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A full round up of the 2014 season starting with the award winners and followed by a full range of match reports and comment

ONE OVER THE EIGHT AT ASHCOMBE

Ashcombe Park Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Matt Gidman 75 from 55 balls before having to retire at Ashcombe Park on Saturday

Ashcombe had called on forty odd players to get a team out for this fixture. Only eight true blue and hardy souls turned out for their club to leave Endon's eleven with a seemingly easy task. Great credit must be given to the array of aching joints, adapted throwing and slow retreival that characterised the Ashcombe fielding effort but there must be glowing praise for the opening batting effort from the reduced home side as they laid down a competitive target. Players like Allan Derbyshire, who did not start playing the game until he was forty-two played a pivotal role in keeping the game alive not just with an aggressive bat but also with some impressively accurate bowling.Gary Mandley's 73 dominated the home side's opening total of 169.

With so many gaps in the field, however, this turned out to be an easy pickings day for Will Weston and Matt Gidman as they found boundaries easy to come by. A spluttering Matt Gidman was forced to retire on 75 leaving Will Weston to move on to 79 before falling to a catch with just four runs remaining for victory.

Matt Gidman, happy with a last match victory, will, however, be disappointed with a season that promised so much but somehow fizzled out. However, there were enormous bonuses to the campaign that witnessed some fantastic performances and achievements. Not least of these is Steve Jodrell's flirtation with top spot in the whole of the NSSC league's batting averages. Steve ends the season in third place but tops the 2B divisional average.

Steve Jodrell ending the season on a 65.5 average topping Div Two B and taking third place in all divisions

DULL NOTE TO SOUND OUT A GOOD SEASON

Endon vs Kidsgrove

Anthony Sheeran capping a great season with another six wickets on 2014's final Saturday

Despite six wickets from  Ant Sheeran and the glee of seeing Josh Tittensor take the ball for the first time this season to remove Kidsgrove’s accomplished and arguably promotion-winning professional, the last day of season finished in sombre defeat.

Kidsgrove managed to find over 200 runs as their batsmen opened the contest. Two major innings from  Ryan Davis (70) and Darren Plant (68) set up the successful bowling campaign against Endon when the home side sought to chase a big but not unassailable total.

The score could have been higher but for the unusual intervention of Josh Tittensor with the ball, seeing him cheaply dismiss Asif Ahmed Khan. Needless to say we might be hearing about the details of this dismissal for some time to come so I will not enter them here.

Yet another six wickets for Ant Sheeran  put him in the top twelve wicket-takers in the all divisions, and his hard work throughout the season has allowed him to take over 42% of his team’s wickets – a remarkable feat for a spinner.

The Endon reply suffered badly from Alex Bailey’s run out by Tom Lench but Jordan Weaver’s top-scoring fifty-nine, once again flagged up his recent return to form and bodes well for 2015. After Jordan’s departure only a flourish from Dan Bailey (23) gritted the slippery slope to defeat.

Kidsgrove move up to Division one as Division Two Champions and we wish them well at the higher standard.

 

 

THIS COMING SATURDAY IS:

CLOSE DOWN DAY

Please, please try to attend to help us put the playing side of the club to bed for the winter.

Work parties from 9.00 am

The more people who turn up the less time it will take.

If the weather is against us then the closure will take place on Sunday or the following weekend.

Refreshments available!

 

BENNY BOO BOOM BOOM

Ashcombe Park Sunday XI vs Endon Thirds

An animated Ben Rowley as he appeals for his seventeenth wicket in three matches.

Ashcombe left players out of their Saturday side to make sure that key players qualified today within the requirements of the spurious, and increasingly infamous, rule 11e., needing just 12 points to ensure promotion. As other results went their way a convincing defeat by Endon was of little consequence but for fellow Moorlanders, Endon, a pleasing afternoon rolled out as the game progressed.

A superb eight wickets for just 45 runs from Ben Rowley shredded Ashcombe's upper order. The young spinner's growing skill in the use of varied pace is making him very difficult to play against and seventeen wickets in his last three matches is testimony to this. Callum Dermott also excelled today with another excellent performance behind the stumps and was rewarded with two catches and a stumping.

Ashcombe's final 150 total came from a great tail-end effort from Callum Bowyer (29) to give the home side a competitive score.

Good opening bowling spells from sixteen-year-old, Aidan Derbyshire and Chris Plant removed Endon's young openers leaving the more seasoned members of the team to chase down the total. A mature and considered innings from Alex Gilson eventually broke the morale of Ashcombe's bowlers. Andy Hopwood's aggressive 33 set the momentum of the innings but Alex's brilliant partnership with Darren Dutton highlighted the later afternoon. Both players exhibited constraint when it was called for and aggression where it was possible. The cobwebs are certainly coming off the bat of Darren Dutton as he looks a class act for 2015 selection and Alex Gilson's performance confirms him as one of the club's leading batsmen.

Andy Hopwood will be very pleased to have seen his young side beat arguably the best side in the division and end up with an impressive fourth place. However, there remains a degree of bitterness associated with the poor way in which the young Endon team, and other outfits in the division, have been treated by the league this season. Rule 11 e will undoubtedly be a an issue for discussion over the winter.

We wish Ashcombe all the best in the Premier division.

Care and then aggression from Alex Gilson as he anchors Endon's victory over promotion-chasing Ashcombe with a not out 55 on Sunday

 

Week Twenty-one: Fantastic partnership for George Sellers and Jordan Weaver

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

Endon Seconds vs Alsager Seconds

Endon Grandee, Phil Rowley, looking the man most likely.

An awful day for the seconds had much to do with batting first on a new wicket in strange conditions that gave Alsager's bowlers an unusually easy day.

Wobbling balls swinging both ways made life precarious for Endon's openers and, with Will Weston hitting just about every Alsager fielder before getting caught behind on a mystifyingly paltry seven, no Endon batsman would find any comfort at the crease until conditions marginally improved later in the afternoon. A great performance from the very promising fourteen-year-old Alsager bowler, Ben Dixon , won many plaudits as his six allowable opening overs went for just six runs.

Phil Rowley again looked the man-most-likely and, as Alsager brought on new bowlers, the bearded big-hitter found the boundary easier to come by than any other Endon batsman. A hard hit cut, however, just carried to the competent hands of James Bloor and left the distinguished looking Rowley regretting, as would prove, a missed match-winning opportunity.

Steve Jodrell, hoping to consolidate his esteemeed position at the top of the NSSC's batting averages, did his best to see off the many remaining overs as batsmen fell around him but he too fell to hazardous bowling, caught behind, cruelly a single wicket short of another not out to shore up his record challenge.

Life would not be easy for the Alsager batsmen chasing the meagre 84 runs on the board. They too found conditions difficult especially under the further spell of some Dawson magic, as Endon's elder statesman mounted a counter-offensive with yet another four wickets to his name.

Twenty more runs from the the home side may have been enough to secure a close-fought victory but, as the afternoon produced better conditions, Alsager found their 85 runs for the loss of seven wickets, returning home with some very happy bowlers.

CRICKET COMMENT

One day, and I hope soon, the world of technology will produce a means to rid the game of its most pervasive malady - the randomness, the abuse, the subjectivity, the disgruntlement, the disrespect of the lbw decision. On so many occasions the fairness of a match has come into question because of the degree of error that relates to lbw decisions. Narrowing the margin of error must be a priority for the cricket authorities, not just at the highest levels but at grass roots level as well.

Will umpires one day wear headgear that records each and every ball to allow captains to appeal against wayward or favouring decisions? Such recording technology would also allow a fairer way of monitoring and assessing umpire performance.

Captains can complain about umpires but they can not back up any claims of incompetence or bias because there is no tangible evidence. When umpire's become more accountable in this way, a grass roots' game will be a happier place to be, not just for players and spectators but for the umpires themselves.

 

BAD CALLS RUIN A RECORD PARTNERSHIP DAY

Alsager vs Endon

George Sellers and Jordan Weaver made hay at Alsager with the second highest First Team partnership in the club's known history.

Alsager, chasing a promotion spot as the season draws to an end, were desperate for a home victory this Saturday. As Endon's top order opened the match and piled up the runs the home team's hopes of promotion appeared to wilt under the weight of a 258 declared total.

George Sellers once again showed his pedigree with his second league century this year and was joined by a resurgent Jordan Weaver, finding form in the late summer. The pair annihilated the Alsager bowling with a massive 176 partnership that enters the Endon record books. The aggregate does not beat the 214 run NSSC record of Anthony Bunn and Matt Colclough set against Wedgwood in 2006 but overhauls Colin Dearden and Neil Seller's 1995 SCCA League record of 164 against Wistaston. There can not be many NSSC partnerships of this magnitude that include a junior player and, in this respect, the effort may be worth a statistician's attention over the winter.

Alsager, remarkably, hauled in the the high total, somehow avoiding a plethora of apparently stonewall lbw shouts. Main man, Sean Price , avoided most of the appeals to record a massive and match-winning 130 before falling to an otherwise luckless Jack Bourne. Thom Bateman, Ant Sheeran and Adeel Khalid removed further wickets but no bowler gained a victim via an lbw decision. The Endon side returned home to Post Lane with the bitterest of tastes in their mouths.

BIG T/TWENTY END OF SEASON BASH

14th SEPTEMBER

PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT THE EVENT

Endon Cricket Club is looking for teams to take part in its fundraising Twenty Twenty Competition on Sunday 14th September.

Featuring The Bailey Boys, NJP Smashers and the Black Horse pub team, the event also includes a BBQ, licensed bar, music, bouncy castle, children's activities, cake stall and raffle.

Match fees are priced at £5 per player with all proceeds going to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

Anyone interested in entering a team or donating a prize for the raffle should contact Nathan Price on 07967 217675 or James Scarratt on 07971192109.

 

THE YOUNG ONES

Endon Thirds vs Sandyford Thirds

Four more wickets for Ben Rowley led the junior bowling assault against Sandyford on Sunday

Another great four-wicket bowling performance from sixteen-year-old, Ben Rowley, alongside an equally impressive three wickets for the precocious thirteen-year-old, Alex Dutton, set the stall for a big day for Endon's juniors, heavily populating the Third XI.

A track that behaved on Sunday as much as it misbehaved on Saturday gave all batsmen a chance to make good scores. Sandyford's equally and impressively young side took advantage of a flat surface. The Sandyford U-17s are divisional Kidsgrove League champions this year and so would have expected to outgun their Endon equivalents but the home side youngsters had other ideas. Will Marks posted a 67 in the visitor's all out total of 182 - a good score in a forty-five over game.

Endon's winning reply stemmed mainly from its young middle order. Brad Hulme led the the run charge with an attractive 47 but a partnership between Ben Rowley and the swash-buckling Callum Dermott destroyed all but the vaguest of hopes for the visiting bowlers. Callum went on to make 49 not out and rightly received a veranda accolade at the end of a glorious September afternoon.

The match was not only impressive for the number of juniors on parade but also for the multitude of spectators at the club both from Endon's playing ranks and Sandyford supporters.

 

A great day with the bat and behind the stumps for Callum Dermott

 

Week Twenty: First and Seconds fall short after great starts

IF ONLY...........?

Leycett Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Nick Reynolds, getting better every match, making life easier for Endon's bow;ing attack

Nick Reynolds, Endon's ever-improving wicket-keeper, characterised and led a great fielding performance for the visitors. Micky Dawson and Thom Bateman snapped up the lion's share of the wickets, confident of their behind-the-stumps guardian, as they destroyed the Leycett upper order and appeared to give Endon an unassailable advantage. However, yet another tailend dug in, gained confidence and left the field with over a hundred more runs on the board.

While his brother was undermining the First team's similar advantage at Post Lane, Leycett's Matthew Gibbs carved out a match-saving 31 at home to bolster the challenge to Endon's batsmen adding to the eventual 140 run chase.

Had Endon's normally reliable openers, Will Weston and Matt Gidman set up a remotely strong partnership to give foundation to Endon's reply, then the visitors would have taken all the points. However, both openers fell cheaply and the following batsmen looked more nervous than usual as they struggled to find runs and ended up hitting out in frustration and returning runless to the clubhouse. A resolute innings by Andy Hopwood gave substance to the reply but he too fell hitting big. Phil Rowley, looking like the man-most-likely also fell to a mistimed shot to long off.

The away side with overs left and just 31 runs to get were still capable of fulfilling the early promise of the match but, with a fine drizzle turning into rain, the umpires shut up shop and Endon were left rueing their slow run rate and left Leycett Lane with with an abandoned match rather than twenty points.

 

 

FAMILY FUN DAY COMING UP THIS SUNDAY 7th SEPTEMBER

FINISHING SCHOOL FOR THE FIRSTS?

Endon vs Leycet

Jack Bourne making his First team mark. taking six wickets in his last two games

A great in-depth batting performance from the Firsts was not enough to take a full points win from Leycett’s visit to Post Lane. The visitors managed to cling on to a losing draw by a single diehard wicket, leaving the home side to rue their fortune as the drizzle set in at the very end of the match.

Alex Bailey will, however, take heart from some good performances across the team headed by Jack Bourne’s four wickets and a welcome return-to-form fifty for Jordan Weaver. A total of 267, the biggest this season, emerged from some big innings from the Alex Bailey (63). Tom Latham (48), Jordan Weaver (54) and Josh Tittensor (45) hopefully anticipating a run of form as the season comes to a close. When the visitor’s response immediately wilted with the loss of the side’s top order for next to nothing, the home spectators must have expected an early finish and some valuable points in the bag. The great game, however, once again struck the fat lady dumb as individual performances from Leycett undermined the Endon dominance founded on the early dismissal of the visiting professional.

An 88 from Martin Mason turned round Leycett’s fortune and gave their tail-end a chance of saving the match. A mature innings from fifteen-year-old fast bowler Dan Gibbs fended off Endon’s assault on the last wicket and not for the first time this season, highlighted the team’s need for a finisher.

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Josh Tittensor beginning to realize his potential with another good performance this week and his season's best score

BATTING WOES AT NEWCASTLE

Newcastle Thirds vs Endon Thirds

Another five-wicket haul for young spinner, Ben Rowley,was one of few highlights for the Thirds at Newcastle on Sunday

Despite a great bowling performance from sixteen-year-old, Ben Rowley, dropped catches from Endon's youngest side of the season allowed Newcastle to set a much bigger target than they should have. Forty of Newcastle's 181 total came from an accomplised performance from the home side's starlet junior, Thomas Dawswell who looks every inch a top performer in the coming years.

The high total, however, was never going to intimidate Endon's array of in-form junior batsmen but, alas, the form fizzled out very quickly in the face of two very experienced slow-bowling openers. Martyn Elliott, former first-team captain, and Rob Morley, frustrated and teased Endon into giving away wickets in an attempt to catch up on an ever-worsening run rate. Even the Endon batsmen who managed to get themselves in looked uncomfortable and out of sorts and it was not until Newcastle withdrew their main bowlers that runs began flow. Another very promising innings from thirteen-year-old, Alex dutton (26), gave the tail end a lift but the match had been effectively over after thirty overs of woeful batting.

Alex Dutton, not out on 26 at Newcastle on Sunday

BIG T/TWENTY END OF SEASON BASH

14th SEPTEMBER

Endon Cricket Club is looking for teams to take part in its fundraising Twenty Twenty Competition on Sunday 14th September.

