Old Glossop 3rds travelled to Whaley Bridge on Sunday 21st August for the final game of the 2022 campaign knowing that victory would see them crowned as champions and they didn't disappoint in what turned out to be a thrilling climax to the season.
Whaley won the toss and elected to bat and the challenge to the OG bowlers was to keep the run rate down and not overly worry about taking wickets knowing that the home side had plenty of experience down the order ready to come in and push the score on. They did this superbly well, Tom in particular bowling tight, racking up the maidens and restricting the home side early on, supported well by fellow opening bowler Ethan.
Anjum came on as first change and really picked up the baton, going for only 9 runs off his 5 overs, taking 1 wicket in the process. Awais, fresh from his 5 wickets for the 2nds the previous day bowled to his usual excellent standard and was unlucky to only claim the 1 wicket, his head was down at the end of his spell because he was hoping for wickets galore to catch Ethan as the leading wicket taker for the 3rds but it wasn't his bowling that would be the highlight of the day for the young man......
Abdullah came on next and has been a real bonus towards the end of the season with the ball, going for only 14 runs off his 5 overs, taking 1 wicket, he has really stepped up at the right time and there is plenty more to come from this lad.
Jaz was another bonus, bowling his first 2 overs of the season and taking a wicket with a great delivery, he has been happy to let the young lads take centre stage but when called upon he didn't disappoint. James and Ben came in to stifle the home side further, Ben taking a catch off his own bowling to tee up Tom and Ethan to wrap the innings up. Whaley finished on 156 for 6 off their 35 overs, a total we would have been happy with at the start. A special mention has to go to Seth as well, he kept behind brilliantly, saving his best performance behind the sticks for the game that really mattered, taking 2 catches and letting very little past him.
Opening batsmen Ethan and Seth made a solid start, Ethan yet again showing his quality to retire at 50 not out. He really pushed the innings on with great calls for runs but his luck ran out on 49 when, only needing a single for his half century called Tom back for a 2nd run that was never on meant that both had to depart at the same, the pressure was suddenly on and it was to take a mammoth effort for the visitors to see it over the line.
Zaeem, Anjum, James and Paul added valuable runs before Awais came in and then Ethan, having retired was able to come in at the death. With 2 overs left and OG needing 7 runs for victory Ethan took a single to leave Awais facing Whaley's opening bowler who had been brought back in to see the game out. Our young star was having none of that though, playing a superb drive down the ground for 4. The highlight of the season was yet to come though as he clipped one over the slip fielder for 4 runs to give us a glorious win and the title!
What guts from the young man, absolutely superb! The win typified everything that the 3rds have been about this season, togetherness, great attitude and everybody making a worthwhile contribution, cue glorious celebrations!!