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Nine, Ten, Jack save Stretford as Coulson Magic Downs Dukinfield

Stretford have now put daylight between themselves and the other promotion hopefuls in the GMCL Div 1 following Saturday’s rollercoaster ride victory over Dukinfield by 20 runs. A five point gap over 4th place is far from comfortable and with Mottram easily wininng against Prestwich 2nXI we still sit 2nd with a game in hand, 2 points behind the leaders. Stretford had homegrown star Tom Coulson to thank for the victory after a fine all round performance.

Stretford showed their character in the the victory over third placed Dukinfield, a team on equal points but heavily relient on two professionals Syd De Silva and Denuwan Rajakaruna Dadallage who wreaked havoc in the reverse fixture.

Stretford won the toss and elected to bat on a used, tired looking pitch and were soon in trouble when in-form Armstrong was bowled from the second ball. Shah (9) and Saynor (7) followed soon after, both caught playing ambitious shots. Wild (9) occupied the crease with determination but edged behind and when Williams (1) and Evans (1) were out Stretford had slipped to 51-8. In recent games this pattern has become all too familiar but Murphy, O’Malley, Whitehead and Khan return soon to bolster the batting.

Coulson (70*) was joined at the crease by his good friend, Ethan Page (14) and both took advantage of the Dukinfield change up bowlers following the nagging spell of De Silva (6/26) and Dadallage (2/32) The pair put on 40 for the ninth wicket until Page was bowled by one that shot through with the score on 94-9. A last wicket partnership of 45 took Stretford 139. Jack Blackwell (7) took a back seat role while Coulson, at first watchful, started to open up with flicks over mid wicket and powerful drives through cover to swing momentum towards Stretford.

In reply, Dukinfield seemed untroubled. The home side sent in Ghafoor (15) and Allen (18) and both Williams and Evans struggled to find the right length on a pitch offering assistance. It was important to capture early wickets in order to put the Dukinfield professionals under pressure and the break through came when Evans (1/27) had Allen caught behind with the score on 33. De Silva’s decision to play on a used pitch backfired when he scratched around and was bowled by Williams (3/29) for four with the score on 43. Morton (14) and the inventive Daddallage (23) put on 40 before being superbly caught by Page at the deep square leg boundary after top edging a sweep shot off the bowling of Coulson. (4/32). Stretford did not have many runs to play with but the pressure was too much for Dukinfield as Morton chipped one to Evans at mid wicket off Coulson and a fired up Blackwell (2/20) smashed through the defences of the lower order batsmen.

The 2ndXI came unstuck at home to Flixton on Saturday with an under par batting performance to blame. Alfie Stamper returned bolwing figures of 3/11 and R Nawaz (5/27) with only Craig Turner (23) offering resistance as Stretford were bowled out for 83. Malhotra (35) and Geary (24) made light work of the chase winning by 7 wickets with a wicket each for Renforth, Wright and Cotton.

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Armstrong knock sets up Stretford win

Stretford bounced back from the dissapointment of defeat at title contenders Mottram, with a 47 run victory at the
sun soaked hilltop home of Austerlands on Saturday. The win was set up thanks to a 7th wicket partnership of 90 by the resolute Matt Armstrong (98) and Tom Coulson (35) who rescused team from a perilous 117-6 and an unlikely bowling hero, Mike Murphy (4/52). The final total of 242 proved too much for Austerlands despite fielding the league’s leading run scorer Imran Rafiq who has already coasted to 1200 runs this season.

Skipper Ryan Williams won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch which offered something to belie the glorious weather and surroundings At 20-3 the decision to bat was being questioned by Statler and Waldorf perched on the Western Terrace at the fun-sized, thwack-enducing, Saddleworth ground.

With three good men back in the hut due to a searching opening spell from Lockett (3/52), Adam Saynor (23), Ocean O’Malley (12) and Williams (24) all promised much but didn’t kick on to leave Stretford at 117-6 with 31 overs gone.

Matt Armstrong continued his quest and when be was joined by Thomas Coulson the pair powered on to 211-7. Coulson departed after unleashing an array of trademark power shots. Quietly, Armstrong continued on his inexorable cruise to his maiden century but fell in the last over attempting to score the two runs needed. The total of 242 was the result of an excellent recovery but was probably par at the Austerlands ground.

The home side`s reply took two early knocks as skipper Williams castled both openers to bring Pakistan A batsman Rafiq to the crease. After he had been completely beaten by his first ball he accumulated runs but was kept relatively quiet by good spells from Williams, Coulson and Jack Blackwell.