Featuring The Bailey Boys, NJP Smashers and the Black Horse pub team, the event also includes a BBQ, licensed bar, music, bouncy castle, children's activities, cake stall and raffle.

Match fees are priced at £5 per player with all proceeds going to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

Anyone interested in entering a team or donating a prize for the raffle should contact Nathan Price on 07967 217675 or James Scarratt on 07971192109
.

 

Week Nineteen: Thirteen-year-old Sam Plant establishes his senior credentials

NO KILLER INSTINCT FOR THE SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs Newcastle & H. Seconds

When a telephone call gave news that the seconds had eight of the league leader's wickets down for less than seventy runs, imagine the surprise when a subsequent message reported that the visiting side had finished on 152. A fabuluous tail-end effort from Andrew Powell hitting a half-century in a pressured situation must have destroyed the morale of the previously ascendent home side. The failure to limit and kill off the batting of an essentially bowling side would prove very costly for Endon, who even with five regular players down would have considered themselves favourites for this top-of-the-table encounter.

Newcastle's bowling credentials quickly came to the fore with Jake Short and Daniel Welsh showing why the visitors have looked down on their rivals all season. The Endon batting line-up missing Will Weston (first team duty), Steve Jodrell (weekend break), Brad Hulme (family holiday), Alex Gilson (Dublin debauchery) and Joe Haywood (shin splints) tumbled in the face of a barrage of high quality deliveries although in form Jim Scarratt will be smarting in more ways than one from being hit in the box and being given out caught.

It was not until Tommy Nadin (41), invigorated from recent romantic attachments, stepped up to the crease to give the home side a whiff of victory. Jake Short's 7 for 56, however, would virtually assure Newcastle of a deserved promotion but did not necessarily scupper Endon's chances of joining them. Despite recent set backs, Matt Gidman's men are still only 13 points off second place and with returning players could yet secure a place in Div.1B - all to play for.

The club offers their congratulations to the Powell family for a great day for them. Dave Powell, assistant Stone League Secretary, saw his eldest son hit an arguably match-winning half-century as well as taking three catches. Younger son, Chris also took two catches to add to the great day.

 

CRICKET COMMENT

How far can home sides get away with producing batting-averse wickets to support the greater capability of their players as bowlers rather than batsman?

It would be unintelligent for a club to create flat tracks when they have great bowlers - no one would deny this. However, a line has to be drawn to ensure some degree of opportunity and, indeed, safety for batsmen.

Is the NSSC drawing this line in black ink or feint pencil?

 

OUR MOST DOGGED SUPPORTER ?

Photo courtesy of Dave Bourne

CONDITIONS APPLY

Meir Heath vs Endon

Ed Bateman, 41 n.o. on a very difficult track at Meir Heath

A night and morning of rain made the absence of covers on Meir Heath’s chosen track something of a surprise when the Endon entourage arrived at Willow Lane. The older members in Endon’s visiting group  were particularly puzzled by the ground care but became more concerned by the umpires’ decision, once the sky cleared,  to allow play so quickly on, what would obviously prove to be, a very dangerous track. Certainly Endon’s opening partnership of George Sellers and Will Weston would have been better equipped with tennis racquets to deal with erratic high-bouncing balls. Winning the toss for a Meir Heath side short of batsmen was a key element of the afternoon’s proceedings as the wind eventually dried and settled the playing surface to something near normality.

Catches from ridiculously popping balls claimed both George and Will via protective manoeuvres although a clear mark high on Will’s forearm would suggest yet another erroneous umpiring decision. After Tom Latham fell to a Richard Brough yorker it became clear that Alex Bailey and Josh Tittensor would have to bat with great care to give the visiting side a competitive total. The Endon captain duly obliged with a quick-scoring 29  before falling prey to the conditions. Josh would go on to play well, anchoring  the struggle for a meaningful total but it would be man of the day, Ed Bateman, who would allow Endon’s bowlers a chance of making the unseasonably chilly August afternoon a competitive one. Ed, heralding a welcome return to form, crafted 41 runs from now-settling but still adverse conditions, ending his innings not out and forcing the scoreboard to show a respectable 135 from the reduced 43 over allotment. Rich Brough, taking a break from early season football and bowling on a track made for him  would end on an impressive 7 for 57.

The improving surface immediately made the home side favourites to take the points but some great work from Jack Bourne, continuing to hone his fast-bowling potential, gave Meir Heath’s openers little scoring opportunities. At the other end, Ant Sheeran, suffering from renal colitis and on heavy anti-biotics was creditably brave but plainly not at his most potent. Nonetheless successes for both Jack and Ant gave the visiting supporters some optimism. The emergence, however, of U-17 county captain, Austen Crump, would be the beginning of the end for Endon’s slim chance of victory as he quickly warmed to the task on his way to a relatively problem free not out 46. At the end of the afternoon, however, the visitor’s could rightly claim to have been victims of very poor ground conditions rather than any great Meir Heath performance

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Jack Bourne opening the bowling at Meir Heath and giving away just fifteen runs in his restricted seven overs

PLANT PRODUCING FRUIT

Endon Thirds vs Fenton

A very bright future for thirteen-year-old Sam Plant as he takes six wickets and a first senior fifty. How many records is that?

Sunday produced an amazing cricket match and an even more amazing day for thirteen-year-old Sam Plant seeing him forge yet more junior records and lay claim to many more in the future. The afternoon gave him his first senior fifty and a fabulous six wickets for just 35 runs off nine overs.

The Thirds, despite hitting over two-hundred runs in the opening forty-five overs lost this match by the narrowest of margins but Andy Hopwood will be delighted that he was able to select seven juniors and remain competitive against an all -adult side.

A good opening innings by Sam Bullmore alongside his prolific junior teammate set a solid beginning for the team allowing plenty of scope for the middle order to open their shoulders. An attractive 63 from Andy Hopwood was followed by some quick scoring by captain for the day, Will Weston. Darren Dutton saw the home side over the two-hundred mark hitting the only six of the innings.

A century from Mohammed Younis brought Fenton back into the game but after his dismissal Endon once again looked likely to take all wickets and twenty-five points. A couple of dropped catches in the fading light left the tail-end intact for long enough for to see them over the line with a single wicket remaining. The visitors, needless to say, enjoyed their nervous victory and, very sportingly, were quick to congratulate Endon for their commitment to junior development. Sixteen of Endon's overs were bowled by three players, all under fifteen. The quality of fielding from the junior players especially Brad Spooner and Alex Dutton was yet another plus for Andy Hopwood.

Flight and accuracy from Sam Plant on a record-breaking day

Experience on tap from Andy Hopwood

Week Eighteen: Seconds win away at Weston but injuries begin to bite

MAGIC MUSHROOM-DAY AT WESTON

Weston Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Great performance from Joe Hayward taking four wickets at Weston on Saturday

Much to the amusement and admiration of both sides, Phil Rowley, on arrival at the Alan Allcroft memorial Ground, scoured the Weston track disdainfully and decided to extend his manicured empire by mowing the away side’s track. Once the worm casts were gone Phil was able to give his full attention to the task in hand and scored important runs as well as taking three accomplished catches. Both sides were further distracted by the presence of a large number of mushroom circles, cultivated, it would seem, with a high degree of care in the Weston outfield.

Weston opened on the fairy-tale landscape and suffered some rapid setbacks before a highly impressive Jake Harvey settled to the task of dealing with the ever-accurate Micky Dawson at one end and a fiery Joe Hayward at the other. Jake would go on to make a carefully constructed 70 to anchor his side’s eventual total of 192. The parsimonious Micky Dawson would bowl an impressive 12 maidens from his twenty-five overs, eight of them in a row, ending his day on 3 wickets for 48 and Joe Hayward, looking better and better, as the season progresses, made his mark with 4 for 68 in his two seven-over age-restricted sessions.

Endon’s reply was immediately forceful with Will Weston and Matt Gidman taking up where they left off last week with another impressive partnership before Matt fell to a catch off the bowling of Ed Chappell. Will went on to make 69, disappointed not to have made an unbeaten 200 off his 121 not out last week but pleased to have set a platform for an important away win for his team. Alex Gilson and Jim Scarratt performed the difficult task of securing the points in fading light and after Jim hit some vital fours and fell hitting big, Alex needed the support of Phil Rowley and Callum Dermott to bring home the bacon but to perhaps leave the, by now well-trampled, mushrooms where they were.

Micky Dawson bowled eight consecutive maidens at Weston at the weekend

FIRSTS FLOUNDER

Endon vs Weston

A captain's innings from Alex Bailey (72) is not enough to avoid defeat against Weston

Captain Alex Bailey was forced to face a strong Weston side without three of his bowlers who were with the side when Endon were narrowly victorious against the visitors earlier in the season. Gaz Rigby, Ant Sheeran and Jack Bourne were all missing from Endon's bowling attack leaving Endon's younger bowlers to take up the mantle. Twenty-five overs from sixteen-year-old George Sellers confirmed him as a potentially great all-rounder as he secured five wickets for 85 runs. The personnel problem also allowed Brad Hulme to take his inaugral first-team wicket as the home side eventually bowled out the visitors for 200.

A disappointingly quick dismissal of George Sellers understandably tired from a week of intensive cricket with Derbyshire Seconds and an extended bowling spell, put the home side immmediately on the back foot. Josh Tittensor resisted Weston's bowling attack for 82 balls but no meaningful partnership emerged until Alex Bailey came to the crease to give the home side a sniff of victory. Brad Hulme added fifteen runs to his wicket but after the dismissal of Alex on 72, victory would appear elusive and a losing draw, an attractive outcome.

The young side almost held out to deny Weston a victory but were all out in the 55th over.

CRICKET COMMENT

Having watched cricket for a good many years now it has become more and more obvious that the officiation of the lbw rule is fundamentally flawed. On so many occasions I have seen good umpires give bad lbw decisions because thay are unable to judge the vertical path of the ball from their behind-the-stumps point of view. Any basic scientific observation monitoring the trajectory of a thrown object would record the action from an adjacent position, so why isn't the square leg umpire given responsibility for determining whether or not the ball is going over the stumps?

 

MEAKINS' MAYHEM

Meakins Sunday Firsts vs Endon Thirds

An impressively mature performance from Alex Dutton at Meakins on Sunday

A batting collapse at the hands of an in-form Ryan Fox followed the controversial dismissal of the captain-for-the-day, Will Weston. Will, with 19 runs from just 17 balls was looking comfortable and ready to anchor a competitiive innings. A subsequent hat-trick from Fox and further demolition left Andy Hopwood, in at seven, to hit big and find tail-end support from the younger members of the team.

A final total of 71, given the circumstances, was quite an achievement and was largely due to a mature and highly promising performance from thirteen-year-old Alex Dutton. Alex may not have come away from Meakins with a big total but he saw off 45 balls and shots that are currently not getting off the square will, with more physical maturity, very shortly be going for fours.

The Endon bowling performance looked far and away strong enough to see off the Meakins batsman and, had the bowlers been given fifty more runs to play with, an Endon victory would have been the most likely outcome. Joe Haywood for a time looked a highly threatening presence but, worryingly, left the field early with shin splint problems. Ben Rowley once again looked accurate and dangerous and was rewarded with two wickets before the runs ran out.

All round this was an extremely disappointing day and even if a key decision went the wrong way the team's batting should have compensated for the setback.

Ben Rowley looking accurate and dangerous at Meakins on Sunday

Week Seventeen: George Sellers hits a record 213 for Staffs U-17s , Will Weston a record 121* for the Seconds

JOYLESS RECORD BATTING PERFORMANCE FOR THE SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs BetleySeconds

Hard going for Matt Gidman and Will Weston in a record-breaking batting day for the Second Team.

In an afternoon of great light and deep shade, Endon's openers, Matt Gidman and Will Weston produced a 186 partnership in a record 255 score for the Second Team. Will went on to produce his second century as junior player with an unbeaten 121 - the highest ever score for a junior playing in the Second Team. The score is also the second highest for any Second Team player but falling well short of Alex Gilson's 168 NSSC League record set in 2008. Nathan Price, Jim Scarratt and a great-looking Phil Rowley all champed at the bit to get onto a friendly track and all eventually contributed to the record score after Matt gidman cruelly fell just two runs short of his century.

A Betley return of just 70 for four wickets with forty overs to go meant that the home side could not have been more confident of victory. Joe Hayward's three wickets in a short economical spell allowed no contemplation of a home loss and a spectacular one-handed gully catch by a fully-stretched Ben Rowley, clasping the ball an inch from the ground, brightened Endon's expectations even further. However, the outlook gradually darkened and, inexplicably, dropped catches as well as strangely below par bowling allowed the Betley middle order to dig in and produce some huge individual scores of their own. Betley's experienced captain Neil Harrison saw his team surpass Endon's 255 with an unbeaten 115 and dulled the achievements from earlier in the afternoon by securing an unlikey and soul-destroying victory for the visitors.

A feeling that victory would have been a much sweeter thing than batting records pervaded a forlorn dressing room. However, Matt Gidman must once again rally his troops knowing that the team's batting is in form and that it is unlikely that the bowling will ever wither away again as it did on this desperate late afternoon.

Joe Hayward taking one of his three wickets this Saturday

 

DETERMINED TEAM EFFORT AT COMMUNITY DRIVE

Norton vs Endon

Another great batting performance from Tom Latham sees the firsts over the line at Norton

Yet another Endon junior product made his debut for the First Team. Brad Hulme, batting and bowling well for the seconds, was called up to back up the bowling effort at Norton in another great team-effort victory.

This year's competition is so intense that with just a few matches to go every team is potentially in the frame for promotion and, conversely, is not secure from relegation. Twenty points today for Alex Bailey's team was essential for both guaranteeing safety and maintaining contact with the league leaders.

A Norton total of 204 could have been bigger but for the wicket-taking capabilities of Adeel Khalid, returning to form, and the ever-present threat of the club's leading wicket-taker, Ant Sheeran. Anthony would have been particularly pleased with his 5 wickets against his old club.

Endon's reply was again given foundation by young opener George Sellers (62) still recovering from his record-breaking double-century for Staffs U-17s in the week (see article below). However, an unbeaten eighty from Tom Latham gave Endon a much-deserved victory for the loss of just four wickets in the fifty-fourth over.

Tom's unbeaten 81 makes the First Team Batting Average table very interesting reading. With Tom, George Sellers and Alex Bailey all on an impressive average of over 28 runs there must be a growing confidence in the teams' batting potential as the season reaches its climax.

Adeel Khalid back on the wicket-trail at Norton this weekend

 

WILL WESTON ENDS HIS JUNIOR CAREER ON A HIGH

A record 121 not out for Will Weston on his last weekend as a participating junior player

Will Weston will have been disappointed that the tail-end of yet another Atlantic hurricane prevented him from saying goodbye to the Kidsgrove League in a, once more, abandoned Sunday-morning fixture. However, having set a number of records in the previous afternoon opening for the Second Team against Betley, was compensation enough. In terms of junior records, Will's unbeaten total is the highest score for an Endon junior playing senior cricket and he is the youngest player ever to have scored a century for the Second team, beating Ed Bateman's 2006 record by three months. Will also finishes his junior career as the only player to have captained Endon Junior sides at all age groups. When asked to comment on his records he admitted to some pride in his achievements but added that "winning matches is always going to be more important than anything else". He also challenged Endon's new crop of talented juniors to knock him off the record's board as soon as possible and hopes to help them do so in his activities as Endon's latest Level Two coach.

