Hopes were high in the Old Glossop camp on Saturday as a young 2nd eleven made their way over the hill to face Hayfield in a Hawk Trophy first round clash.
New signing Zaeem Arshad had been drafted in from first team duty, whilst young Seth Hall was excited to be making his senior debut.
The team was again led by grizzled veteran Robbie Barrow, who won the toss and gladly opted to bat on the hard track.
Old stager George White and the precocious Ethan Lumb resumed their new-look opening partnership, and both settled into their task well, punishing loose deliveries and rotating the strike readily.
It therefore came as something of a surprise when Lumb lofted a full delivery to mid off and was caught out for 13.
Hot prospect Arshad joined White at the crease, as the OG boys watched on from the boundary, wondering whether the new addition would be able to build on the promise he had shown in winter nets.
They were not to be disappointed...
White notched some trademark boundaries through cover before he departed for 17, bringing old warhorse Andy Dwyer to the crease. Dwyer dug in and watched on as the boy wonder began to work his magic at the other end...
Arshad displayed a maturity way beyond his years, as a measured start led to a series of flowing drives. Once he had passed 50 there was no stopping the lad.
Partners came and went, as Dwyer, Donnelly, Smith and Wild all fell in quick succession, leaving skipper Barrow to shepherd Arshad through the nervous nineties and on to a thrilling century.
A sizeable crowd had gathered, and all present rose to applaud the youngster’s efforts. Indeed, on a sunny day there are few better venues in this league.
Thanks to Arshad’s efforts, the OG innings drew to a close on 197 for 7. He finished on a thrilling 130 not out, with Barrow also unbeaten on 14.
Old Glossop enjoyed the interval, confident of defending their score but also aware that they would need to bowl and field well in order to secure their place in the next round.
Barrow again asked the experienced James Wright to take the new ball with hot prospect Tom Lane. Both bowlers started well, and Lane soon struck. Wright followed with two swift blows, and after some early promise the home side were rocking on 30 for 3.
Jake Donnelly and Andy Smith entered the attack, and Donnelly soon found his length. The Hayfield middle order had no answer to the OG spin king, and he displayed poise and considerable skill to deliver a maiden 5 wicket haul.
He finished with excellent figures of 5 for 29, and it was fitting that his 5th wicket was secured thanks to a well judged catch from debutant Seth Hall.
Smith and that man Arshad also plundered wickets as the Hayfield innings drew to a close on 84 all out.
It had been a red letter day for Old Glossop, made all the more enjoyable as news filtered through that the 1st eleven had secured their first win of the season.
This is a promising second team, as the youth policy of recent years begins to bear fruition, ably assisted by an assortment of seasoned campaigners.
Old Glossop now move on to the next round, where Newton await.