10 August 2020

Friday night saw a trip to Royton for game two of the GMCL15 competition. On a boiling hot day Captain Andrew Micklethwaite lost his first toss of the season and was asked to field first. Opening for Thornham Joe Pattison and Tom Grey restricted the home side to 35-3 after the 5 over powerplay, however some loose bowling allowed extras to top score for Royton and some sloppy fielding errors allied with late order hitting from Hodson meant the Renegades set the Thunder 121 to win.

Thornham’s openers Tom Grey and Scott Howarth set off in pursuit like they had last orders to catch at the local pub, making good use of the powerplay restrictions. Unfortunately an umpiring error meant that the officials allowed Royton to spread the field an over too early with Grey caught on the edge for an 18 ball 29. With overs running out and Royton taking the wickets of Hughes, Micklethwaite and Horridge, Thunder needed some big blows to get close to the target and with Howarth still looking good Adnan joined him at the crease hitting a couple of 6’s to leave the away team needing 23 off the final two overs. Adnan was bowled, leaving an uphill battle however Howarth took the remaining balls for 10 leaving 13 needed from the final over. Howarth smacked a four first ball before two singles and two dots meant a maximum was needed from the final ball to tie. This wasn’t to be, Thornham falling just short in a game played in good spirit, Howarth very nearly carrying his team all the way.

Saturday saw a trip to Clifton to take on their second team in Division E. The sun was again shining and this time Micklethwaite won the toss and elected to bat. Mansfield, absent last week, opened with Howarth and set a good platform for the visitors until Howarth was caught by an excellent low one handed grab in the slips. This brought Micklethwaite to the crease who alongside Mansfield elegantly played the ball to all parts of Clifton’s ground, both batsmen reaching half centuries in a partnership of 111. This was Mansfield’s first half century in the First XI, hopefully the first of many more to come. Both departed trying to up the run rate allowing Lewis Hughes (returning after a 10 year absence) and Alec McClure to both reach double figures before holing out. Wiseman finished the innings with an unbeaten 21 meaning Thornham posted a healthy 201 for 5 from their allocated 40 overs, captain Micklethwaite top scoring with 64.

Clifton’s chase got off to a decent start thanks to some more sloppy fielding from the visitors giving chances to both Lord and Flaxman. Thornham always seemed in control however, and got on the board with Pattison removing both openers in quick succession. Umair Ahmed struggled with the slope, leading to Matthew Riley’s first bowl of the season providing a solid supporting role from the other end. Injury to Riley saw Marcus Young brought into the attack, making an immediate impact including taking two wickets in one over. Having bowled his 10 overs from the top end Pattison was replaced by captain Micklethwaite who continued to keep it tight, chipping in with a wicket of his own. Good bowling and clever field settings kept the pressure on Clifton and Young took another 2 wickets, with Howarth introduced to the attack towards the end for two good overs. Clifton were eventually restricted to 131-9 from their 40 overs.

The Third team lost in a thriller at Milnrow having batted first. Thornham scored 169 thanks to 43 from Sarfraz which included some lusty blows, with the innings held together by Matt Collinge who scored his first senior 50. 3 wickets from Mohammed Asif alongside some tight bowling from Adnan wasn’t quite enough as the home side knocked off the winning runs in the last over. A thoroughly entertaining game with plenty of positives to take away for both sides.

We are back in action the coming weekend as Friday night sees the Shaw Spartans travel to Rochdale Road for a 6pm start in the GMCL15 competition. Saturday sees a local derby as the First team travels to Prestwich to take on their second team. The Seconds are at home to Springhead on the same day and the Thirds are also at home on Sunday taking on Royton 3rds. The bar will be open

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