ARE YOU AN ENDON JUNIOR RECORD BREAKER?

Amazingly the junior season is already over. Maybe it's just me but I am sure it only started a couple of weeks ago.

Anyway in whatever short space of time you managed to accrue runs, take wickets, dive for catches, not miss a match or hit the wicket from a fielding position, it is important that you now check the Endon Records page to see if you or your team merit a place on this extensive honours board.

Here are a few examples of the more obscure records you may have broken:

Have you scored more accumlative runs through a succession of not outs than anyone else?

Have you made more appearances for a particular team than anyone else?

Have you hit more sixes than anyone else? You may not haven taken many wickets but has your bowling been the most economical ie had the least runs scored off your overs.

You can find all the existing club records on:

ENDON CC RECORDS

and all your records on:

http://endon.play-cricket.com/

 

GE-200-O

George Sellers scores a double-century for Staffordshire U-17s in a record-breaking day

Worcestershire U-17s vs Staffordshire U-17s

In a fabulous day for Staffordshire U-17s, Endon's George Sellers produced the best innnings of his career so far with a double century against Worcestershire.

George's magnificent performance at Stourport-upon- Severn gave his side a first innings victory over their Midlands' rivals in a high-scoring match.

Staffordshire on 423 for 8 declared off 109.1 overs were unable to complete a full points

victory because of the home side's resilient response. Worcestershire hit 305 all out off 82.5 overs, leaving no time for the two-day match to reach a conclusion.

George's score of 213 runs came off just 296 balls and included 29 fours and one six. This is the highest individual score for Staffordshire Youth Cricket at Under 17 level and George is the only person to bat through a whole day for Staffordshire (102 overs).

Batting all day was a new experience for the sixteen-year-old and he admitted to having to virtually walk the single runs by the 100th over.

The performance follows and justifies George's call up as a reserve to the U-17s Midland squad a year early. The club looks forward to reporting more great achievements for George as the season closes.

 

A record breaking double century for George Sellers on Wednesday and Thursday

Week Sixteen: Thirds make more progress. Frustration for the Firsts against Woore

RISKY BUSINESS AT BIGNALL END

Bignall End Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Brad Hulme continuing to make progress with two more wickets at Bignall End on Saturday.

Endon's bowling attack looked less potent than usual with Thom Bateman on first team duty to bolster the Firsts after Gaz Rigby's injury.

A placid track and some good batting from Bignall End's Mohammed Razaq (67) produced a formidable target but Matt Gidman decided to attack the total by putting his big hitters in as openers. The strategy did not work despite a good effort from Jim Scarratt. Yet another great perfomance from Steve Jodrell maintained the possibility of victory but risking giving 25 points to a promotion rival was always going to be sailing too close to the wind.

With eight wickets down there was still, surprisingly, a bravado to the batting and not an urge to baton down the hatches. In the end Mick Dawson and Nick Reynolds did a great job in the closing overs but giving Bignall End even a sniff of outright victory for the sake of an odd batting point was not playing the percentage game.

A losing draw means the team drop for the first time out of a promotion spot but with games against rivals Newcastle and Weston coming up their destiny is very much in their own hands.

FRUSTRATION FOR FIRSTS

Endon vs Woore

These are frustrating times for the First team, still trying hard to make headway in an increasingly tight promotion race. A week of great weather faltered yet again when Saturday came around and Post Lane suffered more than most.

Some frenetic mopping up could not give the match against Woore enough time to be realistically anything but a draw. The only upside of the day was another four wickets for Ant Sheeran bringing up fifty wickets for the season.

Last week's injuries appear to have cleared up for Alex Bailey and Jordan Weaver but Gaz Rigby has decided to rest up for the rest of the season.

THE DERMOTT WARS

Norton U-17s vs Endon U-17s

This match, well won by Endon juniors, will be equally well-remembered by the Dermott family as a bruising encounter. Finlay managed to take a deflected ball full in the cheek and bravely returned to the field of play with a shiner to be proud of. Not to be left out, older brother, Callum, also took the full force of a deflected ball as he kept wicket and, as a spectating Endon captain commented, made it obvious "why helmets are a good idea".

Norton, opening the batting, struggled to make runs against a frugal Endon attack. Will Weston, as economical as ever, bowled six overs for just eight runs putting pressure on the Norton batsmen later in the innings. A great bowling performance by Alex Dutton saw the thirteen-year-old take four wickets for just 17 runs.

An insufficient Norton total was carefully met by some sensible batting from Will Weston (60*) and a now-recovered Callum Dermott (17*).

BETTER BUT NOT BEST AT CHECKLEY

Checkley Thirds vs Endon Thirds

Master craftsman, Darren Dutton, coming out of retirement to make an vital contribution to Endon's opening total.

At the end of this match Andy Hopwood would be pleased with a great team performance where all players made good contribution at the crease and in the field. A winning draw at high-fliers, Checkley, was always going to be a positive result but the Endon captain will again be contemplating a few dropped catches that could have given him an away victory.

Checkley possess two seasoned and talented swing bowlers so it was important that Will Weston and Sam Bullmore opened carefully to protect the middle order. Sam was particularly impressive in this newish role for him. The middle order and then tail, offered up some consistent work with the bat, with Hopwood and Son having a pretty good day at the office. New acquistion, Steve Smith, once again impressed with some powerful hitting and Darren Dutton made it plain why he was at one time Endon's leading batsman.

Checkley did not baulk at the 203 target and set off at quick run rate. A very impressive innings from the young Reptonian, David Glanville (50) kept the home side in the hunt. However, Endon's bowling and some good work by the inexperienced Will Weston behind the stumps, eventually slowed the rate in the final overs to make a final push for victory much too dangerous. Finishing on 188 for 8 with their eleventh man, Stuart Hamilton, at A&E getting a broken finger fixed, was perilous for the home side and as the light began to fade Checkley were probably happy to have survived the mounting pressure.

This was a great match, full of twists and turns, played at an, as ever, attractive and well-manicured venue.

 

Week Fifteen: Thirds make a move on a promotion place. Josh the Cosh knocks down Oakamoor

JOSH SHAW AXES OAKS

Endon's highly successful U-13s cup-winning side went to arch-rivals Oakamoor looking to avenge a controversial defeat earlier in the season and to put the league leader's divisional title hopes on hold for at least another week.

In an even contest Josh Shaw produced the trump card with a fantastic record-breaking performance. Taking seven wickets for just eight runs Josh destroyed the oakamoor net total and gave the away side the success they more than deserved.

Josh Shaw, a magnificent 7 wickets for EIGHT runs at Oakamoor

BAMBURY AT THE BUNBURY

Grace Bambury's summer holidays look well and truly booked up with Staffordshire cricket. This week saw her at the Bumbury festival in beautiful Malvern for five days of non-stop cricket. The festival brings together all the top junior players in the country to see a large number of county sides compete against each other.

Grace was part of the Staffordshire Girls' team that won all five of their matches over the course of the tournament.

A great summer of cricket for county wicket-keeper, Grace Bambury

JODDERS: NOT SO "MR. AVERAGE"

Seconds vs Hem Heath Forsbrook Seconds

Steve Jodrell once again topping the batting and bowling averages

A batting collapse by the Second's upper order left the rest of the side facing a steep uphill struggle. Steve Jodrell, not out on 45, managed to make the final total some sort of challenge for the visitors but there would little doubt about the outcome of the match once Hem Heath's openers made a solid start to a relatively easy run chase.

Steve Jodrell's performance was probably the only highlight of the day and witnessed him draw further away in the club's averages in both batting and bowling tables. He also tops the bowling economy table.

Steve's batting average now puts him in second place for all divisions in the NSSCL.

Steve Jodrell, with an average of over a 102, now occupies second place in the batting averages for all eight divisions of the NSSCL

FITNESS WORRIES FOR FIRSTS AS THEY STRUGGLE AGAINST OULTON

Oulton vs Endon, Jul 27

Endon's hopes of keeping up with Div. Two's pace-setters suffered a blow today amid a strangely deficient batting performance and an array of worrying injuries.

Nine runs for the top five batsman could not have been a worse start but, yet again, the team's experienced tail-end stepped up to the mark. When Alex Bailey, in at six and looking on top of the Oulton attack suffered a back injury, Ant Sheeran and Gaz Rigby continued to make runs and pulled the score to 147.

Oulton, the form side in the division, would always be favourites after a relatively low total from their visitors and so it would prove as the home side's batsmen set about Endon's bowlers. A 59 from Jono Whalley made inroads in to the target and Oulton had 20 points in the bag by the 47th over.

The defeat was a blow to the First team's fortune but is insignificant in comparison to the injury worries. Alex Bailey (back), Gaz Rigby (knee) and Jordan Weaver (heel) were all casualties on the day. Let's hope for a full recovery by all three key players and a full squad to choose from for next week's important clash with the improving Woore.

SOUR DAY FOR U-17s

Longton U-17s vs Endon U-17s

A losing draw at Longton once again represented a poor day for Endon's older juniors but the lack of victory was not about performance but bad fortune regarding decisions.

Longton's batting looked more than competent on a very friendly track and, after surviving a number of lbw appeals, went on to make 158 for the loss of just one wicket.

The Longton total, however, looked well in sight as Will Weston and Sam Plant settled to the task. Will, looking very comfortable with 24 runs from the opening six overs, was thunderstruck by an lbw decision that was not even appealed for by the wicket-keeper and slip and, by reliable accounts, pitched a foot outside the line. With Endon's most senior batsman prematurely dismissed, the momentum of the innings was impeded and the run chase made more difficult.

Despite this event Sam was able to move on with Ben Rowley to establish a good partnership and the young Endon opener went on to make his first U-17 fifty. Despite this achievement the Endon side left the neck-end of the Potteries short of the required total feeling this was a bad cricketing day.

COMFORT ZONE FOR THIRDS

Thirds vs Kidsgrove Thirds

Dave Sheeran starring against Kidsgrove this Sunday with four wickets for just seventeen runs

After last weekend's poorest performance of the season, the team bounced back with a comfortable victory over Kidsgrove. A stong bowling performance headed by the slow swing of Dave Sheeran found the visitors quickly back in the clubhouse.

Matt Gidman (30) opened the run chase which was finished off by a partnership between Sam Bullmore (14*) and Will Weston (25*). The victory once again sees the side well in touch with the division's promotion hopefuls. The side visits league leaders, Checkley, next week to compete in the most important match of the season so far.

 

 

Week Fourteen: Dramatic win for the Firsts. Great partnership between Nath Price and Jim Scarratt for the Seconds

GEORGE GETS AN EARLY CALL

Some great news for Endon's precocious sixteen-year-old this week as he is called up as a reserve player for the Midlands Elite Junior Squad.

The squad is usually populated by just seventeen-year-olds so George's selection, a year early, is indicative of the young player's impressive development this season. Anyone who witnessed George's last two performances, including a century against Caverswall, will only be surprised that he was not first on the selection list. 2015 will surely see George progress to full selection and put him in the frame for even more esteemed honours.

George is currently busy with the Staffordshire county programme and taking on his cricketing education with the Derbyshire academy. The club wishes him all the best as he continues to carve out a cricketing career.

George batting for the First Team at Leycett earlier in the year

 

SECONDS RIDE THE STORM

Blythe Seconds vs Endon Seconds Jul 19

Nathan Price and Jim Scarratt, 88 run partnership in just 34minutes

Thunder claps early on Saturday morning boom out across the Potteries to forewarn of a deluge to follow and leave many a groundsman shaking his head as torrential rain eventually hits the cricket fields of North Staffordshire. As the torrent eases, umpires and captains, eyes aloft and scanning for a brighter outlook, plod out to the square to inspect a puddling surface and then, once again, raise their heads to scan the horizon for the minutest sign of summer.
The Blythe ground, elevated to the south side of the carriage way to Uttoxeter, witnesses such a scene and, as the heavy rains peter out to just-visible droplets, the walks to the square continue amid conversations of drainage and the weather reports. In the background the incessant drone of speeding tyres on wetted concrete drown out rain on windscreens but both sounds are suddenly muffled by the growl of Blythe’s much admired Waterhog squeezing the moisture from a sodden square and heralding at least some hope for an ever-optimistic twenty-two men and boys.
By three--o-clock the clouds still obscure any blue skies but whiten enough for the captains to come back to their teams and report that Endon are batting first in a shortened-over match - at least there will be some play today.
For fifty minutes Endon’s openers make slow progress on an unpredictable pitch having to choose, more than usual, the right balls to leave alone. At the back of the batsmen’s minds would be the run rate in the context of reduced overs and Matt Gidman, looking to hit big over square mistimed his shot and fell to a catch in extra cover . As the sky greyed once again a new onslaught began and an early tea lasted for two hours before the southern thundering system passed over and left Blythe’s hill top field to dry in glorious sunshine. Endon’s very slightly eccentric team spent a happy hour playing football under the deluge and were equally in need of some kind of drying process before they once again look capable of playing, let alone winning, a cricket match. Play resumes at six-o-clock.
The Endon captain now has thirty-six overs to conjure a victory - bat hard, declare with a tempting total and then bowl the home side out. The equation is complicated by the lure of batting points. Will Weston falls as he tries to hit big and makes way for a hungry looking James Scarratt, already hovering on the boundary and looking as if the day belongs to him. And so it would be. He joins Nathan Price, not as yet looking comfortable after some wide-arcing misses but the old muckers soon bond to a quick-scoring and entertaining session. The partnership lasts for thirty-four minutes and is worth eighty-eight runs An immense six from Nathan Price over long on sees some Olympic standard sprinting from Mavis Hopwood to avoid the missile and the nimble-footed  grandmother impresses  both players and spectators with her quicksilver manoeuvre. With both players making a fifty they run to the clubhouse to speed up the declaration process and Endon take to the field.
Wickets fall as the home side continually access their chances of making the total but there are not enough overs to allow any other result than a draw. However, eight points on a day when others were only gaining the minimum from abandoned matches was worth the waiting and milling about. Well done to the home club and the umpires for keeping the game alive.

SHEERAN SEALS A DRAMATIC WIN AS SELLERS SHINES AGAIN

Endon vs Rode Park, Jul 19

Anthony Sheeran, last-over hero at Post Lane on Saturday

Endon's bowlers showed their teeth this Saturday on a wet-wicket day over a shortened over match. Skittling Rode Park for just 121 brought three-wickets each for Dan Bailey and Gaz Rigby and the home side a very tempting 21-over challenge for a twenty-point victory. Dan Bailey also contributed to the fielding success with a hat-trick of out field catches.

The Endon effort with the bat was, once again, full of polish and controlled tenacity. The polish came from yet another sublime George Sellers' innings that left his teammates and supporters struggling to find enough terms of accolade to describe his performance. Eventually falling as he reached his fifty, his array of shots had created a gateway to victory.

