GRAPPENHALL finished off the shortened Vivio Cheshire County League season in style – with both the lst and 2nd XIs winning their divisional titles.
Although there has been no promotion or relegation this shortened season you can’t beat coming out on top and it stands the teams in good stead for next season when both teams will should be favourites to win promotion to the premier division
On Saturday, the 1st XI played two T20 fixtures away at Brooklands, knowing one win should be enough to get them through to the following day’s final, and that’s exactly what happened.
They lost the first game as Brooklands posted 138-7 off their 20 overs with some ill-disciplined bowling and fielding. In response Grappers got close but fell just short as they finished 129-5 at the end of the first game. The pick of the performances were from Adam Roylance with two wickets for 11 runs off his four overs and Grant Hodnett who top scored with 42, well supported by Arthur Pennington with 34.
With their season now on the line in the second game Grappers put in a performance when it mattered most. Bowling first, it was a much better performance as Brooklands were rolled over for 97, with captain Sam Guest and Roylance picking up three wickets apiece. Although Grappers lost three early wickets,that man Hodnett came to the rescue with the bat as he again top scored with 41, well supported again by Arthur Pennington with 36. Grappers coasted home for the loss of only four wickets and with two overs to spare.
Back at Broad Lane the 2nd XI fixture v Brooklands was nothing more than a warm up as they had secured their place in the final a week earlier. Grappers posted 180-7 off their 40 overs with some tweaks to the batting order to give people much needed time at the crease. It worked, as almost every one chipped in to set what should have been a winning total. The second innings was going entirely to plan as skipper Mike Holden shared the overs around, careful not to put too much strain on his tall opening bowlers. With the game seemingly drifting to an eighth win in eight games some sloppy bowling saw the game turn around inside two overs as Brooklands’ number five batsman smashed 58 off 29 balls to inflict the 2nd XI’s first defeat of the season.
So on to Sunday and the club’s first senior finals for a while. It turned out to be a great day for the club. Playing at Urmston in the frustrating two T20 fixture format, the 1st XI won both their games to secure the title. In the first game Grappers posted an imposing 150- 5 off their 20 overs, with Richard Green playing superbly for 65 and skipper Sam Guest scoring a vital 32 at the end. In response Urmston pushed Grappers close but ultimately finished 12 runs short. The second game was an altogether more convincing victory as Urmston were bowled out for 88 in emphatic fashion. It was an all-round superb bowling performance as the wickets were shared around. Grappers coasted to victory four wickets down with a couple of overs to spare, Hodnett once again performing well with the bat.
In the 2nd XI final at Grappers, Romiley were the visitors but this game was a much more tense affair. Romiley batted first and posted 146- 7 off their 40 overs with a solid bowling performance from all the bowlers as they bowled as a unit. Gaz Burns and Ben Clissold picked up two wickets each. In response Grappers posted 30 before they lost their first wicket but then had a mid-innings collapse . The pressure was on the bowlers to win the game with the bat, with powerful hitting from Gaz Burns and Clissold. Although there was plenty of time left Grappers left a packed Broad Lane on the edge of their seats as at eight wickets down, Clissold and Josh Hayes guided their team to the win and the title.
Unfortunately the 3rd XI couldn’t cap off a great weekend for the club as they lost their final game of the season away at Alderley Edge. Alderley posted 219- 3 off their 40 overs with the Grappers bowling struggling in the sun. The batsmen never got close as they were bowled out for 121.
After missing almost four months of the cricket season due to Covid-19 and the lockdown, with many not expecting there to be any cricket this season and the club fearing for its financial future, it turned out to be a positive time for the club both on and off the pitch.
Warrington lost their final game although it was a close, low-scoring game.
Batting first against Sale at Walton Lea, they were all out for 80, with only Rohan Luthra, 32, and Harley Barratt, 22, reaching double figures.
But a magnificent performance from Brad Roden, who took 6-40 almost bowled them back into the match as Sale scraped home with only one wicket to spare.
In the UKFast Cheshire League, Lymm Oughtrington Park won in exciting style against a strong Hawk Green side at Oughtrington Lane.
They bowled out the visitors for 143, Jake Hughes taking 5-36. Then they cantered to victory with nine overs and two wickets to spare, opener Liam Ramsbottom hit 53 not out and skipper Travis Scholes hitting 27 late on.
Appleton were bowled out for 70 after Bredbury St Marks had hit 143-9. Jonathan Ball took 5-37 and Andrew Jackson 3-22.
But Appleton 2nd registered an emphatic nine wicket win after dismissing Aston for 57. Harry Sygrove took 3-11 and Ben Frodsham 3-8. Lee Stoll hit 41 not out for Appleton.
Appleton 3rd hit 130-8 against Haslington but then saw the visitors pass their total with two wickets remaining. Nick Williams hit 59 for Appleton while Oliver Cross hit 24. Charlotte Cross and Paul White took two wickets each for Appleton.
Appleton 4th were bowled out for 87 at Winnington Park and the home side hit off the runs for loss of six wickets. Roger Cawthorne took 4-17 for Appleton.