Stretford’s 1st XI are now only one game away from reaching the Per-Fit Windows League Cup final following an excellent four wicket victory away at Werneth.
Ryan Williams (3-25) turned on the style with early wickets after winning the toss and electing to field. Werneth were in a jam at 65-5 until Khan (32) and Christmas (62) shared a 70 run partnership. Adam Saynor removed Khan to keep Werneth at bay and Ocean O’Malley applied the lock with a tight 3-29 off 8 however Walker chipped in with an enterprising 20. The Werneth innings closed on a very competitive 183 all out. Stretford’s highest successful run chase this season has been 143 away at Deane and Derby so the target would be a test especially without key batsmen Miguel Stoman who was injured the previous day.
Stretford got off to the worst possible start when Christmas wrapped up Armstrong’s leg stump for a duck. Wilson (2/28) caused further pain when Francoise Stoman chipped to square leg for 20. O’Malley provided brief resistance being bowled for 11 by the same bowler t leave the score at 47-3. Williams (55) and Sharp (23) took the Stretford score beyond 100 before Sharp fell at 109. Controlled hitting from off spinner Coulson (39) took Stretford over the line with four overs to spare.
Following three away ties in previous rounds the club have been drawn at home against old rivals Westleigh. The match will take place on Sunday 21st July and Stretford will be hoping to pin another giant killing badge on their sash as they strive for their first piece of first team silverware for 13 years.
Coulson’s impressive form with the ball continued in the League last Saturday when he took a career best 7-32 against Oldham, a team who beat Stretford in the first game of the season. Oldham were skittled on a slow but turning pitch for 113.
Stretford lost Armstrong early who was adjudged LBW sweeping off spinner Hussain however some lusty blows from Miguel Stoman (34) moved the score to 42 before other opener Jefferson was run out in unexpected fashion and Williams was stumped. A collapse was averted at 70-4 when Francoise Stoman (20*) and Sharp (17*) shared a patient 40 partnership.
The 6 wicket victory was comprehensive in the end. While Friarmere are clear at the top of the league the win ensures Stretford remains in promotion contention at the half way point. The club entertain South West Manchester on Saturday who occupy 4th spot