Rode Heath's professional had other ideas and made Endon's tail stretch themselves to the limit. In a tight and accurate session, Kevin McClean,the West Indian fast-bowler, put the brakes on a winning run-rate leaving Ant Sheeran and Alex Gilson to let fly at a sixteen-run target in the last two overs. Ant Sheeran, already having hit a key six, swung successfully at the third from last ball and sent the clubhouse veranda into raptures as the ball rocketed over the boundary rope to bring an end to the nail-biting for both sides. Another great victory and entertaining match for Endon by the seat of their whites.

No one now can argue that this division is anything less than as tight as a camel's nostrils in a sandstorm and, despite recent setbacks, Endon's senior players once again find themselves in touching distance of a promotion place. Let's hope that this amazing morale-booster adds the necessary momentum to the 2014 campaign.

U-17s MISS THEIR CHANCE AT HEM HEATH

The 17s came away from Hem Heath this morning rueing at least ten fielding opportunities missed as the home side only just hauled in the 124 total set by Endon.

Will Weston and Sam Plant opened well with Sam, on this occasion setting a solid opener’s stall against some good bowling. The introduction of Ben Pugh , however, saw some foot holes on a well-worn wicket come into play and the batting line up struggled to make runs and keep their wickets from the impressive young Hem Heath spinner. A competitive total looked in doubt until the inimitable Jack Turnock came to crease to ignore caution and allow his bat to freely express his desire to make a good score. Ably supported by Cairan Shone, Jack moved the field back as he forced them to defend the final overs of the Endon innings. Cairan, once again, looked cool under pressure, leaving balls when they needed to be left and turning the score over when opportunities arose.

Endon’s bowling attack, slightly reformed by the injury to Will Weston who once again eventually "gave it a try", created many opportunities but dropped catches, once more,   were like a repeatedly pressed self-destruct button and in the 28th over the Hem Heath batting effort, given too easy a ride, inflicted yet another defeat on Endon’s senior juniors. Two late wickets from Joe Browning, his first U-17 dismissals, were a highlight in this tepid performance.

THE LADIES HAVE THEIR WAY

A tremendous win for Endon Ladies over Eccleshall. Andy Bullmore reports...

Under the excellent captaincy of skipper Karen Williams the Ladies team scored a brilliant 164 run win over local rivals Eccleshall on a red hot summer's Sunday afternoon at Endon.

Put into bat this outcome did not look on the cards as Chloe Dawson was cleaned bowled second ball. However, this proved to be a false dawn for the visitors as the whole team then went on to only lose one more wicket and amassed a total gross score of 181 for net score of 171. Leading run scorers were Lynne with 38, Karen 34, along with strong contributions of 20 from Chloe and 14 from both Sylvia and Vicki.

Eccleshall went into bat confident of a successful run chase but were put to the sword by the Endon Ladies consistently taking wickets throughout the innings. A total of 11 wickets and only 62 runs scored led to a net score for the opposition of only 7. Four of the ladies took two wickets Grace (2-3), Karen (2-5), Rachel (2-9) and Chloe (2-15).  Some excellent catching helped the victory with Rachel, Vici, Grace (2 catches) and Sylvia along with excellent run outs by Lynne and Karen.

DOUR DAY FOR THIRDS

Meir Heath Thirds vs Endon Thirds

A hot and humid afternoon at Meir Heath left the Endon visitors stuggling to find their normal verve and resolve. Some awkward bowling on a soft slow pitch goaded Endon's openers in to defending their wickets rather than turn the scoreboard over. A listless atmosphere seemed to stiffle any aggression and, as fifteen overs went by for just a dozen runs, the need for a score forced Callum Dermott into a mistake. The lacklustre array of batting performances that followed saw some surprising early dismissals and left the team's junior tail end to bring some vigour and substance to the Endon effort.

Cairan Shone and Joe Browning, both on senior debut, attacked the Meir Heath bowling and showed their potential by hitting an array of shots that in the future will bring them many boundaries. A cameo appearance from the Sheeran clan in the form of a powerful-looking Steve Smith, impressed his teammates with his aggression and eye for a ball. The late effort, however, still left the visiting side with less than eighty runs. The total was never going to be enough to defend against Meir Heath's line-up of confident and experienced batsman and when over twenty runs flew of the Meir Heath bats in the first over of their response, the game was pretty much up. Let's hope it isn't too hot next week.

Cairan Shone on senior debut making a big impression

Joe Browning making his senior debut this weekend as well as taking two wickets at Hem Heath for the U-17s

Week Thirteen: George Sellers goes large and a record opening partnership for Sam Bullmore and Callum Dermott

SECONDS MISS A BEAT AS THEY ARE DEARDEN-ED AT LEEK

Leek Seconds vs Endon Seconds, Jul 12

Andy Hopwood top-scoring at Leek (St. Edwards).

The Second team campaign stalled at Leek today as Endon's bowling force stuttered against some resilient tail-end batting from the home side. An opening total by Endon of just 143 was not enough to secure victory.

The shortage of runs from Endon had much to do with the presence of ex-Endon legend, Colin Dearden, who, after undergoing a recent shoulder operation, was making a rare appearance in this level of cricket, as part of his recouperation plan. Despite the years, Colin remains a class act and formidable opponent.

A tight and frugal opening spell from two medium pace bowlers subdued and frustrated Endon's openers and with very few runs on the board by the 10th over, risk-taking resulted in the loss of wickets.

The introduction of Andy Hopwood increased the run rate. Endon's form batsman seized the initiative and took on the parsimonious bowlers to knock 47 and effectively put Endon in with a chance of victory.

The Leek response lacked gusto as opening wickets fell relatively easily but the home side's mid-order had a different idea. Some impressive bowling from Tom Nadin revitalised the Endon ambition. A quick full length ball tempted Colin Dearden out of his crease and a reflex stumping from Alex Gilson gave Tom the first of his two much-deserved wickets.

Some tail-end fortitude from Steve Machin saw the Leek side take the twenty points.

 

Joe Hayward and Nath Price laying it on the line in the slips this Saturday

THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Ton-up for George Sellers but no win for the Firsts

Endon vs Caverswall, Jul 12 2014

George Sellers hits his first league century in a fabulous display of considered batting that included a record 17 fours

On a toothless day for Endon's bowlers, Caverswall openers, Jake Edge (96) and Ahsan Tariq (59) constructed a dominating partnership of 161 to give the visiting side a match-winning position. The combination eventually collapsed through spinners Ant Sheeran and George Sellers tempting the well-set pair into increasing the run rate to take advantage of so many wickets in hand. Further wickets came as subsequent batsmen attempted to harry the Endon field to maximise their team's total. The situation favoured runs above wickets and made Endon dismissals merely consolations on a disappointing afternoon.

The Caverswall total was never insurmountable in the context of Endon's batting potential and a magnificent innings from sixteen-year-old, George Sellers, always gave the home side a realistic hope of victory. If another batsman could have settled into a meaningful partnership with the young Endon starlet a win was on the cards. To Endon's chagrin, this never happened and, when George was run out from a boundary throw for 105, the run chase proved too difficult for Endon's remaining batsmen.

In defeat, Endon can take solace from such a notable achievement from its young Derbyshire Academy player. This, after all, was Endon's first league century since Dan Bailey's 108 in 2012. Andy Bullmore, club chairman, described the innings as one of the best he had seen, paying a glowing tribute to the way George had achieved his first league century with such assuredness and with such little risk. George's seventeen fours are evidence of the innings having very little relationship with anything but his grandfather's beautifully cut grass in a Bradmanesque performance.

The club offers its wholehearted congratulations to George and hopes that this third century for him will give him the confidence to craft his way to many more.

 

BLUE SKIES FOR THIRDS AT BETLEY

Betley vs Endon Thirds

Sam Bullmore top scoring for the Thirds in convincing win over Betley

Overnight rain left this Sunday to slowly recover its mid-summer status and, by the time blue skies and cotton-wool clouds adorned the beautiful Betley panorama, Endon were well on their way to another victory in time to watch Germany's narrow world cup final victory over Argentina.

Betley, recently struggling to find players, fielded a full team that held no qualms about putting bat to ball in taking advantage of the ground's beautiful but short boundary. The attacking attitude produced some success as Andy Hopwood shared the bowling throughout his ranks but eventually Endon's in-depth class got the better of a Betley gungho crew, leaving the visitors an extra eleven overs to see off an insufficient 134 total from the home side.

Fresh from an Under-Seventeen morning abandonment, Sam Bullmore and Callum Dermott opened the run chase. Callum, full of confidence, from his best-ever wicket-keeping performance, looked comfortable alongside his team mate as the two sixteen-year-olds forged out an 85 partnership to put their side well on the way to victory. Sam went on to make a well-crafted impact just falling short of his first 50 of the season.

Callum Dermott putting on an accomplished display behing the stumps at Betley this Sunday

Week Twelve: New artificial track and a few u-17 records brighten an otherwise generally gloomy week for Endon's teams

ANOTHER BIG STEP IN THE CLUB'S DEVELOPMENT

The new Non-turf pitch being laid last week. The facility represents a major piece of development for the aspiring club.

The club continues to take strides toward its ambition to be a beacon cricket club for all levels of cricket.

This week has seen Dura-Sport install an ECB-approved, state-of-the art artificial surface at a cost in excess of £10,000. The new all-weather facility in the centre piece of the club's aim to create a bespoke junior pitch that can also be used by other groups including female teams, casual cricketers and, in the future, by disabled players. The whole arena should be completed, and hopefully established, at some point in the 2015 season.

The specialised track also has a multi-functional element in its ability to easily transform itself into a top grade training facilty. A mobile net is arriving at the club this week, making the training dimension immediately available.

With care, the life expectancy of the surface is about ten years so its usage will be controlled and monitored. For example, spikes will strictly not be an option when using the surface. The executive of the club is looking at a number options that include booking systems and storage to further ensure condition and longevity.

Funding the project has been a difficult process for our hard-working chairman and treasurer. Monies have been found from a number of sources. We thank them all. They are:

  1. Lord Taverners - £3,835
  2. The Co-op Membership Trust - £2,000
  3. Staffordshire Police – PASS scheme £1,400
  4. Endon & Stanley Parish Council £500

The remainder has been raised by the club's wonderful and imaginative fund-raisers

BOOT CAMP IS BACK

Sunday morning saw the welcome return of the fitness-for-all boot camp. Under the inspiring direction of Jaime Hibbert, adults and children come together for a variety of workouts. This Sunday's attendance raised £67.00 for the club.

The popularity of the event has meant that Sunday Morning sessions will now be a regular feature of the club's programme until the end of the summer.

Jaime tailors her programmes to individual needs so this really is an activity for everyone. Anyone can attend the session by coming down to the club just before ten on a Sunday morning.

Participants usually socialise for a short while after the session and this allows Jaime to give advice if and when it is required.

GOOD FUN AND GOOD FOR YOU

One for the album. Brad Hulme bowls a jaffa at Ashcombe's Scarborough-hailing wicket-keeper, Philip Tomczak, to leave his wicket-keeping dad and skipper happy to catch the oncoming bails.

SECOND'S SECOND SUCCESSIVE SUCCESS

Endon Seconds vs Oakamoor Seconds

Alex Gilson getting the support and affection from his team mates he so desperately craves.

This fourth win on the trot was still not enough to overhaul Newcastle, the league leaders, who again matched Endon, currently their main rivals for the title, with their own batting-first win over Weston.

Matt Gidman went into the match looking for maximum points against lowly Oakamoor. The return, however, of the Booth brothers from football duties, strengthened the visitors, particularly as a bowling force. None of the home side batsmen dominated the scoreboard but Brad Hulme looked like the most-likely on the day before a bizarre dismissal ended his innings prematurely. As a ball whizzed past him, the wicket-keeper had apparently let it through making Brad step out of his crease preparing to take a bye, not knowing that the ball had actually lodged in the top of the keeper's pad. He won't do that again!

The dismissal did not stop him from impressing his teammates all of whom were already celebrating his return to the batting crease after the concerns of the previous week. Tommy Nadin then came late to the encounter to put on an aggressive and very useful 25 runs. The 165 total on most weeks would have caused anxiety but there was always a feeling, promoted by their own supporters, that Oakamoor's strength rested with their bowling and that they would struggle to chase anything over 150.

Some resistance from Steve Mycock (21) and Darren Lowe (28) held back Endon's twin--barrelled attack but by the end of the twenty-fourth over, the Dawson-Bateman assault had sent all of Oakamoor's men back to the pavilion for just 80 runs. Mickey Dawson's 6 for 33 was his second five-wicket haul of the season and brought him his 33rd wicket in 2014.

 

Micky Dawson (6 ror 33) giving it all against Oakamoor.

ENDON BLUES AT ECCLESHALL

Eccleshall vs Endon, Jul 5

Adeel Khalid's two wickets for just five runs at Eccleshall were rays of light on an otherwise bleak day.

Last week's poor form at Kidsgrove continued as the first's carried their title challenge to in-form Eccleshall. The bells of Holy Trinity tolled ominously for the visitors as one batting failure followed another bringing six wickets to Yasser Tariq for the loss of just 26 runs. Josh Tittensor's 20 was the highest of the day but the eventual meagre total of 89 runs would be insufficient for Endon's bowlers to muster a challenge.

Young Australian, Nathan Hinton, once again impressed by hitting yet another fifty in less than fifty balls. His dismissal marked the only bright moment of Endon's disappointing day when Adeel Khalid, back in the attack after a two-week absence, caught and bowled Eccleshall's main man.

With two home matches on the horizon against Caverswall and Rode Park, Alex Bailey will be looking to get back to winning ways in his own back yard. Both matches will be pivotal to the team's season and the club wishes the team well in revitalising their already successful campaign.

 

BOW-DRY BONUS

Andy Bullmore has snapped up another grant opportunity this month to give the club an equipment bonus through the acquisition of an additional Bow Dry.

For those who are unfamiliar with this piece of machinery it is basically a sponged roller that collects water into a transportable reservoir, The water can then be carted off the field to speed the drying process. At £762 this is no inexpensive item, so we thank Staffordshire Cricket limited and the England and Wales Cricket Trust for this much appreciated assistance.

Such a facility gives the club a considerable advantage in getting matches on when other clubs are adversely affected by rain. In league competition this could mean stealing a march on rivals by as much as 20 points.

According to Andy further grant applications are in and will soon see more improvements to the club.

ASHCOMBE CLASS DISTINCTION

Endon Thirds vs Ashcombe Park Sunday XI, Jul 6

Ashcombe had the benefit of first-team opener Nick Goodwin on call before ineligibility denies him a place in his club's Sunday outfit. In a close encounter his class eventually made the difference between the two talented sides.

An impressive return to batting form for Mick Dawson allowed him his biggest total for many years (71). Mick and Will Weston (31) saw off Ashcombe's opening bowlers to establish a base for the big-hitting middle order but dismissals, including an unfortunate run out for in-form Brad Hulme, never saw the run rate accellerate to a level that would ensure defeat avoidance. The innings ended with Sam Bullmore looking very promising and also witnessed a short but polished cameo appearance from Endon's 2004 first Team Captain, Darren Dutton, who looked every inch a classy bat. The partnership, with a few extra overs, may have been an extremely productive one.

