After so long without cricket the second week of the 2020 season was a bumper affair with a 1stXI double header and all four league sides taking to the field. Four wins from five games was a great return, including the 1stXI travelling to Victoria Road on Sunday and sending Macclesfield packing from the Cheshire Cup.
A trip to a Wilmslow side who finished 6th in Division 2 last year marked the first Saturday action of the new season in the temporary regional setup of Division 1 North/East. It meant the Jets arrived at Rectory Field as strong favourites and they lived up to that tag with a professional display returning a 10-wicket win.
The hosts took the positive step of electing to bat first but were denied any momentum by a 1stXI attack keen to make up for lost time in the season. Danny Williams (2-13) and Toby Carson (2-17) set the tone, the latter aided by a superb diving catch by James Banner, and the rest of the attack followed suit. Jamie Henderson bowled with great rhythm and accuracy to return 3-6 as the Squirrels could only muster 62 all-out.
The chase was then navigated with minimal fuss by openers Jake Reynolds (34*) and Andrew Clarke (27*), the skipper particularly quick to latch on to anything underpitched on a slow, tacky surface. Wilmslow struggled to stem the tide and consecutive boundaries from Reynolds finished the chase in just the twelfth over for a maximum-point win.
The 2ndXI were in a similarly ruthless mood at London Road where visitors Trafford MV did manage to bat out their 40 over allocation but only had 78 runs to show for their endeavours. Left arm spinners Adam Burgess (4-17) and Jimmy Williams (2-12) did the majority of the damage whilst there were also braces for Joe Rooney and debutant Reuben Cutts.
The chase was then brought to a swift conclusion by Chris Williams who hammered a brutal half-century. Entering at 20-1, he deposited his second ball out of the ground and continued on his merry way to 54* (8x4, 3x6, 21b) in a rapid stand of 61 with Saul Gould (17*) in the reliable anchor role.
A youthful 3rdXI made it a trio of wins for the Saturday that had looked unlikely when Rostherne’s new ball attack had the Jets at a precarious 18-5. Teenagers Luke Johnson (39*) and Jack Parkey (20*) played with immense maturity though to form an unbeaten last wicket partnership of 58* and drag North East to a competitive 138-9 on a heavy outfield.
Parkey then swapped willow for leather to complete a man-of-the-match performance with 3-7 as he and skipper Owen Johnson (4-7) rattled through the host’s middle order after Nathan Warner (2-13) had clean bowled both openers. Rostherne were sent packing for 49 to complete a dominant Saturday.
On Sunday the 4thXI faced a familiar foe as they returned to the scene of their friendly victory last week to again face off with Bramhall. After a title-winning promotion campaign last season they appeared to be well on course to make a positive start this year when Sam Thompson’s 4-14 helped bowl the Beavers out for 92.
However, the Jets lost their final six wickets for just four runs as a potentially match-winning position turned into 67 all-out.
Any concerns that the 1stXI would be undercooked heading into their Cheshire Cup fixture against County League side Macclesfield proved unfounded as Jake Reynolds’ side held their nerve in their second game of the weekend. They producing a quality 9-run win to upset the odds and set up a tie with Premier League Cheadle at PSC in two weeks.
For the second day running the opening pair added a fifty run stand but it was the impetus provided by Dave Oldfield’s run-a-ball half century that led to posting a defendable 187-8. Five other batsmen chipped in with double figure scores in a real team effort which was then replicated in the field to seal progression to the next round.
The Jets kept themselves in contention as Sam Waller (2-25) bowled a suffocating spell of off-spin through the middle overs that ensured the game would go down to the wire. It set up a tense finale in front of the assembled crowd as Danny Williams took two wickets in two balls in the penultimate over before Jamie Henderson produced the same trick to dismiss the home side for 178.
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