Wednesday 31st May – Stockport Georgians U9 318 (130/4 off 16) beat Heaton Mersey U8 245 (78/11 off 16) 73 runs – High Peak league (Scorecard)
The Heaton Mersey U8s team faced tough opposition in the Stockport Georgians, with the home side scoring heavily to post a net score of 318. Mersey’s learning side struggled to cope with the Georgians’ bowling and it was quite a heavy defeat. But this year is all about learning for the U8s side as they play their first competitive games in a higher age group.
Monday 5th June: Heaton Mersey U10s 338 (166/7 off 20) beat Bramhall U11 311 (155/11 off 20) by 27 runs – Cheshire league (Scorecard)
A superb game of cricket last night against the always competitive Bramhall. Batting first, it was really pleasing to see the boys building excellent partnerships and learning that if one batter is striking boundaries then the other just needs to play for singles and stay in. Tom S, Sam, Felix and Stan all found the boundary on regular occasions and we set an imposing total.
However, Bramhall stayed in the hunt with excellent striking. Three wickets each for Arjo and Stan plus wickets for Dylan, Tom, Josh and a beauty from Gregory smashing into the top of off stump in his first hard ball match meant we just had enough. Josh and Zayaan were excellent in the field and a big shout for Tom H who kept wicket beautifully before a hand injury. He then came back on and bowled 2 tight overs before getting injured again stopping a 4 from the last ball. That is the commitment I love to see.
Tuesday 6th June – North East Cheshire U11 264 (88/6 off 16) lost to Heaton Mersey U10 301 (117/4 off 16) by 37 runs – High Peak league (Scorecard)
An impressive win for an inexperienced HMCC team away from home against the team who were second in the league before this match. Mersey won the toss and new captain, Maya, decided to bat first on a dry, flat pitch. After a slow start, all pairs batted well together and protected their wickets as much as possible against an attack featuring a lot of slow bowlers.
Only four wickets were lost, which was a significant improvement on recent games, and the running/calling was also much better. All batters contributed well with some boundaries from James and a flurry of late runs from Sam (46 off 21 balls) propelled Mersey to a better-than-expected net score of 301.
Mersey bowled well to begin with as Dylan splattered the wickets with his first delivery and bowled very tightly only conceding 2 runs overall. The other bowlers then contained NEC’s best batters to singles and the odd four, and Tom R chipped in with an important wicket.
The ground fielding was good throughout, apart from some sloppiness mid-innings; James and Tom combining well in the field to stop boundaries and Maya fielding superbly throughout. Arjo also performed well in his first wicketkeeping stint. Albert then took a wicket with his first ball and with Sam taking two wickets, Mersey finished with a flourish to win the game handsomely.
Another superb effort with excellent team spirit throughout and the team also played in the right manner.
Wednesday 7th June – Heaton Mersey U9 258 (73/5 off 16) beat Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge U9 246 (97/17 off 16) – High Peak league (Scorecard)
Heaton Mersey, top of the High Peak league, faced the second positioned team in the league for a crucial top of the table fixture. We happened to have a reasonably strong team out and, bowling first, we started well. Isaac kept it tight first up and then things exploded into life. Max initially sent down a wide and a no-ball, but then corrected himself to get two wickets in two balls, following that with two in two at the end of the over, for an unbelievable four wickets in the over.
That rather set the tone for Heaton Mersey’s wicket-taking prowess, as Jake got a wicket in his over before we got a run out in Harvey’s over. More wickets followed, from Matty then Gregory then Isaac, before another run out in Max’s second over (Jake threw down the stumps from side on), before Jake got another and Harvey opened his account.
Failing to give the scorers a chance to catch up, Matty and Gregory both got a brace in each of their second overs, before Will joined the party in the final over of the innings. In all, Heaton Mersey took a (probably record) 17 wickets in their 16 overs. The majority were bowled, but as noted there were a couple of run outs, and a few excellent, assured catches.
During this, Ladybridge were playing some good shots, scoring a number of boundaries. This, together with a number of wides – and some overthrows - also being conceded, led to a defendable, if under par, total of 246 (based on a score of 97/17). It was Heaton Mersey’s to lose.
We started off tentatively, eking out runs mostly from extras, before Max got things motoring with a boundary in the third over, before Isaac upped the pace further with two boundaries in the next. That was a strong start, putting us on 224 after 4 overs without losing any wickets, more than halfway past the target.
