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Match Reports First XI 2008

Withnell Fold v Eccleston 13th September
And so it came to pass.... that the weather and playing conditions prevented Eccleston from having the chance to go up. Knowing that Coppice and Gt Eccleston were playing made it all the harder to take, and although we tried to flog the dead horse that was the Fold outfield it was to no avail.
Eccleston v White Coppice 6th September
After probably the worst rains in living memory, the chances of this crucial match going ahead were non existant, and so it proved. Its nowdown to the last match of the season, with the requirement being simple ...2 more points than Coppice and Great Ecc for promotion.
Fulwood and Broughton 2nd`s 30th August
A must win game and it was won! F+ B were dismissed for a lowly 110, with Stew White being the pick of the bowlers with 6-31 in an unbroken spell of 18 overs. Able support was provided by Tom Foster and Lee Hayes and particularly behind the stumps by Dave Hewson, and by Tom Potter in the field! (Yes I really did write those words!) A stuttering start was turned around by Jamie Maitland and Matt Ashcroft, and finished off by Chris Norris. It is clear that these players are going to have to be at their best next week in what may well be ` Grand Slam Saturday ` ( To plagiarise a Sky Sports phrase) when the top four all play each other !
Eccleston v Norcross 23rd August
A  top of the table clash that could have gone some way to deciding promotion. Eccleston seemed to be going ok at 65-3, given the wet conditions, and allowing for Paul Tracey`s poor decision for his dismissal. Matt Ashcroft top scored with 34. However, the subsequent collapse to 78 ao was not acceptable. At this moment despite what the league table shows, a number of players in this team are simply not performing, and this batting performance was a similar storey to the Hoghton match. The whole selection committee needs a long hard think before the last 3 games, because the lower middle order has the backbone of a jellyfish! The opposition had reached 56-5 when the rains came, and whilst not guaranteed a win, the smart money was on them! The umpires strangely took the players back on straight after the rain stopped, and we had the comical sight of Matt Ashcroft sliding in on his runup! A dangerous farce! Thankfully a brief shower came and the umpires immediately took the players off , and common sense finally prevailed, both teams shook hands and the match was uncompleted.
Eccleston v Torrisholme 16th August
A match we would have liked to win , and probably would have had not the rains arrived at  about 6pm. Torrisholme lost their captain early to  a Stew White `peach` and only Clarke held their innings together. White bowled a typically miserally spell, and the other wickets came from Hayes 2-23 and Wilkinson with 4-18. Although we lost captain Maitland for 7, Tom Foster showed a welcome return to form with 41no supported by Paul Tracey on 17 when the rains came and at 70-1 frustration took over. However on hearing that both Coppice and Norcross lost things didn`t seem that bad after all !
WreaGreen V Eccleston 9th August
It rained....a lot !
Great Eccleston V Eccleston 2nd August
Another disappointing defeat-as all defeats should be if the team has aspirations to be promoted! Batting first, the innings was held together by an excellent 90 from Paul Tracey, with Jamie Maitland`s 36 being the only other worthwhile contribution. It is clear at the moment that too many of the younger players are struggling with their form and confidence. However when the first three opposition batsmen were removed early on by the new ball attack of White and Foster things looked promising. However, a fine innings by Slade with support from the lower middle order helped them stagger over the winning line in the last over. Because of results elsewhere the loss wasn`t as costly as it could have been, and the key matches coming up against Coppice and Norcross will go along way to determining the end placings in this division.
Eccleston v Hoghton 26th July
Eccleston contrived to throw away the chance of going top. Hoghton without their star batsman were there for the taking and when they were bowled out for 49 with Chris Norris taking 4/7 and Andy Emmerton taking 3/14 it was full points ahoy ! Unfortunately Hoghton had other ideas and with only Dave Hewson getting into double figures we collapsed to 46 ao. Oops!
Longridge 2nd`s v Eccleston 19th July
Longridge chose to bat on a wet day. They made a good start at 30-0 off 10 overs but then some steady bowling restricted them to 134 -7 off their 45 overs which did not look like it was enough. Wickets were shared amongst the bowlers with a couple of run outs thrown in. In reply Eccleston lost an early wicket but Tom Foster and Tom Wilkinson shared a useful partnership, and James Maitland added an important 41. Tom Potter and Danny Emmerton were at the crease when the final runs were scored and we came away with 9 valuable points to their 2.
