OGCC 2nd XI V Stalybridge (Away, Saturday 24th April 2021) by Andy King
After a long COVID winter, cricket finally returned for OGCC with the 2s heading to Stalybridge CC for the season opener with expectations high given the League and Cup success in the previous abridged 2020 season.
18 points and victory were secured in the final over but by no means was it straightforward and the result could have easily gone the other way, but Allcock and Conor saw us home to what was, just about, a deserved victory in the end.
The lads looked splendid in their new sponsored kit and bathed in April sunshine and boasting a strong line up, Daz finally won a toss and decided to bowl first on a green looking track.
Surprisingly it was an all spin opening attack with Allcock (1 for 36) and Mally (0 for 27) taking the new ball and both bowled fairly tight lines for the first few overs.
Stalybridge opener Nock looked in good nick though with some confident drives and the score moved on to 50 without loss before a smart piece of fielding from Allcock led to a run out and OG were off and running.
Their number 3 clearly had a positive style and was dealing in boundaries from the off, some streaky edges mixed in with some good looking shots.
Allcock picked up his only wicket, trapping the other Staly opener in front and was then replaced by Daz, who had recovered from a midweek injury which prevented him from training *insert conspiracy theories* but quickly got into his bowling rhythm, cleaning up their number 4 with a beauty.
Stokey replaced Mally and the medium paced pair bowled in tandem with a degree of success to stem the home team's momentum, both picking up 3 wickets a piece.
Daz (3 for 41) made way for Conor who claimed a wicket with his first ball, caught AK in the deep, and with Daz's maths letting him down and Stokey having bowled his 10 overs (3 for 39), it was left to Jacob to bowl the final over, in fact only one ball in the end as he had their number 11 smartly stumped by Andy Dwyer to give OG the maximum bowling points and chasing 159 to win.
The OG reply was dominated by Jehrome with a classy 53 with support from Robbie Barrow (21) interspersed with nominal contributions from the rest - some opening day poor decision making in terms of shot selection on show.
OG were seemingly always in control though at 120 for 3, but 4 wickets in 4 overs changed the state of the game to leave OG looking nervous and counting down every run towards the 159 target.
Jehrome reached his 50 with a maximum but was one of the four victims to fall, finally leaving Conor and Allcock as the last pair with Staly closing in on an opening day victory.
The OG boys held their nerve though with Allcock (15 no) hitting the winning runs much to the relief of all with an OG allegiance.
A good game played in the right spirit by both teams and umpired well too.
Jehrome with his 53 snaffled the MOM.
Bigger tests to come for this team but an opening day win was just what the doctor ordered.