Bramhall 1st XI vs New Brighton – Cheshire Cup Quarter Final 8/7/18

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

After an excellent start to the weekend, Bramhall were keen to continue their fantastic Cup form in 2018 with a home quarter final to the Liverpool Competition’s New Brighton on Sunday.
The visitors chose to bat on a dry wicket, and a parched outfield that suggested a high scoring game. As it was, the wicket never quite allowed any single batsmen to ever feel quite “set”, but New Brighton certainly took the game to their hosts in the opening overs. The score had reached 27 in the 4th over when Ryan Macciocchi induced the dangerous Rowland to edge to Iftikhar Naseer at slip. Despite losing two further wickets to slide to 52-3, New Brighton took advantage of 2 dropped catches to press on and add 78 for the 4th wicket. When Dan Cook was finally caught, for 54, Bramhall saw an opportunity to restrict the away side to well under 200 from their current 136-5. However, sufficient lusty blows and the odd instance of naivety of the part of the bowlers & fielders saw New Brighton finally reach 215-8 from their 45 overs. Archie Tittle’s leg spin grabbed 3 wickets, with Simon Wilkinson & Ryan Macciocchi’s tidy 9 over spells each contributing 2 wickets.
Ordinarily, a below par score, but that might depend on what the visiting bowling attack was able to extract from the Church Lane square.
After tea, Bramhall started poorly and never really recovered against an attack comprised of both seam and spin. Wickets fell with alarming regularity, with only Liam Banthorpe in the top & middle order showing any real signs of solidity. His dismissal for 23 saw the total slip to 60-5, and this became 79-8 with almost 20 overs of the innings still to play. As he has done on several occasions already this season, number 8 Macciocchi showed his allround credentials with a gutsy innings that combined intelligence and sufficient aggression. He found a comrade in Archie Tittle, whose sprightly 26 saw the pair add 56 for the 9th wicket at a time when New Brighton assumed the match was done & dusted. And even when Tittle was caught, Macciocchi continued to press on – scoring and cleverly rotating the strike to add a further 34 for the 10th wicket. And although 9 runs per over were needed at this point, the visitors’ relief was palpable when Macciocchi was flummoxed by a ball which held up in the pitch to offer a return catch to the bowler. His 47 was easily the highlight of a poor Bramhall innings, as Bramhall fell well short to finish on 169 all out.