Some great opening bowling from Tom Nadin ensured a good Endon start in the field and for a time the Ashcombe run rate looked as if Endon would at least contain the visiting batsmen for a winning draw. Brad Hulme's bowling appears to have developed another dimension and was duly rewarded as the Ashcombe reponse progressed. Some excellent fielding work by young Alex Dutton received high praise from both teams and Ben rowley pulled off a tremendous catch running down the canal-side bank. Even a brief rain shower helped the Endon cause. An economical spell from Dave Sheeran conjured further optimism as well as two wickets to add to his season's tally. However, the introduction of Nick Goodwin, fresh from an opener's 41 yesterday in NSSCL Div One, proved too much for Endon's bowling capability and, alongside his captain, Jonny Chambers chased down the Endon total.

SHONE SHINES ON GLOOMY U-17 PERFORMANCE

Meakins U-17s vs Endon U-17s

Cairan Shone and Brad Spooner's partnership sparkled against an otherwise dismal day for the U-17s

Meakins' arrangements meant that an Endon team once again struggled at Kinnersley Road, a ground fast becoming jinxed for Post-Laners. The transferred match saw the worst U-17 performance for many years and left supporters even more miserable than when they discovered there was no breakfast to be had in the Kidsgrove clubhouse.

A bowler's wicket and some, at times, ill-considered batting, allowed Meakin's strike bowlers to dismiss the the young Endon side for 49 runs - a final score that could have been considerably worse had Cairan Shone not come to the crease to show his senior players how it was done. Ably supported by Brad Spooner, Cairan once again showed his credentials as a potentially great opener. It is rare to see a thirteen-year-old abort shots and leave the ball alone with such astuteness. Cairan greatly impressed his captain with this mature performance who suggested that it may not be long before this talented Denstone boy will be facing the first ball for his team in a senior Kidsgrove League match.

 

Will Weston accepting the applause for a great batting performance but recognising that his innings would not be enough to take the U-17s through to the semi-finals of the KL Cup, Will's 63 is the highest individual score in an U-17 cup match and his four sixes also set a record.

VALIANT IN DEFEAT

U-17s break nine club records but still lose to a strong Hem Heath outfit in the cup quarter-finals

Endon vs Hem Heath Cup QF

A superb batting performance from Hem Heath's top order and some early dropped catches from Endon allowed Hem Heath a massive opening total of 189 off their twenty overs. Small margins make huge differences and giving Hem Heath's batsmen second chances was always going to lead to severe punishment. Nonetheless, some potentially powerful batting in the Endon line-up did not mean that the game was over before the home team faced a single ball.

A promising early partnership between Will Weston and Sam Bullmore kept the hunt alive ready for the big-hitters to make a move toward two-hundred runs. After Sam was caught chasing the rate Endon's middle order struggled to make their mark alongside their captain's unfamiliar run rate. Four sixes from Will, one to the longest boundary, continued to keep his team's ambition alive but eventually his foray into unfamiliar territory saw him attempt one big shot too many and leave the square with an impressive 63. When Joe Butler then opened his shoulders to send a one bounce boomer to the Post Lane sight screen he was caught by Hem Heath's man of the match, Zeph Hunte, who possesses perhaps the safest pair of hands of any junior in the county. Endon's challenge then faded.

 

Danny Bourne making a rare appearance away from the golf course. But for three dropped catches off Danny's bowling the night's result may have been very different

The young team ended up with 140 runs, a cup record for an Endon U-17 team. The valiant attempt also had other benefits. The young players in the team can take this experience away with them to add value to their future attempts to win this competition.

Week Eleven: A great week for Endon Juniors as the U-13s bring home the Dave Kettle Trophy

JODRELL UPS THE ANTE AS SECONDS IMPRESS AGAIN

Endon Seconds vs Ashcombe Park Seconds, 28 Jun

Steve Jodrell, adding more shine to the Seconds glittering season

Steve Jodrell returned to the Second Team ranks today and immediately set about consolidating his usual place at the top of the averages with four wickets and an unbeaten 22.

Four further wickets from Matt Gidman ensured a relatively small total for the Ashcombe Park visitors with Will Johnson-Vaughan offering the most resistance to the unwavering Endon bowling attack.

A superb unbeaten 84 in just 86 balls from Andy Hopwood saw Endon surpass the Ashcombe total in the thirty-ninth over. It is now traditional that Andy comes into form at this time of the season to offer yet another boon to the high-flying side.

The Seconds are still chasing a strong Newcastle side but both teams continue to move away from the chasing pack.

WORK BEGINS

Work begins on the artificial pitch this Thursday. The surface is designed as both a practice facility and an all-weather track.

Completion will take place at the end of the season when the main field will be extended and the soil used to level the upper field to provide a high quality field of play.

 

 

A STEP BACK TO TAKE A STEP FORWARD

Kidsgrove vs Endon, 28 Jun

Three wickets for George Sellers at Kidsgrove

Kidsgrove's unusually square field left Endon feeling like a round peg on Saturday evening as they left the Kinnersley Ground. This was a strange day and undoubtedly the young team's worst performance and lowest points haul of the season. The defeat, however, presents Alex Bailey's team with an important opportunity to learn the importance of regrouping and bouncing back. Division Two is looking a truly tight affair this season that will see all teams suffer set-backs. The better teams will be those who can recover most quickly from adversity.

A 138 partnership from Rob Hagan and Tom Lench and superb opening bowling sessions from  Richard Hagan and last year's Bagnall professional, Asif Ahmed Khan could not find an equal response from Endon's line-up.

There was resilience and fortitude as Endon eventually responded to Kidgrove's 198 with a gutsy partnership from Ant Sheeran and Gaz Rigby but defeat always looked the most likely outcome on an untypical Endon away day.

LEARNING LESSONS AT SANDYFORD

Sandyford Thirds vs Endon Thirds, 29 Jun

Will Weston, 55 at Sandyford on Sunday

Andy Hopwood fielded one of his youngest teams to date to take on Sandyford in Div One of the Stone League giving the club's youngsters the opportunity to see adult cricket close up at the earliest possible opportunity.

U-17s' captain, Will Weston, hit a fifty and with further runs from Alex Gilson (44) the Endon batting ended up on 153 to give the bowler's some leeway later in the afternoon. The total would, however, prove ineffectual, as Endon bowlers failed to stem the run flow from Sandyford's more seasoned batsmen. Matt Gidman blamed the bowling failure on the fabulous Sandyford tea and, actually, he may have had a point.

Sam Plant received some plaudits from the Sandyford batsmen who were surprised to hear that he is primarily a batsman and that he is still only 13. Keep turning that ball Sam!

A worry for the U-17s Quater-final against Hem Heath on Tuesday night was the withdrawal of Will Weston from the bowling attack with a shoulder problem but the further experience given to Brad Spooner, George Mellor and Joe Browning will help Endon's juniors to perform better as the range of teams continue to establish Endon's nursery reputation and make them better equipped to take on the higher quality junior outfits.

The team was ecstatic to see Brad Hulme turn up after his illness scare and we all hope to see him back in action as soon as possible.

 

THIRTEEN-O-TASTIC

Endon Cricket club celebrated a great junior cup victory at Post Lane on Thursday when the Under-Thirteen side won the Dave Kettle Trophy by seeing off a spirited challenge from Checkley. Manager, Keith Mellor, had been confident that his team would bring home some silverware this season and was over the moon with the way the his super-eight all contributed in realising his prediction.

Sam Plant, Joe Browning, Cairan Shone, Grace Bambury, Josh Shaw, James Blainey, Alex Dutton and Finlay Dermott pictured below celebrating their cup victory against Checkley

Week Ten: The momentum continues as we approach the mid-season mark

SECONDS EDGING CLEAR

OF THE PACK

Alsager Seconds vs Endon Seconds, Jun 21

Matt Gidman, back on the wicket-taking trail this weekend

Seconds gained yet another victory to narrow the gap between themselves and league leaders Newcastle and Hartshill as both promotion-intent sides opened up a points buffer against the chasing pack.

Alsager are yet to publish details of the match but by all accounts the victory stemmed from a broad team performance with wickets this week escaping the total grasp of Mick Dawson and Thom Bateman, allowing Matt Gidman to pick up a three-for on the day.

Another elegant innings from the developing bat of Brad Hulme dominated the Endon scorecard but Thommy Bateman's highest score of the season (18*) brought home another twenty points to leave the team just ten points off top spot in the league.

 

UNDER-17s BREEZE PAST BURSLEM

Burslem U-17s vs Endon u-17s

The Under-17s visited lowly Burslem this Sunday morning without their captain Will Weston and delivered a comfortable victory to move the young side up the table.

A defiant innings from Burslem captain Ben Shaw falling to Brad Spooner two short of a fifty made the match competitive but a total of 114 was always going to be difficult to defend against Endon's batting force. Six fours from thirteen-year-old Sam Plant established a quick scoring platform for Sam Bullmore and Ben Rowley to see the visitors over the line by the eighteenth over.

Sam Plant, 39 against Burslem on Sunday

POINTS VICTORY OVER ALSAGER

Endon vs Alsager, Jun 21

A big hit from Alex Gilson as he brings home important runs at the back end of Endon's batting effort against Alsager on Saturday

Visitors, Alsager, arrived at Post Lane off the back of an impressive and successful 250+ run chase at Caverswall last Saturday. Batting first, Alex Bailey and his side would have been accutely aware that the run potential of in-form Aussie pro, Jack Hill, would have to be countered. A substantial total to ensure breathing space for his bowlers would be necessary if the afternoon were to offer prizes for Div Two's current leaders - and so it proved.

Top order contributions were never match winning but turned the scoreboard over at a competitive rate. A solid 39 from Tom Latham was Endon's top score but 20+s down the order eventually pushed the score past the 200 mark.

Ed Bateman, still settling to his Endon homecoming, looked comfortable futher down the order before falling on 26 to a great catch from Stewart Pirie . 157 for seven wickets meant that the team's comfort zone would rely on the remaining batsmen performing well and a great partnership between Alex Gilson and Gaz Rigby propagated another sixty runs before Alex was run out trying to maximise his key innings. Gaz Rigby finished on 33 not out, confirming him as one of the league's most effective tail-enders.

Once again Endon's bowling offensive would face a dominating innings from an opposing professional whose dismissal would almost certainly determine the outcome of the match. Jack Hill did not disappoint his employer and, closing in on his first century of the season, looked like a match winner before Endon's bowling talisman, Ant Sheeran, ended his growing tally on 91 and reduced Alsager's ambition from attack to containment.

The match ended with Endon requiring just two more wickets for a maximum points victory but having to settle for the spoils of a winning draw to defend their lead at the top of the table.

Ed Bateman, looking comfortable and confident against Alsager at Post Lane this Saturday

HOPWOOD TAKES THIRDS TO THE TOP

Endon Thirds vs Newcastle Thirds

A Captain's innings from Andy Hopwood delivers a vital fifty runs as Thirds take the initiative in Div One of the Stone League

Despite a surprisingly frail batting performance from the Thirds this Sunday the bowling depth of the team was able to hunt down Newcastle's response to gain an, at times, unlikely maximum points victory.

Micky Dawson, drawing back the years, opened the batting and, after surviving a very loud and erroneous"nick appeal" went on to establish a confident looking innings before getting a less than convincing lbw decision. With Mick's experience gone from the square the large contingent of junior players looked to score too quickly and fell to some sucker punches from an experienced Newcastle attack led by Adam Bunting.

The situation demanded an equally experienced response and in stepped captain, Andy Hopwood, to bring his kind of stability to the crease which involved dismissing any vaguely bad ball to the boundary and putting much needed runs on the board. Wickets continued to fall at the other end before Matt Gidman brought a more conventional calmness to the proceedings and, after his captain eventually mistimed a big hit, guided the young Bradley Spooner to his first senior double-figure score to assist a vital tail-end effort. Andy Hopwood should be delighted with own highly entertaining performance but will be disappointed that his young side only managed to bat for thirty of the forty-five allotted overs.

As the hot afternoon wore on Newcastle, now with fifty-four overs to chase down just 145 runs, must have been optimistic about their chances and, for a while looked to be on top of the task. However, the Endon bowling depth once again ended up dominating the Stone League standard and a trickle of wickets eventually became a torrent giving the home side a victory in the thirtieth over. Tommy Nadin's 3 for 15 was perhaps the key performance for its destruction of the vistor's middle order.

To win, eventually convincingly, after a relatively mediorce performance and, by doing so, taking top spot in the division must bode well for the team's promotion chances.

Brad Spooner hitting one of two elegant fours to wag the Endon tail against Newcastle on Sunday

Week NIne: All senior teams riding high and super cup successes for junior teams

BLESSED BE THE BOWLING BOON

Seconds vs Leycett Seconds, Jun 14

Alex Gilson dominated the Leycett bowling in a comfortable Seconds victory at Post Lane

Yet another victory off the back of a wonderful bowling performance confirmed Endon as the league's most accomplished fielding side. The Bateman Dawson combination once again demolished the opposition's hopes of a competitive total, dismissing Leycett for just 110 runs. There was a brief opportunity this week to afford opportunity to other bowlers and Tommy Nadin's 39 balls produced two wickets for just 7 runs. And with Steve Jodrell taking a wicket in just a single over the side once again flagged up its bowling depth.

The Endon reply was dominated by Alex Gilson's not out 39. Alex in partnership with Steve Jodrell surpassed the Leycett total at the end of the eighteenth over to further establish the side in a promotion place.

DERMOTT FIFTY ENSURES POINTS FOR U-17s

Endon U-17s vs Norton U-17s

Callum Dermott acknowledging applause from the clubhouse as he knocks his first 50 of the season

Yet another wet morning put paid to a full sixty-over match leaving the under-17s with little chance of securing a full points victory from batting first in a reduced twenty overs per side match.

An impressive 145 runs from the Endon batting included a well-struck 57 for Callum Dermott. The runs total was always going to be too much for Norton and twenty overs was never going to be enough for Endon's bowlers to demolish the visitor's defensive posture.

SUPER-KIDS PULL U-17s THROUGH TO QUARTER-FINALS

Rode Park U-17s vs Endon U-17s (Cup)

Ciaran Shone, Finlay Dermott and Joe Browning. The heroes of Rode Park

With Endon's older juniors mostly tied to a burdensome week of exams the under-17s were left short of personnel for this away cup tie. Other availability issues left Will Weston as the only senior player but he was able to recruit Dan Bourne from the golf course relying on Endon's county golfer to make use of his natural assets and rekindle his former cricketing form. He would not disappoint. Four other players were U-13s and one those was unavoidably late in joining the eight players who had taken to the field at the start of the match.

A magnificant catch from Robbie Jones, our Port Vale youth goalkeeper, sent danger man, Luke Richards back to the pavilion with no runs and set fair for a brilliant fielding display led by captain Will Weston, with a catch and two run outs. Of more significance, however, was the presence of thirteen-year-old Finlay "the fearless" Dermot who put on the keeper's gloves and put on an outstanding display that showed both discipline and flair. Some further great fielding work and tight bowling left Rode Park on just 83 runs after their twenty overs - normally a comfortable target for an Endon side with experienced batsmen but a challenging target for such a young side with two players short.

