Grappenhall 260 for 2 declared (49 overs) 25 points beat Marple 122 all out (36.1 overs) 0 points by 138 runs
With Premier League status confirmed the previous week, Marple were unable to raise much energy for this fixture, and were soundly thrashed by a fired up Grappenhall side that had to win in order to ensure their own survival.
Paul Wood won the toss and asked the vistors to take first knock. The pitch was a little sluggish due to the recent damp weather, but was a good batting strip, and once established the batsmen could gain full value for their shots, the outfield being short and quick. Although Marple were missing a number of key players, there was no real excuse for the well below par performance that ensued. Grappenhall were helped along their way with a series of wides and no balls together with some proverbial “buffet bowling!” Although Jack Grundy produced a good one to remove skipper Roylance, much of the bowling was inconsistent in length and line. The Grappenhall line up, led by Peter Barnes, first with Albert Pennington, and then with Ben Bodha, eased their way along to a substantial total. Pennington made a hard hit 71 in a stand of 137 with Barnes, and then Bodha with 50 not out added a further 100 for the third wicket, the fall of Pennington’s wicket not affecting the scoring rate. Barnes cannot have made an easier century, and his steady application brought him 110 not out as Roylance declared at 260 for 2, with a possible five overs remaining.
For Marple there were few highlights, but Max Fitzgerald bowled his maiden spell in first eleven cricket. He pitched his leg spin and googlies well and deservedly picked up the wicket of Pennington.
After tea it was the Sam Guest show. Grappenhall are indeed fortunate to have this bowler to lead their attack. He is not of express pace, but has an easy left arm over the wicket action. He gets very close to the stumps, bowls wicket to wicket and virtually never delivers a bad ball. He is also able to make to ball swing wickedly into the right handed batsman. After taking two wickets in is opening over, he routed the Marple batting card. The first eight all fell to him, and only Makin of the top order with 21 made double figures. At 53 for 8 it was annihilation, and could Guest take all ten? It was skipper Roylance who spoiled the party when he had Moroney lbw at 64 for 9.
There now followed the one bright spot in the Marple innings, and it was once more provided by the younger players. Ed Saxelby was joined by number 11 Jack Grundy. They proceeded to play with some ease, Saxelby in particular showing fine technique and judgement. Grundy was a little more cavalier, but soon got his eye in. He cracked a number of beefy boundaries, including a couple of outrageous reverse sweeps in a career best 35, denting Guest’s figures a little. Saxelby played a thoroughly good knock of 24 not out, with some delightful strokes of his own. The tenth wicket added 58 runs in just ten overs and brought some cheer to the suffering spectators at the end of the game. Titchard spoiled the fun when he had Grundy possible harshly lbw, the final tally being 122 all out. The admirable Guest ended with 8 for 50, and there were celebrations for Grappenhall as they cemented their position in the league, Bramhall having been defeated by Chester Boughton Hall.
So Marple’s difficult summer ended. They achieved their initial object of survival in the Premier League, but the second half of the season in particular was a story of struggle. The opposition bowling was generally of a high standard, and no batsman was able to put together a consistent spell of form, despite a good number of fine individual performances in many matches. In most games in the field, with a couple of exceptions, the side competed well, and the catching and ground fielding was generally in good order. It is time for the players to take a breather from the game and reassess the situation regarding the 2019 season at a later date.
A superb innings of 106 not out from James Crisall guided Marple to a fine eight wicket win in the second eleven fixture between the two clubs at Grappenhall. The home side posted a solid 218 for 7, with Tim Sykes, 74 and Steve Dickson 91 leading the way. George Clarke was once more amongst the wickets for Marple with 4 for 57, and he was handily supported by Joel Greasley 1 for 32 and Stewart Bass 2 for 59. Although wicketless, Josh Kirk bowled a testing spell of twelve overs for 35, and Sam Ittig made his second eleven debut, impressing with 0 for 28.
Andy Wild fell for just 5 in reply, but Matt Barrow with 57, and then Jamie Massey 36 not out, joined Crisall in a comfortable run chase. This win capped a good season for the second team, firmly established in a mid table position of a tough league.