Apologies for this being a bit late on the blog, but I just wanted to put something about Harmeet's Memorial Match.
We were again blessed with beautiful cricket weather, which will serve as a reminder of a fantastic English summer as we come into the winter season. Many of Harmeet's friends, work colleagues and fellow cricketers turned out to make it another great day to celebrate Harmeet.
Many thanks must go to Steve who put in a great deal of work in organising the day. Thanks also to the tea ladies and Dave for making cakes, curry, chilli, barbecuing etc and making the day run as smoothly as it did, Pete and Russ for umpiring the match, all sponsors and donators to the raffle and, of course, the two teams and spectators.
The game took an interesting format of 2 twenty over innings per side, to promote some big hitting and excitement - something that characterised Harmeet's style. Somebody should've told the Sandon top order as they made a very slow start. Some credit must go to the All Star's bowling attack, but after a slow start a score of just over a hundred was something of a recovery.
The All Star's made a more positive start, but Sandon wrestled back some control in the middle overs to give the All Star's a slender lead going into the 2nd innings. Unfortunately a fantastic tea and cakes seemed to slow Sandon down, although a more solid innings at least made it something of a contest.
With Sandon in a tight position a spectacular start by the All Star's openers sapped the energy of Sandon's bowlers. How we could have done with a few overs from Harmeet!
In the end the All Star's won reasonably comfortably, but it was a good match, and wonderful occassion befitting of our great friend.
A sunny day,and a decent batting line-up allowed Shaggy to win the toss and take first knock on the ever inviting artificial turf. Pav & VJ returning, along with Greg and Matt,to bolster the Sandon order were a big bonus. Batting first proved a good decision, as we only lost one wicket before we reached three figures with Mick hitting 45, and myself 48(dubious high lbw),ably supported by Steve's big hitting 42,on the way to posting a big total of 215 for 6 dec; Stafford's Manu Das providing the discreet boundary chunder entertainment, after a tour involving too many 'night-caps' on the eve of the game.
This posed a big ask for Ali Martin's boys to chase down. Stafford's unwillingness to go for glory resulted in a dour spectacle for players and spectators alike, with Ali's 24 being recorded on the Stone League Website as a 'Highlight of the innings'. Sandon bowled a good line & length, with Shaggy returning figures of 3 for 35, Matt keeping well with the gloves and providing good vocal support for the Sandon attack.
keep the quality going for last three games boys. Finish on a high.
Since the last match reports back in June we’ve enjoyed a great summer of cricket. We’ve had some great wins, an annoying draw and another devastating defeat by Moddershall, that currently leaves us as the best of the “also rans”.
We won a good contest against Oakamoor who had in their ranks a West Indian international cricketer (female). We declared at just under 160 with most people chipping in. (Andy 64).
Oakamoor gave a pretty decent chase and given a bit more intent might have made things uncomfortable. As it was, Steve and Nando with 4 wickets a piece wrapped things up, leaving them short by 20 runs with 4 overs left.
Next up was Maer & Onnelly away. On a difficult duvet of a wicket our top order of Mick, Dave, Andy and Dean all stepped up to the plate and gave us the platform to end up with a score just shy of 200. A comfortable win for us in the end, with them being knocked over for just 103. (DRS was not in use on the day and we had to rely on NCRS which indicated that most of the wickets that we took were in fact not out).
We followed that up with a winning draw against Stafford. We declared at 205 for 4 including 50’s from Andy & Phil. It was just one of those days however and despite taking early wickets we couldn’t winkle out their last few batsmen.
Away at Newcastle & Harstshill on yet another hot day we put in a good performance and bowled them out for 148. (this with an outfield so fast that there really were very few 2’s). With very little fuss whatsoever our top order knocked off the runs to allow and early visit to the bar.
And so on to Moddershall at home……I think it’s fair to say that for us to beat Moddershall that we would have needed our best team on the pitch and for them have to batted, bowled and fielded to the top of their ability. Sod’s law had it that we were missing key players on the day. It has to be said that we bowled and fielded pretty well, getting early wickets and restricting them to 178 on another hot day with a fast outfield. (A special mention to Gaj who toiled in the heat and was rewarded with 4 well deserved wickets)
Given the strength of their bowling attack we knew things would be tough. We did however get off to a decent start with John Millo in particular blunting their pace attack. Things were looking quite promising at 21 -1 after 15 overs and with the strike bowler for Moddershall being taken out of the attack. In good England tradition however we managed a total and utter collapse mainly at the hands of their young talented spin bowler. We were humiliated to be all out for 29. Nothing more needs to be said.
The Management Committee have said that, as the decision re the restricted run-up was made by the umpires, that the result should stand. I'm sure we all wish Maer good luck in the final.
After discussions on weather to appeal against our bowling run-up restrictions in the Pinfold Cup game,we decided to go ahead with it. As the limited run up rule only applies to evening matches, we feel that the result was not achieved under the correct circumstances,although we don't wish to take anything away from Maer. Dave Sarjeant has been contacted,and assures me that this issue will be discussed at the committee meeting.
