Promotion Confirmed for 1st and 2ndXI

Promotion Confirmed for 1st and 2ndXI
5 Sep 2022

Four wins from four and the confirmation of promotions for the 1st and 2ndXI meant a successful start to September as the 2022 season approaches its conclusion. Both still have their respective league titles to play for in the final two weeks as the threes and fours also look to secure finishes towards the top of the table.

Barrow v 1stXI

A sixteenth league win of the campaign – combined with favourable results elsewhere – confirmed promotion for the 1stXI with two weeks to spare. They now require 8pts from the final two fixtures to secure the league title after giving short shrift to struggling Barrow at The Croft. The hosts had been dismissed for under 100 in their last two league outings and looked to hit themselves back into some form after Jake Reynolds invited them to bat first. That initially proved fruitful as the scoreboard raced along, particularly when dangerous South African overseas Matt Parks (34) was at the crease.

His eventual dismissal to a calamitous runout sparked wild celebration in the visiting ranks from which the Jets soon regained their composure to boss the remainder of proceedings. Stand-in keeper Reynolds pouched three victims from Toby Carson (3-46), Dave Oldfield (3-16) provided his usual incision on return from holiday, and Jamie Henderson (2-17) returned to polish off the tail as 54-1 quickly became 95 all out inside 25 overs of play. Such a score was impossible to defend on a lightning-fast outfield, but the 1stXI still had to contend with some lively home bowling that wasn’t averse to using the short ball.

A second-wicket stand of 63 between Chester Bowden and Andrew Clarke weathered the early storm using a mixture of bat and body to repel the quicks. Bowden came out of his shell to take 14 from one Mumford over, spin offering some brief respite, but he eventually succumbed to another bouncer and gloved behind off Parks for 21. Another wicket would have brought Barrow a first point of the afternoon but the Jets were in ruthless mood and blanked their opponents as Clarke hit out to finish with a quickfire 59* (10x4, 0x6, 56b) and add the remaining 32 runs in partnership with Will Westerby (7*).

2ndXI v Offerton

The twos had found out late in the week that they had also gained promotion after the delayed entry of the final result from Div B last weekend went in their favour. That leaves them in a title shootout with fellow promotees Wilmslow and they took a critical first step towards the title with a maximum point win over Offerton. Despite some challenging opening bowling, Aqib Hussain taking 3-4, the Jets piled on the runs batting first. Dave Bridge was unbeaten at the close on 88* (11x4, 0x6, 107b), adding 107 with Owen Johnson (51) and 94 with Matt Wragg (46) as the scoreboard rattled along to 246-4.

Runs on the board is definitely the way forward with a new scoring system which is a work in progress and will surely change next season. It meant that the 2ndXI were always favourites to bank maximum points and they did that comfortably. Andy Heath (2-18) blasted out the opening pair and the now-familiar death by spin ensued which led to six catches of varying difficulty being pouched as Offerton tried to hit out and failed. Jimmy Williams (4-12), Adam Burgess (2-17) and Owen Johnson (1-2) quickly brought things to a close in front of a crowd swelled by the early return of the 1stXI, Offerton skittled for just 87.

3rdXI v Styal

Despite dominant wins for the ones and twos, perhaps the most pleasing result of the day arrived at Jackson’s Edge where there was a tense one-wicket win for the 3rdXI over bogey side Styal. Man of the hour was Chris Taylor with some rare batting heroics, the tailender plundering an unbeaten 32* with Max Collins (1*) playing the Leach to his Stokes as the threes squeaked home. It bailed out a top order who all got in and got out in chase of Styal’s first innings 161-8, six of the top seven made double figures but no match-winning contribution until Taylor’s late-order sorcery.

In the first innings CT had impressed in his more accustomed role with the ball, his 2-17 leading a balanced seven-man attack that shared the wickets around. It kept the score down until Saeed’s 36* expertly marshalled the tail and helped creep the score up into challenging territory at four runs per over. It almost proved enough but the Jets weren’t to be denied for a long-overdue taste of victory against this opposition. A top three finish has long been secure but only a mathematical miracle in the final two weeks will close the gap to Mellor and Urmston who look certainties for promotion.

4thXI v Cheadle

The fours' home game with Cheadle was switched to Kingsway and the Jets took some measure of revenge for a heavy defeat when the sides met previously. It was a day of firsts as Nathan Warner struck a maiden fifty, youngster Ben Turnbull made his senior debut and Seamus Walsh claimed his first wickets in senior cricket. Warner’s even 50 helped almost double the score from a perilous 108-6, adding 73 with his skipper and finally out just before the innings closed at an impressive 202-8.

Wickets then fell consistently in reply but the key scalp of Kevin Moss eluded the Jets for long periods and kept Cheadle well in the game. His 71 (9x4, 3x6, 63b) was finally ended to allow the game to be closed out, the fours chucking the ball around to good effect among an eight-man attack. That included Walsh (2-12) knocking over two of the top order as the hosts were eventually all out for 173 and an overdue win for the fours who still remain tied in second place in the league.

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