Result: Sale CC 228-8 (46.3 overs) BEAT Weaverham CC 227-7 (50 overs) by 2 wickets. (Vivio Cheshire County League)
Venue: Sale Sports Club (Saturday 20th June, 1pm)
Att: 20 (approx,hc)
Once again under the threat of rain, I set off for Sale at just after midday, heading over the traditional county border of Lancashire & Cheshire, the River Mersey, and into the latter county. Upon arrival, I hopped off the bus at Dane Road, before heading up said road for around 10 minutes before coming up on an old Victorian-style house, with a sign reading “Sale Sports Club”. This would be the place you’d think wouldn’t you? Well…..you’d be absolutely right, it was. Derr!
So, upon arrival, you walk past the house itself, which is the clubhouse for the whole club, before heading for the pavilion on the left hand side. The teams were still going through the final warm-ups and strategies before heading inside or indulging in some last minute cigarettes! Before long, the umpires were heading out onto the slightly damp outfield after the morning rain, closely followed by the Weaverham Cricket Club batsmen, from near Northwich and then the eleven representatives of Sale Cricket Club. Could Sale bounce back from last week’s heavy loss at Urmston? Well, before we find out, as long as you haven’t already seen the result, let’s delve into the history of Sale…
Sale Cricket Club was formed in 1854, and thus has a long history in both Cheshire and Lancashire Cricket. This is shown by the club winning the first ever Manchester & District Stockton Trophy in 1920, through to competing with success in the Cheshire County League pyramid system. A 4-bed nets was laid in 2006 as replacement for the older facilities along with the later re-laying of the pitch area in 2007-’08.
The club’s senior team honours list features three Manchester & District Cricket Association (MDCA) titles (1920, ’38 & ’47), the MDCA HC Smith Cup in 1974, two MDCA Division 2 wins and the 2011 Cheshire Shield.
Back onto today and it was the visitors who were up first, and they got off to an awful start. Three early wickets put Sale well on top as they dismissed openers Alex Nash (another keeper-opening bat!), lbw, and Matt Jamieson caught behind as well as number 3 Russell Walker becoming the second victim of Chris Canning behind the stumps and Weaverham were reeling at 22-3.
But then it became the Wilden Cornwall & James Lewis show. Leeward Islands all-rounder Cornwall dominated the bowling, never looking in any danger as he serenely passed 50 shortly after a rain delay, and was soon joined on that feat by captain Lewis, who had to battle for his. They had progressed the score onwards to 176, when Lewis fell, deceived by a Tyrone Lawrence slower ball to be bowled off the inside edge for 59.
After a further rain delay, Cornwall went on to reach a tremendous ton before falling whilst trying to progress the score along, caught on the boundary for 123 to become Rob Grant’s only scalp. Sale’s Richard Halkon added to the early wicket of Nash by dismissing Mike Clarke and Kevin Douglas, stumped and caught by Canning respectively as Weaverham reached a total of 227-7 and a score which looked highly competitive. The two batsmen unbeaten at the end were Kevin Waterhouse (19*) & Jake Lightfoot on two.
At the break, I headed for the clubhouse and the bar. After almost heading into the players’ area, I eventually found my way into the correct room where a big screen was showing Murray vs Troicki at Queen’s Club. With half an hour or so to waste, I purchased a Sol and some Steak crisps and awaited the restart, whilst watching the early stages of the tennis.
After that enthralling paragraph, it was back outside to witness the Sale reply, until I had to leave at about 6.30. Of course, the unfortunate thing about having to use public transport is that your hands are tied in what and how much you can see, But, for what I did see, I was kept royally entertained! Sale began in much the same vane as their visitors and lost early wickets in a cluster. Openers Ryan Rickleton and Ian Dixon both fell cheaply before Tyrone Lawrence joined them back in the pavilion and Sale were reeling on 28-3.
Now, they found themselves in a very similar situation to what Weaverham had done but, for Sale, the wickets continued to fall as Matt Spells and Jamal Benzafar fell, for 13 and one respectively to leave their team struggling and surely heading for defeat at 55-5.
As Sale reached 64-5 after 20 overs, it was my time to leave. This clearly helped Sale to go on and push like the table toppers they are,as I have seen them lost fifteen wickets in scoring just 136 runs! Canning put up a fighting innings of 36 before falling to Waterhouse. He was closely followed by Alasdair Barrowman (7) but this is where Grant and Halkon decided they weren’t going to die wondering, clearly!
Grant made a quick fire 63 from 77, before being run out with Sale still needing 21 to win. But Halkon was still there, and made his half-century in winning the game, ending with a 60-ball 52 alongside Jon Hall (6*) as Sale got home to take a quite amazing win. As sad as I was to miss it, I’m sure if I’d stayed then they’d have got nowhere. If you ban me from your games in the future, I’ll fully understand!
My Men of The Match:
Sale: Richard Halkon.
Weaverham: Wilden Cornwall