Eccleston v Vernon Carus 2nds 12 July
A much weakened Eccleston team took the field in a rain reduced (to 30 overs per side) match on a sodden ground. However, Matt Ashcroft (39) and Ian Bradley (36) supported by Tony Foster and Chris Norris took us to a competative 137-7. Vernon`s approached the run chase in a strange way. Attacking off the first 10 overs took them to 40-2, game on! However, the next ten overs brought just 15 runs, and even a late flurry never looked like getting them home.- Chris Norris being the pick of the bowlers with 4-53.To compound things they lost their last two wickets off consecutive deliveries to run outs in the last over to give us a full 10 points. Thanks !
Croston V Eccleston 5th July
The last of the local derbies, in slightly damp conditions saw Eccleston comprehensively defeat Croston on `coffee day. ` Croston batted first and  inpressive  bowling from Stew White with 7/42 in an unbroken 20 over spell ably supported by Ian Bradley (2/23) saw the hosts finish at 118 ao. A solid opening partnership between Tom Foster (20) and Lee Hayes (36) was finished off by a fine undefeated 53 from captain Maitland. The full 10 points puts us into the top two, and condems Croston to fighting off relegation as their season`s goal.
Eccleston v Withnell Fold 28th June
After a poor start , losing both openers, Jamie Maitland (83) -we won`t talk about the reverse slog/sweep- and Paul Tracey (69)  took us into a position of strength further advanced by cameos from Tom Potter and Lee Hayes. A fiery start from Ian Bradley, including a wicket and the opener`s mouth- seemed to put is in total control. However, credit to the two young Fold lads who brought them back into the game and at one stage may have been slight favourites. However, the returning Stew White and Ian Bradley who had taken his own blow to the face whilst fielding- putting him in `Potter Land`  saw to it that we won comfortably in the end. Each had 4 wickets and we got a welcome 9 pts.
White Coppice v Eccleston 21st June
Half full or half empty? Whilst all around were rained off, the firsts managed a reduced overs game against Coppice. The 29 over a-side match was a frantic game played in wet conditions with Stewart White being the pick of the bowlers with 6 wickets, out of a total of 174/9. Eccleston`s response included contributions from Jamie Maitland (38) Sam Bromley (37) and Chris Speak (25) Yes the Chris Speak !! However we fell just short on 162-8 Still we picked up 5pts, which is more than if we hadn`t played, and as a result have moved further up the table, so i`d say `half full` !
Eccleston v Fulwood and Broughton 2nds 14th June
Having won the toss Fulwood reached 50-1 after 15 overs and were looking reasonably strong to post a challenging total on a good pitch. However, they fell to 75-6 with Tom Foster taking three wickets. They managed to get to 138 all out thanks to some big hitting from their number 10 who put on around 35 for the last wicket.Tom Wilkinson took 3 wickets as well.On a good track in the sunshine 138 was never going to be enough unless early wickets fell, however, Sam Bromley and Tom Foster both recorded half centuries in a century oening stand, and we won with overs to spare with 9 wickets left to record our 4th victory on the bounce.
Norcross v Eccleston 7th June
Eccleston lost the toss at Norcross who elected to bat on what looked like a bouncy flat batting track, but ultimately there turned out to be variable bounce throughout. Norcross could only manage 129-8 off their 45 overs with Tom Foster the pick of the bowlers taking 5-27. Eccleston managed to get home with just over one over and 4 wickets remaining thanks to a sixth wicket stand of 54 between Tom Potter and Danny Emmerton. Tom Potter finishing with an unbeaten 45 to steer the team home. Eccleston 9 points Norcross 2points
Eccleston V Torrisholme 31st May
This game saw two sides in the bottom half of the table contest a one sided game.Torrisholme won the toss and chose to bat in the sun on what looked like a good batting track.They were however, always struggling when reduced to 17-3 from 14 overs with Ian Bradley ad Stewart White bowling very tightly taking 2 and 1 wickets respectively. Tom Foster came into the attack and took 4 for 3 from his five overs and Matt Ashcroft took another quick two wickets leaving the home team all out for 47 after 26 overs.This effectively ended the game as a contest and despite losing 3 early wickets Lee Hayes guided Eccleston home inside 15 overs with an unbeaten 18.