Old Glossop 1XI vs Hazel Grove (Home, Saturday 22nd May) by James Wright
What a difference a week makes...
The 1st team played host to Hazel Grove on Saturday, ever hopeful that the early summer weather would, at some point, allow some cricket to take place.
The lads assembled at Manor Park Road at the now familiar time of 10.30, keen to allow enough time to prepare the ground following the latest monsoon.
Plenty of work would be necessary this week, involving forks, sponges, supersoakers and rollers, but, again thanks to the sterling efforts of club stalwart Andy King, everyone agreed that some play should be possible.
Confidence increased when the Hazel Grove lads arrived and made it clear that they too were in the mood to play.
The two skippers met with the Umpires and, following intense debate, a 1.20pm start was agreed, with reduced overs of 42 per side.
Home captain Adderley continued his form with the toss, and duly informed his team that they would be batting on the damp wicket.
Openers Joy and Sagar began well, with Joy in particular sending a number of early blows crashing to the boundary. However, disaster struck in the 4th over, when Sagar was caught at mid-wicket for 4.
This wicket brought Froggatt to the crease, and he and Joy continued the onslaught. A flurry of boundaries stirred the crowd before Froggatt departed for 8.
Next man in was OG wicketkeeper Ben Whitehouse, and he fended off the visiting attack with grim determination, seeing off a barrage of devilish deliveries from the two Nunns.
Whitehouse appeared to be right on his game, and it was a good job, as Joy fell for 19 and then McGrail (2) and Adderley (0) came and went in quick succession.
Mark Allen joined Whitehouse at the crease and offered stiff resistance, adding a well made 11 as the Yorkshireman began to find his shots, punishing the change bowlers to notch his half century.
Allen departed, exposing the OG tail, and Littlewood did not last long, failing to trouble the scorers in his brief appearance.
Walsh then emerged and played some nice shots in tandem with Whitehouse before he too fell for 12. Last man Wright added an unbeaten 2 as Whitehouse continued to attack, before his long vigil was finally ended, caught behind with 3 overs of the innings remaining.
The OG innings closed on 136 all out, and the lads felt this was a competitive, if not slightly under par, total on an awkward wicket.
Dom Nunn was the pick of the visiting bowlers, claiming 4 for 34.
Huge credit must go to Whitehouse, who displayed a real willingness to fight and was rewarded for this with an excellent 70.
Following a brief break for refreshments, the Hazel Grove openers emerged to begin their reply. Burke in particular laid in to some short pitched early bowling, with Adderley bearing the brunt of his assault. Walsh struck the first blow, bowling Burnard for 15. Adderley then found his length to trap Burke lbw, and OG were up and running.
Knott played some nice shots and looked good for his quick fire 20, but Littlewood had replaced Walsh and soon delivered. Knott was slightly unfortunate to play a good length ball back on to his stumps.
Adderley then claimed two more quick scalps, with Wright and McGrail taking solid catches to see off the visiting middle order.
When Littlewood notched another wicket, Hazel Grove were wobbling on 65 for 6. There appeared to be only one winner...
However, early warning signs came for OG as Hewitt, the young Hazel Grove wicketkeeper, dug in and fought back against the fierce onslaught from Adderley and Littlewood.
Allen took over from Adderley and soon found his length, with the visitors making slow progress. Littlewood notched a third victim and Allen came to the party, leaving Hazel Grove on the ropes at 94 for 8.
Wright replaced Littlewood and started well in partnership with Allen, and there was little sign of the carnage which was to come...
However, after a tidy first over, Rogers punished the left armer and plundered three sixes from his second over. This was a poor effort from Wright, and he took his leave knowing that his display had cost his team badly here.
But, as is so often the way at this level, there was further drama to come, as Allen had Rogers caught by Joy out at long off. Rogers had added an explosive 29, and dragged his team within touching distance of victory.
Walsh returned to replace the bruised Wright, but he too struggled, and visiting skipper Halford was able to steer his team home with 3 overs remaining.
The OG bowling effort had been mixed, with Littlewood (3 for 24) and Adderley (3 for 36) the stand out performers. Allen also showed excellent control for his 2 for 18 and Walsh contributed a single wicket.
The result left the visitors celebrating an unlikely victory, whilst the OG boys licked their wounds, knowing that tough challenges lie in wait following the bank holiday weekend when there is no game.