Posted on Leave a comment

Double Delight on Opening Weekend

Since the relaxation of social distancing measures in early April, Stretford have been busy preparing for the season. The club has installed Mike Murphy as player/coach, who has joined from Dukinfield. Murphy has excellent coaching credentials and works for Lancashire CCC and also strengthens the batting lineup with a steady head. The club was awarded £33k from Suez Communities Trust to relay the playing square which will be ready for use at the end of April and installed an artifical wicket for community use.

In the meantime a sponsored bike ride last season raised money to invest in new sightscreens and refurbish the heavy roller. The club has also built an outdoor bar and secured funding from Manchester Airport Trust fund to invest in new seating. This will eventually enable the club to be used for functions in the main club house every weekend. Everything is set for the club to launch another assault on the league to secure promotion to the Championship.

On the pitch, the club chalked up an impressive double win this weekend in the opening fixtures of the GMCL Division 1 2021 season.

Ryan Williams took the 1st XI to Chorlton to face old foes South West Manchester in the A6010 derby and notched up a 62 run win in a real humdinger. After wining the toss Stretford posted an intimidating 259/6 off the alloted 50 overs. Every batsmen chipped in with valuable contributions including Harry Whitehead (34) and Tom Coulson (36*) but it was Munir Khan (73*) who was king bee holding the innings together at a run a ball.

In reply South West ticked along at four runs per over, helped by some generous Stretford fielding and wayward bowling. At 140/3 off 30 overs looked to be on course to make it a close match but when Kari’s stumps were left spread eagled by Williams (4/38) Stretford clicked into gear. Tom Coulson dried up the runs rate with 1/38 off 10 and reliable all rounder Benjy Evans (4/52) removed the lower middle order. South West were bowled out for 197. Stretford will reflect on a good performance posting oveer 250 for the first time inn two seasons, still with room for improvement.

The 2nd team played host to Winton but the match was played at Radcliffe due to the groundworks at the Boundary. The field at Radcliffe is enormous and with a slow outfield and slow low pitch run scoring was difficult. Winton chose to bat first but were not in the mood to graft and were soon in trouble at 57-6. Robert Renforth, Alex Bowman and Evan Turner all captured a wicket apeice and Alex Grant 2/23 but a spirited lower order fightback from Danny Seenan (26) Grundy (16) and Moby (16) pushed the score to 117. Adam Saynor 4/21 off 10 overs was the pick of the bowlers and at times proved unplayable each time he dipped into his box of tricks.

Jamie Cotton (24) and Ben Lomax (12) opened with a 30 run partnership to settle the home side’s nerves but both were removed to leave Stretford at 62/2. Craig Turner (52*) dealt with any loose ball fiercely and veteran, Chris Sharp (21*) steered the ship home with a solid 57 run partnership to enable a comfortable 8 wicket win.

Posted on Leave a comment

Week 1 Preview

man in white jersey shirt and pants holding cricket bat

It has been so long since Stretford played any cricket that I totally forgot how to write a preview for the upcoming week. I genuinely had to ask management members for a memory jog and yet, there has been so much going on. It shows how much work has been going on behind the scenes that we’ve been totally wrapped up in it. I’m now suitably exercised.

Last weekend a group of hardy and committed members completed a marathon bike ride around 35 GMCL cricket grounds, covering over 70 miles in the process. It was very hard going for the lads but so rewarding at the finish. Delierious head shaking, knowing nods of tiredness and John Wayne sideways shuffling were tell tail signs of just how much of a challenge this proved to be be but we are delighted to say that the fundraising target of £2500.00 is in sight. Thank you to Robert Renforth for pulling this together, all people who took part, helpers and of course everyone who donated.

A large amount of work has gone into getting the club ready to begin the cricket season. I would like to pay tribute to Ian Holding and Phil Spencer who have been ever present during the lockdown keeping the club in tip-top condition. It was clear to see while taking part in the bike ride that our ground is head and shoulders above many in the local area and we all appreciate the hard work they put in. If anyone would like a crash course (sorry poor choice of phrase) in using a mower or strimmer then I am sure they will be pleased for your help even if this was for a couple of hours per week or month.

The club is satisfied that it has met all the requirements to host cricket games and have organised training sessions in a COVID secure environment. The club has purchased temporary changing rooms for players in the form of gazebos and all indoor access to the club other than the disabled toilet is not accesible. The bar is now located outside near to the scorebox and is card only. Coffee, tea, snacks and soft drinks are also available from there. Hand gel is available at the gate, bar and toilets and social distancing signs and markers have been put in place. Spectators are more than welcome at the ground to watch all our cricket but must not gather in groups of more than six people if not from the same household. Please bring your family and friends to enjoy the sun and cricket – they may come as your guest up to two times however we encourage everyone to join the club as a social member! Many thanks to John Grant, John Foulkes and Mary Foulkes for getting the club ready.

