Solid cam­paign for Mac­cles­field

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - CRICKET

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

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