Stretford carried on up the table thanks to an immaculate bowling and fielding performance over title rivals, and favourites, Mottram on Saturday by 22 runs. Mottram have swept aside all opponents this season while Stretford’s middle order were still without key batsmen, injured Harry Whitehead and absent Munir Khan, both massive misses in a match of this magnitude.
Matt Armstrong (29) and Mike Murphy (12) opened the batting for Stretford after being insterted in a rain redued 44 over match and reached 50 before the former was run out with the score on 50. Ajay Shah again top scored with 35 but failed to kick on. Stretford’s middle order fell cheaply but a ninth wicket stand of 33 between Jeff Marshall (22*) and Ethan Page too the score to 165. The final total was below par but the partnership shifted the momentum and it gave Stretford something to bowl at. The Mottram supportors were confident at the interval.
The Mottram openers appeared untroubled until Williams made the vital break through taking a sharp return catch. Andrew (57 off 95) and Fielding (22 off 54) appeared solid and controlled however their rather pedestrian strike rates meant that when a wicket did fall the scoreboard remained under control at 82-3 off 30 overs . With pressure piling on the middle order, Benjy Evans bowled with some heat conceeding on 13 runs from 7 overs, Tom Coulson 4/46 and the excellent Ethan Page 3/21 smashed through the Mottram batting order who perhaps were surprised by the Stretford attack.
The 2ndXI made it another double victory weekend with a resounding 83 run victory over local rivals Winton. The match was reduced to 21 overs but Shabaz Sarfraz (26 off 28), Waqas Mahmood (36 off 32) Adnan Khan (44 off 29) and AB Shakhede (27 off 10) batted with brutal force to post 156.
Winton were bustled out for a meagre 73 of which 28 were extras, No Winton player scored double figures as they had no reply to the hostile Jack Blackwell (5/21). Youngsters Siddique and Turner both picking up two wickets apiece.
The 3rd XI unfortunately could not make it a treble winning week as they suffered a 5 wicket defeat at home to a stubborn Newton side. In the wake of some accurate bowling Stretford slipped to 60-4 but Pav Aqeel (46) Tome Siddall (20) and George Riddell (14) boosted the score to 129 off a rain reduced 29 overs.
Paddy Lampton (2/16 off 7 overs) and Usman Hassan (2/15) triggered panic in the Newton team as they fell to 82/5 but a very determined parnership of 53 between Bent (30*) and Bennett (23* broke Stretford hearts.