Billed as the biggest game of the season the crowd numbers didn’t disappoint with an estimated 7000 people on the ground at it’s peak, 4 of which were there to watch the cricket, and what a festival they witnessed!
A last minute change in selection saw Russ go up to the 1st’s with Adam Masood coming the other way and the captaincy handed to Mas. Winning the toss he stuck us in to bat keeping and opened up with the Masood brothers.
As a motivation tool Mas had earlier read out John Hoyle’s call to arms from the GHCC Whatsapp group, and it certainly did the trick with the Masood bros going straight on the offensive from the first over. Racing to 37 off the first 3 overs Leachy predicted a final score of over 600, but it seems he was getting confused with the amount of money he would subsequently lose for England’s failure to score a seventh goal!
The momentum stayed with us for the remainder of the innings, with every batter contributing to get us to the grand old total of 244 from our 45 overs. Noticeable performances came from stand in skip Mas with 39, a disciplined and confident knock from Chris Oddie 35 and a swashbuckling innings from Mr Shovelton 39.
The innings was finished off with some big hitting from Mark Leach (think something had annoyed him earlier in the day 😉). Oh nearly forgot to mention young Danny Briggs dropped a catch off his Dad’s bowling!
Following the end of the football the remaining 6996 strong crowd made their way out to watch an equally entertaining game of cricket, providing the kind of atmosphere rarely seen at a 2nd XI match.
Rishton got off to a confident start and were on for the run chase, but Harwood fought back and took wickets at crucial stages. A couple of strong middle order partnerships formed, with some big hitting from Sammi Senapathi, then the Father and Son duo of Clifford and Briggs looking dangerous putting on 64 and taking the score to 181/7 before Clifford got the kind of delivery which in the words of Ray Nicholson “would’ve got Gooch out” (can’t remember the bowlers name).
Rishton got a further 25 runs, with the final wicket being expertly caught by Solo “Safe Hands” Ali, just after he’d dropped the same lad a couple of bowls before. As with the batting, wickets were spread out among the bowlers finishing off what was a brilliant team effort.