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Weekend Review Greater Manchester Cricket League
Monday 3rd September 2018 @ 09:30 by Mark Phillip

As the season moves into its final fortnight it is still all to play for in the Premier Division, as Denton St Lawrence, even on the back of a win over Heywood, still find themselves as one of five teams who will drop into the final relegation place, along with Denton West. Droylsden are a single win away from the Division 2A title, but elsewhere it is as you are next year for Denton; Flowery Field; Stayley; Glossop; Dukinfield; Micklehurst and Ashton Ladysmith. In Division 2B Ashton are clinging on, but anything less than maximum points from the last two games will seal relegation.
Premier Division
Denton St Lawrence visited Heywood knowing that a win was absolutely crucial to their hopes of beating the drop. The hosts were also desperate for the points sitting one place above DSL. DSL batted first and things looked gloomy as they fell to 114-8. It was a tremendous unbroken 9th wicket partnership of 66 between Ben Tighe, (52*) and Gareth Burns, (29*), which pushed them up to 180-8, a more than defensible total. And so it proved, as Scott Kirwin and Jordan Williams, with 3 wickets each, limited Heywood to 147-8, leaving DSL winners by 33 runs. With results elsewhere condemning Edgworth and Greenmount to the drop, DSL go into the last two games, as one of 5 teams who will fall into the last relegation place. They face Prestwich and Roe Green in those games, and know that two wins will preserve their Premier Division status. It may be less than that dependent upon results elsewhere. Denton West’s grim season continued. With relegation confirmed some weeks ago defeat at Egerton, by 110 runs, was their 18th of the year.
Flixton’s win kept them at the top, and they are now a single win away from retaining the title. At the bottom, with 3 relegation places confirmed, the last place will be occupied by any one of Woodhouses; Clifton; Egerton; DSL or Heywood.
Full results: Flixton 94=1 Clifton 93ao; Egerton 224-6 Denton West 114ao; Heywood 147-8 Denton St Lawrence 180-8; Prestwich 297-6 Edgworth 183ao; Roe Green 180-7 Greenmount 177ao; Woodhouses 153ao Woodbank 109ao

Division 1A
Flowery Field travelled to Greenfield, hoping for a continuation of the form which had seen them rout Denton and Brooksbottom. But there was no repeat, as the table toppers dismissed them in 39 overs for a paltry 110. Only pro Mike Burns, (29), made any impact with the bat for Flowery. Burns then reduced the hosts to 3-2, and hopes of a win rose, but there was no answer to the Greenfield sub-pro Shashrika Pussegola and overseas amateur Harrison Woolley, as Greenfield won by 7 wickets. With the win they stayed top, and within a single win of securing promotion. Denton have failed to trouble the scorers to any great extent over the last couple of weeks, but even without pro Cloete Buitendag at Astley and Tyldesley they found some form and totalled 255-8. An opening partnership of 142 between Adrian Holmes, (with a magnificent unbeaten 131), and Callum Clayton, (43), paved the way. Defending that kind of total would have been within Denton’s expectations and having reduced the hosts to 100-6, (Holmes making it a good all round day with 4-45), the win looked likely. It wasn’t to be, however, as A&T bounced back adding another 159 for the loss of only 2 wickets. Stayley secured their Division 1 future the week previously and met Bury at Oxford Street. They toiled in the field as the visitors ran up 286-7 and in reply reached 147-3 with 20 overs left. Aqeel Ahmed and Nick Woodhead both got half centuries, but Staley saw the last 7 wickets fall for 56, and defeat by 83 runs.
Relegation was confirmed for Stretford and Brooksbottom, with the 2 promotion places resting between Greenfield; Royton and Walshaw although Whalley Range still have faint mathematical chance of being involved.
Full results: Greenfield 111-3 Flowery Field 110ao; Astley & Tyldesley 259-8 Denton 255-8; Stayley 203ao Bury 286-7; Royton 255-4 Whalley Range 106ao; Stretford 80ao Heyside 83-5; Brooksbottom 37ao Walshaw 43-1

