20th April 2021
The 2021 season finally got underway and after a few negotiations with some A roads the First XI began their campaign at newcomers Mottram, recently joined from the Derbyshire and Cheshire league. After winning the toss captain Micklethwaite had no hesitation in choosing to bat, but Mottram opening pair Swann and Riley had ideas of their own and soon removed openers McClure and Howarth with the score on 18. More excellent bowling from the hosts saw Thornham in a spot of bother at 24-5 with Micklethwaite, Hughes and Kashif departing in quick succession.
Thornham needed a response and that came from Smith and Heywood who put on 30 for the 6th wicket before Heywood was caught at mid-off. Walsh joined Smith at the crease and pushed the score up to 70, with every run potentially proving priceless on a wicket that was offering assistance to the bowlers. The innings closed on 83 with Smith being bowled as both McMahon and Pattison failed to trouble the scorers. The pick of the bowlers, and in the end the difference between the two teams was Mottram’s Riley, ending with figures of 6 for 29 from his 11 overs.
Thornham went out to field knowing that early wickets were the only chance of taking something home with them. Both openers Heywood and Pattison bowled tightly and were rewarded by removing both openers in quick succession. Left arm spinner Heywood was impressive and Thornham’s chances of winning dramatically improved as they reduced the hosts to 27-4. At this point Mottram were looking nervous. Despite an inspired bowling change seeing McMahon pick up a wicket with just his second ball, a tidy innings from Fitton saw the home side over the line. Some confusion around the rules resulted in a possible run-out not being given after the bails were broken without ball in hand, but ultimately Mottram ran out worthy winners in a closely fought encounter. The team can take a lot of heart from a very spirited second half performance, fighting all the way. Another away trip looms next week with a visit to Austerlands.
Thornham 2nds started the season by losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, restricting the opposition to 164 from their 45 overs largely due to a solid fielding effort all round. The away side’s total was built around a solid half century from Moriarty. Wickets were shared amongst the Thornham bowlers on the day, Young taking 3 and very nearly getting a hat-trick. Some impressive economy rates from the seamers provide cautious optimism for the season ahead.
The chase began well with Iqbal and Mansfield ticking along to 50 for no loss and building a strong platform for the innings. A few quick wickets threatened to derail the chase, with Kennedy out first ball adding gloss to Moriarty’s earlier efforts with the bat. Iqbal was there at the end, batting through to see the game home and finishing on 62*, eventually assisted by Hall and Ahmed after the slight middle order collapse. Contributions all round and a strong start to the season for the second team!
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Thornham 3rds made 159 all out, with the top 3 of Iqbal, Sarfraz and Adnan all making solid starts but failing to capitalise. A dramatic collapse left skipper Collinge stranded on 22*, nevertheless the total looked a difficult one to chase.
The second innings started brightly with Adnan and McMahon taking early wickets, reducing the home side to 77 for 5 and at this point the game was well and truly in the balance. However further wickets proved impossible to find, and Edgworth's old heads proceeded to take the game away from the visitors.