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Weekend Review Greater Manchester Cricket League
Wednesday 22nd August 2018 @ 13:01 by Mark Phillip

On balance it was a decent weekend locally with 7 wins.  Amongst those were victories for Droylsden, further cementing their position at the top of Division 2A, and a couple of wins from the remaining 4 games will secure promotion, and in likelihood the title as well.  Both Ashton and Micklehurst had welcome wins in their respective battles to avoid the drop, and Flowery Field demolished Denton, who totalled only 29 in a game which was over in the space of 19 overs.  But it was gloomy news for Denton St Lawrence who dropped into the relegation zone, which, without an improvement, will see them joining neighbour Denton West in Division 1 next year.

Premier Division

It was not much more than a month ago that Denton St Lawrence still had an interest in the title race, but a desperate few weeks culminated in a 5th successive loss as they went down to prospective champions Flixton.  The visitors to Sycamore Park got off to a flying start and at 130-1 with 20 overs left must have eyed a really big total.  DSL did limit them to 253-8, (with 3 wickets each for Gareth Burns and Scott Kirwin), and might have eyed victory as they raced to 96-1 in reply, with only 16 overs gone.  Liam Parkinson, (54) and Kirwin, (41) gave them this sound base but thereafter things fell away and they finished 67 adrift.  The defeat, added to Heywood’s last gasp win over Greenmount, dropped DSL into the relegation spots and they will be hoping for an improvement if they are not to join neighbours Denton West in Division 1 next year.  West themselves put up a more than decent 242-7 at home against Clifton, with Luke Melling, (103), starring with his maiden century at 1st team level.  The visitors have been relatively strong with the bat all year and their reply simply blew West away.  Former Lancashire man Gareth Cross took the attack to task, reaching an unbeaten 150 as Clifton won by 10 wickets.

Flixton stay at the top, with a 10 point lead, but Woodbank leapfrogged Prestwich into 2nd place after beating them by 4 wickets.

Full results:  Denton West 242-7 Clifton 245-0; Denton St Lawrence 186ao Flixton 253-8; Edgworth 107ao Egerton 179ao; Greenmount 209-9 Heywood 210-9; Woodbank 144-6 Prestwich 141ao; Roe Green 175-9 Woodhouses 117ao

Division 1A

The local derby at Egerton Street proved to be a short lived affair with the game over in plenty of time for spectators to make their way to football.  Denton were thrashed by Flowery Field after been blown away for a less than paltry 29.  Cloete Buitendag got 23 of those, with the other 10 managing just 5 between them.  The destroyers for Flowery were pro Mike Burns, (6-7), and Mike Finan, (4-22).  The Flowery reply lasted all of 28 balls as they took the winning points back up the road by 2.30.  Whilst the defeat doesn’t rule Denton out of the promotion race, with only 4 games left it is now looking like a really faint hope.  Flowery themselves are only 4 points and 1 place behind Denton.  Stayley made the short trip to Heyside and had Aqeel Ahmed in prime form once again.  Coming in at 9-3 he dominated proceedings and reached 103, (his 2nd ton of the season).  Bhavin Patel added 58 as Stayley ran up 253.  They then contained the hosts to 160, with the wickets being shared around a 4 man attack.  With a 15 point cushion over the relegation places Stayley’s recovery over the last few weeks now seems to have guaranteed Division 1 cricket in 2019.

Things have opened up at the top.  Greenfield had an easy win over Bury, but 3 clubs lie within 9 points of them.  Whalley Range moved into 2nd place after Royton went down at Walshaw.

Full results: Denton 29ao Flowery Field 31-0; Bury 77ao Greenfield 79-2; Whalley Range 156-9 Astley & Tyldesley 152ao; Heyside 160ao Stayley 253ao; Walshaw 138-7 Royton 134-9; Stretford 243ao Brooksbottom 183ao

Division 1B

It was a double victory locally for both Dukinfield and Glossop.  Dukinfield’s win was particularly impressive as they comprehensively defeated leaders Moorside.  Batting first it was Ajmal Ghafoor who led the way, and his 75 set them up well, and at the back end of the innings an impressive 7th wicket partnership of 64 in 6 overs between Jonny Gascoigne and Neil Mistry left them finishing on 235-7.  Dukinfield made early inroads when Moorside replied and the departure of visiting pro Gerrie Snyman at 57-4 left the home side in the driving seat.  There was no Moorside comeback and Dukinfield ran out winners by 96 runs.  Glossop travelled to Winton and managed only 152, (James Eyre – 40).  Winton took up the chase, and lost 2 quick wickets to Eyre.  It then became the Oliver Kenyon show.  The medium pacer simply ran through the rest of the Winton order, finishing with 8-26, and giving Glossop the win by 75 runs.  

