OGCC 1ST XI V HIGH LANE (Home, Saturday 24th April 2021) by James Wright
The strong sun shone down on Old Glossop as the 1st XI welcomed High Lane to Manor Park Road for the season curtain raiser on Saturday.
Home skipper Rob Adderley had arrived at the ground early, still recovering from a tough week spent grappling with key issues ahead of the new season - not least the whereabouts of Lenny Allsopp's new kit… The spin king had placed his order weeks ago, and was clearly agitated to have still not received it... DHL parcel tracking currently places it just off Tanzania, apparently caught up in the Suez Canal backlog...
The home side prepared the ground and then engaged in a thorough warm up, including a competitive game of three touch football. Following a brief recovery period, Adderley met his opposite number at the wicket to perform the toss. The coin landed favourably for the visitors, and they duly invited their hosts to have a bat.
Old Glossop openers Chris Joy and Josh Acomb were instructed to pad up, whilst Adderley approached the umpires to arrange a minute's silence in memory of club legend Derek Slack. Both teams lined up on either side of the wicket to pay their respects, joined by OG spiritual advisor "Mullah Higginbottom". Sixty seconds of quiet reflection elapsed, and then hostilities could commence...
The home team began the new season in traditional fashion, quickly stumbling to 7 for 3 as Joy, Cannon and new signing Froggett all succumbed to the accurate High Lane seam attack... The debutant appears to have taken little time to settle into life at OG, as he left the pitch raging at anyone within earshot about the lbw decision which had cost him his wicket...
Acomb was left to pick up the pieces with vice captain McGrail, and they set about their task with aplomb, as McGrail in particular put the visiting bowlers to the sword with a series of punishing blows. This ferocious onslaught turned the tide of the game, and when Acomb departed for a patient 18 the score was approaching 70.
Whitehouse joined McGrail at the crease but could add only 4 before he too was sent back to the shed, and the scoreboard read 80 for 5 as Adderley entered the fray.
McGrail continued his destructive form and soon registered his 50, much to the delight of the watching supporters.
Sadly, he was unable to build on this, and when he was dismissed with Old Glossop approaching triple figures the visitors surely thought that they had landed a decisive blow.
However, Adderley had other ideas...
The new skipper seemed determined to mark his homecoming party in style, and began to dismantle the High Lane bowling line-up.
Ably assisted by Littlewood, Allsopp, Walsh and Wright, Adderley fired a rapid 73 before he fell with three overs of the Old Glossop innings remaining.
It had been a fine innings from the captain, with one savage six smashing into the wing mirror of club President Paul Eyre's van... "Not to worry" said Eyre, "I'll try to get it fixed in the week... the mirror's probably worth more than the van anyway"!
The home side finished on 196 all out, and the tail had definitely wagged...
A short break allowed both sets of players to take on refreshments, as a sizeable, and socially distanced, crowd began to gather in the pleasant afternoon sunshine. Table service at the club bar became increasingly busy, and Club Chairman Den Lane grew anxious as stocks of draught lager began to run low.
Thanks to the heroic efforts of Lane and club stalwart Trevor James, the drink kept flowing as the High Lane opening pair approached the crease to begin their reply.
Much to their dismay, that man Adderley was at it again. His two early strikes dismissed both openers, and solid support from Walsh kept the visitors pegged back.
Allsopp and Wright were introduced with the score at around 40 for 2, and Allsopp soon had the High Lane batters wilting under his spell in a fine display of skilful spin bowling.
Three quick wickets fell to the king of spin, and he finished his spell having conceded just 8 runs - he will surely be a real handful when his new kit finally arrives...
Littlewood and Adderley then set to work against the High Lane lower order, and both helped themselves to regular wickets as the visitors collapsed to 104 all out.
Littlewood finished with three wickets, but the day surely belonged to the returning Adderley, who bagged four High Lane scalps to add to his superb display with the bat.
This had been a fantastic start to the new season for the OG boys, made all the more satisfying as news filtered through that the 2nd XI had won at Stalybridge.
Tough tests await both teams, but this was certainly a day to cherish in the village, and a fitting tribute to Mr Slack...