Woe for firsts but teen Tom stars for seconds
RUNCORN Cricket Club’s first XI welcomed fellow strugglers Mobberley to Moughland Lane last Saturday afternoon.
The warm summer weather brought out the spectators who were hoping to see an upturn in Runcorn’s fortunes.
Mobberley won the toss and elected to bat on a very good wicket.
Runcorn got the dream start they were hoping for when Dan Booth bowled Ben Leigh for four with only five runs in the book.
Mark Goodstadt came in and steadied the ship for a while and with Matt Rose they took the score on to 44, before Mobberley lost two wickets for no runs.
First, Booth and then Tom Heath had Rose and Goodstadt both caught behind by wicketkeeper Jake Woodruff.
Mobberley were looking somewhat shaky on 44-3 when Matt Mountney came to the crease.
Any hopes Runcorn had were soon dented as Mountney and Rzwan Kurshid batted splendidly in the warm conditions and put on an excellent 136 for the next wicket.
Kurshid scored a steady 55 before he was caught by Will Magee off Matty Tyrrell’s bowling.
David McNamara had Hank Schlaghecke caught and bowled for 18, but that was the end of the wicket-taking as Mountney and Abdul Aqeel took the final total onto 275.
Mountney finished on 110 not out and Aqeel was undefeated on 33.
It was always going to be an uphill task for Runcorn’s batsman considering their form with the willow and they got off to the worst possible start when opener Jack Beech departed for just a single.
Skipper James Wells and Booth took the score on to 31 before the latter was caught by Goodstadt for 13 off Schlaghecke’s bowling.
Runcorn’s middle order of Matt Keenan, Will Magee and Patrick Tyrrell all looked good, but none could really build on their innings. Keenan finished on 34 not out. ●
As the wickets began to tumble the onus for Runcorn was trying to get a draw.
Unfortunately, that was not to be, and the final wicket fell on 185 with just four overs to go.
Mobberley bagged 25 points to Runcorn’s five. Runcorn remain bottom of the league 50 points behind Mobberley.
Over at sunny Mobberley, Runcorn seconds fared a little better than the firsts.
Mobberley won the toss and batted first on another excellent track in very warm conditions.
Phil Conway and Colin Lloyd opened the bowling and it was the former who got the breakthrough having skipper Will Edwards caught by Rhys Bazley for six.
Mobberley the began to get into their stride and Atir Darr and No.3 Connor Stevenson took the score onto 81 before the former was trapped lbw by Andy Booth for 25. Mobberley eventually finished on 160 all out in 44.5 overs, Stevenson top-scoring with a knock of 44.
The star of the Runcorn bowling was 15-year-old Tom Drury who continued his excellent season with figures of 5-24 from eight excellent overs.
In reply Runcorn started badly. Opening batsman Andy Scowcroft departed for a duck, bowled by Andrew Manning.
Runcorn’s top order began to struggle a little with no-one able to build on a good start.
That was until teenager Drury came to the crease and continued where he left off with the ball.
Showing great maturity and patience he gradually got his team back in the game with some lovely shot selection..
Helped by Luca Williams (20) and Conway (28 not out), Drury led his teammates to victory, getting the runs required with seven overs remaining.
He was there at the end having made a superb 71 not out and with his five wickets haul it was a true man-of-the-match performance.
The result gave Runcorn 25 points to Mobberley’s 13 and leaves them in 10th place on 157 points, some 52 behind pacesetters Hale Barns who they play away this Saturday.
On Sunday afternoon, another warm day saw Runcorn’s third XI host Chester Boughton Hall Academy.
Runcorn won the toss and decided to have a bat. They got off to a poor start losing the first wicket off only the second ball of the match.
After that, Runcorn recovered well with opener Owen Price and Liam Keenan settling the innings nicely.
They moved the score on to 85 before Price was bowled by Alex Cotton for 31.
Mike Jenner was next in and he and Keenan looked like they were going to build a strong partnership until Jenner went for 27.
The Runcorn innings continued to move along well with skipper Callum McCaffery in form before he departed for 50.
Rhys Bazley came in at No.7 and chipped in with a useful 16 before Runcorn finished on 207-6 off their allotted 40 overs. Keenan top-scored for Runcorn with 53.
In reply, Chester lost an early wicket when Tom Rofe was run out by Price for eight.
Runcorn’s bowlers were looking in control until Sam Chapman came in at No.4 and scored an impressive 41.
Together with Jake Liddle who clubbed 53 they moved the score on quickly for Chester.
But wickets continued to fall around them, with veteran Dave Barlow getting three including the wicket of Liddle who was caught and bowled.
With one wicket remaining and 30 runs needed Runcorn were looking like they were going to win. But in their No.10 and No.11 batsman James Gilson and skipper Rob Morris, Chester had two experienced players who guided them to victory with under three overs to spare.
This result leaves Runcorn in fourth place in Third XI Sunday West Division on 90 points just seven adrift of leaders Neston.
This Saturday, both the Runcorn first XI and second XI play Hale Barns. The firsts are at home while the seconds are on their travels. Both games start at 1pm. Runcorn’s thirds are without a game this weekend.
Teenager Tom Drury took five wickets and made a brilliant undefeated 71 to help Runcorn’s second XI defeat their counterparts from Mobberley last Saturday.