Over 50s update; new 2nd XI
The 2023 Over 50s season was quite an adventure.
With Yorks and Lancs – both imperious at present - to contend with in the North Group, it became a fight for 3rd place and therefore qualification for the National round of 16.
A more youthful squad with some high quality additions meant that 3rd place was a realistic ambition and early wins against Cumbria, Northumberland (featuring a Toby Drummond ton) and a resurgent Derbyshire saw Cheshire top on alphabetical order! Losses at Yorkshire (although Cheshire were in the game for long periods) and Lancashire meant that the last two games at home to Notts and Durham became must win.
A thrilling game at Grappenhall v Notts saw Cheshire come out on top by the ‘barest of margins’ and then a disappointing and very rare concession by Durham saw Cheshire into the National Rounds.
A long trip to Hampshire in the last 16 saw Cheshire asked to bat on a drying pitch. Tricky conditions saw them flop to 8 for 3 before Rob Matthews swung the game round with a superb 85. With 15 overs to go Chris Hackett came to the crease and bludgeoned the most memorable 108 not out off just 67 balls. His eight sixes cleared the long boundaries by some distance. 247 was more than enough and progress into the quarter finals was booked.
Another trip south followed to Bedfordshire. Clashes with Club finals days in Cheshire tested the selection group but a rollercoaster game went to the wire with Beds getting the winning run in the final over.
It was great season and gives hop for maybe going a step further in 2024.
To reflect the growing demand for seniors cricket, for the first time in 2024, a Second XI will take part in the 2nd XI Championship – competing in the Midlands group.
As ever if you are interested, please get in touch.
Andy Bennion | 07812 207571