The beautiful village of Tattenhall in Cheshire
Tattenhall Cricket Club: September 2020
The last home fixture of this somewhat shortened season saw Tattenhall host one of their rivals from last year's campaign, Northwich CC.
With the prospect of 'End of Seasons Fines' after the match, combined with the wonderful late summer weather, there was plenty of energy pre- match, particularly when our captain decided we would be drawing straws to decide the batting line up. Given that our drive to the top of the table was over it seemed a good idea and why not? Some mixed emotions then followed. Some happier than others with their position in the line up. Roy proceeded to lose the toss and Tattenhall were asked to test their new look batting line up.
The pressure was on for Fearnall and Harper who took to the crease as opening partners for the first time. The former fell early leaving a straight length delivery, not advisable at the Flacca. In came Freddie Cheshire fresh from his exploits on the beaches of North Wales the week before. Max and Freddie batted slowly but sensibly and recovered well from the early set back to take Tattenhall to 50 runs before Max chipped one back to the bowler. Adrian was next, another man in earlier than usual; however, he went about his business well and together with the confident looking Cheshire, they looked in control with the opening bowlers fading. Freddie had a life line skying one into the heavens only for the keeper and first slip between them to get in each other's way and bottle a straight forward chance. Freddie eventually fell for a hard earned and important 32. Archie Mobbs didn't trouble the scorers, another victim of a straight one that kept low. Adrian fell soon afterwards halting Tattenhall in their tracks after such a composed start. Ben Cooke then used his experience to anchor the innings whilst Okell, Sadler, Davidson and skipper, Sandford, all fell in quick succession rather cheaply. From what looked a promising position of 80 for 2 Tattenhall collapsed to just over 100 with nine wickets down. Thankfully one of our regular openers, Ethan Evans came in at number 11 and showed his class. Together with the ever composed Cooke the momentum swung back in Tattenhall's favour and, together with a useful 26 extras, an innings- saving 34 not out from Cooke and a quick 16 not out from Ethan, they led Tattenhall to a respectable 165 after the allotted 40 overs. This felt enough despite the warm and dry conditions.
After some socially distanced packed lunches (prawn sandwiches and scones for Fearnall & Cheshire) the boys were back out on the field and raring to go with the crowds gathering and the thought of 'fines' looming.
Northwich started with some stubborn resistance before Ethan Evans struck with the help of a good catch from Jason Davidson at mid off. Another soon fell to Evans with a double wicket maiden to his name and his tail was up, bowling consistent line and length outside off which the Northwich boys were struggling to get away. Waddelove was toiling away in the heat at the other end and deserved more success from his spell. Perhaps still tired from his solid innings earlier, it was the turn of Shrewsbury School's finest, Archie Mobbs, who replaced Evans at the far end and he was into his rhythm straight away. All the while the Northwich skipper was counter attacking and batted well for his 29 until Max talked him into a big shot off the bowling of Cheshire and Jason took another impressive catch, this time with the glare of the afternoon sun directly in his eyes at mid on. This felt like the turning point of the innings and Mobbs took advantage promptly ripping through the middle order with some fantastic seam bowling, including a jug refusal having been on a hat-trick during his spell of 7 overs, finishing with figures of 4-32. With Northwich losing wickets consistently and not yet reaching the 100 mark, it was time to share the bowling around with victory in sight. Sadler replaced Cheshire and bowled a steady 2 overs before the canny Cooke showed us all how it's done taking a wicket and conceding just 3 runs in his 2 overs. At this point Okell had seen enough and fancied a crack himself, rolling back the years much to the delight of his teammates although the fairytale wicket eluded him and it was left to the last person we could imagine to take a match winning wicket, Max Harper. Never have we seen Max so energised and animated than when he was given the nod to bowl at the Northwich number 11. He knew that cold Carling was moments away. With a varied display of run-ups and constant chatter it took him 10 balls to eventually dismiss the last man and wrap up the win for Tattenhall with Northwich finishing on 105 all out off 31.4 overs. A solid win by 60 runs and the perfect way to finish off the home campaign. Well done lads.
A huge thank you to all of the committee, supporters, volunteers (particularly Grant) and everyone who has contributed to an enjoyable season in testing and somewhat unusual circumstances.
St Alban's Church