Manchopper at the Cricket…. (Trafford MV CC)

Result: Trafford MV 56 (29.2 overs) LOST TO Old Parkonians 57-5 (21.1 overs) (Cheshire Cricket League Division 4)

Venue: MacPherson Park (Saturday 20th May 2017, 1.30pm)

Att: 400-500 (Beer Festival was on, though most weren’t taking much notice)

With my football season reaching its conclusion last weekend at Turton, it means the return of cricket to these pages for the off-season. My first venue would be Trafford MV’s MacPherson Park, a ground that is shared along with the club’s rugby arm, with both pitches standing on the same area of grass. So, the one question leading up to the game was “Would the weather play ball?”.

Surprise, surprise, the good old British weather returned and after a bright, sunny start, the clouds drew in and the rain began. Not put off, I met Dan and headed off over the meadows (saving a bus fare in the process), dodging the ever growing puddles and mud patches as we went.

Route over to the ground

Mersey rapids!

After crossing the Mersey and following the towpath along and past neighbouring Ashton-on-Mersey CC, where the players were taking shelter underneath the roof, we arrived at MV’s ground shortly before the game was due to get underway. Of course, it was pretty apparent that this game wasn’t going to get going any time soon, so we awaited in hope more than expectation.

After a false start upon a short dry period, the rain returned and it really did look as though an early return home would be on the cards. However, the charity footballers and stall owners gave his some inspiration to hang in there and see how things went. Eventually we were rewarded for our patience and the teams eventually got into their whites and headed out onto the field though, with the rain not too far away and still in the air, we wondered for just how long they’d manage to remain out there for.

A soggy MacPherson Park

…but action soon followed!

Incredibly, they managed to be out there for the rest of the day, as the weather went through one of its “four seasons in a day” mode and turned into warm, bright sunshine for a while. Good for me, of course, as this meant I’d actually have something to blog about and not just have gotten wet for no reason. Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on enough, let’s do something that became my phrase for the day and “Get on wi’t’game!

So, after winning the toss, TMV decided to have a bat and it quickly became apparent this was in the hope they may get the best out of what really was a turgid pitch and, maybe, have a better chance at some bonus points? I don’t really know all the ins and outs of the rulebook in the Cheshire Cricket League, so I’ll not delve into possibilities too much! However, let’s delve into the history books of Trafford MV CC…

History Lesson:

Trafford MV’s cricket arm was formed in 1948 with three sides playing against fellow local company sides, carrying the Metrovicks name which the MV is still derived from. In 1960, the club made an application to join the Cheshire Cricket Association and this was accepted. Both the 1st & 2nd XI’s won their respective titles in 1980, with the first also finishing as runners-up in 1982, along with winning the league’s knock-out competition on three occasions.

Club crest emblazoned on the gates

The ground’s name of MacPherson Park came about in 1980, as a memorial to a long-serving member of the club who passed away during that year. On MacPherson Park, in 1989, the club joined the South Lancashire League and the first XI won the league’s knock-out competition in 1994, finished runners-up in that competition a further two times and placed in the top three in the league on four occasions over the side’s first nine seasons, with the 2nd XI winning their championship in 1990.

With league cricket in the North West going through a shake up at the end of that year, it was decided the club would move into the Cheshire Cricket Alliance, a new competition formed from the Cheshire Competition and South Cheshire Alliance. In 1998, the club was placed in the 2nd Division of the Cheshire Cricket Alliance, immediately winning it and with it promotion to the First Division.

Trafford MV’s honours board

With the seconds being promoted the following year and again in 2001, the firsts ended up as runners-up in 2003, gaining promotion to the Cheshire Cricket League. 2004 saw the club immediately win the 3rd Division title there and were promoted to Division 2. Here, they finished as runners-up in 2007 , before slipping back into the Alliance in the following years.

This year, though, has seen the club re-join the Cheshire Cricket League, with the Alliance being absorbed into it come the end of last season, in which TMV finished up in 4th place in Division 2, losing out in the Division 2 Cup Final.

First ball of my summer!

