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June Round Up - Seniors

10th July 2023

June Round Up - Seniors

1st XI
Month P 5 W 2 L 3 Ab
Season P 12 W 5 L 7 Ab

A high scoring game first up in June saw Thornham chase 237 at home vs Tottington St John’s. Despite an unbeaten century from Tottington’s opener Hayes, the score was probably below par on an excellent day for batting. Howarth and Afzaal put on 152 for the first wicket before Afzaal departed 7 short of a century. Howarth was eventually dismissed for 66, but with the bulk of the work done by the opening pair, contributions from the rest of the top order saw the chase completed with overs to spare, Micklethwaite ending unbeaten on 35.

The next fixture saw the team come out on top in a close game vs Whalley Range. Scores in the 40s from Wiseman and Wornes were backed up with helpful cameos from Mansfield and Walsh, allowing Thornham to post 202. Whalley Range were 104 for 2 in their pursuit until the introduction of Afzaal turned the tide, the all-rounder finishing with a 7 wicket haul to completely turn the game around.

The following day saw a depleted team take on Droylsden away in the Cup. The bowlers executed their plans but unfortunately the fielding wasn’t to the required standard and Droylsden stared to run away with it. Rain intervened and this meant Thornham were chasing a revised target of 152 in 22 overs. Despite a promising start including a first ball 6 for Wiseman, the chase ultimately fizzled out and the cup run came to an end.

Back to the League and the next fixture was away at Stayley, a club who have somehow managed to entice several Prem / Prem 2 players to come and play in the fourth tier of the GMCL, despite teas not being on offer. Kudos must be offered to their recruitment team. Thornham batted first and were bowled out for 130, which on paper certainly didn’t look like quite enough. For some of the Stayley team though, it didn’t look like their heart was in it, and with Thornham’s amateurs giving it their all and playing for the badge they reduced the team of superstars to 96 for 7. Some lusty late blows from Basharat, who last year played for Flixton in the Prem 2, meant Stayley claimed the result. The fighting spirit from Thornham was fantastic to see and will serve the team in good stead.

The next week saw a defeat to high flying Swinton Moorside. 5 wickets for Afzaal restricted the opposition to 199 all out, with Pro Driver the pick of the batsmen ending unbeaten on 49, his disappointment in not reaching 50 on display for all to see. The visitors opening bowler Ashley proved too hot to handle for Thornham, only Howarth really offering any resistance with a gritty 48. No great shame to lose to the division leaders.

2nd XI
Month P 5 W 2 L 3 Ab
Season P 12 W 4 L 7 Ab 1

The 2nd XI’s first fixture in June saw defeat at Stand. Stand racked up 244 from their 45 overs, with contributions from nearly all their batsmen. Young was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets from his 13 overs. In reply Thornham finished on 182 all out, McClure and Ahmed joint top scoring with 38 each. Catterall rolled back the years for Stand in taking 4 wickets.

The week after saw the team get back to winning ways with victory against Unsworth. Opener Iqbal top scored with 44, and put on a solid partnership with captain Hughes for the 2nd wicket. Some useful lower order hitting meant the team finished on 171, a very defendable score. A very solid start for Unsworth meant they were favourites at 109 for 2, but the introduction of spin proved, as ever, to be the difference. 6 wickets for Young changed the whole complexion of the game, and Thornham ripped through the rest of the batting line up to bowl the opposition out for 141, quite the turnaround.

The following day saw the team head to South West Manchester in the cup. South West posted 241 with Young once again the pick of the bowlers. At 16 for 3, the Thornham run chase hadn’t really got started, and despite valiant efforts from Smith and Ditta, the chase ultimately ended with Thornham 14 runs short of their DLS target.

Thornham welcomed Rochdalians for their next fixture, the newly formed team. Batting first Thornham scored 159 with a top score of 59 thanks to Ahmed. This was potentially chaseable, so the team needed a fast start. Fierce bowling from Hall resulted in the opposition’s opener having to retire hurt, and three genuine wickets for the seamer meant he had ripped out the top order. Spin twins Riley and Young mopped up the rest of the batting and Thornham won by 28 runs.

Defeat to Woodbank followed the week after, Thornham falling short with their run chase in a high scoring game. Woodbank’s opener scored a century in their 227 all out, Hall eventually removing him as one of his 5 wickets. 15 wides didn’t help the team’s cause, particularly as we finished only 18 runs short – those fine margins can decide games. The chase was underpinned by an excellent 85 from opener Iqbal, but sadly the team could not get over the line.

There is no doubt that availability has hampered both teams chances in some games so far this season, but to look at it the other way – players being unavailable offers opportunity for others, and rather than blaming availability for defeats, getting to training and working on your skills could help to turn those defeats into sweet victories.

3rd XI
Month P 2 W 0 L 1 Ab 1
Season P 7 W 1 L 3 Ab 3

With only two fixtures in June for the Third XI, it was a quiet month, especially with one of those fixtures being washed out. The first of these fixtures was a cup game against Whalley Range, an opposition distinctly a cut above in terms of quality. Whalley Range posted 239 for 2 from their 40 overs, and in reply Thornham could only reach 144, the top score of 35 coming courtesy of Schofield. It was always going to be a big ask to beat an opponent of such quality.

In the second game of June, weather rescued the situation. Having bowled out Rochdalians for only 120 courtesy of 4 wickets for the evergreen Ian Heywood, Thornham were 42 for 7 when the rain ended play for the day. The points were shared since less than 20 overs had been completed for each side prior to the rain’s intervention.

Month P 4 W 1 L 1 Ab 2
Season P 5 W 2 L 1 Ab 2

Disappointingly for the Thunder, two of our Home T20 fixtures were let down by the opposition, East Lancs being unable to raise a team. The resultant loss in bar profits and exposure is irritating. Hopefully next season clubs who are unable or unwilling to raise teams will not bother to enter the competitions.

In the fixtures we were able to play, 1 loss and 1 win was recorded against a strong Stand side whose First XI compete in Premier 2, two divisions above Thornham. The game at Stand was a prime example of the difference in levels, Stand racking up a total in excess of 180, with all of their top 4 batsmen in the runs. Thornham finished 35 runs short.

The return fixture at TCC was a different story, the returning Micklethwaite taking 3 wickets in Stand’s innings. A total of 176 was still going to be a difficult chase with the game reduced to 18 overs per side, however this time the top order fired with an opening partnership of 78 between Howarth and Afzaal. Wornes and Micklethwaite took the team home, chasing the total down in the final over, with Wornes finishing on 68 not out.

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