Early cheap dismissals left Will Weston to roll back the years and anchor a partnership with his his old upper-order buddy Dan Bourne. For a while the pairing looked as if it might take the depleted visitors over the line as Dan started to swing the bat, make some lavish strokes and move the score along to a place where victory did not rely on overs but on the protection of wickets. Dan will have been disappointed not to have made a fifty on the day but the rust set in and he risked a spinning ball directly in front of his stumps, leaving the square feeling deprived but with 24 very valuable runs.

With Will Weston still occupying the crease after further dismissals the target still looked comfortable but when he fell to the same spinner, round his legs, he was as surprised as the Endon support was now anxious. With just two wickets left and twenty odd runs to coerce out of an attacking field, the situation favoured the home side. Finlay Dermott, now accompanied by Cairan Shone made sure that the momentum of scoring was maintained by pressurising the bowling side into leaking precious extras in an attempt to take the remaining wickets. Fin's fall left Endon with a final partnership of Cairan and Joe Browning and both sets of supporters chewing their nails and gritting their teeth as Rode increased their efforts and, ironically, the number of mistakes they were making. A fabulous cover drive from Joe rocketed to the boundary and the Endon contingent sprung to their feet in relief and celebration to enjoy a remarkable victory.

When matches are as fraught and as close as this it is easy to feel for the losing side especially when Rode had been so accommodating by starting the match a little late to help us to conjure our ninth man. We wish them all the best in their season and they may take some solace in hosting such a great and memorable match.

FIRSTS LOSE BY JUST INCHES

Leycett vs Endon, Jun 14

Jack Bourne's inimitable bowling style is giving Alex Bailey something a "little different" to add to his bowling options. Two wickets for Jack at Leycett this Saturday

The soon to be extended Leycett clubhouse, festooned with the cross of St.George, appeared more prepared for the midnight broadcast from Manaus than a NSSC Div. 2 fixture but a growing number of spectators, readying themselves for the agonies and ecstasies of an England World Cup match, became increasingly interested in the tense Saturday afternoon contest that would develop on the field in front of them.


Endon, batting first, with an opening combination of Ed Bateman and George Sellers, accumulated runs at a rate inhibited by a slow and rutted outfield. Seeing off the new ball, to allow scope for Endon’s in-form and big-hitting middle order to express themselves later in the game has often been a feature of the team’s, thus far, successful season. Jordan Weaver, for a while put this strategy into place with an explosive 30 runs and Alex Bailey, looking to pick up where he left off in his T/20 annihilation of Leycett’s bowling just a few weeks ago, hammered a six, towards the miner’s terraces on Leycett Lane and declared his intention. Chanaka Wijesinghe, Leycett’s Sri Lankan professional, had learned lessons from the season’s previous encounter and when the Endon captain was caught on the boundary, from the same shot, he left the square contemplating entrapment. With just 137 on the board a disappointed captain must have been pleased by the team’s last wicket partnership that saw Dan Bailey and Will Weston put on 34 runs. Dan’s two sixes in the final over were great to watch and hopefully signify a return to form for Endon’s importantly tenacious tail-ender.


The innings ended better than expected on 171 but would have still been a disappointment for the visitors with the middle order faltering and George Sellers, although taking the lion’s share of the runs, just falling short of his first league fifty of the season.


The match would now rely on getting the talented and prolific Chanaka Wijesinghe out before establishing a winning innings. After already taking five wickets for the home team, sixty-four runs from just sixty balls from the pro would ultimately produce a home victory but in falling to George Sellers when he tried to force the pace, Endon’s fear that their run total was insufficient against Leycett’s dominating player, was suddenly overcome by optimism. The hunt was on and an impressive session from Jack Bourne, looking more and more like the “something different” option for Alex Bailey, whittled down the Leycett batting order. Jack’s spell was missed by his family support who left early to see a sixty-nine-year-old Rod Stewart perform at the Britannia Stadium but the Bourne family look as if they will be treated to further good performances from their younger star as the season progresses.


When the ninth wicket fell, the umpire received a long look of disdain from a very disgruntled batsman who trudged back to an anxious, now cricket-besotted clubhouse, fearing that a near cetain victory could well dissipate into the dampening air. With the match tied and five balls remaining from strike bowler Gaz Rigby, the home side were looking desperate and, in that desperation, made a dash for the elusive single. A run out was avoided by just a few inches and the home side had their victory, leaving Endon to ponder their batting performance and, with rivals also failing to win, missing an opportunity to re-open a significant gap at the top of the table.

UNDER-13s IN CUP FINAL

Blythe U-13s vs Endon u-13s (Cup)

Some of the U-13s side on duty in tonight's fantastic semi-final victory at Blythe

The bitter pill of Monday's match agasinst Oakamoor was swallowed and forgotten tonight as Endon's fabulous U-13 squad pulled out a brilliant victory against a very talented Blythe side to set up a home final against ?

Both teams had their star performers and for Endon, 20 runs and 2 wickets from Cairan Shone, was a key performance. However, an examination of the scorecard will quickly identify that the difference between the two sides was the depth within each team. All of Endon's players made a positive contribution. James Blainey, for example, bowled two overs for just two runs and batted without losing his wicket. That performance could be seen as the difference between the two sides but then so could everyone else's performance. This is a team going places because when one player doesn't perform well another can make up for it and when they fire on all cylinders they are awesome.

A great night for James Blainey in the Blythe cup match

Another great performance from Finlay Dermott. Two overs for just two runs and a wicket plus 17 unbeaten runs with the bat

BOWLING STRENGTH GIVING THIRDS THE EDGE

Fenton vs Endon Thirds

Brad Hulme on his way to another stylish fifty as Thirds dominate at Fenton

Being able to draw on the experience and talent of Micky Dawson and Matt Gidman is giving Endon's Stone League team a massive bowling advantage within the playing standard of the division they continue to ascend. Further economy and potency with the ball is available from the equally seasoned hand of Dave Sheeran and the youthful potential of an array of junior talent. Will Weston's six overs for just seven runs was a continuation of recent form that makes him a positive opening option for his captain. In fact, Andy Hopwood was able to use eight different bowlers this afternoon and still bowl out Fenton for less than a hundred runs.

A sumptuous tea made batting difficult for Endon's openers and the reply faltered a little before Brad Hulme's equally sumptuous 56 set up a convincing win for the visitors.

Andy Hopwood will be pleasantly surprised to have found his team lying in the league's second spot come Sunday evening but with so many good players available to the team, Endon appear to have a playing advantage over rival outfits that may yet see the fledgling side gain successive promotions.

GIRLS GIRLS AND MORE GIRLS

Endon hosted the Stoke Schools Kwik cricket Tournament this week

A euphoric Painsley school side get through to the final

Wednesday witnessed the peace of an Endon cricket club weekday being shattered when over eighty year-eight girls turned up to play in the School's Kwik cricket tounament. The eight teams produced a great competive event full of enthusiasm, effort and sporting behaviour. The club vibrated with colour and squeals of delight as Painsley progressed to a final with Blythe, the eventual winners.

Richard Adams, the event organiser, was delighted with the success of the tounament, complimenting the club on its hosting and especially on the preparation of the wickets.( another feather for Mr. Rowley)

A year ten tournament is to take place at the club on the 25th June.

An accomplished and sporting effort from Blythe Bridge High School pictured here before the final with Painsley. The girls performed brilliantly to win the tournament . Impeccable behaviour and effort - a credit to their school

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Another wicket for a talented Blythe side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painsley pulling out all the stops

Week Eight: Firsts and Seconds battle against the weather but Thirds win in some sunshine

DELUGE DENIES SECONDS

Newcastle and Hartshill Seconds vs Seconds

Another big haul for Thommy Bateman as he knocks down league leaders Newcastle and Hartshill in Saturday's rain-damaged match.

Matt Gidman continues to have an estranged relationship with the weatherman who is yet to concede any meteorological advantage to Endon's presently luckless captain. The Seconds travelled to Clayton to face Div 2B's league leaders anticipating a thorough test of their ability and but for a destructive afternoon downpour may well have returned to Post Lane with the spoils from this "fifty-pointer".

Endon's Bateman-Dawson bowling attack once again wrought havoc with an opposition's batting line-up. Some good work from Adam Wilton (37) averted a disaster for the home side but once he was sent back through the pavilion's picket fence, the Endon duo tore into the remaining defence. Thom Bateman repeated last week's impressive performance with seven wickets for fifty-two runs in just seventeen overs and was helped by some good fielding on a ground not blessed with the best visibility. .

Matt Gidman clenched a couple of catches including a stratospheric opportunity he instantly regretted calling for. Steve Jodrell also held on to a couple. A further catch from Nath Price, a stumping from Nick Reynolds and, pleasingly, two runouts from Tom Nadin and Joe Hayward completed a good day in a damp field.

In reply Endon's openers faltered a little but chasing a small 97 total looked to be within the line-up's capability before the massing clouds released a torrential downpour to scupper the game. Endon returned home wet and without the points their performance merited but they left Clayton having verified that the 2014 divsion holds nothing insurmountable.

 

THE BATEMAN-GIDMAN RACE IS ON

The Playcricket records are currently showing an inhouse competition developing between Matt Gidman and Thom Bateman to be the first player to take 250 NSSCL wickets for the Second Team. Thom is behind at the moment but the wet weather trend is giving him the momentum over his captain as conditions continue to favour the master of swing.

Thom is currently running second in the Div.2 wicket-takers standing and is on a roll. Conditions may, however, change and restore the advantage to spin but, whatever the case, both players will not be priotising this little competition when there may well be be more important issues at stake as a potentially successful season progresses.

Take a look at the Stats below. Who is your money on?

MEAGRE RETURN FROM GOOD PERFORMANCE

Endon vs Meir Heath Jun 7th, 2014

Jordan Weaver hitting one of seven fours against Meir Heath

The weather switched allegiance this Saturday afternoon as the rampaging showers soaked some locations more than others giving Endon's chasing rivals the advantage of completed matches. Both Oulton and Eccleshall recorded wins to reduce Endon's points buffer at the top of Div. Two. Squeezing as many points as possible from a rain-affected fixture became Alex Bailey's central concern as the afternoon progressed and a result became more and more remote.

A three o'clock start meant that quick runs were a priority as the team's batsmen were first to set themselves on a tricky wicket for the reduced 30 overs per side. An interesting lbw decision saw the Endon captain quickly back in the clubhouse leaving George Sellers and Tom Latham to establish an opening platform. Another controversial decision left George Sellers just short of his first league fifty of the season but his dismissal was too late in stifling the momentum of runs that eventually gave the home side an impressive 163 total.

Jordan Weaver made a a quick forty and looked set to take the Meir Heath bowling apart before a run out left him contemplating a premature demise. Further contributions from Josh Tittensor and Alex Gilson continued to gear the run rate to the match situation.

Meir Heath's response was much less than expected. A full thirty overs would have given Endon the opportunity for victory, however, another downpour spoiled the scenario and hampered some great work from Dan Bailey and Gaz Rigby who were already into the visitors middle order when the offending deluge occurred.

With thirty overs being the minimum requirement for a result Meir Heath's 56 for 5 after 21 overs left both sides with meagre pickings from batting and bowling bonuses. Considering the circumstances, the six points that Endon were able to glean from the damp Post Lane ground were as much as anyone could have hoped for and may yet prove decisive in a tight race for the division's top spots.

Alex Bailey will also be pleased with his bowling attack. Star man, Ant Sheeran, was on family duty this weekend, giving Endon's other front line bowler's a chance to glint under the rain-laden sky.

 

George Sellers on his way to an imprressive 40 runs for the Firsts this Saturday

SUNDAY SUNSHINE FOR THIRDS

Thirds vs JG Meakins Sunday Firsts, 8th Jun

Andy Hopwood working hard behind the stumps to ensure victory against Meakins

A surprise swamping storm in the small hours of Sunday morning saturated the Post Lane square and put paid to the under-17s a.m. fixture against Longton. A long morning of sunshine, however, dried the surface sufficiently for the Thirds to get their spikes on and face last year's Premier outfit, Meakins.

The strong opening partnership from Andy Hopwood (60) and Joe Hayward (31), they will be the first to admit, was as much a product of unquestionably bad fielding as it was of batting ambition. It is a long time since Post Lane has seen as many dropped catches as this. When the visiting captain eventually stopped the rot, Meakins' cries of delight were more out of embarrassment than achievement for something that was surely more akin to a consolation goal.

The wicket was sticky so anything over a 160 was going to be a competitive score. A middle order collapse reduced the run rate but introduced seventeen-year-old opener, Will Weston, to the challenging track with an unfamiliar role to perform. Yet another dropped catch allowed the U-17s captain to cease playing over-ambitious shots and look to his normal repertoire to find boundaries which he proceeded to do with some elegant looking strokes. Returning to the over-ambition he attempted a six back over the bowler's head and fell to the rarity of a safe pair of Meakins' hands. Matt Gidman then steadied the ship a little more to allow Andy Hopwood a 199 runs to plan his eventual capture of 25 points.

Will Weston opened the bowling under the seasoned, guiding eye of Matt Dawson and rekindled his U-17 form as a frugal opening bowler by conceding just five runs in his seven over allotment, including five maidens. Pressure at one end was matched by temption and guile at the other as Sam Plant, still just thirteen, took advantage of a spinner's wicket and his captain's faith in his ability, to take three wickets. The day for junior bowlers was further augmented by the introduction of Joe Browning, also just thirteen, to bowl his first senior over which, to everyone's delight, also included his first senior wicket. His victim returned to the clubhouse declaring the ball to have been a "jaffa". We suspect that Joe will be be bowling a lot more "juicy" deliveries as the years pass and those shoulders start to broaden.

Age also had its day as Matt Gidman was brought on to mop up the tail end with a very impressive 3 wickets for just four runs. Meakins only managed 87 runs in 34 perilous overs but Andy Hopwood will be aware that but for the buttered hands of Meakins' fieldsmen, this would have been a much harder-fought affair.

U-13s teammates, Joe Browning and Sam Plant, looking relaxed before taking some star turns in the Thirds bowling assault on Meakins

Stats taken from Playcricket on June 9th 2014 showing the current wicket-taking records for Endon Seconds

Week Seven: Another victorious Saturday and a fantastic cliffhanger at Weston

BATEMAN GUNS A BLAZIN' IN WESTON SLAUGHTER

Seconds vs Weston Seconds, May 31, 2014

Thommy Bateman taking his applause for a devastating six-shooting display

Warm air and white cloud rolled in from the south to end a week of miserable May climate for this top of the table confrontation. Having lost the in-form Steve Jodrell to a golden beach in Dubai, the return of Alex Gilson and Will Weston re-strengthened Endon’s Seconds looking to reassert themselves at the top end of the table.


Winning the toss, Matt Gidman  assumed a no risk posture and put the visitors into bat to give his ascendant team every chance of twenty points. Mickey Dawson wasted no time in knocking over the stumps of the Weston opener from just his third ball and with Thommy Bateman looking dangerous at the Post Lane End the captain’s tactic looked spot on for the day. Weston’s other opener, Tom Matthews, strangely  aggressive in the opening overs, chanced his arm with a degree of success and after being dropped at deep point, started to find the boundary. Both Endon bowlers had to contend with a little punishment but both feasted their eyes on a swinging gungho bat. The dismissal of Matthews by Thom Bateman heralded the beginning of a ferocious skittling exercise by Endon’s two most seasoned bowlers, reducing Weston to 62 all out in just 17   overs. This was the second lowest total recorded by a second team against Endon at Post Lane in the recorded history of the club.


The reply was relatively stress free with Will Weston (22) and Matt Gidman (36) knocking off the total in a careful fifteen overs. Matt Gidman will have been pleased to have seen his team restoring their momentum toward the top of the table but will still be suffering from losing important points to the rain this month when his rivals were able to record victories.

The first of two great slip catches for Brad Hulme against Weston

AL'S NOT QUIET ON THE WESTON FRONT

Weston vs Endon, May 2014

A battle won but a war yet to win.

The whoops of Endon joy, relief, celebration, and last-expended energy rang out far across the Shropshire border this evening. Alex Bailey's in-form side produced a last-ball victory at promotion rivals, Weston, and vaulted to a 28 point lead in the NSSC Division Two.

An impressive team batting-performance, headed by Tom Latham (36), witnessed a healthy spread of contribution to give a very competitive declared total of 210. A tail-wagging flurry from the irrepressible Adeel Khalid (20) would prove to be the game's key innings as Weston, to their enormous credit, set about chasing the target.

Endon's elite players would return to Post Lane for the Froch-Groves fight declaring that this was the tensest, most nail-biting and exciting match of their cricketing lives - pugilism with leather and willow. A combination of unbearable pressure on the home side's tail-end and the bowling prowess of Ant Sheeran eventually ended the Weston challenge as the last set of stumps was demolished by the game's final ball. Weston were tantilisingly just three runs short of victory.

Ant Sheeran went home with his fourth five-wicket haul of the season and currently stands proud at the top of the league's wicket-taking standings with thirty dismissals to his name.

With the season still very young and many more tough challenges to come including a home match against Meir Heath next week, Alex Bailey will be flinching at any mention of promotion. However, in such a fiercely tight and competitive division, other captains will be greatly envious of Endon's points buffer and the pole position the team now occupies.

SEVENTEENS OUTCLASSED BY BIG-HITTING BANKS

Without Debyshire Academy bat, George Sellers and strike bowler Joe Butler, facing a strong Hem Heath "A" team was always going to be a daunting task especially with Warwickshire's, tipped-for-England, Liam Banks making a rare junior team appearance. The Silverdale junior product, already having broken NSSCL Premier League records as the youngest batsman ever to to record a top flight century, looked composed as he set out to respond to a relatively weak 103 total from Endon's batting line up. That total would have been considerably weaker without an awesome display from thirteen-year-old, Finlay "the fearless" Dermott, throwing circumspection to the wind and hittng four very convincing boundaries to wag the Endon tail.

Will Weston once again turned in an impressively economical bowling shift to lengthen the run chase for the visiting side but Endon's more junior bowlers would not have seen power hitting like this before with Banks launching sixes toward the Post Bridge and damaging some bowling averages with seventy odd runs in just a few overs.

The U-17s side need to regroup after this set back and look forward to what could still yet be a successful season for them. There are still plenty of matches to win and a cup run to establish.

Finlay Dermott enjoying the applause for wagging the Endon tail against Hem Heath A

JOSH REYNOLDS IN THE COUNTY UNDER-TENS

Josh Reynolds selected to the U-10s County squad this week

The natural bowling talent of Endon's Josh Reynolds was enough to convince Staffordshire coaches to promote him from the North Staffs District side to the full county squad. Josh was clearly excited to receive such swift promotion and is looking forward to a summer of developing his skills with Endon's coaching team and working hard in the county set up.

Josh is one of a growing number of juniors who are finding their way through to representative honours and flying the Endon flag. All juniors should be aware that promotion to district and county sides can take place in any year because young people develop at different ages. Working hard is the best route to improvement.

We wish Josh, and indeed all the other representative players, the best of luck for the coming summer programmes.

HULME HUNDRED NOT ENOUGH FOR THIRDS

Endon Thirds vs Checkley Thirds

A century is no problem for Brad Hulme but tying his shoe laces .............?

Brad Hulme scored his second Stone League century this afternoon with a range of stylish shots dissecting the boundary on all sides of the Post Lane ground. The eighteen-year-old dominated the Checkley bowling to give the home side a combative 200+ total.

Checkley's response was as strong as it was positive and it soon became clear that this was to be a tight, nip and tuck affair. By the end of the afternoon Andy Hopwood would be rueing some missed catching opportunities as Checkley, to their great credit, just managed to stagger over the line in the last over and with their last men, a little ragged, but still standing.

The afternoon, despite this narrow loss, held many bonuses for the captain of Endon's development XI. Sam Plant's batting potential showed itself in a stylish innings and was capped by two confident long square leg catches. Not an easy task from Post Lane's notorious sloping boundary for the promising thirteen-year old. Catch of the day, however, went to Sam Bullmore whose massively improved athleticism is allowing the sixteen-year-old the scope to excel in all areas of the game as the summer progresses.

Perhaps the best news from the match, however, was the fact that Andy Hopwood had, at his disposal, thirty-five players to chose from for selection. A headache for Andy but a feel-good factor for the club.

Week Six: Magnificent weekend for Alex Bailey as Firsts go clear at top of Div 2 and he creates new T/20 record

BAILEY STORMS AHEAD OF THE RAIN

A T/TWELVE TO REMEMBER

UNDER-NINES TAKE SECOND SPOT AT THE PORTHILL TOURNAMENT

Endon vs Norton, May 24th 2014

As the Seconds arrived back at Post Lane from a very damp and dismal Betley, imagine their surprise to find that a Moorland weather window had opened up for First team play. Umpire, Dave Yeats, much to his credit, had persisted with optimism and he and a growing number of afternoon spectators were rewarded with some spectacular cricket and a wonderful performance from Endon captain, Alex Bailey.


The match, reduced to 29 overs per side, found Norton initially wanting as they went into bat to face the economy and danger of a recently rampant Anthony Sheeran. Four more wickets on this rain-soaked Saturday placed the Endon spinner in second spot amongst the NSSCL’s wicket-takers and gave the home side an early advantage. However, Norton’s Liam Williams came to the crease to bring hope to the visiting spectators. In a frenzy of big-hitting the Norton number six batsmen blasted 7 sixes around the ground, hitting a rapid 55 in just 26 balls. As the home side returned to the dressing room to contemplate their response, the Norton score of 159 must have appeared as looming as the strange easterly weather system that had seen most of the day’s league programme abandoned. But here was an opportunity to steal a march on the rest of the division. 150 runs would give the home side twenty points and a buffer at the top of the table. Cometh the hour cometh the man.


Alex Bailey and George Sellers, in a considered but still aggressive opening partnership of 107, set the platform for a run chase against incoming weather as well as Norton’s impressive total. George’s dismissal on 47 brought Jordan Weaver to the crease to give Endon its biggest-hitting partnership and both players whittled down the total at an awesome rate, bringing the game to a successful close by the 21st over.


A jubilant home dressing room recognised a fantastic captain’s performance, 78 not out, and the significance of twenty points on a desolate day for their rivals. Within ten minutes of the match’s conclusion the heaven’s once again opened. This was a day of brilliance and good fortune. May it  long continue.

 

Endon vs Leycett May 25th 2014,

Hem Heath vs Endon, May 25th 2014

The damp and cold of an unseasonably bleak May Sunday morning did little for the warehouse outlook of Hem Heath’s yet-to-mature landscape. Through the drizzle the sounds of gruff, throaty football coaches, and the whir and whine of Stoke Academy’s ventilation system, pervaded the cricket club’s car park. A few visitors, daring to place their vehicles in the line of T/Twenty fire looked out on a ground of puddles and groups of feeding nestlings. A conventicle brought seven magpies together and a sense of foreboding that this day would surely be a story never to be told emanated from either side of the shortened boundary rope. Four hours of sponging, pitch inspection and occasional glimpses of sunshine eventually witnessed stumps up at one’o’clock and, the announcement that the day’s entertainment would be a T/Twelve, relieved the growing claustrophobia of Hem Heath’s otherwise voluminous clubhouse.


Twelve action-packed overs later, Endon’s entourage had forgotten the damp morning boredom and had witnessed nine sixes (a club record) from their in-form captain, Alex Bailey, and four from the ever-prolific Jordan Weaver, with an amazing amassed total of 158 runs against Div 2 rivals Leycett. The club’s previous best, 147 against Crewe, occurred in the famous cup run in 2011, but that was in twenty overs not just 72+ balls. Alex’s 83 runs from just 33 deliveries must rate as one of Endon’s greatest performances with the bat.


Leycett had no choice but throw caution to a still moist breeze and set up catch of the season so far from Dan Bailey. Running backwards at pace Dan's balletically rotated arm, precisely co--ordinated with the trajectory of a mistimed six to produce a dismissal that was as elegant as it was athletic and was duly rewarded with a gasp from the growing crowd of spectators. However, professional Chanaka Wijesinghe gave the bowling side something to think about with an elegant 75 before the inimitable style of fledgling first-team bowler, Jack Bourne, removed his off stump. With the demise of Leycett’s star player the run rate dropped and the Endon total become more and more remote. The new yellow and black strip of Endon’s upbeat side would be seen in a deciding encounter with their premiership hosts.


The presence of Pakistani international and T/Twenty specialist, Abdul Razzaq, was always going to make giant-killing difficult but Tom Latham hit a four and a six in the opening overs before wickets began to tumble. After seven overs the rain returned but fell heavily on an already wet track before the covers tardily came on to protect something of a lost cause. The late afternoon sky cleared but within a few balls of returning to bat, Josh Tittensor fell heavily on a greasy surface, accentuating injury concerns for Alex Bailey, already anxious about a Gaz Rigby knee problem from the earlier match.


As the innings finished the Endon captain entered into a discussion with the umpires to abandon the match on safety grounds but with no consensus he made a decision to concede the challenge. With Endon riding high in Div. 2, minimising the risk of injury to a precious bowling attack was a decision that suggests that Endon has a captain as shrewd as he is talented.  This truly was Alex Bailey's "big weekend".

Great performances from nine of Endon's youngest members gave them their first taste of cricket silverware as they left Wolstanton Marsh with the Runners-up trophy.

Porthill Park set up a great day of kwik cricket to support the Jack Hulson Memorial Fund that gave opportunity for developing youngsters to gain familiarity with the game.

Will Weston and George Sellers, coaches on the day for over six hours of mentoring, scoring and umpiring, were impressed by an attentive and well-behaved crew who did credit to their club. Parents and spectators could see obvious improvements as the day progressed.

Some further work in the next couple of months should give Endon a well-prepared and talented squad for the big Endon Under-Nines tournament on the August Bank Holiday Monday. Watch this space.

UNDER-ELEVENS VICTORY OVER KIDSGROVE

Endon U-11s vs Kidsgrove U-11s, 26th May

More pleasing news from Endon's younger section came on Monday night when the Under-11s produced an outstanding 40 run victory over Kidsgrove.

Some awesome batting from Luke Redford (20*) and Jack Boulton (17*) allowed the team to take advantage of a superb across the board bowling performance.

Week Five: Sheeran excels again and Nadin sets another record

SECONDS STALL AGAINST BIGNALL END

Seconds vs Bignal End, May 17th 2014

Steve Jodrell cuts loose as he quick-fires 53 against Bignall End

The Seconds could be forgiven for assuming a placid Post Lane track. It certainly appeared that way as the home team looked forward to batting first on this still and sun-baked Saturday afternoon. The ball, as if defying the warmth kept low and the home side's array of big-hitters, one-by-one, failed to make their mark on a slow turning scoreboard.

The timely introduction of Steve Jodrell buoyed an otherwise poor batting performance with a range of glorious shots across the passing cars on Post Lane. A quick and entertaining 53 saw the home side's score fizz up to a respectable 163 but the common suspicion that this was to be twenty runs too short eventually proved to be the case.

Despite the paucity of runs, Endon's bowling depth gave Matt Gidman plenty of options to demolish a Bignall End response that could rely on plenty of time to eke out a victory. Wickets eventually began to tumble but the Endon captain, despite some wonderful economy (seven overs for just 3 runs)from man of the day, Steve Jodrell, had little room to manoeuvre between attack and defence.Nevertheless nine wickets were down with a possibility of a tenth before the visitors laboured their way over the line.

A close thing for Matt Gidman today but he will be rueing those twenty missing runs and a big chance to top the 2B table on Sunday morning.

UNDER-13s MARCH ON

Endon U-13s vs Stone SP U-13s, 14th May 2014

Alex Dutton batting for the U-17s at the weekend after a sensational 4 for 4 bowling performance for the U-13s in the week

The under-thirteens booked their place in to the quarter-finals of the Dave Kettle Cup competition with a superb bowling display at Post Lane. Visitors, Stone SP, must have been shell-shocked by the loss 14 wickets in sixteen overs of powerful junior bowling.

Alex Dutton's 4 for 4 was the stand-out performance amongst some great work from all members of, what is looking to be, a formidable junior team. Watch this space for some more electric performances in cup and league.

SHEER CLASS

Woore vs Endon, May 17th 2014

Yet another big haul for Anthony Sheeran as Firsts dominate at Woore

Across the board batting performances allowed vistors Endon to establish an awesome target for newly-promoted Woore to overhaul. Ed Bateman, opening for the first time this season, dulled the new ball with partner George Sellers (37) to set a strong platform for the visitor's middle order to build a dominating innings.

The resurgent Tom Latham (65) posted his second big score of the season and set the momentum for some rapid scoring efforts from Jordan Weaver (46) and Alex Bailey (47) that disappointed the home spectators on an otherwise beautiful day on the Shropshire border. Alex's spree performance came off just 25 balls and suggests that the number six spot for the Endon captain may well be an optimum arrangement for the team.

Endon's final total of 238 gave the team's bowling line-up a good chance of victory but the Woore pro, Navid-Ul-Khurram Kaleem, would be a major obstacle. Spin turned out to be the weapon of the day and allowed Ant Sheeran to once again record a fantastic bowling effort that included the dangerous Kaleem on 52 and charging. The Woore pro lifted a huge shot to the boundary but instead found the safe, if ever-so-slightly nervous, hands of Josh Tittensor. A 56 from Woore keeper Harry Oliver added substance to the home side's response and importantly protected the lower order for important loss-avoiding overs.

Ant Sheeran, in fabulous form this year would go on to take six more wickets with figures of 7 for 68. Adeel Khalid removed one further batsman by converting to spin to create something a little different but the Woore wall stood solid into a sixty-third and final over to leave the visitors with just a winning draw unable to knock over a resolute tail-end.

This was a promising effort from Endon's elite players and despite losing out on a maximum points score their performance keeps them in second spot in what looks to be a very tight division in 2014.

CLOSE ENCOUNTER FOR UNDER-15s AT KIDSGROVE

The Under-15s are a relatively young outfit this year. With much of the team still only thirteen the side is not expected to excel against older, stronger and more experienced sides. However, last night, the team pushed league leaders, Kidsgrove, very close, almost snatching victory with a great response to the home side's big opening total.

Will Madden, having already performed well for the under-17s at Porthill, posted his biggest ever score (35) and represents a shining example of how focus and dedication can determine improvement.

 

Will Madden at Whitmore earlier in the season

NADE IN HEAVEN

Endon Third Team vs Betley, 18th May, 2014

Tommy Nadin blazes his way to Third Team record score

Endon's opening batsmen found rich pickings in glorious sunshine at Post Lane this afternoon. A record partnership of 153 between Anthony Bedson (80) and Tom Nadin (121) ensured a huge total and an early declaration but not before Phil Rowley knocked off some cobwebs and beasted a few sixes to top up the final total. Tommy Nadin's 121 now stands as a Third Team record and follows his first century from the previous season that helped the then fledgling team to be promoted to Div.1 of the Stone League. Let us hope that a Nadin century is again an omen for success.

A strong Sunday selection meant that Endon's bowlers were just as prolific and made short work of Betley's reply. The win reflects just how resource-rich the player aspect of the club has become in the last year, giving captain, Andy Hopwood, plenty of selection options to suit all purposes.

UNDER-17s GO CLOSE AT PORTHILL

Porthill U-17s vs Endon U-17s, 18th May 2014

Tail-end defiance from George Mellor as U-17s avoid catastrophe at Porthill

Manager, Phil Rowley, rightly claimed this result as "defeat snatched from the jaws of victory". A superb fielding and bowling display limited a strong Porthill side to just 99 runs - not something that will happen very often this season. Some brilliant outfield work from Jack Turnock, running out the Porthill opener, sweeping at speed and taking a great catch, confirmed him as one of the league's best fielders. James Narey also impressed with an athletic catch and some diligent boundary patrol duty.

Wickets were shared amongst the bowlers. Brad Spooner and Sam Plant , fourteen and thirteen repectively, suggested that the bowling future of the side is in safe hands and their accuracy tied up the Porthill middle order once the talented Porthill captain, Danny Hussain, was removed after making 47 of his team's relatively meagre total.

Will Weston must have expected a victory as he set himself to lead the run chase but Porthill's formidable bowling line-up immediately blockaded any idea that runs would be easy to come by. Playing across the line to a very impressive Matt Johnson, wicket-keeper turned fast bowler, quickly put Endon on the back foot as wickets fell cheaply and the Endon captain, too frequently, finding himself welcoming new batsmen to the square.

A cameo 14 from Joe Butler, including a huge six back over the bowler's head, lightened the dour Endon reply but when Will Weston (27) eventually fell to a ball spinning off his foot and rolling to the base of his leg stump, the game changed direction from run chase to wicket protection programme. Making sure that Porthill did not collect a points maximum became a vital objective.

Up stepped heroes of the day, George Mellor, Alex Dutton and Will Madden who, between them, saw off the best Porthill could muster for ten overs and, in the process, hit some morale-boosting boundaries to stem a disappointing but not disastrous Sunday morning for Endon's aspiring youngsters.

Week Four: Rain forces abandonment of most NSSCL league matches

 

RAIN

 

Week Three: Ben Rowley breaks ten-year bowling record for U-17s at Whitmore

WILL WESTON ANCHORS NEAR VICTORY FOR SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs Blythe Seconds, 4 May, 2014

Will Weston building partnerships in Seconds winning draw against Blythe

Endon Seconds came tantalisingly close to completing a trio of maximum point victories but some impressively stubborn resistance from Chris Ball and Mike Worthington defended a final wicket as the clocks chimed an eighth time.

Will Weston (78), returning to his natural habitat, faced the first ball and batted for most of Endon's opening innings, setting up important partnerships with Matt Gidman, Alex Gilson and, most significantly, a tenacious Jim Scarratt (49). Jimmy, not just content to smash a few sixes into the upper field, also made a valliant attempt to put his bat in the same place but, disappointingly, only made it half-way to the boundary.

Endon's seventeen-year-old opener finally succumbed to a stumping off the bowling of the astutely economical Lea "princess" Bolton who stiffled the run rate with some high standard spin work. Bolton, for most years a Blythe first-teamer, restricted Endon's final total to 209 and gave the visitors every chance of an away victory.

Blythe opened with their impressive fourteen-year-old wicket keeper, Jack Hammond, whose nineteen runs against Endon's openers won him much applause, forcing Matt Gidman to put the squeeze on with some spin and tempt the youngster into a catch at square leg.

Adam Prime offered most resistance to Mickey Dawson's usual economical use of the ball but the Blythe middle order collapsed under pressure from Tommy Nadin and Andy Hopwood before a last stone-wall stand denied Endon twenty-five points.

Matt Gidman, without regular players this week, must have been pleased by a performance that keeps the side clear at the top of the table but Blythe must be just as pleased to have prevented Endon flying too high.

Blythe's fourteen-year-old opener, Jack Hammond on his way to 19 runs at Post Lane

TOUGH RIDE AT RODE

Rode Park vs Endon, 4 May, 2014

A tough day at Rode Park saw the Firsts' early season momentum falter on a day when the fate of the team floundered on a some rocky decisions and a few desertions of recent positive form.

Rode Park's batting line up opened an attritional day and met with mixed fortune. Despite substantial knocks from professional, Malinda Thotiwilage (56), Andrew Shaw (52) and Jamie East (49), the home side failed to set a two-hundred plus target. Wickets were evenly spread through Endon's bowling fraternity and Alex Bailey will have been especially pleased with Adeel Khalid's 3 for 23 and Jordan Weaver's 3 for 10, both indicating growing depth in the bowling available to him.

With recent batting form in a buoyant state, a target of 190 must have made a win a distinct possibility but, as we all know, cricket isn't like that, and despite snippets of good form from George Sellers (25) and Jordan Weaver (38), the run chase collapsed to the bowling of Ben East (7 for 36) with the visiting side all out in the forty-second over.

Alex Bailey can look at four ducks on the scorecard and no "big" score as perhaps a blip and the main reason for not taking away twenty points from the encounter. A return to consistency and contribution in the next match will be essential if the side is to continue its ascendancy in the division.

Adeel Khalid Endon CC

Adeel Khalid, injury free and at full tilt for 2014

WELCOME TO OUR NEW JUNIOR PLAYERs

The club was delighted by the number of new juniors who turned up to the club on Friday night to take advantage of the coaching sessions on offer. We are delighted to welcome new juniors on any Friday night to take a look at what goes on before they make a decision to join. Parents can become social members for a nominal fee and take advantage of the club's facilities including a well stocked and competitively priced bar.

U-17s BRUSH ASIDE WHITMORE WITH A ROWLEY RECORD

Whitmore U-17s vs Endon U-17s, May 5. 2014

Ben Rowley spins out Whitmore U-17s with a fabulous 6 for 10, a new record performance.

Sterner tests will await the U-17s this year but all matches need winning and Endon's merciless bowling performance restricted the home side to less than sixty runs to set up a comfortable victory. Captain, Will Weston, continued last season's record economy by giving away just four runs in his five opening overs. Joe Butler also pinned down the Whitmore openers letting the pressure mount. Sam Bullmore, looking very lean and mean in 2014, knocked off the winter cobwebs to take two wickets with some impressive balls but spinner, Ben Rowley, bamboozled and annihilated the Whitmore batting line-up as they became more desperate to put runs on the board. A skillful on-the-move and over-the-shoulder catch from his captain set a wonderful display in motion. Six wickets for just ten runs is the best ever recorded performance for an Endon U-17 bowler beating John Hughes' 6 for 41 at Bagnall in 2004.

The small Whitmore total allowed for some experimentation with the batting line-up to give much needed experience to the team's younger batsmen. James Narey savoured the opportunity and smashed his way to a not out 37 that included a huge six into one of Whitmore's distinctive red-earth fields. Thirteen-year-old Alex Dutton also saw Endon over the line with an impressively mature and technical performance.

James Narey nailing yet another four on his way to ensuring victory at Whitmore

KIDS COME CLOSE AT KIDSGROVE

Kidsgrove Thirds vs Endon Thirds, May 5, 2014

Week Two: Two more maximums for Firsts and Seconds. Record for George Sellers

"DIEHARD" DAWSON AND "ALEX THE CAT" SEE OFF LEEK

Endon Seconds vs Leek Seconds 26th April

Mickey Dawson takes in some breath and lots of applause for a wonderful bowling performance

Mickey Dawson once again drew back the years, ignored the injuries and launched a terrible assault on an unsuspecting batting line-up, hauling in an incredible 8 for 33.

A Seconds' victory over near neighbours Leek, allowed Matt Gidman's strong-looking side to move clear in the Div 2 B table with maximum points after just two matches. The victory was set up by a superb batting performance from Alex Gilson whose puma-like prowls up the wicket allowed him some glorious shots and, but for an off-the-toe catch, may well have seen him add to previous centuries.

As Gilson (76) sleekly delivered runs to the scoreboard well-supported by his captain, Matt Gidman (25) and form-finder, Jim Scarratt (30), the Endon total looked on for 300 plus runs but an unexpected batting collapse in the mid-order meant that the home side would need to bowl themselves to victory.

Mickey Dawson and Thom Bateman were let loose on Leek's batting array, removing all before them by the twentieth over.

Alex Gilson Endon CC 2014

Alex Gilson prowling up the wicket on his way to an elegant 76 against Leek Seconds

LATHAM LETS LOOSE

Tom Latham, 86 at Caverswall

Caverswall vs Endon 26th April 2014

Tom Latham's magnificent ten fours and four sixes against Caverswall did much to set a tough target for the home side. Eighty-six runs in ninety balls is impressive hitting in a league format and confidence-denting for any bowling attack. Endon's batting total also benefitted from a return to form for Jordan Weaver (38). Josh Tittensor (29) continued to look comfortable in the middle order and Ant Sheeran (22), yet again, contributed vital runs. A total of 236 for the visitors was always going to be an imposing target against an improving Endon bowling force.

Ant Sheeran currenty heads up the bowling figures and supplemented last week's stunning performance with another five-for removing most of the home team's tail-guard resistance. Caverswall's openers were knocked down by Dan Bailey and fledgling first-teamer, Jack Bourne, who celebrated the day with two wickets and one of his trademark circus-act catches. Jack has done brilliantly to make his mark amongst Endon's elite as a relatively late starter to the game and will undoubtedly build a reputation as a very special fielder as his career flourishes.

The Firsts second batting-first victory gives them a very healthy fifty points before the beginning of May. With the second team also finding success, the clubhouse is full of smiles and celebratory jugs of Cobra. Here's hoping that these good times continue through the season.

Ant Sheeran's 5 for 27 against Caverswall follows a seven-wicket haul from the Firsts' previous league match.

GEORGE SETS THE STANDARD FOR DERBYSHIRE ACADEMY

George Sellers made a huge stride towards the very highest standard of cricket on Sunday by putting in a record performance for Derbyshire Academy. George, still just sixteen, hit 123 runs in a glorious innings against Derbyshire Premier side, Alvaston and Boulton in a comprehensive victory for the starlet eleven against senior opposition.

George is awaiting verification for what may be a record individual score for any Derbyshire Academy player and his 123, including 12 fours and 2 sixes, has certainly not been beaten on any Playcricket records.

A super day for George was rounded off as he hit the stumps from distance to run out the last man for Alvaston and Boulton, finishing their reply to 269 for 4 with just 67 all out.

Endon's young star will be looking to take this form and confidence into the NSSCL Div. Two arena to give further momentum to his career and also to support his team's wonderful start to the season.

George, seen here representing the county U-17 side against Derbyshire at Repton in 2013 has worked his way to selection for the Derbyshire Academy via the EPP system. A busy summer awaits him and the club wishes him all the best.

Week One: Two maximums for Firsts and Seconds. Matt Gidman on an average of 137

SECONDS BEGIN WITH A WIN

Oakamoor Seconds vs Endon Seconds 19th April

With juniors developing into high quality players and seniors returning to the Endon fold, Matt Gidman has a large and talented squad to choose from this season. Even with some of his squad on duty with the Firsts, his new-season selection powered their way to a maximum points victory away at Oakamoor in their first outing of the new season.

Nathan Price (42) started where he left off last season, opening the batting with another impressive score. Matt Gidman anchored the remaining batting and top-scored again with a considered 74. Steve Jodrell, back to his hard-hitting best, knocked a rapid 55 to drive the score past 200 and leave a depleted Oakamoor with an up hill task.

Endon took to the field with an assured looking keeper in the form of Nick Reynolds who gave confidence to a varied and extensive bowling attack. Joe Hayward's 3 for 11 and Thom Bateman's 3 for 28, contributed to Oakamoor's demise but, Matt Dawson, stepping down from the firsts this year, applied unbearable pressure on the Oakamoor line up with an incredible 8 maidens and giving just 13 runs away in 14 overs.

Oakamoor's resistance came to an end in the fourty-eighth over giving Endon maximum points and a good deal of optimism for the coming season.

FIRSTS OFF TO A FLIER

Endon vs Eccleshall 19th April, 2014

Ant Sheeran taking the sixth of his seven wickets against Eccleshall

A dynamic opening innings from captain Alex Bailey (57) supported by fellow opener, George Sellers (30), built an impressive platform as the Firsts opened their 2014 campaign electing to bat. Some big-hitting from the Endon captain entertained the cold spectators, warming expectation of a big runs total. The middle order stalled a little against Eccleshall's impressive Australian import, Nathan Hinton (4 for 45), and a two-hundred plus score looked unlikely until entertaining flurries from Ant Sheeran (27) and Adeel Khalid (17) set the batting side back on track for a competitive score.

Eccleshall's reply gave Endon's bowling line-up cause for concern as Hinton and Hibbert asserted control of a manicured, new-season track. The introduction of Ant Sheeran saw the spinner change the course of the match by ousting the two established batsmen and then ripping through the remaining order. Figures of 7 for 50 were key to a maximum points victory and with Gaz Rigby returning to the side next week, Alex Bailey must be optimistic about the team's potential for 2014.

NARROW LOSS FOR THIRDS

Meir Heath Thirds vs Endon Thirds 20th April 2014

Andy Hopwood's newly-promoted Third Team were without their captain for the away trip to Meir Heath. The side, full of developing youngsters, did well to match a more experienced side and will have benefitted from the experience.

Matt Gidman, continuing his fabulous start to the season, turned in a not out 63 that, along with Joe Hayward's tail-end flourish, gave Endon a competitive 200+ runs. The Meir Heath batting however, proved reilient to even the more experienced elements of Endon's bowling and chased down the total for the loss of just five wickets.

In the side were Brad Spooner and Joe Browning adding to their North Staffs District experience. Andy Hopwood will be looking to give junior players as much exposure as possible in a mix of experience and youth but will find the new division's standard a more taxing challenge for creative selection.

SECONDS OUT TO CONTINUE THE ASCENT

Matt Gidman anticipates a move up the table as a larger, and more experienced squad, gives him more options in 2014

FIRSTS UPBEAT ABOUT 2014

Alex Bailey looks forward his third year as Endon's behind-the-stumps captain and is delighted to welcome new and old faces to further support the club's playing ambition.

Promoted Sundays Look Forward to a New Standard

Andy Hopwood's newly-promoted Third Team look forward to a sterner test in 2014 as they take on Division One of the Sunday Stone League

Matt Gidman, Second Team Captain for 2014

Alex Bailey, First Team Captain for 2014

Andy Hopwood, Third Team Captain for 2014