Solid campaign for Macclesfield
MACCLESFIELD Cricket Club has drawn the curtain for the winter as all five senior teams have now finished their matches.
Looking back on the season, the first team had a good return to the Cheshire Premier League, finishing seventh. Individually, Macc’s Australian, Nick Bertus had an excellent season with the bat, scoring 867 runs including two outstanding centuries and six fifties. Nick was ably supported by John Birchall, Rob Porter, Tom Parfett, Jack Ward and Rob Keen all of whom passed 300 runs for the season.
With the ball, Ian Tait was the star man, taking 38 wickets. Ian has recently announced that he is retiring from the game and he has been a terrific servant for the club, coming through the teams, to represent Cheshire, all culminating in taking 348 wickets in 13 seasons for his club. He is a top performer and will be almost impossible to replace.
Other 1st XI bowling achievements in all formats saw Rob Porter take 28 wickets, Jack Ward (27), John Birchall (27) and Sultan Raja (23).
Next season will be another big test for the 1st team, in one of the best leagues in the country. A top half finish is certainly on the cards, especially if they can reproduce some of the scintillating moments from this year which saw them compete well with a couple of the top flight big boys, most notably beating champions Hyde, in what was one of the most nail-biting games of recent times.
A club spokesman said: “Macclesfield Cricket Club would like to thank all its members for being involved in some way this year and say thank you to all the spectators that have been down to the ground to support. It has been a very enjoyable season on and off the pitch and we hope to see you in the summer of 2016, if not before… Winter well!
“The club would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the match/club sponsors this season, including Chrome Motors and East Cheshire Mortgages.”
The second team finished sixth in the 2XI Cheshire Premier League, only one win away from second place. A respectable position after – at one stage – flirting dangerously with relegation.
Craig Melrose, Alex Griffiths and Jim Melrose were the main performers with the bat, all scoring in excess of 400 runs for the season. Craig scored four fifties, whilst Alex managed a century and a fifty, with Jim contributing two fifties. Jason Knight was also a key contributor with the bat, scoring 250 runs, at a similar average (mid20s) to Craig, Alex and Jim
With the ball, Craig Melrose was the leading wicket taker with 50 wickets and the campaign also saw 15-year-old Robbie Peal break through to the team, taking 12 wickets, and finishing the season by taking a wicket on debut for the 1st XI.
Still in school, Robbie is a bright prospect for Macc’s future bowling attack. Other notable contributions with the ball came from Dave Cowen, who took 20 wickets and produced some memorable spells, Stephen Whittingham (17), Tony Moores (16) and Liam Markie (16).
The seconds were arguably Macc’s most exciting team to watch this season with a number of games going right down to the wire. Most recently they beat Cheadle by 12 runs, with Markie taking the last wicket with three balls to go, whilst earlier in the season they beat Neston by one wicket with two balls remaining. A real strong unit was well led by captain Cowen.
The third XI, captained by Karl Burgess, finished third, their best position for some time.
Haminder Matharu was the main contributor with the bat, amassing 537 runs with two centuries and five fifties along the way. Josh Towne also did well, recording 401 runs as did Adam Longshaw who scored 339 runs.
The bowling was shared around, with Matthew Griffiths leading the way on 31 wickets, Ash Kumar followed with 29 and Karl Burgess ended up with 16. Robbie Peal took 15 wickets earlier in the season before moving up to the seconds. Luke Cartwright also had a fine season, contributing in the seconds and doing very well in the thirds, where he scored 250 runs with the bat, took 15 wickets and claimed seven catches.
All in all, it was a very successful year for the 3rd XI. They managed to blood some younger players and won 10 games out of 22, only losing five. They will hope for a similar performance next year.
The reformed fourth XI, representing Macclesfield and Langley cricket clubs, finished fourth in a league of nine Sunday teams. It was a fine year though for the team and the partnership with Langley – taking players from both clubs – has certainly been a success, providing plenty of good playing opportunities for junior players. This will hopefully get even stronger next year.
In terms of statistics, Matt. Waite led the team and top scored for the season with 185 runs, with Adam Cartwright not far behind on 141 runs. Philip Waite, Karl Burgess and Adam Cartwright were the season’s most decorated bowlers claiming eight scalps each during their appearances throughout the season.
After a poor start and the loss of games to the weather, the over 40s finished third in their league, winning of six out of 14 matches.
The runs were shared out between familiar faces, in the shape of Rob Porter (150), Dave Cowen (145), Paul Hughes (132), Chris Thompson (129) and John Bradley (115). Bowling-wise, David Frame and Rob Porter earned the most wickets during the campaign with eight-a-piece.
The Academy, under the leadership of head coach Stewart Garnett, continues to thrive. Most age groups closed their books to new members this season, and 125 children from the ages of 6-15, from 27 different schools, enjoyed their cricket with the Academy.
The new Under 7s showed massive enthusiasm on Friday evenings, supported by many parents down at the club spectating. The Under 8s held a successful tournament, albeit due to the weather it was stretched over two Sundays.
The Under 9s had another strong season, winning the Poynton festival and reaching the semifinal of the County League play-offs.
The Under 11 and Under 13 sides swept the boards at the annual Pott Shrigley festival, with the Under 13s going on to finish fourth in the County League.
Some 14 Academy players appeared for the senior sides, including a first team debut for Robbie Peal, who was also selected for representative honours with the Cheshire East District U15 team, along with Adam Cartwright and Ishan Jain. Otis Palmes and Jack Mayfield earned selection and played key roles for the East District U13 team who won the District trophy.
Off the field, groundsman Chris Moores is stepping down after five years at the helm. He, along with James Cross and Liam Markie, have turned the wicket into one of the best in the Cheshire League.
A club spokesman said: “In summary it has been a solid, if not overly successful season on all fronts for the club.
“After the first team consolidation in the Cheshire Premier League they will be looking to bolster their ranks and push up the league, the seconds will be looking to challenge for silverware, whilst the thirds and fourths aim to remain very competitive and provide the future stars of the club with a platform to improve and a chance to perform on the senior stage.”
You can keep up with winter news via twitter (@ macclesfieldCC), Facebook (Macclesfield Cricket Club) or on our website www. macclesfield. playcricket.com
●● Macclesfield Cricket Club first team