Welcome to this week’s roundup from Church Lane.
Bramhall’s 1st XI made it a second Cheshire County League Premier Division win in two games in Saturday’s home fixture against local rivals Marple.
Skipper Nick Cantello took the bold decision to bad first on a seamer-friendly looking wicket, after the week’s pesistent showers. The decision looked to have backfired when the Beavers lost batsmen 1 and 3 in consecutive deliveries with the score on 20, which brought 18 year old Daniel Lamb to the crease. He again looked confident at the crease in both defence and attack, and managed to ignore the loss of 2 more partners before the total reached 50 and continue to play his own game. Recent recruit Lamb brought up his maiden Bramhall half century, having scored half of his side’s runs to that point, and eventually fell for a classy 62 with the score on 122-7 and 10 overs to bat.
With Bramhall feeling that a score of 150 would be a competitive one, the lower order hung around until the last ball of the final over to eek out another 32 runs and close on 154 all out. As they regularly do, Marple started their innings on the front foot, and reached 40 for no loss before the introduction of offie Simon Wilkinson helped to turn things around. The visitors lost their openers in the space of 6 runs, one to Wilkinson and one to Lamb’s nibblers, and the Beavers suddenly perked up. Having beaten Marple in similar circumstances earlier in the season, it’s possible that the result played on both teams’ minds as the momentum swung hugely in Bramhall’s favour. Vishal Tripathi was brought on to partner Wilkinson with his own brand of offspin, and the two started making inroads. The visitors began to look all at sea, struggling to keep the score ticking over, and not helped by a brilliant direct hit runout by Matt Hughes and a spectacular one-handed slip catch by Cantello.
Soon enough, the innings stuttered to a close as Wilkinson had the number eleven caught at long on to send Marple home for just 92 runs. Tripathi’s spell of 5-24 was the eye-catching performance of the innings, and ran Daniel Lamb’s 62 runs with the bat very close for performance of the match. Bramhall now find themselves in fifth spot in the Premier Division, but with teams below them all generally having had a successful day, the lower half of the table remains excruciatingly tight. Bramhall’s visit next Saturday to bottom club Bowdon could be instrumental in determining the team’s final positions at the end of the season, with just four matches to play.
The 2nd XI, as expected, won their fixture at bottom of the table Bredbury to remain in the second promotion spot in the First Division. However, it was not plain sailing with the bat, having been put in first. A vital 89 form Jack Harris, well supported with 38 from James Day and lower order runs from Luke Littlewood and Tom Drury helped the Beavers post 205-9. In response, St. Marks were never really in the hunt, and were all out for 113 with in the 41st over, with wickets shared between the bowlers. Bramhall are just 2 points from first place, but nineteen points ahead of third place, in a promotion race that looks set to go to the last weekend.
The 3rd XI remain in a tough position in their league, despite a confident performance at Cheadle on Sunday. Adam Siddall scored half of the Beavers’ runs, with his 109 the standout knock of the match. Whilst the hosts didn’t get close to challenging Bramhall’s 219-9, they managed to avoid losing their last wicket in closing on 170-9, despite Jack Willoughby’s 5-32.
The 4th XI continued their strong run with a convincing home win over Trafford. After bowling the visitors out for 164 in just 30 overs, the Beavers made comfortable work of chasing the total down winning by 6 wickets aided by Sam Drury’s 72 and Dan Bridgeman’s 53* (and earlier 4-14 with the ball).
This Saturday sees the 1st XI at Bowdon, and the 2nd XI host the same opponents at Church Lane.
Sunday sees the 3rd XI play at Urmston, and the 4th XI welcome Stockport Trinity.
We look forward to seeing you at Thursday training, and over the weekend.