Division 1B
With local teams, Dukinfield and Glossop, in mid table and safe from fears of relegation there was only pride to play for. Their respective opponents, Stand and Unsworth, had much more at stake, and with that impetus saw off the local teams. Visiting table topping Stand, Dukinfield must have been confident of causing an upset as they dismissed the hosts for 115, (Charlie Dowling 5-48). But, in reply they had no real answer to the Stand attack and tumbled for 79 and defeat by 36 runs. Up at North Road Glossop saw Unsworth, fighting for their Division 1 future, finish on 211-8, (Will Hargreaves 4-53). It was a poor start in reply, as Glossop fell to 46-4, and despite a middle order fightback, (James Eyre 43), they were unable to maintain this and ended on 171ao, and defeat by 40 runs.
Stand’s win leaves them a single victory away from promotion, with the other place being between Moorside and Monton. At the bottom Unsworth’s win leaves it looking like Thornham will join Winton in Division 2 next year.
Full results. Thornham 136-9 Saddleworth 139-2; Moorside 111ao Monton 115-3; Stand 115ao Dukinfield 79o; Winton 155ao Glodwick 164ao; Glossop 171ao Unsworth 211-8

Division 2A
Droylsden can clinch the title this Saturday when they visit Micklehurst after yet another win, this time over Prestwich 2nd XI. It was their 17th victory of the season, and they now have a 10 point lead over Westleigh, (who also secured promotion with a win over Shaw), with only 2 games to go. In a low scoring game at Oakfield, they successfully defended a moderate total of 131ao. The visitors had no answer to a 4 man Droylsden attack, and folded for 78ao, with the wickets being shared around. It has been an outstanding season for Aaqib Uppal’s team, and they are no doubt already planning for life in Division 1. Micklehurst secured their own Division 2 status with a win at East Lancs PM, and in doing so plunged the hosts into further trouble at the bottom of the table. Overseas man Rico Hurley had a 5 star performance for the Richmond Hill team. He got 76 in Micklehurst’s 252ao, (Daniel Clayton also featuring with 45), and then picked up 4-44, running through the ELPM top order. Clayton, (3-17), also contributed with the ball as Micklehurst had a comprehensive 135 run win. Hurley now has nearly 800 runs and just short of 30 wickets – a great return for the Barbadian.
Full results: East Lancs PM 117ao Micklehurst 252ao; Droylsden 131ao Prestwich 2nd XI 78ao; Westleigh 260-5 Shaw 236-9; Elton 214-8 Glossop 2nd XI 139ao; Clifton 2nd XI 83ao Littleborough Lakeside 87-1; Werneth 162ao Elton Vale 45ao

Division 2B
Ashton lost gain this time to champions Uppermill, but relegation was staved off for another week as Whalley Range 2nd XI lost out to Hollinwood in a tight game. The stark facts are that Ashton will require 2 maximum point wins and hope that Whalley Range remain pointless in their last 2 fixtures. It is all but a forlorn hope. The game against Uppermill was perhaps closer than the form book might have suggested, as Ashton put up a fight. Having been dismissed for 95, they had Uppermill at 45-5 in reply, but Dave Roberts, (35*), took them home without further loss.
At the top it is looking like Austerlands will take the 2nd promotion spot. The only other team that could be involved is SW Manchester. The outcome of their game at Friarmere was unavailable at the time of writing
Full results: Radcliffe 114ao Wythenshawe 116-3; Friarmere v SW Manchester N/A; Oldham 156ao Edenfield 249-8; Bolton Deane & Derby 159ao Austerlands 187ao; Ashton 95ao Uppermill 100-5; Whalley Range 140ao Hollinwood 142-9

Division 4 East
Ashton Ladysmith tumbled to a heavy defeat at the hands of Heywood 2nd XI. Ladysmith limited Heywood to 142-9, with 4 wickets each for Paul Reynolds and Khaliq ur-Rehman. What might have appeared to be a chaseable target proved anything but, as Ladysmith collapsed for 54.
Full results: Hollinwood 2nd XI 241-8 Ashton 2nd XI 162-8; Heyside 2nd XI 301-6 Royton 2nd XI 131ao; Ashton Ladysmith 54ao Heywood 2nd XI 142-9; Denton 2nd XI 101-4 Woodhouses 2nd XI 98ao; Saddleworth 2nd XI 147ao Moorside 2nd XI 150-2; Newton Heath 204-9 Failsworth Macedonia 99ao

Division 5A
Full results: Friends Sporting 86ao Thornham 2nd XI 88-1; Tottington St Johns 2nd XI 108ao Worsley 2nd XI 165-7

Division 5B
Full results; Hindley St Peters 2nd XI 67ao Springhead 70-7; Austerlands 2nd XI 55-4 Bolton Indians 52ao

Division 5C
Full results: Shaw 2nd XI 67-2 East Lancs PM 2nd XI 66ao; Edenfield 2nd XI 156-7 Milnrow 3rd XI 97ao

By Martin Frost