On a bumper five-game weekend the bowlers stood up for the Jets across the grades as they took 48 of a possible 50 wickets. The result was wins for all of the sides in league action in addition to a good workout for the 1stXI in the Cheshire Cup but a somewhat inevitable defeat against Premier League opposition.
In a similar game to their last home fixture against Stockport, the 1stXI defended a seemingly under par first innings total with room to spare against visiting Oakmere. Stuck in again, the Jets top order looked out of sorts and out of practice whilst still awaiting the completion of the new net facility. Plenty made it to double figures but only Will Westerby went on before he was caught hitting out in the final over for an otherwise patient 45 (4x4, 0x6, 108b) as his breakout season in senior cricket continued.
134-9 in 50 overs didn’t wow the spectators but just to bat the full allocation of overs and accrue something felt like a win, especially after losing cheap wickets to the new ball before the introduction of visiting overseas Zander Potgieter. The South African bowled immaculately to concede just 25 runs from his 15 overs but the Jets could take some confidence that Oakmere had used conditions to replicate the bowling plans that had served the 1stXI so well in the season to date with pace upfront before a spin battery.
That confidence was looking misplaced when the visitors started steadily without loss, but a crazy run out opened the door and North East needed no second invitation. 21-0 quickly became 26-5 and a giant momentum swing, Toby Carson (2-9) delivering a double wicket maiden and Jamie Henderson (2-24) picking up the key wicket of Potgieter for a golden duck. The veteran head of Paul Guilford (21) calmed the game down but the Jets remained on top and his wicket on the stroke of drinks commenced the second five-wicket collapse, Westerby completing a man-of-the-match display with 4-22 with Oakmere 78 all out.
A resounding victory at neighbours Woodford continued the 2ndXI’s charge at the top of Division B East. The hosts got off to the best possible start as they trapped Rory Caine plumb LBW from the opening ball of the afternoon, but that was as good as it got. Fellow opener Chester Bowden led the way with a fine 88 (7x4, 1x6, 115b), well supported by Sam Scragg with a solid 33 and Dan Mullany who picked up his fourth red inker of the season with 35*. The new points system in the CCL backs runs on the board and with 190 to defend the Jets looked well set for a maximum-points victory which they duly delivered.
New-ball pair Andy Heath and Sam Turnbull started things off with a wicket apiece, the latter’s a well-executed caught and bowled, before the now obligatory run out for Jimmy Williams. He was soon into the attack along with fellow left-arm spinner Adam Burgess to do as they have done for much of the season to date. Their spells polished off the rest of the order, Williams taking the honours this week with 5-17 with four bowled and one stumped as Woodford crumbled to 72 all out.
A career-best 4-8 from Kris Bajaj was the highlight as the 3rdXI returned to winning ways at Rostherne. He was backed up by fellow tweaker Owen Johnson (3-9) as they shared the final seven wickets to engineer a collapse that left the hosts all out for 81. Johnson claimed the key wicket of set batsman Steve Crome (31) amongst his haul, whilst Bajaj produced a classical off spinner’s dismissal to get off the mark for the day by bowling Raiswell through the gate with a beauty.
Any thoughts that OJ’s work for the day might be done were quickly removed when the Jets fell to a troublesome 15-4 in response, the allrounder rushing for his pads and joining John Westerby in the middle. The pair returned a sense of order to proceedings, their unbroken stand of 67 seeing the side home with twelve overs to spare and swelling Westerby Snr’s average to a mere 132 for the 3rdXI this season!
After the excitement of Friday evening, the 4thXI backed up their strong start to the season with another win to remain undefeated and level with the early pacesetters in the league. With the 1stXI also at home in cup action, the Jets were at home on Jackson’s Edge where they limited visiting Heaton Mersey to 134-9 from their allocation of 40 overs.
The chase was dominated by the club’s leading runscorer Matt Mullany whose absence on Saturdays due to school cricket commitments hasn’t stopped him peeling off Sunday runs. Here he struck 73, supported by Damien Mullany in a father-son partnership of 72 for the fourth wicket. It helped the Jets home with plenty of time to spare as Sam Turnbull hit the winning runs from the final ball of the 32nd over.
The 1stXI bowed out of the Cheshire Cup in a decent showing against Premier League side Widnes but one that never threatened an upset. Both sides were mixed given availability issues that included the bizarre news of the Widnes overseas having flown home unannounced during the week. They relied on the regulars in the lineup to do the business and that was the case as Chris Kirby (44) anchored the innings allowing Aaron Soni to hit out lustily for a 64 that included five maximums, helping set 191-9 against a Jets attack again led well by Jamie Henderson (3-31).
The experienced Qamar Hafeez then removed any chance of a successful chase, bowling his allocation unchanged for 4-14 that included Saul Gould bowled first ball of the reply. He added Manning Berry and Will Westerby as victims in his final over and with that the goal for the Jets was to at least swell the score against the change bowling. This had some success thanks to Chester Bowden (28), Will Ritchie (27) and last man Henderson (15) before the 1stXI were finally dismissed for a valiant 134.
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