An incredible amount of work took place in winter to attract new juniors to the section. Despite the delay in restarting the season we are so pleased to see growing numbers in the junior ranks. We have hit a milestone, 50 members. This may not sound like much but its the start of a rebuilding project. Thanks to efforts by Ruth Cotton, Guy Robinson, Robert Renforth, Tom Coulson, George Riddell, Ben Riddell, Ben Lomax and Matt Armstrong for their committment in delivering quality, safe and enjoyable training sessions. Feedback has been very positive so please spread the word.

Our first junior League fixture takes place on Friday night as the U13s, captained by Jamie Cotton play host to Didsbury from 6pm. The bar will be open again and it what better way to relax on a Friday after work by coming down to support the team?! Many new players will be starting their Stretford journey and making their debuts. Come along and give them a cheer!

While the club has been closed to members and the public we have provided storage and work space for Stretford Food Bank which has been an incredible eye opener. The sheer number of people who dedicate their free time into helping vulnerable members of society is amazing. The organistion involved in providing food to the people in only one area is huge. It (unfortunately) seems that Food Banks are here to stay and while Stretford Food Bank may not be around at the club for much longer we hope we can continue a close partnership in the future.

At the weekend the 1stXI host Swinton Moorside from 1pm on Saturday the 2ndXI play Worsley (at Wythenshawe) On Sunday the 3rd XI entertain South West Manchester. If you fancy a run out Sunday morning the U11s play over the meadows at Ashton on Mersey from 9am. We are pleased to welcome back some old faces and new members to the squads, in particular Munir Khan, who is back from his travels around Oldham. Good luck to the new boys.

All seniors must pay subs by by August 1st to be available for selection. You can pay here and view the subscription policy.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cricket Returns to Stretford

people playing cricket on green grass field

After four months of lockdown, where we’ve all done our bit by doing nothing. The shackles have been broken and Senior Cricket is returning to Stretford!

Confirmation has been received from the ECB and the GMCL that we will be starting on Sat 25th July .

Saturday and Sunday fixtures will be 40 overs per side. Saturday teams will play 10 fixtures in a division of 6 teams playing all home and away. Sunday details due out shortly . Please direct message Guy Robinson ASAP on 07879 623390 to confirm that you will/ will not be playing this season or if you have any questions.

The club will be fllowing all ECB guidlines with hosting fixtures and we will brief all players at the first senior training session which will be July 16th from 6.15pm

The club has introduced a special “COVID” rate for subs set at £60.00. If you have already paid full subs you can request a refund via Liz Armstrong or opt to carry over the credit to next season. If you have already paid Associate rate and or any money for nets you will be required to top up the difference. Please, we encourage all players to do this before teh first match. Match fees will remain at £10.00 because we will still have to pay umpires, scorers, match ball, hand gel. There will be no teas provided so bring your own. Any questions please contact Guy Robinson

Posted on Leave a comment

Stretford March on to Semi-Finals

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

blue cricket helmet and red ball
Photo by on

Posted on Leave a comment

So far so good: Doc’s early season review

I am really happy at how the first 6 weeks of the season has started .
The club now is one of the most attractive clubs in the GMCL with its pavillion complete and with the new introduction of the new patio viewing area.
On the field the 3 senior teams have started the season with a positive attitude and so the results and performances have generally been excellent. The first team have won 4 out of their first 6 games with one wash out so the signs are good. With hard work we can compete at top of the league. The atmosphere amongst the players is good and I can see confidence is growing.
New members Ryan Williams,Rich Masterson,Adam Saynor and our new overseas amateur Francoise Stoman have both contributed on and off the pitch.
The Junior section is now in the very capable hands of Thomas Coulson and Ruth Cotton who have brought stability and organisation to the section.
We are getting more juniors joining every week and after hosting the All Stars Cricket Day and the Trafford primary schools Kwik Cricket festival in the last 2 weeks we are expecting more new players.
The club is vibrant at the moment and we welcome any new playing or non playing members with open arms.
We are hosting a ‘FAMILY FUN DAY’ in aid of Breast Cancer Care and Mc Millan Support and we would love to see as many of you as possible at the club on Bank Holiday Monday from 12pm to support such a worthy cause.
Posted on Leave a comment

Smith Solves England Opener Crisis

The country’s Cricket’s Chief Selector, baseball loving hooray Henry, Edward Smith, has pitched the ultimate curve ball following the retirement of nabuchadnezzar run getter Alistair Cook by announcing that he is set to scrap using opening batsman.

