Forget Ben Stokes, Alex Snapes is the star of the weekend!
The 1st XI got back to winning ways after last week's agonising 1 run defeat. Park lost the toss and unsurprisingly were asked to bowl on a flat deck on a hot day. A long day in the field was on the cards, but Alex Snapes did not read the script. The teenager followed up his impressive 1st XI league debut last week to remove 3 men LBW in his first over as they couldn't cope with the swinging ball! He followed this up with a decent caught and bowled to remove the dangerous Carr in his next over, this left Bredbury 9-4. The visitors looked to consolidate but exciting debutant Matt Walker took the important wicket of dangerous overseas Rodney. Mairs (28) chanced his arm to good effect but he fell the following over to Wales and with two new men at the crease, they struggled to get going again. Wales bowled tight lines to take 3-20 off 13 but Snapes was to finish the hero, he came back on to complete his 5 wicket haul, recording remarkable figures of 5-22 off 12. A smart run out from Sam Speak closed the innings at just 78.
The reply could not have got off to a worse start, the skipper was cleaned up first ball without offering a shot. However, Sam Barnes (27) looked in good touch as Park moved to the target at pace. The home side will be disappointed to lose a few cheap wickets but Ben Coulbeck was not in the mood to be waiting around as he hit three 4s and a maximum on the way to 20* off 20. Park brought home the win and a very welcome 25 points within 20 overs. Next week the 1st XI travel to Bredbury who will be keen for revenge.
The 2nd XI had the unenviable task of travelling to North East Cheshire, a team who have won every game at a canter. Park can take pride in being the first team to bowl out NE 2nd XI, Alex Unwin 2-30 off 10 and Jayant Kumar (3-7 off 7) both performed admirably as they send back the opposition for 152. Unfortunately, the 2nd half wasn't so successful as an inexperienced Park side were sent back within 20 overs, but they should be pleased to take more points off them than most teams. The fixtures haven't worked in our favour as we meet them for a *third* time in the league next week, but with several players back, don't bet against us being the team to break their 100% record
The 1XI were back at the Rec , where they hoped home advantage could help them improve on last week’s poor performance at Ashley. Winning the toss . AB choose to bat but probably regretted the decision when he was out for a duck , with the score on 0 for 1. A second wicket partnership of 76 between Sam Barnes and Joe Stimpson recovered the score till Sam Barnes was out for 25. Ashley bowlers struck back and pegged Park back at 89 for 5. Arran Deakin, batting at 7, put on 34 runs with Joe, until Joe was out caught whilst on 75 and the score on 123-6. Park couldn’t get another partnership going and eventually finished on 163 for 9 off their 45 overs. Arran Deakin was the pick of the lower order out stumped for 34.
Having faired better with the bat , Park would have hope for a improved performance with the ball in hand but it was not to be. Ashley completed the run chase in the 41st over for the loss of only one wicket. The damage was done by the openers for Ashley , who put on 125 runs before James Hendry took the only wicket of the game. Park come away with 9pts.
The 2XI made it the perfect double header against Ashley Academy taking a full 50pts from both games and also taking the opportunity to close the gap between themselves and Ashley so much that they actual go above them into 4th place in the league. Although there were a number of outstanding individual performances, they all worked together to produce a brilliant team win. The only thing, Skipper Darren Falland lost was the toss and his team were put into bat. Openers, Kendo Richardson and Jayant Kumar gave Park the perfect start, putting on 52 runs for the loss of Kendo (21). Another fine partnership between Jayant (93 n.o. ) and Darren Falland (77 n.o.) took Park to 209 for 2 off 40 overs, to close their innings.
With a good score on the board it gave the Park bowlers an opportunity to attack the Ashley batsmen, which they did in style, bowling them out for just 45 runs off 21.5 overs. Alec Snapes (4 for 12 off 10 overs) and Dan Barnes (3 for 26 off 10 overs) did most of the damage taking 7 wickets between them in their 20 overs but the final two wickets were taken by Alec Unwin in only 5 balls of his only over, finishing on 2 wkts for 2 runs and the 25 pt win. The other wicket to fall was to a run out.
1XI struggled away to league leaders Ashley 1XI at the weekend only coming away with 1pt. Park won the toss and elected to bat first. Pete Room (20), Paul Howarth (18) and Phil Amatiello (17) contributed the biggest individual totals but the men from the Rec never looked likely to really get going with the bat and ended their endings cheaply on 91 all out off 36.4 overs. With a low total for Park bowlers to defend, it was always going to be difficult for them to get them back into the match and a good solid opening partnership made things even more difficult. Ashley knocked off the required run chase for the loss of only 2 wickets, scoring 93 for 2 off 19 overs. There was a wicket a piece for Pete Room and Rishad Ali.
2XI faired better at home to Ashley Academy XI who sit one place higher than Park in the league in 4th place. Ashley won the toss and elected to bat first. Good bowling from the Park bowlers kept the Ashley side run rate in check but although there was a steady fall of wickets they were unable to finish the job to bowl them out before the 40 overs were up. Ashley finished their innings scoring 166 for 9. In reply, Park struggled to dominate Ashley’s bowlers and the game was very evenly poised throughout with the run rate and wicket count making the game swing , first one way then the other. The 2XI won the game with only 10 balls to spare, reaching the required total of 167 for 7 off 38.2 overs, taking the full 25 pts to close the gap between them and Ashley in the league.