6 May 2021
Thornham 1st XI played their first home game of the season on Saturday as GMCL newcomers Adlington travelled to Rochdale Road. After losing the toss Thornham were asked to field for the first time this season and got off to a wonderful start in the first over as Pattison removed one of the Adlington openers inside the first over thanks to a very sharp catch by Heywood.
Things could have been even better for the home side not much later however Adlington’s professional Hussain was dropped more than once, after which Hussain opened his shoulders to strike some hefty blows. It took a smart bit of bowling from Pattison to send him back, the slower ball doing the trick as McMahon took a simple catch at second slip.
Kashif was brought on earlier than usual this week end and was soon in the wickets as Adlington’s other opener was bowled sweeping. Pattison wasn’t done there and continued his lengthy spell, trapping Khan leg before and having a confident caught behind decision turned down two balls later.
A good bit of fielding from Kashif saw the end of captain Trim and McMahon’s introduction to the attack slowed the run rate down. McMahon saw off three opposition players in quick succession, one of those wickets thanks to a stunning one-handed catch by Heywood. A last wicket partnership of 28 helped the visitors post 180, the innings finally ended by a superb catch at square leg from McMahon. Pattison finished with four victims from his 15 overs, an excellent return from the seamer. Heywood was the standout fielder for Thornham; bleeds for the team does the lad.
Thornham needed a good start to try and chase the imposing target and that’s what they got from McClure and Howarth (sponsored by Ian Howarth Photography). McClure continued his good form from the previous week at Austerlands and attacked from the off, smashing the ball all around the ground. Howarth wasn’t to be outdone, striking some fine cricketing shots of his own as the pair put on 57 for the first wicket.
McClure was out bowled on 36, his job done. Howarth was joined by Captain Micklethwaite who was shortly dismissed by a rank full toss that probably should have gone out of the park. Howarth who had taken over the attacking role from McClure also soon departed caught for a fine 28.
This brought Wiseman and Kashif to the crease together and with some fine shots and excellent rotation of strike they broke the back of the chase and settled any nerves the home side may have had of chasing the score. Their partnership was only ended by a fine bit of fielding from the away side as Wiseman departed run out. Kashif put Thornham in a good position to claim the points before going for one big shot too many, departing caught in the 40’s with Thornham still needing 20 to win.
Smith too was dismissed to increase the nerves, however Heywood struck a couple of composed boundaries to level the scores. Going for the glory shot he mistimed a catch to the infield, bringing Walsh in to partner Raza. Who was going to win the game for Thornham? Walsh smoked a cover drive but was denied by an excellent bit of fielding, and then next over Raza, on debut, sealed the points with a lovely back foot drive for four.
A successful chase made it two wins in a row for Thornham as we make the short trip to Milnrow next week. However, the team know they will have to improve on their fielding – 7 dropped chances making the game a far closer contest than it should have been. Fielding practice beckons on Thursday!
Second XI’s winning run ended
Thornham 2nd Team took on Adlington away on what started as a dry and bright afternoon. Captain Riley, having recovered from the previous week’s injury, won the toss and elected to bowl.
A promising start from Thornham's opening bowlers Ahmed and Hall kept Adlington to a slow start. Hall dismissed opener Wilson in the 8th over for just 2, the batsman slicing one into Ahmed's hands at backward point, a well taken catch. However veteran opener Chamberlain and young talent Green both then dug in to add 80 runs for the second wicket over the next 20 overs.
Thornham really struggled to claim further wickets. Captain Riley coming on as second change eventually bowled Green who can definitely consider himself a little unlucky, chopping a short delivery onto his off stump for 43. Chamberlain was dismissed a short time later just two short of what would have been an excellent half century, top edging a full toss from Thornham leg spinner Young straight down Mansfield's throat at square leg.
Adlington’s number 5 didn't hang around long, chipping Riley straight to Iqbal who took an excellent catch. However things started to get further away from Thornham at this point. An unbroken partnership of over 80 for the 5th wicket really took the sting out of the away side. Plowes in particular really did plow into Thornham's bowling, hitting 9 excellent boundaries on his way to an unbeaten 68. Almost everything Adlington hit in the air seemed to land safe and luck certainly seemed to be with them as they set Thornham an imposing target of 213 on a track that was seemingly deteriorating rapidly.
In response, Thornham never really got going. The in form Mansfield was first to fall for 15, hitting a cut shot straight at backward point. Iqbal followed a couple of overs later, clean bowled for 10 by Lee who picked up both openers. Lewis Hughes came in at 3 and briefly steadied the ship with a patient 17 but wickets fell at the other end in quick succession before he too was dismissed, Thornham finding themselves 52 for 6 in the 20th over.
Adlington opening bowlers Lee and Morris took all 6 wickets in their mammoth and very hostile opening spell. Excellent bowling was supported well in the field. Clough and Ahmed provided some some resistance, adding 33 for the 7th wicket before the heavens opened. Rain called a premature halt to the game with Adlington well out in front. It was a damp end to the day, but Adlington 2nds recording a well-deserved victory, their first since 2019 and much to the delight of their players and fans.
Third team still searching for that elusive first victory
Sunday saw the 3rd XI fight against a gulf in class in their match up against Heaton. With Captain Collinge having lost his 2nd toss on the bounce, Thornham were set a mammoth 289 to chase. The score does not necessarily reflect upon Thornham’s bowling as Heaton's batsmen put away even the good ones.
In reply Thornham set off brightly, with new signing Rana and Sarfraz giving it the big heave-ho. Other highlights in an otherwise disappointing day was a 50 for Adnan and a Senior high score for Fitzpatrick making his career high score batting at 11.