After having a well deserved weekend off last week (even though I say it myself) as Alex was in Paris, I find myself making another trip towards Manchester to visit our opponents today. As I drive my “players taxi” to the ground, my mind is also drifting to the Quarter Final of the World Cup which England play Sweden….therefore if the match report drifts a little between 3-5:30pm apologies in advance!
As mentioned we are in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale today, as I arrive at the ground bathed in sun. First visit to this ground but a nice looking small ground with a lovely clubhouse.
What about Milnrow I hear you all ask….you probably aren’t but for those interested Milnrow during the Middle Ages was one of several hamlets located within the township of Butterworth and the parish of Rochdale. It was named by the Anglo Saxons, but the Norman conquest of England resulted in its ownership by Norman families such as Schofield & Clegg…….and yes yet another mill town.
History lesson over, on to the game. Squad News – in comes Alex Kennedy, Marcus Hamer and Seb Whalley……unfortunately it appears we are also 1 player short and without another registered player we will have to battle on with 10.
Great Harwood to bat with Seb and Shak opening. Unfortunately, unlike young Seb’s heroics at Rawtenstall 2 weeks ago, he loses his wicket early out bowled. In comes Solo at 3 who immediately takes the attack to Milnrow scoring 2 quick 4’s. At this stage we are 31-7 off 7 overs. Another 4 from Solo….we are on the march…Wicket!- Solo out bowled for a quickfire 16.
Chris in at 4 and again starts well playing some nice shots. Chance!- Chris dropped behind. 71-2 off 16 overs. We continue to attack the bowling and at drinks we are on 112-2 and made some good progress.
As the drinks break is happening taxi, after minibus, after taxi starts to arrive for the England game….not jealous as I take my walk around the ground again…would much rather be here taking this match report….commitment eh!
Shak and Chris are in control as play resumes and not long after this Shak reaches his 50
This is a rare occasion I am sat watching cricket with my wife, who asks “Why is Shak still batting he should retire at 50”!….too much junior and district cricket watched my dear…..does he look under 15?!
Immediately after hitting a big 6 into the allotments behind me Shak tries again but is caught on the boundary – good knock Shak. Next in Zain (or Ziggy as he is seem to be known)….not Stardust I assume?
We make it to the 2nd drinks break on 146-3…..Bill Oddie (sorry Chris) is on 43 and approaching his half century. As play starts again Chris quickly retakes control and reaches his 50 – well played Chris.
Headache!- their Captain hasn’t shut up the whole innings organising his team, moving fielders and my ears have tuned into him now…..he does have a look of Bill Clinton about him….hope Monica isn’t here!
Seb comes round at this stage doing a collection for Shak and Chris…..only me here so that’ll be £1 each then….don’t spend it all at once!
Wicket!- Zain next to fall out for 25. Incomes Captain Shovey as overs are starting to run out for Chris to try and get to the magical 100. Unfortunately, as Shovey tries to attack he is out and in comes the start of our young brigade, Ethan in next. Chris is looking tired….keep going. Unfortunately, Ethan gets run out trying to take a quick single which at this stage isn’t going to happen unless Chris plays on a motorbike….he looks shattered.
Alex in next….come on Alex support Chris to his 100. Gets a couple of 4 and a single and Chris on strike on 94. Alas, the opportunity goes as Chris swings and misses…out on 94. Great effort by the young man who has batted most of the innings for his score…he leaves the ground to a great ovation from his teammates.
Tani in next and swings at last ball but we finish on a great score of 249-7.
As the tea break takes place, and play resumes my eyes drift towards the backdrop of Saddleworth Moor as a helicopter makes its 5th journey with water to help dampen the flames…..thoughts must go out to our brave firefighters risking their lives to stop the fire spreading.
Zain opens bowling at the England Football match end….sorry mind gone to football again….clubhouse end. Chance!- LBW but not out. Bottom Whiteheads (advertising again) opens at the car park end. Seb makes a great diving stop in the filed….started well and runs are very few.
Wicket!- great one handed catch in slips by Solo from Tani. 17-1. Another Wicket follows caught & bowled from the bowling of Zain. 22-2. This is a great start and we have them on the ropes.
Chance!- another one handed attempted catch by Solo in slips off Tani….a debate appears to be taking place around 1 hand and 2 hands and advice being shared between the players – love the commitment and passion. Captain Shovey has a word at the end of the over and things calm down.
Tani bowling, Chance!- a missed catch….but as the excitement continues Alex fields the bowl and Direct Hit!- Wicket…..good lad. 34 – 3 as the players celebrate another wicket.
Change of bowler as Alex replaces Zain who has bowled well. 51-3 at drinks. Change of bowler at car park end as Ethan replaces Tani. Struggles a little with his line in his first over but keeps his head up as the team rally round.
Wicket! – bowled Alex caught Seb…worth noting Seb not playing in is Big Gloves and T20 kit today but a great catch. 62-4. Another Wicket!- bowled Alex…..70-5. Change of bowler as Marcus replaces Ethan and proceeds to get a wicket as Chris stumps the batsman. Chance!- dropped catch from Marcus bowling. He is bowling well and consistency in his length is working really well.
Good to see 2 of our younger players in Marcus and Alex tying up both ends and giving us a spinning masterclass.
Wicket!- Run Out off the bowling of Marcus as he takes the bails off. 105-7.
Change of bowlers as Zain replaces Alex, and Tani replaces Marcus. Zain stats to mop up the tail end as he takes 2 more wickets one a bowled, and the second LBW. 125-9. I hear a rumour Seb is next on the bowl….there is apprehension in the air….how will he bowl with them big gloves on….confused?!
Unfortunately this doesn’t come to fruition as Zain takes last wicket with a full toss…Milnrow close on 127 all out.
Summary – great result and performance by the lads today. I must state that albeit there were a couple of chances that were missed, the fielding was tremendous today and we looked sharp and stopped a lot of boundaries on what was a lightening outfield. Also a big thanks to Chris Hamer for scoring the game today.