Oxton defeat Bollington
By Oxton Admin
Following Oxton’s first victory of the season away at Widnes last week, the team were keen to build on the progress that has been made over recent weeks.
Captain Dane Williams lost the toss (for the 4th consecutive week) and Bollington chose to field first on another bright day at Townfield Lane.
Andy Gibson & Jack Smith opened up for the home side but both soon returned to the pavilion.
Gibson fell for 4 runs after the ball deflected off his pads and rolled on to his stumps. Smith followed shortly after to one that came back down the slope hitting the top of off stump.
At this point the away side must have felt they had made the right decision at the toss but the two early wickets brought Oxton’s two in-form batsmen – Dane Williams & Michael Johnson - to the crease at 5-2.
The pair progressed steadily at first moving the score on to 27-2 off the first ten overs.
As the opening bowlers were replaced runs became more readily available and with a combination of good running between the wickets and making the most of any bad balls that were on offer, the two Oxton batsmen increased the scoring rate.
The pair looked comfortable, both passing fifty, and as the rate passed 4 per over with around 15 overs to go and 8 wickets still remaining the home supporters were starting to believe a total well in excess of 200 was realistic.
Several boundaries were struck in the next few overs as the batsmen took the attack to the tiring Bollington bowlers but Johnson was out for 64 in the 38th over – caught – as he looked to accelerate the scoring in search of the large total Oxton were hoping for. The partnership was 157.
Olly Thompson joined the skipper in the middle, having made 31 in the midweek T20, but was soon caught and bowled by Ward, who had now returned at the Prenton end. This brought Mahdi Quadri to the crease.
The youngster swept to the boundary before manoeuvring the ball fine down the legside for another four.
Dane continued to score quickly with some deft late cuts particularly impressing and he went to his hundred with a well run three.
It was Dane’s first century for Oxton and although he and Mahdi (15) were both out caught soon after, the captain (102 off 116) had setup a tough total for Bollington to chase down.
With Chris Williams and Joe Hillyer still in the middle Oxton declared on 211-6 at the end of the 47th over giving Bollington 53 overs to reach the 212 target.
Chris Stenhouse and Richard Fennah opened up the bowling for Oxton and it wasn’t long before the former had his 1st wicket of the day as he got the ball to jag back and take the top of off-stump.
Stenhouse also took the second as the other opener was adjudged LBW.
Olly Thompson deceived the dangerous Jack Ward bowling him leaving the score at 45-3 but when Bollington had progressed to 77-3 Oxton were in need of a breakthrough.
Olly was once again in the action as he ran out the visitors’ keeper-batsman with some sharp work from Johnson behind the stumps.
Soon after Stenhouse was back into the attack and took two further wickets – the second being the crucial wicket of Hough.
Richard Fennah in his second spell took three quick wickets and the visitors were 105-9.
Bollington then proceeded to put on their best partnership of the innings until the game was finally ended with the score on 157. The partnership (52) was finally broken when Horsfield played the ball back towards the bowler, Olly Thompson, who took a fantastic catch diving low to his right much to the relief of the Oxton crowd.
Man of the Match – Dane Williams
This week the 1st XI make a league trip to Stockport on Saturday and a much shorter trip to Upton on Sunday in the Cheshire Cup.