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Stretford edge top of the table clash with victory over Mottram

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.

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Stretford scale Milnrow with polished performance

“Then clap’d his foot o’th chin;
He pull’d – the patient roar’d with pain,
And hideously did grin”

John Collier was an English caricaturist and satirical poet who was famous for his writings in Lancashiire dialect. His pseudonym is Tim Bobbin. He was born in Urmston but moved to Milnrow to work as the Schoolmaster. He is perhaps the most notable person from Milnrow that you’ve never heard of. One of his collections is titled Human Passion Delineated and depicts the agonising process of having a tooth pulled by a dentist.

The imagry created by Bobbin in the Dentist perhaps describes the one sided 8 wicket away victory the 1stXI scored on Saturday. Milnrow failed to make use of excellent batting conditions. The dangerous Yates was run out for 5 by Coulson and the home side, under pressure from Grant and Page, limped along at barely 2 runs per over; the only noise a faint hum of traffic from a distant M62 and Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to Do With It? which could be heard playing from a radio from inside the excellently refurbished club house.

Milnrow is the birthplace of the tubular bandage and the home side were left licking their wounds as Williams 4/34 and Coulson 3/34 ripped out the middle order. The scoring rate didn’t increase and Page 1/11 and O’Malley picked up the final wickets as Milnrow were bowled out for a well under par 121. Captain Bebb (27*) provided late order resistence.

In stark contrast Stretford needed only 23 overs to reach their target. Despite the early loss of Ramlaul for 2 a fluent 33 from Matt Armstrong, a classy 43* from Ajay Shah and Sharp (20*) ensured a one sided game ended to lift Stretford back to the top of the league.

The 2ndXI recorded a much needed victory away at Hindley St Peters chasing down 193 to win by 3 wickets. Having elected to bat Petterson (43) Nawaz (39) and Patel (37) all weighed in with significant contributions and the home side were happy with their first innings total. Adnan Khan picked up 4/27 with Blackwell, Renforth, Mahmood, Shakhede each picking up a wicket apiece. There was some excellent fielding from Stretford with two run outs with the recent effort in training nights proving its worth.

History was not on Stretford’s side. Big runs have been elusive but this time, the Stretford line up contained a number of secret weapons all of which fired at strategic intervals. The returning Shabaz Sarfraz scored a swashbuckling 45, Aaron Wild chipped in with 23 and Waqas Mahmood (22) took Stretford to 150-6 with only 6 overs left. Kenny Cotton (47*) battled from the 10th over but a brutal 25 off 10 balls from Abubaker Shakhede propelled Stretford over the winning line to record a fantastic win.

Next week, the club is hosting a wedding therefore two more away games await. The first team travel to Adlington, Chorley and the twos play Worsley at Wythenshawe.

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SCC reach summit following Milnrow collapse

Stretford’s first team reached the summit of the GMCL Division One munro following a comprehensive victory over Milnrow on Saturday. There is a long way to go before the flag gets raised however confidence is building and the men from the Boundary will want to geo-cash-in.

The sun was shining in the sky, there wasn’t a cloud in sight, it’s stopped raining, everybodys in the play and dont you know, it was a beautiful day therefore Milnrow obviously won the toss and elected to bat. It was Milnrow who were left feeling blue .

The excellent Yates (50 from 89) and Park (18) built an excellent platform for Minrow reaching 101-2 off 20 overs but the introduction of wicket machine Coulson (3/5) and the workhorse sherpa, Ryan Williams (3/27) sparked an avalanche of 8 wickets for only 18 runs. Milrow posting only 119 on an absolute belter.

In reply Stretford were comfortable; a brisk walk towards the target with Mike Murphy (45) and Ajay Shah (51*) to record an 8 wicket win.

Stretford’s 2ndXI suffered an unfortunate 9 run, defeat despite a sterling comeback in the first innings against Golborne. Peacock’s feathers were fanning; smashing Stretford’s openers for 46 off 50 balls mainly dealing in boundaries. The Golborne rate was always well above 4.5 per over but Bowman still captured (4/45). It was Turner (3/32) and Riddell who plugged the hole of the run scoring dyke limiting Golborn to 140ao off only 32 overs.

Stretford made the worst possible start with no real contributions from the top order. Alex Bowman (28), Sheryer Amir (10) and Craig Turner (31*) dogidly fought back with the final two wickets taking Stretford from 77-8 to 131-9 but it was not enough.

On Sunday the 1stXI crashed out the cup with defeat against Deane & Derby. The side were hoping to reach another big semi but U Patel had other ideas smashing 131 off 82 balls (11 fours and 9 sixes) and taking 6/63. Stand in skipper Sharp and a depleted team without 6 regulars were left scratching their heads as the home side posted 313 off 45 overs. Stretford responded with gusto but wickets fell at regular intervals to prevent them getting close. Sharp (46) Khan (46) Grant (27*) and Marshall (21) all made contributions with Stretford posting 236ao.

Stretford’s 3rdXI had Usman Hasan (81) and George Riddell (16) to thank for rescusing the team with a 87 run partnership to save the side from danger at 30-5. Stretford’s 147 was an excellent effort but was not enough to prevent a 3 wicket defeat against Denton West. Gareth Senior (34) and Beeby (33) made solid contributions for West as they chased down the target. Usman Hassan (3/30) and Charlie Sellors (4/25) did the main damage for Stretford

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Double Delight over Bank Holiday but tougher tests ahead for ones and twos

Stretford’s 1st and 2nd XI were back to winning ways over the bank holiday weekend with both teams recording victories. The 1st XI travelled to (where else) Oldham while Bolton Indians, having been given permission to travel, made the journey along the B5213.

Oldham capitulated to 22-5 and never recovered. Only three batsmen passed double figures as the home side were bundled out for 75. A cautionary note which will need to be address; Stretford conceded 21 extras, including 11 wides and 6 no-balls. Better oppostion will surely take advantage. The wickets were shared around for Stretford with Williams (2/7) Grant (2/9) and Page (2/26) the main destroyers.

Stretford were comfortable in reply and reached 67-4 with Shah (21) and young Jamie Cotton (19) impressive. As gloves and pads started to fly a couple of late wickets took the gloss off the result, Stretford recording a 4 wicket win.

Weeks of rain and difficult preperation meant that the Boundary has yet to see the best of the new playing surface but despite the slow pitch Stretford’s 2ndXI posted a very competetive 169/8 off 45 overs. Gani rode his luck but amassing 43 runs. At 93-6 Stretford teetered with dissapointment but Robert Renforth (35) Waqas Mahmood (19) and Craig Turner (19*) boosted the score late on with some good running and big shots.

Bolton Indian’s reply was power sappingly mundane and without purpose. The Stretford bowling was tight as Wild and Renforth removed the top order, the latter returning excellent figures of 5/22. Turner also bowled 9 overs 2 for 15. The away team while not being blown away took 37 overs to be bowled out for 77.

The best game of the weekend was to be found at home on Sunday where the 3rdXI entertained Astley Bridge. Stretford posted 166 for 9 with Usman hasan hitting a beligerent 42 and the evergreen Guy Robinson a focussed 40 off 52 balls.

A half century from Kamath (59) provided the anchor for the away team as they edged to victory in the final over. A late two wicket burst from Hasan (2/39) and three run outs showed that Stretford were never gonna give it up, but Astley took the points with a 2 wicket win.

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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.

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Week 1 Preview

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.

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Cricket Returns to Stretford

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

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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

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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.
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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.