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Still All to Play For as Senior Sides Dodge the Showers

Still All to Play For as Senior Sides Dodge the Showers
1 Aug 2022

Despite a gloomy forecast there were no overs lost for the senior sides as they completed all four of their scheduled games in week 15. The batters at London Road particularly enjoyed themselves where there were four fiftys and a maiden Matt Mullany hundred across the weekend. Three wins across the grades means everything is still to play for as we approach the business end of the season.

1stXI v Barnton

A well-timed declaration from stand-in skipper Will Ritchie helped set up a tense victory as the 1stXI were pushed all the way by basement side Barnton at London Road. The visitors were even the favourites moving into the latter stages, on the verge of their first win of the season at 180-5 chasing the Jets’ 222-5 on a placid wicket. The freak run-out of set batter Paul Coot (58) turned the game though, found short of his ground when a fierce drive was deflected into the stumps, and the Barnton tail then folded against Manning Berry (2-31) and James Banner (2-41) to be 29 runs short.

Before then Dave Oldfield (5-30) had played a lone hand with the ball, bowling his allocation straight through to deliver a fourth five-wicket haul of the summer with his accurate left-arm spin. He started by breaking the opening stand of 66 but the Jets efforts in the field were well below the usual standard, three drops adding to the sense that an upset might be on the cards. It meant they were thankful for having 60 overs up their sleeve as an early declaration in the first innings intended to mitigate any potential rain breaks ended up serving its purpose in another way.

Despite a delayed start, no overs were lost across the day and the first half of the Jets’ task was completed with minimal fuss after they lost the toss and were invited to bat. All of the top five scored healthily, combining for three stands in excess of fifty across the innings. Saul Gould led the scoring with an elegant 58 (6x4, 0x6, 75b) as he dominated an opening stand of 83 with temporary partner Sam Scragg. The acceleration was then provided by Manning Berry who was in merciless mood against the Barnton spinners, peppering the straight boundaries in a 30-ball 55* to allow the innings to close 10 overs early at 222-5.

Timperley v 2ndXI

The twos will hope to have landed a crucial blow in the Division B promotion race as they completed a league double over fellow challengers Timperley. The hosts typically score heavily but were kept to just 110 after electing to bat, a dominant Jets attack led again by tweakers Jimmy Williams (3-20) and Adam Burgess (3-39). Once the key wickets of Zain Bhatti (30) and Mohammed Usman (19) at the top of the order were secured it was plain sailing for the 2ndXI in the field as they wrapped up the innings in just 32 overs to set up a comfortable run chase.

Rory Caine (20) and Matt Mullany (25) did the hard yards against some tough opening bowling, Usman and Muzaffar combining to concede just 29 runs from 15 frugal overs. The change bowling was more to the Jets liking though as the runs started to flow more readily and it allowed the twos to really take advantage of the new points system as the experienced heads of John Westerby (37*) and Dave Bridge (24*) claimed red-inkers. Their unbeaten stand of 55 meant a 14-1 point split for an 8-wicket win and some breathing space between the sides in the league table.

Urmston v 3rdXI

A third century of the season by Urmston’s Nimesh Patel consigned the 3rdXI to defeat despite a valiant effort in the subsequent run chase. The opposition skipper was in belligerent mood, hammering 103* not out from just 75 deliveries including a mere 21 fours to leave the Jets helpless in the field. The end result was a daunting 207-5 on the board, Chris Taylor the standout performer with the ball with 3-50 across two spells that yielded some contrasting results!

Chases of such magnitude are not often seen in Division C but the threes made a good fist of it in response, even more so after an inauspicious start saw them fall to 22-3. The Johnson twins both made it into the 30s without kicking on, whilst Henry Woodall’s first season in senior cricket continues to show promise with a well-made 24. Dom Larkin added an unbeaten 20* as the Jets batted their allocation to total 175-9, a fine effort in the circumstances but ultimately defeated by an incredible individual performance. 

4thXI v Elworth

A third-wicket stand of 185 between Matt Mullany and Scott Parkinson dominated proceedings at London Road on Sunday as the reused 1stXI wicket again proved prosperous for batting. Only an outfield slowed by rain prevented both set batters reaching three figures, a tiring Parkinson eventually run out for 94 (5x4, 0x6, 98b) to break the mammoth stand. A scampered two in the final over did take Mullany to a maiden century though, finishing 104* (7x4, 0x6, 101b) not out to boost the junior’s hopes of reaching 1,000 Jets runs for the summer with his tally now reading 874 across all cricket.

The visitors from South Cheshire were equally overmatched in the second innings, the fixture sadly also clashing with games for their 1st and 2ndXI but an incredible effort to field three full teams on a Sunday. Early strikes for Sam Thompson (3-14) were backed up by the off-spin of Ed Parkinson who returned a career-best 5-10 to complete a good day for the father-son pairing. As a result the 4thXI remain in second place in the table with five games remaining where the 4thXI are the only team who can catch runaway leaders Didsbury whose only loss was to the Jets.

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