At 144-2 and coasting Rafique inexplicably chipped a catch to Williams at mid-off from the bowling of Mike Murphy to end a partenership of 110, and his partner, Melling,  fell on 49, trapped in front by an arrow straight ball from Coulson in the next over.

Stretford sensed victory and it came with the score on 195 as Williams (5/51) and Murphy added their fifth and fourth victims respectively.

A great and hard earned win due to an all round team effort. Armstrong reflected on the performance and was quick to play down his match winning knock; “It was very long, very warm, very tiring but a win nonetheless and that’s all that matters, Allez les blues!”

A top of the table clash at Dukinfield next week is eagerly awaited.

A battling 58* from Ben Riddell was not enough to save the 2nXI from a 5 wicket defeat at the hands of league leaders Bury on Saturday.

After slumping to 9-3, Jamie Cotton (27) and Pav Aqeel (22) dug in; the run rate lower than the Mariana Trench. Riddell, Lomax and Uwais Siddique (23) upped the tempo, the home side finishing with a respectable 171 for 8 from 45 overs.

Alex Bowman (1/23 from 10) captured an early wicket to give Stretford hope but a patient 42 from J Mitchell, Z Khan (23) and S Hashmi (32) guided Bury towards the target relatively unscathed. Jamie Cotton’s off-spin stalled the Bury progess chipping in with 3/52 from 14.

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Top Marks for the Boundary: SCC wins ground award for June

We are pleased to announce that we have scored the highest marks for June as awarded by GMCL and pocketed 100 quid in the process, courtesy of Battersby Sports Ground Suppliers.

This month there were five clubs in close contention, namely Tottington St Johns CC, Prestwich CC, Elton CC, Bradshaw CC and we came out on top.

This is a reflection of the hard work put in by our grounds team (who are volunteers) spearheaded by Ian Holding and Phil Spencer. It’s also a reminder to all our members that we have a top ground, with the best vista and the best folk. Don’t take it for granted.

This year the GMCL introduced Grounds and Facilities Standards. If the standards cannot be achieved this could affect promotion and relegation places so there is lots of ongoing work to do therefore even if you can only give one hour per week or a couple per month then we would appreciate any time you can give, this could be anything from sweeping up, emptying bins, cutting the banks, painting things, learning how to safely operate our machines.

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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

dentist treating teeth of client in clinic

“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

landscape photography of mountains covered in snow

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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Cotton thrives in Line of Duty

SCC-1857 interview of Opening Batsman Kenny Cotton in the presence of Fundraising and Operations Officer Christopher Sharp

For the DIR, the screen shows a picture of Don Bradman, currently considered the best test bastman of all time. Our first consideration is item SCC-5, a cable knit cricket jumper with royal blue and gold trim, made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester.

Document 5 in your folders. This cricket jumper yielded item reference KC1. That’s document 6 in your folders. KC-1 is DNA which also matches fibres found on Don Bradman’s Baggy Green.

Can you confirm your whereabouts on Sunday 18th April between the hours of 13:30 and 19:00 hours?

Well it was a nice day, the sun was out so I thought i’d go for a walk in the park.

Item KC1 was recovered at Urmston Cricket Club and was found in your possession during an incredible 102 run pre season friendly victory for the 3rd XI. The match was between Stretford 3rd XI and Didsbury 5th XI but played at Moorside Road.

We have evidence to show that you were impersonating Don Bradman on Sunday. Are you Don Bradman?

The DIR the suspect isn’t responding.

Document 6 in your folders. Document 6 is the Stretford Batting Scorecard showing that the your side scored 219/8 off 40 overs. Waqas Mahmood (32), Pav Aqueel (59*) weighed in with runs but it was actually youself Kenny Cotton, who more than doubled your highest Stretford score by blasting 83 which included 11 fours and one big straight six. Now I put it to you Mr Cotton that you were impersonating the Don on Sunday, it couldn’t be more clear. Mother of God.

Document 7 in your folders. Document 7 are Stretford’s bowling figures. The figures clearly show a ruthless and calculated assault against the Didsbury batting line up. Charlie Sellors (3/10), Jamie Cotton (3/24) Uwais Siddique (2/16) and Waqas Mahmood (2/29) all joined the assault.

Document 8 in your folders. Document 8 shows Didbury’s batting card which shows a solitary 49 by Matt Laker compiled with psuedo enjoyment, as the only notable contribution from the OCG (other cricket group)

I put it you Mr Cotton that yourself, captain Usman Hassan and Director of Cricket Guy Robinson will be pleased with the performace even though this was a friendly

For the DIR the suspect isn’t responding

The interview is terminated

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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.