MACCLESFIELD were back in action at the weekend, continuing their tough run of fixtures, this time away at last year’s champions, Hyde CC.
On a glorious sunny Saturday, the visitors won the toss and elected to field first.
Macclesfield’s opening bowlers, Oliver Marsden and Chris Moores, left, started well, as did the Hyde openers who looked fairly comfortable.
After a few early boundaries, Macc suddenly struck to remove Dearden for 14 when Moores bowled the left hander with a full delivery.
This brought Fitzsimmons to the crease who hit a few boundaries and began to build a decent partnership with Hyde captain, Danny Berry. The pair took the score onto 78, before Moores took his second wicket of the day, aided by a sharp catch in the slips by Bertus.
The dangerous James Duffy then came to the crease, but before he could settle in, Moores claimed his third scalp when Berry miscued to backward point, where John Birchall made no mistake.
With two new batsmen now at the wicket, Macc were on top. However, Duffy and Waterhouse, after looking shaky to begin with, started to build a very important partnership for the hosts. They took the score onto 136 before Birchall bowled Waterhouse for a determined 30.
Duffy was starting to go through the gears somewhat now, picking up boundaries with more and more ease. He passed his fifty but rode some luck when Macc’s Bertus dropped a hard low chance to his left. The very next ball another wicket did fall though when Macc debutant, Harlan Greig, had Young caught by Bertus for 14. The score was now 178-5 and with just over 10 overs to go, Macc were looking to restrict Hyde to 250.
This wasn’t to be though as Duffy accelerated phenomenally with some blistering slog-sweeps for six, strong cut shots and perfectly timed drives. He reached his century in no time and Macc did not have any answer. They were not bowling badlythey had just caught Duffy in sensational form. Supported well by Cranmer, who hit some strong boundaries of his own, the pair took the score onto 259 before Marsden came back into the attack and bowled the right hander for 33.
Duffy continued to score boundaries, whilst Whittaker also added to the late Hyde onslaught. The score finished on 289-6 after Hyde’s 55 overs, with Duffy ending on 112 not out from 98 balls.
Chris Moores was the pick of Macc’s bowlers, finishing with excellent figures of 3-48 from his opening 17 over spell.
Macc knew they would have to bat well to force the victory.
Tight bowling from Hyde’s openers made it hard for Birchall and Marsden to inject any explosive pace into Macc’s run chase. After the pair were both dismissed relatively early on, off the leftarm seam bowling of Hyde’s overseas player, Macc were under pressure at 27-2.
Debutant, Greig, came to the crease to join Macc’s Australian, Nick Bertus, who is sponsored by local company Chrome Motors. Bertus was looking to recreate his terrific century from last week’s game against Chester, but he knew there was a lot of work to be done before any such milestones could be reached. Himself and Greig, showed a lot of fight and style, to not only keep the Hyde opening bowlers at bay, but also to take them out of the attack.
The pair hit some crunching boundaries, including some fabulous sixes, in a 65-run partnership which was bringing Macc back into the game.
Unfortunately, just as Greig was getting going, he was caught for 29. This brought captain Porter to the crease, who set about the task admirably with Bertus. Both batsmen scored quickly and played Hyde’s two left arm spinners with real confidence. Hyde were beginning to look uncomfortable as Macc were building a real foundation to kick on from.
But unluckily, just after Macc passed the 150 mark, Bertus mistimed a shot off Dearden, caught by Duffy at mid-wicket, for another superb innings, ending on 86 from 92 balls, but this was a major breakthrough for Hyde.
The home side then struck again not long after to dismiss Parfett, leaving the score on 170-5 with 15 overs to go. Porter kept on going, whilst Barron played himself in.
The pair took advantage of the attacking field placements by putting anything loose away to the boundary, but it was all a little too late and even after a fifty partnership which gave Macc some hope, the pair just couldn’t get close enough.
Barron went with 5 overs to go for 37 and Porter followed soon after, making a well-deserved 59.
With the score on 237-7 and only a few overs left, Macc battled on through James Cross (13 not out) and Chris Moores to finish on 250-7 off their 55 overs. A draw was a fair result on a batsmen friendly day. Hyde take 14 points to Macc’s 7.
Next week Macc are back at Victoria Road, where they host Bowden, who now have the former Lancashire player, Glenn Chapple, within their bowling attack! Macc look forward to seeing many locals down to cheer them along in what promises to be an exciting game- it is free entry and food/drinks are available in the clubhouse.
●● Nick Bertus, who is sponsored by local company Chrome Motors, has enjoyed a fine start to the season