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Today we are at Milnrow Cricket Club. It will probably be my last visit to this nice little ground off the M62, off Harbour Lane, as the club have resigned from the Lancashire League and will return to the Manchester league next season I hear.

The club is over 150 years old and has that “Olde Worlde” look about it. Milnrow itself, during the Middle Ages, was one of several hamlets in the township of Butterworth and the parish of Rochdale. The settlement was named by the Anglo-Saxons, but the Norman conquest of England resulted in its ownership by minor Norman families.

Anyway, back to today, as the players arrive. This gives me the opportunity to witness a lovely moment as Paul Houldsworth admires Zain’s well-groomed beard….like a male model.

It’s a warm day….with a few clouds hovering, so hope the predicted thunder showers stay away.

Russ wins the toss and decides to bat first.

Newsflash: there is a Seagull walking round ground with a broken wing and feathers strewn across the ground. Hopefully our “wings” don’t get clipped today……..and we get off to a “fly”er……and the crowds “flock” here later…….and there are no “ducks”…….bored now.

Memory Alert: I recall when our 2s played here last year, it was when Saddleworth Moor fires were taking place, and we watched helicopters carrying water bags….looks a lot better today;

Team news as Milnrow only appear to have 10 players to start the game, albeit reliably advised someone else is coming to make 11…not sure way they said it that this person is an actual cricketer, but we will wait and see.

1st Innings:

Hamza and Zeain to open.

We get off to a steady start as the batsmen weigh up the bowlers for first couple of overs.

Gon on the off for my 1st lap of the day….

Newsflash:- Something not right about this sign….think about it…

2 nice shots for 4 from Hamza. We move our score on to 33-0 off 5. Going at a good pace.

Chance:- Zeain drooped. Score now on 79 off 14 overs.

Thought of the Day: how many laps do players do in a game…..suddenly my thought broken as Wicket:- Zeain stumped. Chris Oddie in at 3. Score 80-1.

A few more exchanges later…..Wicket:- Chris out caught behind. Score now 110-2.

Andy Brown in next. Shot:- 6 from Andy. Score moves 131-2.

New Event Alert:-….as we approach drinks their lads ask if I can help out and do drinks for them….happy to oblige as ever….saying that, never done drinks with a burger before…..no not the foodstuff….Burger Jr (Marcus)😊

Wicket:- Andy Brown out LBW. Score moved on to 153-3. Paul Houldsworth in next.

Score moves on to 193-3.

Wicket:- Hamza caught for 76. Score on 205-4. Russ Whalley at the crease next. Score moves to 233-4 with Russ and Paul playing some nice shots for 4. With 8 overs left…..Wicket:- Russ out caught. 245-5. Ben Rogers in next.

Injury Alert:- Paul retires hurt. Alex Kennedy replaces him. Unfortunately, Wicket:- Alex caught. Marcus Hamer follows. Score 263-6.

As we approach the close of the innings……..Wicket:- Ben bowled. 271-7…and shortly after another Wicket:- Marcus caught 271-8.

Innings closes on 272-8.

Summary:- a good score posted by our lads today and must be up there on total runs scored in games this season. As the players go for their well-earned tea break, I take a nap in the car….this match reporting is hard work…..took me 5 laps of the ground to write this!!

2nd Innings:-

We take to the field hoping to get an early breakthrough…..albeit will have to be quick if we are to manage to get back home to watch our 1sts….sorry too late already!!

Bottom Whiteheads to open from car park end. Steady first over as only a couple of runs scored.

Ste Schofield from clubhouse end…can he continue to bowl consistently well which he has done last couple of games. He does….a few “Oooohs” and “Aaaahs” from Ste as he comes close on a few occasions to take wickets as the batsmen seem to have holes in their bats as cant hit anything from both bowlers.

Breakthrough Wicket:- bowled Ste LBW. 6-1….we are off and running.

Player Alert:- is that Mr Kayley stood behind our keeper Ben….why is he facing other way and wearing a helmet?!

Sigh!!…….Jason left the match report!!

Chance:- dropped off the bowling of Tanny. Milnrow move score to 26-1. Albeit we don’t have to wait long as…..Wicket:- bowled Ste caught behind. Score 32-2.

Another Chance:- dropped Marcus off Ste bowling. Change of bowler:- Marcus Hamer on for Bottom Whiteheads. At the other end another change of bowler as Alex Kennedy on for Ste. We have spinners at both ends now to try and make their batsmen dizzy!

It works……Wicket:- caught Marcus Hamer bowled Alex Kennedy. Score now on 81-3. Good partnership from the 2 young lads.

Another Wicket:- bowled Alex caught Hamza. Score 96-4. The momentum continues as……Wicket:- another bowled by Alex, this time caught Andy with a great diving catch to his right. Score crept up to 116-5.

A few more exchanges follow with some good bowling and cagey batting. One of their batsman who seems to have just one shot in his repertoire….a heave towards cow corner….as he gets a few more runs albeit lucky on more than a few occasions to miss the fielders.

Wicket:- bowled Alex with a great googly. Score now 117-6.

The Milnrow batsmen continue to frustrate both bowlers for the next few overs as the score moves on to 162-6 with only 12 overs left. Looks like the target we set is safe.

As Captain Russ proceeds to bowl out the 2 young spin masters of Marcus and Alex, and as Alex pushes for his first 5fer…destiny isn’t looking too good as there are 4 shots hit in the sir in 4 consecutive balls in Alex’s next 2 overs which aren’t taken (to be fair 3 were more difficult than the other). Not to be as Alex and Marcus complete their overs….the future of our bowling attack is bright…well done both of you.

Change of bowlers as Zeain comes on for Marcus, and Tanny for Alex to close out the innings. Score 188-6 with 6 overs left to play.

Milestone:- 200 up for Milnrow whose players cheer….not sure whether that means anything significant or that they haven’t done that before. This question is resolved as one of their players state “we haven’t scored that in all of our matches combined this season”!

Wicket:- Run out by Ste Schofield with a direct hit. Score now 207-7.

Another Milestone:- Their “One Shot” batsman gets 50. Well played.

Wicket:- bowled Tanny caught Chris. 211-8. Another Wicket:- bowled Tanny. Score 211-9.

Last batsman (the person that turned up late)….can he survive?! Yes…best cheer of day as he defends a hat-trick ball from Tanny.

Final Wicket:- caught behind bowled Zain. Milnrow finish on 213 all out.

Game Summary – a good win for our 2nd team. Only a few mistakes in the field, but a good strong batting performance with stand-out performances from Hamza and Paul. From a bowling perspective there were 2 wickets apiece for Ste and Tanny, and a strong bowling performance from Alex with 4 wickets. Players of Match today go to Hamza and Alex.

Keep tuned in as we host Littleborough at home next week…..

 

Neil Kennedy

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