Result: Urmston CC 299-3 (50 overs) BEAT Sale CC 72 (34.1 overs) by 227 runs. (Vivio Cheshire County League)
Venue: The UCG (Saturday 13th June 2015, 1pm)
Att: 50 (approx.hc)
For the third instalment of my Manchopper at the Cricket series, I was taking the short trip to my local side, Urmston Cricket Club, as they faced the daunting task of facing Sale CC at The UCG. Whilst not quite as grand as its Aussie name-alike’s the ground is, in my opinion, one of the best to watch cricket, due to the closeness of the action at most times.
So, after a short walk of around 10 minutes, I arrived at the Moorside Road ground with five balls gone in the innings, on account of the game starting slightly earlier than scheduled. I had missed just one run in that time, so not too much damage done. After walking round to the pavilion, I entered through the gate near the building which was hosting a Frozen-themed fourth birthday party and after a few murderous serenades of the movie’s title song, I was allowed to settle into the game at hand!
Around half an hour in, I was joined, once again, by Dan who was making his, likely, final cricket blog appearance of this season, with only one scheduled to do before the football season restarts. By now, Urmston were 34-1, with the wicket of ‘keeper batsman Brad Yates (the amount of opening bats who are ‘keepers seems astonishing) the only one to fall so far.
But before we continue with that, we will have a word for the weather forecasters. The evening before, the Met Office had announced that it was to be a rather wet affair, with prospects of play looking highly unlikely to be anything of note. So, upon waking up to glorious sunshine, and the complete dryness of the day (bar a few spots), I’d like to congratulate the people earning their money on the weather for their sterling work once again. Rant over, now seems like a good time to cool off with a delve into the history of Urmston Cricket Club….
Urmston Cricket Club was formed back in 1846, and are current members of the ECB Cheshire County League of which Urmston currently compete in the First Division, having been relegated from the Premier Division last season. They have become something of a yo-yo club of late, but this is of no disgrace. The club have won numerous honours since the 1970’s when the club’s success really kicked on. After one Burrows Trophy in 1938, they won nothing (according to the club booklet) until 1961, the Stockton Trophy. This was backed up by a further four Burrows Trophies (1975, ’86, ’89, ’91), 7 Alan Gilbert Trophies in 10 years, from 1981-’91, and two JC Worthington Trophies in 1986 & 1990.
The 1990’s & 2000’s saw the club’s on field and off-field success continue, with the AE Taylor Trophy won in 1998, before they kicked on again from the Millennium, winning the 2005 Henderson Rose Bowl, five Bill Brown Shield’s from 2007-’14, the 2008 Bloor Shield and Benoy Trophy and the 2009 Foden Trophy. The 2010 decade has seen Urmston lift more silverware on a regular basis, with the 2011 Foden Shield, the 2011 South Manchester T20, the 2012 Norman Bloor Trophy and Chapel Press Trophy, which was defended the next year.
Urmston have also supplied, as far as everyone is aware, their first County player and International, in leg spinner Matt Parkinson, who has been awarded a pro contract with Lancashire having been an integral part of Staffordshire’s Minor Counties winning side and has also forced his way into the England u19 side, including being part of a tour of Australia. It was Parkinson who would captain the home side today, in the absence of regular skipper Chris Turner and in doing so became the club’s youngest ever captain.
But it was to be his brother who took the starring role today. After the loss of Yates, caught at mid-on off Richard Halkon for 15, he and young opener Calum Turner went on to add 138 for the second wicket with some fluent shots combined with patient, sensible batting. It was to be Turner who was the second wicket to fall, with Tyrone Lawrence taking his scalp for 84. He was sportingly given a nice send off by the Sale players, but any thoughts they may have had of stemming the runs soon went out the window.
Indian ex-First-Class all-rounder Sumit Panda added a quick-fire 24 before being castled by Jon Hall, but this only succeeded in allowing overseas player Joey O’Connor into the fray and the Kiwi wasted little time in smashing the Sale bowling to all parts, including twice smashing sixes into the neighbouring Grammar School and onto Moorside Road, causing travel disruption!
Cal Parkinson was still there, of course, and he brought up his hundred with a two into the leg-side, shortly after getting a ball lodged in the guttering of the pavilion. He celebrated his knock in style, receiving a well deserved ovation. O’Connor still had time to bring up a vicious half-century of his own, as the home side fell just short of 300, ending on 299-3, with both Parkinson and O’Connor unbeaten on 111 and 56, respectively. Between them, they’d struck 13 fours and 11 sixes in their respective innings, and had added an unbeaten 85 for the fourth wicket.
At the interval, it was to the bar, where a Budweiser Budvar was purchased for £3.50, though the bottle size does mean the price is ok. Dan pointed out the trophy that is named after his grandfather, the late Patrick Russell, which is for best u18 performance. Again, it’s Matt Parkinson who took this last season. So, after finishing off the bottle, it was back outside for the Sale reply, and it quickly became apparent what they were looking to achieve.
It was a very negative reply. Understandable given the circumstances, but I think playing so negatively usually ends badly and so it proved today. After paceman Zeeshan Assi had opener Ryan Rickelton caught at mid-on for just two, it sparked a collapse, as all remaining Sale batsmen fell to a Parkinson, be it Matt or Callum.
After Lawrence fell for nought to become Matt’s first wicket, there was a spell of resistance and stoic defence from Matt Spells and keeper/skipper Chris Canning. But, both were to fall on 19. Spells fell to Matt with the score on 28, and was quickly followed back to the pavilion by Keith Wellings (two), Rob Greenhough (one) and Rob Grant (3), who were all victims of Callum Parkinson, though the former of the trio was mighty unfortunate to be dismissed. Parkinson had dropped a return catch offered by Canning, but managed to contrive to do so onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end, thus running out the unfortunate Wellings backing up.
So, when Canning fell to leave the score on 51-7, Sale were really up against it, but with rain in the air, could they hold out and hope for the weather to intervene?
No. That is the simple answer. Paul Battersby (one) was eighth to go as Callum Parkinson grabbed a fourth wicket after a drawn out lbw appeal, before Matt added a third to his tally with the scalp of Alisdair Barrowman (0), caught by his brother. After a short spell of last wicket hitting from Richard Halkon (14*) and Jon Hall had caused the girls near me scurrying behind the net for cover, it was Callum who gave the last rites as he dismissed Hall, caught by O’Connor for 4, to seal a huge win for the mid-table Urmies over their high-flying visitors. Was it a sign of things to come from Urmston for the remainder of the season as they look to return immediately to the top flight?
So, after watching a little 3rd team cricket on the Grammar School fields and a massive windfall, it was a short walk back into Urmston where I bid goodbye to Dan who went to find his dinner somewhere within his mother’s house, as I made it back before the deluge of rain eventually arrived. Oh, yeah it didn’t. Here’s a tip. When planning to go anywhere, don’t listen to the weather people. They’re usually wrong!
My Man of The Match: Callum Parkinson. (111* & 5-9 from 8.1 overs)