Anyway, their innings never got going with their first three wickets going down within the first ten overs. Firstly, Ben Rees did the initial damage, trapping opener Greenwood LBW for four, before fellow opening bowler Lewis Elwood had Greenwood’s opening partner Yogesh Ingale (12) caught at a deep-ish cover position.

It didn’t get much better for the hosts as Rees had ‘keeper Steve Warner lbw for just one and Elwood joined his new-ball partner on two wickets by taking the scalp of Harrison for nought, whose attempted drive spooned up to gully who took the catch running back towards the outfield and by the time Rees had secured his third wicket, dismissing Auty LBW for a second duck of the innings, TMV had lost their first five wickets for just thirty-five runs.

Match Action

Match Action

The collapse continued with Zahir Yasin following shortly afterwards as the second non-scorer of the innings, becoming spinner Chris Beckett’s first victim in the process as he was bowled attempting a sweep. Beckett followed this with the wickets of Mike Morgan (7) & Rob Pawsey who missed with a big, unadulterated swing to record the third duck of the day.

Skipper Simon Pomfret (two) was the ninth wicket to fall, caught by David Nedugodan in a deep gully position, before the final wicket to fall was Steve Haughton (one), caught and bowled by Beckett to end with the impressive figures of 4-4 from 4.2 overs. MV’s #3, Raghavendar Nagaraju was stranded, unbeaten on 21 as the home side were dismissed for 56.

A modest total on the way

Innings break in the clubhouse

Lunch

The break saw me head to the clubhouse’s food hut for a small portion of chips before Dan headed off home ahead of pressing work commitments with me left to witness the Old Parkonians’ reply on my lonesome. However, I did also decided I may as well visit the bar then and a San Miguel was welcomed for £3.50 and this saw me through the careful, elongated visitors’ reply, as did the appearance of, quite possibly, the greatest bear suit of all-time!

With the community day still in full swing, Old Parkonians’ reply to their modest target of 57 started shakily, with them losing early wickets too. This gave the hosts a glimmer of hope of somehow defending their total. First, Rees was dismissed LBW to Harrison off his first ball faced, before Harrison followed this up with the wicket of the second member of the opening pair, Mark Rayner for just one, falling in the same fashion.

Going Aerial

Match Action

In a day of number three’s sticking around, Chris Hitchell was the anchor of the reply, seeing his side right through to the final stages. However, following a blast of ‘Jerusalem’ through the PA system –  making the game briefly take on the form of a Test Match – Parkonians did lose the further wickets of Saad Saeed (one), caught and bowled by Steve Haughton, and David Nedugodan (8) to Harrison before Daniel Berkson came out to join Hitchell to snuff out any hopes the hosts may have had of taking the win.

Hitchell (29) didn’t quite see his side over the line though, falling just four runs short of the target to Simon Pomfret, who’d just brought himself into the attack in place of the injured Harrison, who took a nasty blow on his hand while attempting to stop a hard straight drive. Although, this wasn’t the only stoppage of the day, as we also had an ambulance stop play, as it arrived to take an injured charity player to hospital and then multiple kids (and adults) kept encroaching on the pitch and throwing hay all over the outfield. The latter wasn’t a great sight, a bit disrespectful even, and an onrushing fielder was almost impeded at one point.

On the drive

Clipped away

But Berkson showed some nice touch to nurdle and glance his way to fifteen not out and crashed a cut to the boundary to see his team to victory, along with Adam Winstanley who didn’t end up facing. With the teams making their way off the field and to the pavilion/beer garden table, I made my way up the adjoining mound and off back down the side of the Mersey and home.

The teams make their exit…

….as do I. (Looking back to the ground).

A decent enough start to the cricketing season was had and in a good environment and atmosphere and, to be honest, it was just good to have seen any cricket at all considering the weather just prior to the start of the game and as we were walking over to the ground. So we’ve begun again and, for the next five weeks, the cricket quest continues…

RATINGS:

Game: 5

Ground: 4

Food: 4

Beer: 4

Value For Money: 9

 

 

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