It was nice to get back to winning ways after the disappointment of the Cup exit. It was even nicer to be in the pub early after Steve and Mick skittled Leigh out in just 13 overs. Steve was the match winner with 8 wickets in just 7 overs.
The Leigh wicket was interesting and we were in a bit of trouble at one stage. Dave dug in though and provided the glue that held the innings together. True sportsman that he is, Dave walked after a faint nick to the wicket keeper (28). (the umpire hadn’t picked it and wouldn’t have given him out). The innings ended quite respectably on 110 all out, particularly as Leigh bowled pretty well.
Given the quality of our opening bowling attack and the feisty wicket, I think we were confident that we could knock them over and 13 overs later we had done. The fielding was generally good, with good catches from Dean, Mick and Shaggy.
I won’t dwell too much on the defeat the week before in the cup, other than to mention the superhuman effort by Steve (53 not out) and Ade (23 not) to give us half of chance of rescuing the game. We couldn’t winkle out their opening bats though and although we took it to within 8 balls of the 40 overs, we were on the day second best.
As a footnote however it is worth pointing out that we were handicapped by what is thought to be an incorrect application of the shortened run up rule for the bowlers. Me thinks that although Stevie G bowled well off just 6 paces, that it didn’t allow him to bowl to full potential. Who knows what Dave could have done off his full run as well!).
Anyway, to end on a positive, we have over the last few weeks shown that we can bat right the way down the order.
As Atters did us a big favour, playing after an 11th hour call up, I thought he might appreciate someone else doing the match report while he placates Mrs Atters!!
Shaggy won the toss and put them in, and I think the consensus was that this was our best chance of a result against an experienced Moddershall team just out of the North Staffs League. The bowling performance was good, backed up by our best fielding performance for some weeks. Steve and Mick bowled a really aggressive opening spell and it was nip and tuck with neither side grasping the initiative. Nando came on as first change, bowling controlled line and length with a bit of movement through the air, but it was a straight one that did for the dangerous Andy Lightbown. Shaggy bought himself on from the pavilion end on a track that looked like it'd take spin and Nando continued at t'other end. Wickets fell at regular intervals as Modd tried to push on the score and we took our chances. Nando finished with 4, denied a 5 for when their skipper decided not to walk after leg glancing off the face of the bat into the keepers outstretched glove. These things happen, but it cost us a good 30 odd runs. Having said that we were pretty happy restricting them to just over 180, and enjoyed our tea.
Mick and Dave made a decent start against the best bowling attack we've faced for a long time, using the pace of the ball on a good track. Mick fell first, then Shaggy was unlucky when caught off a full toss on the 7th ball of the over!! Atters took a blow for the team, but the experienced bowling attack did for him shortly after. I came in to join Dave and we steadied things for a while, riding our luck at times but giving the Sandon support a few boundaries to cheer. We saw off some hostile bowling (got the bruises) and nudged the score up past 50. The runs dried up a bit as the bowling was changed and Dave and I fell in quick succession. We didn't do ourselves justice and fell short of what was needed. Daz finished not out, and Ade batted on one leg at the end.
Although we didn't really make a contest of it with the bat we can take heart from our performances with the ball and in the field. It's our first real test and I'm looking forward to the rematch. These are the kind of games we should relish boys. It was a real battle out there and the reason we play this great game. We can learn much more from this defeat than from any of our previous victories. They're good, and have the resources to pick a very strong team to play us. We all have to be on our A game next time we play them. On our day we can make it a much closer match.
Not a spectacular win, but it was a nice and comfortable one in the end.
The tone of the day was set by the unseasonably cold weather and the pitch, which with a few exceptions didn’t have the life in it of recent weeks.
Apart from Mick getting one that exploded off the pitch and being caught off the shoulder of the bat, things were progressing along fairly nicely with us 50 odd for 2. There weren’t the fireworks of last week though with Andy top scoring with 37. Really important contributions from Steve and Daz meant that we posted what was felt to be a reasonable score of 123.
In the end this proved to be more than enough. Mick got the early wickets but Steve suffered again with dropped catches. Nando carried on his fine seasons form and aided by some well held catches ended up with another 4 wicket haul. Andy brought himself on at the end to successfully clear up the tail.
Sterner tests lie ahead but we have to be happy with the start that we have made to the season. Hopefully better weather lies ahead too.
In the end this was a draw that did indeed feel like a winning draw. It’s fair to say that barring a strange umpire decision to come off the field for just one over at a critical stage in the game, that we would have pulled off an epic victory.
The weather it has to be said was not promising neither in forecast or in actual fact. No sooner had Stafford commenced their innings that we were off for a fairly lengthy rain delay that ultimately cost us 14 overs off our innings.
