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Weekend Review Greater Manchester Cricket League
Monday 14th August 2017 @ 11:58 by Mark Phillip

It wasn’t a good weekend for the local teams as the season approaches its conclusion.  Only Denton St Lawrence gained winning points, and that was against relegation bound Glossop.  There was no local interest in the Derek Kay Perfit Cup Final, with Denton St Lawrence and Denton West having exited at the semi-final stage.  Egerton took the honours cantering to a 123 run win over Bury.

Premier Division

The weekend’s games ended with just 2 points separating the top three clubs who all gained winning points.  Table toppers Flixton crept over the line with a single wicket win chasing just 104 against Bamford Fieldhouse; Woodbank beat Denton West and Denton  St Lawrence had a comprehensive win over Glossop.  In the game at North Road overnight rain delayed the start and reduced the contest to 26 overs a side.  DSL struggled throughout and at 52-6 it looked as though a really sub-par total was on the cards.  Ben Tighe with 31* rescued things but totalling just 111-7 the game was in the balance.  The Glossop reply saw Dale Pennington fall to the first ball of the innings, and thereafter simply had no answer to Scott Kirwin.  His return of 7-21 saw Glossop fall for 54, and ensured that DSL kept up the pressure on Flixton and Woodbank.

The Bury based side met Denton West.  The game was restricted to 41 overs a side, and saw Woodbank total 194-4.  West put up a decent fist in reply, thanks to pro Semila Syibokwe, (84), aided by Mike Berry, (31).  At 155-4 with 7 overs left the odds favoured the Windsor Park team, but they fell away after that and finished on 182-9, leaving Woodbank the winners by 12 runs.

With four games left the title race is open, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the game between DSL and Woodbank on the last day will determine the destination of the silverware.  But before then DSL will be looking for another maximum return this weekend as they face Prestwich at home, and also knowing that Flixton and Woodbank meet.  A win for DSL, and a result either way in the table toppers game, will see St Lawrences push into 2nd place – weather allowing of course.

Division 1

It was a bleak weekend locally in Division 1.  Flowery Field fell victim to the elements, with their encounter with Stretford failing to start.  Other teams took advantage of this as Flowery fell out of the promotion spots.  On the other hand both Denton and Dukinfield will be glad of the recent decision of the GMCL hierarchy that there will no relegation from Division 1 in 2017, as both suffered defeats which would have left them looking over their shoulders but for the recent ruling.  Denton had a dismal afternoon at Heywood, being dismissed for 94, and seeing the Crimble outfit gain a victory by 6 wickets.  The only performance of note was from pro Cloete Buitendag who followed 32 with the bat with a bowling return of 4-30.  Dukinfield travelled to Stand and saw the home team reach 174-8 in a game reduced to 40 overs.  Chasing 175 for the win pro Yohan da Silva fought well reaching 82, but found little support from those around him.  His departure at 145-8 soon saw the end, as Dukinfield fell 28 short.

Flowery Field face a tough challenge this weekend as they visit leaders Greenmount, whilst Denton entertain Stand and Dukinfield have the short trip to Woodhouses.

Division 2

Having been challenging the leaders for a large part of the season Droylsden have slipped away recently.  Saturday saw them make the trip to Whalley Range where a nail-biter ensued.  The home team batted first and when they were reduced to 78-6 with 14 overs left Droylsden would have been hopeful of containing them to a manageable target.  They did however put together a further 85, and finished with 163-8.  The Droylsden reply faltered early on but a great partnership of 102 between skipper Aaqib Uppal, (74), and Mike Schofield, (37), put them back on track.  With 3 balls left and Uppal still at the crease Droylsden required 7 for what would have been a superb win.  However, Uppal fell and Jamie Walker was left needing to hit the last ball for a maximum.  It wasn’t to be and Droylsden lost by 5 runs. They now meet Edenfield this weekend.

Division 4 East

Ashton Ladysmith travelled to Stretford 2nd XI and posted a less than competitive 92, which the home side reached for the loss of 6 wickets.  The defeat sees Ladysmith in a mid-table 7th place.

By Martin Frost