However, Ladybridge’s next four bowlers featured two who were very quick, one of whom taking two wickets in an over. In the face of this, Harvey and Jake struggled a little, although Jake played an absolutely glorious square drive for four. It was tough going, losing four wickets in all, and we edged up to a net score of 228 at the halfway stage, still ahead of the rate.
George and Matty played solidly, including a four for George, but a run-out in the last over for a wicket maiden set us back a little. We had made it to 240, with just 7 runs needed to win, but we had their best bowlers to come.
Out marched Gregory and Will. They got three of the first over to get a little bit closer, then they faced a quick bowler and the ball fizzed past the stumps, including to the boundary, though, and that put us ahead. A four from Will gave us some breathing room and we survived the last over, with Gregory and Will doing well in not losing any wickets.
In the end, Mersey finished on 73/5, so quite a lot fewer runs than Ladybridge – they sometimes struggled to find their timing against some good bowling – but crucially preserving their wicket much better than the opposite. That gave us the win by 12 runs and a clear gap at the top of the league table. For now, anyway. Once more the game was played in great spirits.
Thursday 8th June – Brooklands U11 287 (115/7 off 20) beat Heaton Mersey U11 286 (130/11 off 20) by 1 run – Cheshire league (Scorecard)
Well, what a match that was! Glorious sunshine, some great boundary hitting and the closest of finishes. A good bowling display by Heaton Mersey restricted Brooklands to 287 on a fast pitch with a lightning-fast outfield. Fionn was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets. Some good catches were held and good boundary fielding and awareness was shown by all in the field. Special mention to Joey, who came back from being hit for a few boundaries by finishing his spell really nicely.
Seamus and Stanley C got us off to a great start, but we fell away a little. Fortunately, their ambitious wicketkeeper, who did take two good stumpings, helped to keep the target in reach as we took the byes on offer. Harry and Lukasz still had a mountain to climb as they strode to the wicket and the last pair set about their task with aplomb. Only a last over from their best bowler, who pushed the bounds of acceptability to the limits in bowling a set of yorkers wide of off stump, could limit these two from winning the match and we agonisingly fell one run short. Well done all.
Friday 9th June: Heaton Mersey U9 277 (95/6 off 16) beat Stockport Georgians U9 251 (63/4 off 16) by 26 runs – Cheshire league (Scorecard)
Captain Caoimhin won the toss and elected to bowl. Stockport Georgians were playing a mainly development team. Despite some solid strokes from their opening batsmen, their lack of match play experience showed as they struggled to find the gaps in the field. Mersey bowled solidly throughout, although wickets were hard to come by. Jake was the star performer with one wicket and an outstanding run-out from side on. There were also wickets for Huzaifah and Jesse, plus a maiden from Harvey. Georgians scored 63-4 for a total of 251.
In reply, Caomhin and Huzaifah made an outstanding start, scoring 32-3 off the opening 4 overs, with 3 cracking fours from the latter. Harvey and Zane ran superbly to then put on 25-0 with no boundaries off the bat. It was only left for Adam, Jesse, Jake and Finlay to bat sensibly for Mersey to cruise to a total of 277 and another outstanding team performance and win.
Sunday 11th June: Heaton Mersey U11 263 (119/14 off 20) lost to Stockport Georgians U11 311 (155/11 off 20) by 48 runs – Cheshire league (Scorecard)
Another glorious night for cricket this evening at Heaton Mersey. Harry won the toss and asked Stockport Georgians to bat, which they did really well, posting a total of 311. Well done to Zach A, Zak B and Ibrahim A for claiming two wickets each. All our bowlers bowled some good balls – we just need to improve the consistency.
In losing 14 wickets in reply, we were never going to win, but I was really impressed by many of the shots that we played and pleased how we are growing in confidence. Special mention goes to Owen for thanking the officials for giving up their evening to take the match and for orchestrating our team to shake the opposition hands. That’s what we like to see at Mersey!
Sunday 11th June: Didsbury U11 91/8 (20) beat Heaton Mersey U11 80 all out (18.2) by 11 runs – South Manchester (Scorecard)
A disappointing defeat for the team today. After restricting Didsbury to 91-8 off the 20 overs with some great bowling and fielding, the win looked to be achievable with the batting line up we possessed. However, some poor shot selection, a dubious run-out and the very unfortunate wicket of Sam left us coming up just short (80 all out).
Lots of players made a start but couldn’t push on and make a big score. There is lots of learning still to be done and improvement to be made. On to the next one!! Thanks as well to John for scoring.
Pic: The U10s take on Bramhall at Green Lane: