The Magnificent Seven was such a good film that it was recently remade. Due to injuries and the calls of school cricket and exam revision, Bramhall only managed to field nine players against Tattenhall. The Extraordinary Nine had a day that was also very memorable, though on balance we’d probably prefer not to go for any remakes – eleven players ought to be better than nine.
On this occasion, though, as the sun shone, the Nine proved to be stronger than the eleven from Tattenhall. Unexpectedly winning the toss, Bramhall opted to field first recognising that it gave them the best chance of success. With two of the nine not having picked up a bat or ball since August last year, the challenge was made even greater. Marathon man Tim Wood was thrown straight into opening the bowling with Gavin Tomlinson. With fewer fielders than is customary, there was a greater need for accuracy and discipline, and the two bowlers obliged. Gavin struck early before Okell and Kettle put together a decent partnership for Tattenhall. Another wicket, again for Tomlinson, brought the impressive Dane Tinsley in to bat. Together with Kettle he kept the scoreboard ticking gently over. With Wood tiring, James Davenport was introduced into the attack. After his first over yielded a couple of boundaries, he found his rhythm and proceeded to remove the Tattenhall middle order. Once Kettle was out, only Tinsley provided any real resistance. Davenport ended up with 4 wickets, as Stoneman kept things quiet at the other end. When it became apparent that Davenport could barely walk back to his mark, Drury came on to snaffle the last 2 wickets, with Tattenhall having made 167 in 43.2 overs.
The Bramhall line-up contained plenty of decent batters, so hopes were high. The Masons opened the batting and were largely untroubled until Ellie lost patience and skied a catch. It was the story of the innings: bowling that rarely threatened the batters, but losses of concentration leading to regular wickets. Tom Mason scored a useful 33 before top edging a long hop and Ed Daber edged to the keeper for 15. Stuart Stoneman then missed a straight one for 21, having threatened to break loose, and Tim Wood was out for 11, meaning that the last recognised batsmen were at the crease with 60 still need to win. At least Gavin Tomlinson is a recognised batsman – James Davenport has a less consistent track record! The two batted extremely well, mixing sensible defense with some excellent attacking shots. Tomlinson was finally out for 41, edging on to his stumps with only 5 runs needed for victory. Reece Linney calmly played out to the end of that over, before James Davenport unleashed two glorious drives to settle the match.
A jubilant Bramhall Nine were delighted!