Since the retirement of Strauss, England have discarded opening batsmen like used toilet paper, each player ending up soiled and flushed back down into the country cistern. Ironically, used toilet paper amongst the runs more than one of Strauss’s replacements.

A cursory look down the county statistics to find out who may be the next uber driver off the app tells a sorry tale. Once billed as the new Michael Atherton, Haseeb Hameed averages only 5 more runs than walking wicket Fidel Edwards at 9 runs per innings this season.

Smith has acknowledged that some players may have had a raw deal. Nick Compton enjoyed some sucess but was deemed “too slow”. Modern cricket fans don’t want to drive a Volvo if there is a cheap lease deal available on something more sporty like a champagne coloured Vauxhall Omega.

Smith has taken the bold step of allowing England’s number 3 and 4 to start off the innnings with England opting to bolster the lower order with a new number 12 and 13.
The line up will get its debut outing in a trial 100 ball match, the new ECB concept deisgned to move the game on to the next generation. The date of the game will be decided when ECB Chair Colin Graves has copied the rules off the back of his fag packet.

Posted on 1 Comment

Stretford Upset Applecart as Jaffer Squeezed Again

Stretford continued their fine form in recording a powerful 122 run victory away against fiscally stimulated Walshaw on Saturday.

From the moment Corey Fagen helped Ali’s first ball out the ground there was a sense of excitement that iCare sposnored Stretford could take advantage of a short boundary, solid wicket, rapid field, previously beaten opposition, heightened belief, underdog spirit and a lost ball; truly a perfect a storm.

Stretford piled on runs as quickly as a a retired footballer gains pounds. Corey Fagan again weighed in with a 119 from only 60 balls. Walshaw simply had no answer to Fagan’s relentless stroke play, hitting nine fours and nice sixes and instantly damaging Walshaw’s confidence

Despite Fagan’s fireworks it was fellow Australian country boy Dillen Watson who controlled the remainder of the innings falling five short of his own richly deserved century.

Close friends Fagan and Watson have proven a big hit for Stretford and it was fitting that they were batting together when Fagan passed 100 for the first time, building a 110 run partnership in the process.

Adding to his half century against high flying Greenfield, Matt Armstrong chipped in with 47 during another 100 run partnership with Watson and provided a welcome return to form for the promising U19 captain.

Even the presence of ex-India Test match batsman Wasim Jaffer in the Walshaw ranks could not prevent Stretford amassing 316/7 who stood motionless at mid wicket as cricket balls whizzed by.

It was a day to forget for the Walshaw bowlers. Australian Weal took three wickets for a hefty 83 runs and Ali was swatted for 98 off 15 overs. Only Leg Spinner Khan, who did not play in the previous cup game, returned an economy rate below 5 runs per over finishing with 2 for 65 off 15 overs.

Walshaw showed a a distinct lack of intent in their reply however Stretford’s bowlers, especially skipper Benjy Evans, were able to extract more life out of a docile pitch than that of the opposition.

Walshaw slumped to 30 for 3 with Evans outstanding. Bhojani gloved a rising delivery from Evans behind for a sedate 11, Grant found the leading edge of the dangerous McClung who was caught at mid off for 12 and Khan steered a catch to Sarfraz at gully off Evans.

Walshaw were now in a massive hole and Jaffer showed his world class talent in dominating in a 70 run partnership between himself and Greer who fell for 13. Wickets tumbled but Jaffer seemed impregnable. He serenely passed his century but Stretford chipped away at the other batsmen cleverly attempting to starve him of strike. Indeed Stretford limited Jaffer to 77 balls but still had the time to stroke 13 fours and five sixes before holing out to deep mid wicket for an average bolstering yet impressive 111 off Grant.

Benjy Evans was the chief destroyer for Stretford who picked up 4-40 and Alex Grant’s purple patch continues taking 3 for 49. The pair have formed a formidable opening partnership and have now taken 25 wickets between them against some quality oppositions.

More hard work is required to move up the league table however the brand of exciting and spirited cricket being played by such a young side is heartening

Stretford’s 2ndXI lost at home to Dukinfield by 51 runs however Matt Laker turned in a brilliant all round performance taking 6 for 47 with the ball and scoring 79 runs with the bat.

