Weekend Review Pennine Cricket League
Monday 26th June 2017 @ 09:52 by Mark Phillip
Sports

It was Cup weekend in the Pennine League with only Stayley of our local teams in action, but before that the Tom Hardman T20 Competition Group games continued on Friday evening.

Tom Hardman T20 Competition

After much waiting Ashton finally tasted victory this season.  Buoyed by the arrival of pro Chami Edirisinghe there certainly appeared to be more purpose about the Reyner Lane side’s display.  Milnrow were the visitors to Ashton, and batting first had little answer to the spin of Edirisinghe, (3-4) and Aminullah Said, (3-0).  A total of 64 posed little problems for Ryan Heap’s team who won by 7 wickets.  Brad Phillips with 22 led the way.

Micklehurst hosted a T20 game against Monton, which saw the visitors run up an imposing 179-9.  Lewis Daniel, (5-27), had a fine return for the Richmond Hill team.  It was however, far too many for Stuart Chamley’s side who managed only 73 in reply.

Stayley visited Norden and fell foul of the drizzle which fell in the north of the area.  Having managed only 84, the conditions closed in after 5 overs, and the game went Norden’s way on run rate.   Barring unforeseen circumstances it is now unlikely that any of the three Tameside teams will progress to the knock out stages.

Tanner Cup

The following day attention turned to the Cup.  Stayley had a home game against Hollinwood and they romped into the Tanner Cup semi final.  Steven Bird and Peter Skuse both got 70’s in an impressive total of 269-3 that was far too many for the visitors who fell for 122.  Professional Hamza Nadeem made it 48 wickets for the season with a return of 5-22.  The draw for the semi final is scheduled to be made on Tuesday, (27th June), with ties due to be played on Saturday 8th July.  The other semi-finalists are Heyside; Friarmere and Norden.

JW Lees Wood Cup

With news emerging last week that the PCL will more than likely disappear 2017 represents the last year for the Wood Cup, (in its present format at least).  The four quarter finals took place on Saturday, and saw four “former CLL big hitters” progress.

It was a relatively low scoring game at Glebe Street.  Crompton may have been a little concerned, having only totalled 151 against Austerlands, and were probably more than disappointed that they left 12 overs unused.  Overseas man, Denis Louis, a regular run getter for Crompton provided the basis with 48.   Austerlands had the services of a substitute professional, Kelly Smuts, and he certainly earned his money.  After picking up 4-22 his 64 was the only real contribution in reply.  With a little more support he could have helped Austerlands over the line, but the visitors finished 30 adrift, on 121.

Up at Hare Hill Littleborough took on Greenfield, and once again it was Clinton Perren to the fore.  The former pro at Littleborough reached 98, and in doing so made it over 700 runs for the season.  A target of 204 for victory proved to be too much of a challenge for Greenfield.  They did put up a decent show finishing just 26 adrift.

The tie at Towncroft saw a meeting of the two teams relegated from the Premiership in 2016.  Middleton have been in prime form this form, but will have gone into the game wary of the threat posed by visiting pro Chirag Khurana, who before the half way point already has in excess of 700 runs and 30 wickets. Khurana managed only 31 on Saturday, but was ably assisted by a sound Royton display which led to a total of 235.  Chris Williams has proved his worth as professional at Unsworth over a number of years, and has continued in the same vein having moved to Middleton. He got 42 in the Moonrakers reply and in partnership with Grant Jones, (66), put Middleton in with a chance of victory.  The departure of these two put the brakes on and despite a couple of useful contributions lower down it ended up with Royton on top – progressing to the semi-final by 29 runs.

The final Wood Cup tie was at Rochdale, and the Lancashire League bound Club had just the better of a high scoring encounter with Monton. Pro Henry Cooper, made it two centuries in  24 hours, (following his knock in the T20 the previous evening), with 108 in the Rochdale total of 245-7.  Monton certainly made a good fist of the reply.  Furqan Shafiq led the way with a magnificent 124, and at 226-6 it looked as though Monton would progress.  Rochdale fought back and took the last 4 wickets for just 8 runs.  Mike Harling took 4-43, leaving Rochdale the victors by 11 runs.

***

This weekend attention returns to the League programme, but only after another round of Tom Hardman T20 fixtures.  On Friday evening, (6.15), Stayley will host Moorside at Oxford Street; Micklehurst travel to Heyside and Ashton are also on the road at Glodwick.  The following day in the Premiership 6th placed Stayley visit Monton, and in the Championship Ashton will be hoping to get a first league win of the season up at Moorside.  Micklehurst have a real challenge with a trip to leaders Middleton.

By Martin Frost