Blown away by a Gale then Trigger gives us a shot in the arm
Ramsbottom 1st Team v Walsden 1st team – T20 (H) 18 June 2021
RCC 168 for 7 (20 overs) WCC 170 for 7 (20 overs)
To the neutral observer the T20 game against Walsden was a feast of fantastic entertainment. To a Rammy supporter it was one where you felt like going home and kicking the cat. The decision to play the game on Friday when there was another major attraction (that typically failed to live up to all the hype) looked promising as the opposition fielded a weakened side. Our first three batsmen attacked from the word go and although we lost Brad Fielding with the score at 27, Jacob Clarke and Alex Olpin treated to us to a fine exhibition of stroke play and running between the wickets in a stand of 96, which ended when Jacob was stumped for 58. Unsurprisingly the scoring rate dropped when wickets started to fall as the Walsden professional bowled a tidy spell. But a final score of 168 was a challenging target. Alex Olpin top scored with 65 before falling to a fine boundary catch.
We all know Walsden will never die wondering so it was no surprise that we were treated to some mighty hitting especially from Elliott Gilford, promoted to number 3. Two of his sixes were absolutely massive. Even so we chipped away and wickets fell at the right time until it looked like their resistance was broken as they needed 29 off the final over. Nobody told Joe Gale and unbelievably they achieved their target with a six off the last ball of the innings, Gale finishing with 58 not out. These things happen every so often in cricket so we have to put it behind us.
Amateur Man of the Match was Alex Olpin.
Ramsbottom 1st Team v Rochdale 1st Team (A) 19 June
RamCC 186 for 8 (50 overs) RochCC 163 all out (44.4 overs)
Saturday’s game against Rochdale was probably our most important fixture for a long time. Having slipped into a relegation spot following the terrible run in the League we desperately needed to get back on track.
Batting first we knew it was important to see off the threat of Steven Oddy, bowling from the end of the ground named after him. This guy has been around for a long time and is seriously clever medium paced bowler.
Unfortunately we lost our first two wickets with only seven on the board. The luckless Simon Hanson brilliantly caught one handed and skipper Kieren Grimshaw the victim of a rather dubious decision. This brought our professional to the wicket to join Jonny Dack, playing his first senior league game of the season. Both batted with great determination picking up runs whenever possible and dispatching the odd bad ball they received. Most importantly they were able to see off the threat of Oddy. The Rochdale skipper Roche then brought himself into the attack to bowl in tandem with their professional Whitehead, who had been getting quite a bit of response from the wicket without success. This must have had some kind of mesmeric effect on the Rammy amateurs as firstly Jonny, then Brad, Clarkey and Harry fell in almost identical fashion chipping the ball into air to give the Rochdale fielders catching practice. When Trig was bowled the home skipper had earned a collection and Oddy must have felt like tearing out what hair he had left on his head. While all this was going on Daryn had been showing the boys what to do with poor deliveries and despite not being in complete comfort with his damaged finger he finished the innings off in tremendous style ending with 117 not out. The fact that our final score was only 186 and JD’s score was 28 highlighted a disappointing amateur batting performance.
It was important to take early wickets when the opposition batted so Grimmy opened the attack with Clarkey and Trig who he hoped would exploit the spin in the track. Both had excellent spells and were able to reduce Rochdale to 22 for 3. This brought Zaman, a former Grade A cricketer from Faisalabad, to join the Rochdale professional Whitehead at the wicket. Although not scoring quickly both were able to see off our opening attack before starting to accelerate. When Daryn tried his luck with the ball he was unable to get any purchase and things started to look bleak so a double change was made with Josh Dentith and Dan Pyke being brought into the attack. With the score on 103 Josh succeeding bringing the home professional down the track, beating him in flight and allowing Harry Caton to complete a brilliant stumping. Wickets started to fall with regularity and Rochdale slumped to 127 for 8 with Josh taking three wickets and Pykey two. However with Zaman still there Rochdale had hope and with Oddy showing resilience with the bat they took the score to 163 before Trig, who had been brought back into the attack, induced a false shot from Oddy and then had Poscha LBW next ball to give us that much needed 12 point victory.
The relief this brought our supporters was almost tangible and allowed us to have an enjoyable Saturday evening. One however cannot take away the fact that our batting was almost totally reliant on Daryn’s brilliant knock, only Jonny Dack apart coming up with the goods. Too many of our dismissals coming by the way of poor quality strokes. Our bowling and fielding was pretty good with Trig, Clarkey, Josh and Pyky all putting in a good shift.
Tough tests await us but the team spirit remains good and we have the capabilities to beat anyone.
Amateur Man of the Match went to Trig for his brilliant spell of 4 for 21 off 12.4 overs, a great performance from a Rammy legend.