The Stafford innings got off to a decent start, aided and abetted by some fairly abject fielding by Sandon leaving Mick and Steve hard done to, to be wicketless. A brave decision by the skipper to bring on Rusher the partnership Crusher paid dividends with the said Shaggy holding his nerve to catch a skyer and see the danger man on his way back to the pavilion.
Nando was the star of the bowling and bowled a lengthy and tidy spell ending up with a deserved 4 for 64. The fielding throughout though was a bit of a mixed bag with a few bad misses, although Louis showed what a valuable addition he is to the team by holding 2 skyers.
The Stafford innings ended at 180 after the full 50 overs leaving us 31 overs to get them in. (just over a run a ball). The feeling was that we could get the runs and Mick set off in a manner akin to a seal cull and murdered the opening bowling. We were off to a great start with everyone keeping up the pace so that the target was always on.
Phil came in and set his stall out right from the start with a steady succession of magnificent blows. As the crux of the game approached with Steve at the crease and Phil seeing it like a football, the pivitol moment arrived, with the intervention of the umpires. Despite an afternoon of on and off showers a very strange decision was made to bring us off the field for 1 over with just a handful of overs left. In the end the loss of that one over cost us the win, as we ended up just 3 runs short thanks to great knock from Phil that kept things alive right until the last ball.
Useful points though with many games rained off.
It really wasn't cricket weather, but then 3 weeks ago the ground was covered in a blanket of snow! We were put in to bat on a wicket that looked pretty good for this early in the season. Dave got one that moved away and found the edge (caught on camera by the Newsletter photographer as well as by the wicketkeeper!) whilst Mick went on to pass 50 in good time. Shaggy made the most of an early drop in the slips to go on and make a half century and share in a 100+ partnership with Mick. With a little drizzle in the air the skipper opted for a declaration as we passed 150 and we took tea.
Determined to make it a man of the match performance Mick took the early wickets and finished with 4. Although Steve was a little slower getting going he finished with a well deserved 5 for. Louis came on for his debut Sandon over and his first ball was played just short of the slips. No mistake with his second ball and Leigh were all out.
Well done boys. Great to be back on the cricket pitch again.
Folks due to the weather our ground force day at the club is now this Saturday.
Please take the time to come as any help is appreciated. It's also very important
that I remind you to ask local businesses if they will sponsor us through the
boundary board scheme. We may have to buy some expensive machinery very
soon and the club needs some extra funds.
We are also open to any ideas for fund raising, so if anyone would like to step up
and be counted to help our club now is the time!
This weekend also sees our last net session at Sandon high school at 15:00hrs.
Can I also remind everyone that annual subscriptions are due before the first
game of the season. £30
Happy new year everyone!
Pre-season cricket nets start February 17th between 15:00 - 16:30 hrs at Sandon Business and Enterprise School
Can I reiterate the need to strengthen our squad so it's everybody's responsibility to ask anyone they can think of if they want to come and play for us..
Here's to another successful season!!
I've put a few photos on Picasa from the Kangy game. I've sent the link to everyone whose email I have.
If I don't have your email address and you want the link to view them send me an email and I'll send it to you.
All of the hard work organising this very special day - you know who you are - was well worth it, and we were rewarded with weather that wouldn't have been out of place at the height of summer. The day ran very smoothly and the turnout of Harmeet's work, cricket and social friends, plus those that had read about it in the paper, was fantastic - more than we could have hoped for.
The cricket match was secondary to the occassion of celebrating a great man and friend, but it was a keenly fought contest with Sandon coming out on top against an All Star team.
Many thanks to everybody that came; it was great to catch up with everybody. A big thank you to the ladies for baking cakes, selling raffle tickets and refreshments. To Dave for manning the barbecue, and a special thank you to Doug and Pete for umpiring the match.
Another special mention has to go to Olivia who put a mammoth amount of hard work into the day. Thanks for your help and support of the club, it really is appreciated.
The final total hasn't been totted up yet, but we will have raised somewhere between £900 and £1000 for the British Heart Foundation. A brilliant effort, and once again thank you for your generosity.
After the disappointment of not playing a week ago, and so having won the league, it was important to show we could beat our closest rivals Leek Moorlands.
Shaggy won the toss and decided to bat on what looked to be a pretty decent track. It was tough going, and Jamie hung in there for a while to amass 15. With only Tilly (11), extras (21) and me (22) making double figures a score of 98 looked well below par. A bit of bad luck and some indifferent bounce could be blamed, but we didn't really do ourselves justice.
A tea including oatcakes and victoria sponge must've done the trick (thanks Andrea!) Moorlands started well, but once Stevie G ripped into the top order we looked odds on to pull off an unlikely victory. Some resistance from opener Grant Denny (27) and all-rounder Tom Rhead (28) was all that Moorlands could muster as they were shot out for 71 in the 25th over. Steve finished with 7 and Mick took the other 3. Tilly finished with 3 catches, and 'bucket hands' Millington took a blinder at slip.
Well done boys! A difficult season for many reasons, but we've come through it as Premier League Champions.