Weather frus­trates Cheshire Cup hope

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MAC­CLES­FIELD 1st XI were sched­uled to have two games last week­end, one in the league and one in the sec­ond round of the Cheshire Cup.

How­ever, the league match was aban­doned with­out a ball be­ing bowled.

The team trav­elled to Tim­per­ley and waited around for four hours be­fore the game was called off due to the wicket and sur­round­ing ar­eas be­ing un­der wa­ter.

Frus­trat­ingly ev­ery other game in the league went ahead, mean­ing the seven points Macc picked up for the aban­don­ment is a mini set­back af­ter a bril­liant vic­tory the week pre­vi­ously.

On the Sun­day ev­ery­one’s at­ten­tion turned to the home Cheshire Cup tie ver­sus Toft.

The vis­i­tors put Macc into bat and Bar­ron and Mars­den built a steady open­ing part­ner­ship to take the hosts past 50 in­side 14 overs.

Once Bar­ron de­parted for 29, the Aus­tralian Nick Ber­tus came to the crease.

In much the same way, as the open­ing part­ner­ship, Ber­tus and Mars­den pushed the sin­gles around and pun­ished any bad balls.

Ber­tus hit two mag­nif­i­cent sixes, one to­wards Vic­to­ria Road and one over the fence onto Park­side.

The pair added another 53 runs, tak­ing the score past the 100 mark just af­ter drinks.

When Mars­den, who had played responsibly and com­pactly for 48, was un­luck­ily caught down the leg­side, Macc still looked in con­trol against Toft’s var­ied bowl­ing at­tack.

Porter and Ber­tus in­jected a bit more pace into Macc’s in­nings and took the score past 150 for the loss of two wickets.

How­ever the in­tro­duc­tion of Akhil Shah, who claimed five wickets, re­ally halted Macc’s mo­men­tum.

Porter (30) re­versed swept Shah for four, but a cou­ple of balls later was out LBW play­ing a sim­i­lar stroke.

Macc just couldn’t go up the next gear as they kept los­ing wickets to Shah’s spin bowl­ing.

And when Shah claimed the prize wicket of Ber­tus for 48, leav­ing Macc on 179-5, Macc’s hope of a big, big score had gone.

Still, the East Cheshire out­fit bat­ted on well, with good, late con­tri­bu­tions from Grif­fiths (11) and Cut­bill (10*) to fin­ish on 208-8 off their 45 overs.

Macc started brightly in the field with an early wicket from Mars­den caught by Raja.

Toft then re­grouped through Drum­mond and Lan­cashire 2nd team player, Rob Jones.

The pair added 37 runs, but not long af­ter Sul­tan Raja was en­tered into the at­tack, Macc were cel­e­brat­ing again as Jones walked past one and James Cross took the bails off, to leave Toft 42-2.

Toft then built a big 3rd wicket part­ner­ship with Jack­son hit­ting some big sixes, whilst Drum­mond con­tin­ued to play the an­chor role.

Har­lan Greig came into the at­tack for Macc and trou­bled the bats­men with his leg-spin.

Greig started well but Jack­son hit two big slog sweeps to reach his 50 off just 39 balls, aided by a cou­ple of dropped catches along the way.

How­ever Greig was not to be de­nied and soon sent Jack­son back to the pavil­ion when he was caught by James Cross af­ter sky-ing a sweep shot.

Greig struck again in his next over when he trapped Hatcher LBW for a golden duck. The score was now 119-4 af­ter 20 overs and Macc had seized the ini­tia­tive.

How­ever the play­ers were taken off by the um­pires at this point due to the rain and the con­di­tions never im­proved. As Toft were ahead on run rate, they go through to the next round, leav­ing Macc frustrated yet again by the weather.

Mean­while the 2nd XI were back to win­ning ways with a vic­tory at home to Tim­per­ley. Macc posted a re­spectable total of 204 all out.

Runs were shared around with Khan (22), Fair­clough (20), Grif­fiths (26), Long­shaw (33) and Cut­bill (31), en­sur­ing the hosts past the dou­ble hun­dred total.

In the field Macc started well, with Key and Cut­bill, re­duc­ing Tim­per­ley to 20-4 very quickly.

A po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous 80-run part­ner­ship en­sued be­tween Matthews (58) and Dick­in­son (40) be­fore Macc wrapped it up through Whit­ting­ham who claimed fig­ures of 6-34, bowl­ing Tim­per- ley out for 135 in­side 36 overs.

The 3rd XI won by 6 wickets away at Tim­per­ley, chas­ing 84 down af­ter Matt Grif­fiths claimed fig­ures of 4-21.

French and Flint fin­ished the run chase off, end­ing on 20* and 14* re­spec­tively.

On Sun­day the 4th XI won at home against Lin­dow, bowl­ing the vis­i­tors out for 111, which in­cluded four run outs!

Macc knocked it off with­out los­ing a wicket, as Tom Carter (76 not out) and James Coombes (35 not out), saw the hosts home.

Next Satur­day the 1sts travel to Nantwich, the sec­onds play Marple at home, the thirds play Prest­bury at home and the fourths travel to Wilm­slow on the Sun­day.

●● Oliver Mars­den in ac­tion for Mac­cles­field in the Cheshire Cup clash against Toft

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