After defeat against Upton last week, Bramhall were looking to bounce back away to Urmston. The weather was better than anticipated, and with a number of regulars missing, it was good to welcome back a couple of familiar faces to the team.
The match started badly for Bramhall, losing the toss and being asked to bat on a very green surface. When Ian Milligan was out to the first ball of the innings, an uphill struggle beckoned. Urmston’s opening bowlers, Josh Edwards and Richard Partington, maintained a disciplined line and length, at times getting appreciable movement off the pitch. Ed Daber was next to fall for Bramhall, caught behind with the score not yet in double figures. 13-year-old Jack Bridgeman came to the crease and, together with Ellie Mason, worked hard to rebuild the innings. Scoring was slow against tight bowling, barely above 1 run an over after 15 overs. As the bowlers tired, Ellie starting timing some attacking shots before also being caught behind. 3 down with less than 40 on the board. The returning Adam Siddall joined Jack, who was also starting to find opportunities to play attacking shots. Sadly, it wasn’t too long before Adam called for a run that wasn’t there and was run out – the first of 3 run outs in the innings. The other returning player, Ruaridh Patel, joined Jack for probably the most positive partnership of the innings, taking the score close to 100. Jack hit his first senior six before unfortunately dragging on, starting something of a procession, as none of the following batters scored more than 1. Ruaridh struck out effectively (for the most part), but a couple of avoidable run outs hastened the end of the innings, with Bramhall all out fir 136, Ruaridh not out on 53.
The Bramhall total was well short of what was required. With no pressure in terms of the required scoring rate, and too many “four balls” being bowled, Urmston were able to shrug off the occasional snorter from Adam Siddall. Likewise, they had no need to take risks against the economical Tom Drury. James Davenport eventually snared Josh Epsley to a smart stumping by Reece Linney, but with Urmston approaching 100 there was little chance of a turn-around in Bramhall’s fortunes. Ruaridh Patel bowled Matt Jackson for 58, and Urmston skipper Bilaal Hanif for 2, but Sheetal Sethi adopted a no-nonsense approach to score the winning runs. Urmston victorious by 7 wickets, with plenty of overs to spare.
The result drops Bramhall to 3rd in the league. With League leaders Cheadle next up at Church Lane, Bramhall need to rediscover their form if they are to continue to press for promotion.