In a match generously sponsored by Robert Hayden & Co. Chartered Accountants, Bramhall met Didsbury for the second time in 3 days. This time, it was the league – and at Church Lane – as the Beavers aimed to pick up only their 2nd win of the 2017 season.
Didsbury chose to bat first on a pitch offering some assistance to the bowlers, but the Beavers’ bowling attack found themselves not making full use of it. The returning Danny Lamb bowled with control and picked up the first wicket to fall, but he was lacking a little support from his bowling & fielding team mates at times… particularly when the dangerous Tim Hughes was put down at backwards point. The introduction of spin saw no obvious benefit to Bramhall, and it was left to Luke Littlewood’s medium pace to nibble out the visiting batsmen. His solid line & length, allied to a hint of movement, saw him pick up 5 wickets in the latter half of the innings, but not before Hughes had reached a second (if more fortuitous) ton against the Beavers in 48 hours. At 186-6, the Beavers looked to be on top, but the visitors were somewhat let off the hook to reach 263-8 from their 55 overs.
After the break, Danny Lamb was the unlucky recipient of a gremlin in the surface to be caught behind early on, but fellow opener Adam Wilde looked in good form to notch up a fifty with support from Afzal (35). Wilde fell for 61, and this soon led to a slump to 146-5 with Didsbury looking on top and the Beavers’ batsmen struggling to find the gaps. However, after sticking it out for some time, skipper Nick Cantello and Matt Higginbottom slowly started to find their timing as their partnership began to look dangerous. The visitors wondered if they’d been the victims of the rope-a-dope, as the ball was flying to all parts and accusing glares were directed around the field. But, just as Bramhall began to believe, with 28 runs needed from the last 4 overs, Higginbottom (53) and Cantello (59) fell in consecutive deliveries after a stand of 99. When this became 248-8 with just 6 balls remaining, the plug was pulled on the chase by the home side and they finished on 251-8 to collect 8 points to Didsbury’s 14. Bramhall showed glimpses of their old selves in this game, but will remain disappointed that after two consecutive weeks scoring 250+ they have not picked up a win. A key game at home to bottom-placed Bowdon next Saturday rounds off the first half of the season.