Wood the Incredible Makes the Miracle Happen!
Marple 174 all out in 51.4 overs (25 points) beat Alderley Edge 164 all out in 42 overs (6 points) by ten runs.
A remarkable spell of 7 for 38 in just ten overs from Marple’s captain fantastic Paul Wood, dramatically turned this game Marple’s way after all looked lost, the visitors seemingly coasting on 119 for 1.
The wonderful weather of May 2018 continued as Marple entertained Alderley Edge in a fixture that has plenty of history over forty plus years. Marple captain, Paul Wood was probably not too concerned at being asked to bat first on a pitch that had good carry, the ball appearing to come nicely on to the bat. With Marple’s top order having failed in recent weeks, a change was made, with Jim Morgan moving up to open with Makin. Morgan, the former Yorkshire Academy and Lincolnshire wicket keeper batsman is a fine player of pace, and relishes the ball coming on to him. Here, he looked in his element, well as Alderley’s overseas paceman Kieran Elliott and first change seamer Windle bowled.
Elliot was right on the mark, but Morgan was in control, and got Foreman away to the boundary a number of times as the Aussie’s opening partner struggled with line and length. However, Marple’s top order has been notoriously fragile this season. Makin, Wood and Bennett all looked in good touch, but were unable to provide lengthy support for Morgan. When the promoted Schofield was caught, and then Andrew Hall horrendously run out, Marple were in dire straits at 78 for 5. Morgan now received some solid assistance from Peter Jackson on his Marple first eleven debut. He helped Morgan add 32, before being maybe unluckily adjudged lbw at 110 for 6. Morgan’s excellent innings of 67 came to an end when he carved Windle to Fluck at point. He had batted beautifully, and his innings was a mixture of solid defence, strong drives that hit the fieldsmen and some brutally struck boundaries. With Marple’s lower order having been blown away in short time this season, the omens were not good at 123 for 7. However, talented Marple young players, Ed Saxelby and Jack Grundy ensured that a respectable total was posted. Saxelby (19) was comfortable against the extra pace of Elliott, and also carved the tiring Windle for a couple of boundaries. 31 priceless runs came for the ninth wicket, and Jack Grundy also got in on the act as he drew confidence from Saxelby. A further 17 runs were added for the tenth wicket as Grundy, smiting a number of lusty fours, went on to a senior career best score of 24. 174 all out was a total that had Marple in the game, but looked to be maybe fifty or so short in the conditions. Elliott was accurate and sharp with 3 for 47 for Alderley, with Windle 3 for 57, and off spinner Reid 2 for 16 good in support.
So it appeared on the resumption. Calum Rowe and Alan Day are an experienced and quality opening pair for Alderley Edge. Steadily as Moroney and Grundy bowled, there was little to worry the batsmen. Wood needed wickets, and brought Greasley into the attack early on. With a strong easterly wind now blowing, there was no drift for Marple’s master craftsman, well as he bowled, and it appeared plain sailing for the visitors. The half century stand came up, but although Grundy was wayward in a short second spell from the pavilion end, he got the priceless wicket of Rowe (30), smartly taken by Greasley at second slip. Greasley had had Rowe dropped from a skier, but this was not costly, however, when Day was dropped at deepish mid off by Grundy, it seemed that Marple’s catching woes were going to prove costly once more. Wood tried part time spinner, Bennett, but he was inconsistent. Greasley was switched to the pavilion end, and captain Wood got himself loose to try and prise out a couple of wickets. Wood has not bowled in a league game for around a year due to injury, but here, operating off a short run up, he found an awkward length no other bowler in the game had managed. He is a tall (six feet five) and powerful man, and even off this short approach, was able to achieve a disconcerting bounce. Day (51) was caught behind by Morgan, and although promoted second teamer Scurrah (50) also reached a half century, the rest of the Alderley card was in binary form! From a seemingly unassailable 119 for one, a horrific collapse ensued. Ed Saxelby continued his excellent day for Marple in supporting Wood in a fine short spell. Wood was unstoppable with a phenomenal 7 for 38 as the visitors’ middle and lower order were as rabbits in the headlamps, clueless against Wood’s lift and carry. Nine wickets fell for just 45 as a final score of 164 all out saw Marple victors by just ten runs. Morgan’s fine day was topped off with three catches behind the stumps, and the safe hands of Makin at slip also pouched two comfortable victims. Saxelby had 2 for 8, bowling in a good channel, just around off stump.
So, this remarkable victory lifts Marple to eighth in the league. They are away at Cheadle next Saturday with a 12.30pm start at Kingsway.
A poor batting performance saw Marple crumble to just 103 all out in the second eleven fixture between the two clubs. Marple responded well in the field, but Alderley eventually coasted home, victors by six wickets with plenty of overs to spare.