Moorside stayed top despite the defeat, but Stand narrowed the gap to only 2 points.  Monton and Saddleworth, (10 points adrift) will be hoping for a slip up from the top two.

Full results.  Monton 182-2 Saddleworth 178ao; Dukinfield 235-7 Moorside 139ao; Glodwick 155ao Swinton Moorside 159-7; Unsworth 86ao Stand 88-4; Winton 77ao Glossop 152ao

Division 2A

Droylsden won again in a low scoring game at Glossop 2nd XI, and with a 14 point gap know that 2 more wins will secure promotion, and more than likely the title as well.  They managed a less than par 113, batting first, and knew that defending this would be a difficult proposition.  As has been the case so many time this year, Mehmood ul-Hassan stepped up and ran through the home side, finishing with 7-25, as Glossop fell for 67.  Ul-Hassan now has 56 wickets this year, averaging under 12, and has been a crucial part of Droylsden’s successful campaign.  In a similar sort of game at Prestwich 2nd XI, Micklehurst successfully defended 115.  Switching the bowlers very effectively Micklehurst ran out winners by 28 runs, with the wickets being shared around.  The win was a welcome boost for Micklehurst in their bid to beat the drop, and they have the advantage of an additional game, with the fixture against Westleigh, (postponed due to the moorland fires a few weeks ago), now scheduled for Bank Holiday Monday.

Full results: Prestwich 2nd XI 87ao Micklehurst 115ao; Shaw 179ao East Lancs PM 102ao; Glossop 2nd XI 67ao Droylsden 113ao; Littleborough Lakeside 272-9 Westliegh 125ao; Elton Vale 105ao Elton 106-1; Clifton 2nd XI 65ao Werneth 68-1

Division 2B

Ashton had a more than welcome win, and displayed the sort of fight that hasn’t been really evident this season, as they overcame Whalley Range 2nd XI.  Having subsided to 64-6, Brad Wilshaw-Phillips, (81*), dug in, and a 7th wicket partnership of 73 with skipper Ryan Heap was crucial to them reaching a total of 182-9.  Heap has had a stop-start season, but really stepped up.  In an opening spell of 5-25 he ripped the heart out of the reply, and aided by Peter Higginbottom, (3-31), ensured the win by 62 runs.  Whilst the odds still have Ashton favourites for the drop, this sort of performance will give them heart.  

Uppermill’s clinched the title in fine style as they demolished Oldham in a game that was over shortly after 2pm.  The title is more than deserved – with 16 wins in 17 completed games they are unquestionably the best side in the Division by far.  Austerlands still look favourites to join them, despite going down to Friarmere.

Full results: Edenfield 183-2 Radcliffe 182ao; Austerlands 91ao Friarmere 150ao  ; Uppermill 63-0 Oldham 59ao; Hollinwood 255ao Bolton Deane & Derby 281-9; Ashton 182-9 Whalley Range 2nd XI 120ao; SW Manchester N/A Wythenshawe

Division 4 East

Ashton Ladysmith’s hopes of sneaking into the promotion places all but disappeared as they were comprehensively beaten at Moorside 2nd XI.   They had a long afternoon in the field as the home team ran up an imposing 276-4.  Ladysmith faltered in reply and had no answer to the Moorside attack as they tumbled for 103, and defeat by 173 runs.

Full results: Royton 2nd XI (won) Ashton 2nd XI (conceded); Heywood 2nd XI 54ao Hollinwood 2nd XI 55-3; Woodhouses 2nd XI 60-0 Heyside 2nd XI 59ao; Moorside 2nd XI 276-4 Ashton Ladysmith 103ao; Failsworth Macedonia 216ao Denton 2nd XI 290-6; Saddleworth 2nd XI (conceded) Newton Heath (won)

Division 5A

Full results: Stayley 2nd XI 92ao United Stars 197ao; Thornham 2nd XI 281-4 Worsley 2nd XI 122ao; Tottington St Johns N/A Friends Sporting

Division 5B

Full results; Springhead 208-6 Bolton Indians 205ao; Brooksbottom 2nd XI 155-9 Hindley St Peters 2nd XI 121ao; Droylsden 2nd XI 51ao Austerlands 2nd XI 53-1

By Martin Frost