Next week the first team travel to Heyside and the second team host Unsworth.

Posted on Leave a comment

Grant & Fagan Star as SCC ease past Brooksbottom

20180526_184402Stretford’s 1st XI made short work of beating Brooksbottom by 7 wickets on Saturday and secured a third win in five games in the process.

It was another magical day for Alex Grant & Corey Fagan, both producing match winning performances against a side boasting two of the league leading run scorers.

Skipper, Benjy Evans removed the dangerous Quereshi without scoring and strangled Brooksbottom’s run rate with figures of 1 for 12 off 8 overs. Brooksbottom slipped to 42-4 when Grant had overseas player Bonavia caught behind and then trapped run machine Gower LBW. Despite a battling 38 from Hopton, Brooksbottom continued to lose wickets without showing any determination to bat their allotted overs. The gregarious Grant claimed 5 wickets for 26 and Corey Fagan chipped in with a further three wickets. Brooksbottom were rolled out for 89 with 18 overs remaining.

Stretford gained a bonus point by chasing down Brooksbottom’s meagre total with the loss of only 3 wickets. Corey Fagan punished the hosts dismal fielding by blasting four sixes and seven fours. His 66 not out was far from being blemish free but was essential in securing the victory while the merry-go-round of batsmen at the top of the order continues to spin around him. Stretford reached 90 for 3 from only 16 overs.

Stretford travel to mid-table Walshaw next weekend with increased confidence while the second team host Dukinfield.

Posted on Leave a comment

Grant & Fagan ensures lovely day for Stretford as Stayley wither in the sunshine

Stretford added a league win to their impressive victory over Walshaw in the cup when they recorded a confidence boosting 4 wicket victory over Stayley on a glorious Saturday.

After winning the toss, Stayley, enjoyed some good fortune in reaching 29 before Bird edged behind for the first of Alex Grant’s five wickets. Peter Skuse fell just prior to the first drinks break for a kitchen sink style for 47 when he was stumped off the bowling off Fagan with the score on 62.

In the face of some gargantuan hitting from Ahmed (58) Stretford’s lines and lengths became more disciplined and proved too much for Stayley. Ahmed was brilliant run out by Tom Coulson who threw down the stumps at the none-strikers end which provided a vital turning point. Along with a wonderful catch by Matt Armstrong, tumbling one handed down leg side behind the stumps off Grant.

On a small ground with a rapid field, Grant finished with figures 5-55, his second first team five wicket haul. The popular Grant has endured a lengthy spell on the side lines through injury and was impressive particularly in the second half of his spell, beating the bat on numerous occasions.

Although being hit for 5 sixes, Corey Fagan returned figures of 2-44 and miserly skipper Benjy Evans 1-32 off 12 overs.

Important contributions from Dillen Watson (28*) and Ben Riddell (16) guided Stretford home with 16 overs remaining but a blistering 76 from 59 balls from Corey Fagan damaged a shell-shocked Stayley early in the 2nd innings after Stretford slipped to 30 for 2. His 70 run partnership with O’Malley proved pivotal in securing victory.

Perhaps the most important moment in the match was a dropped catch by M Rehamn who spilled Fagan on 30 at mid-off. These momentary lapses from such an undoubted talent will frustrate the Stretford faithful who will be wanting more from Fagan who had a brilliant hundred in the palm of his hand.

Next week Stretford will be looking to continue their good form against Royton at home to make it 3 wins in 4 games

Posted on Leave a comment

Weems Wipes Out Walshaw

Stretford’s 1st XI bounced back in style following a difficult start to the league campaign with a thrilling 9 run victory against an affluent Walshaw side, featuring ex-India Test Batsman Wasim Jaffer, in the Per Fit Windows Cup on Sunday.
Batting first, an understrength, Stretford again failed to bat all their allotted overs however amassed an impressive 205. Corey Fagan hit 71 and there were also useful contributions from Tom Coulson (24) Dillen Watson (21) and debutant Ebrahima Shaikh (20)

In reply Walshaw slumped to 65-5 thanks with Benjy Evans, Kamran Hussain and Corey Fagan in the wickets. An 80 run partnership was broken by Joe Weems who uprooted Wasim Jaffer’s off stump for 86. Weems continued his aggression and captured his first five wicket haul for the 1st XI, finishing with figures of 9 overs 5 for 52.

Walshaw were bowled out for 196 on a glorious day for Stretford who will hope to have more players available in the coming weeks in an effort to improve their league form.