cheshire County League first division.

2nd Team

Marple seconds continued their good form with a strong performance to defeat Cheadle Hulme seconds by 77 runs at Grove Park. Marple made 227 for 6, with Mike Schofield 71, Jamie Massey 52 and Tom Lloyd 43 dominant. Veteran Jordan Potts top scored with 51 for Hulme, but the home side never threatened to chase down a formidable target. James Hirst was in his element, taking 5 for 20, and Lloyd capped a fine all round display with 4 for 32.

On Sunday, Marple/Compstall fourths were defeated by four wickets at home to Sale thirds. M/C totalled 147 all out, falling away after a fine start. Charlie Hodgson, with 48, showed his undoubted class once more, whist veteran keeper Matt Leech held things together with 53 not out. George Watterson had a terrific 6 for 21 for the visitors. Hodgson was M/C’s most successful bowler with 2 for 35, although all the bowlers battled well as Sale were made to work hard for their victory. Jack Moran top score with 53, and he was ably assisted by Ben Habershon, 29, and Tom Smart 23.

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