Dominant Weekend for Hawk Green
In a game reduced to 25 overs per side, Hawk Green 1st Xl won the toss and invited the visitors to take first knock. Early showers which had caused the shortened game had cleared and left a pleasant day. Dan Gilbride and Sean Marchington opened the innings for Buxworth and against some early wayward bowling, both took advantage before Jason Downey and Ryan Stringer got into their rhythm. It was Downey who struck first when he bowled Gilbride for 16 with the score on 26, the introduction of Jack Needham into the attack paid early dividends when he removed Gemmell for just 7 caught Pete Richards, 38 – 2. Critchlow and Marchington added 29 runs before the former became Needhams second victim LBW for 6, 67-3. Skipper Josh Unsworth introduced himself and Pete Richards into the attack with immediate effect when Unsworth ended the stubborn resistance of Marchington, bowling him for 26, 75 – 4. This soon became 76 – 5 with Unsworth’s 2nd wicket, as he bowled Mark Lomas for 8 shortly before Richards had Chris Reynolds caught by Jack Needham for 11, 92 – 6. The next wicket to fall had the ground buzzing as Richards took a spectacular catch at first slip off the bowling of Unsworth to remove Andy Reynolds for 7, 94 – 7. Richards then bowled Dan Marchington at 96 – 8. This was the last wicket to fall as the Buxworth innings closed on 108 – 8, with Needham 2 – 20, Richards 2 – 17 and Unsworth 3 – 11. The Greens new opening combination, Josh Unsworth and Josh Hampson, soon settled any nerves that may have been lingering when they quickly took control of the run chase and any bad balls were punished by both batsmen with some wonderful straight and cover drives from Unsworth and Hampson with strong square drives. The Buxworth first 4 batsmen are also their first four bowlers and all suffered before Critchlow removed Unsworth bowled for 46, 75 – 1. The same bowler removed Richards caught by keeper Chris Edwards for 0, 75 – 2. The Green were to lose no further wickets and they reached their target of 109 with overs to spare and only 2 wickets down with Hampson 50 not out and Jack Needham 12 not out. The Greens 2nd Xl, away at Hazel Grove, made light work of their opponents in a totally one sided game. Mark Richards and George Ridings opened the bowling and Richards had first blood when he removed Chris Cooke for 3, 8 -1. Bradley Holme replaced Ridings with immediate success as he removed the dangerous Andy Oldfield bowled for just 9, 22 – 2. The remaining Grove batsmen could not cope with the bowling of Richards and Holme and were soon reduced to 79 all out, Richards completing his 12 overs 3 – 18 and Holme 11.2 overs 6 – 25. The Greens opening pair, Justin Blackhurst and Andrew Bickley, both of whom could command a place in most 1st X1s, were in no mood to hang about and in just 10 overs they had passed the required total with Bickley closing on 46 not out in just 31 balls and Blackhurst 29 not out in 29 balls faced.
On Sunday the Green travelled to Hale Barns to play in the Cheshire Shield Cup and with only teenagers Ryan Stringer and Jack Needham available from Saturdays 1stXl they had to field 9 x 2nd team players. Hale Barns elected to bat first and were bowled out for 154 with Ryan Stringer 4 – 34, Jack Needham 2 – 18 and Mark Richards 2 – 36. In reply the Greens innings started disastrously with Saturdays 2ndXI hero Justin Blackhurst falling for a duck before a very mature partnership of 63 between Jack Needham and Ben Littler steadied the boat and put the Green back on course knocks of 23 from Needham, 53 from Ben Littler, 21 from Tom Littler, a swashbuckling 33 from Logan Jeffs, 9 not out from Ryan Stringer and befittingly the winning run came from the bat of skipper Murray Hill. Another cracking weekend for the Green.