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WEEK FIFTEEN : BOTH FIRSTS AND SECONDS TAKE ON SIDES FROM LEYCETT

BACK DOWN TO EARTH WITH A LEYCETT BUMP

Leycett Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Dan Reed, continuing to dominate the Second Team batting averages this weekend

Endon's high-flying Second team suffered a surprise defeat at Leycett on Saturday, as the Post Lane side's usually productive batsmen found runs hard to come by and their stumps unusually exposed. The team predominantly lose wickets by offering catching opportunities rather than balls passing the bat, so one may assume an overconfidence from five previous consecutive victories, a difficult track or a good bowling performance from the home side. In fact all three factors probably contributed to Endon's "blip" as they were forced to take to the field defending a mere seventy-eight runs.

David Fernyhough's performance, bowling ten overs for just seventeen runs and dismissing two of Endon's form batsmen, was the most notable of the day, however, all of Leycett's bowlers had their moment in the afternoon's spasmodic sun with Richard White's 3 wickets in just 25 balls also taking the eye.

On the positive side, Dan Reed, in tandem with Nathan Price, offered some late resistance to the Leycett onslaught and captain, Matt Gidman, must be pleased with the continuing good form of his newly-acquired batsman as the ex-Hem Heath player continues to dominate the Second team batting averages.

The Second team captain may also see the defeat as means of clearing out any bad form or over-confidence in one go and, ironically representing good preparation for the run in to the now ever-increasing critical stages of the season.

STEVE JODRELL INJURY UPDATE

Injury-hit Steve Jodrell is still at least three weeks away from recovery but there is good news in that the recovery should be full one.

Hope to see you back soon Steve!

 

 A CALENDAR NOTE FOR PARENTS

Junior Presentation night will be 
Friday 11th September  
It will be at the Clubhouse 
from 6.30pm onwards 
for all juniors up to U13.

U15s will attend the Senior event 

 

LAWTON BLOWS OUT ENDON'S FIRE

Endon vs Leycett

A superb 78 for Andrew Sibley on Saturday, seen here in action against Leycett's wicket-keeping captain, Lee Jervis

Before an usually large number of spectators swelling Post Lane due to a strangely early finish at Leek, the Firsts ended up the disappointed side in a tight and exciting finish to this bottom-of-the-table Div Two encounter. The afternoon, brandishing some great work in the field from the home side made the eventual defeat all the more difficult to bear.

Dismissing Leycett for just 158 runs had been achieved by a tenacious five-wicket performance from Tutul Uddin and some impressive economy work from Ant Sheeran. The bowling side benefitted from an array of spectacular grabs - Tom Latham taking a very low and hard slip catch; Ant Sheeran sprinting to an over-the shoulder success at mid-on; Alex Bailey, with consumate timing, taking a one-hander at mid-off and Will Weston taking two further one-handers (both left-handed of course) at point and squarel leg before ending a good fielding day with a clinical run out. Leycett's total would have been considerably less without some excellent work from the experienced hands of David Speakman and Robert Heath.

Jordan Weaver led his men off the field, sharing thoughts of a comfortable victory with his teammates and all but the most pessimistic of home supporters. The ad hoc Leek visitors, however, having just seen their side bowl out Porthill for just 28 runs may have been less convinced of any comfort zone at the crease and would have been proved circumspect by the early loss of Will Weston and Alex Bailey, Endon's usually reliable openers. Having put on 99 runs in the previous week's partnership, the pair's immediate loss altered the complexion of the match by diminishing confidence in the remaining batting line-up.

Some superbly accurate bowling from Andrew Cooper put even more pressure on the home side's run chase, allowing a great eight-wicket performance from Tom Lawton at the Riding School end. The Endon cause began to look forlorn before the appearance of Andrew Sibley and Dan Bailey. A seventy-five partnership from the pair put Endon back in the driving seat but, on a great catching day, Leycett also produced their own magic moments as both batsmen fell to some acrobatic gulley work by Tom Redfern including the match-winning leap that brought whoops of delight from the visiting supporters and admiration from all.

Both Andrew Sibley and Tutul Uddin will have been the most disappointed players on the day. It is always hard to take when a wonderful individual performance does not result in a team victory. Both teams, however, can celebrate an afternoon of ebbs and flos and many a bitten nail - a great cricket match. And Endon, despite the immediate desperation, can take many important positives to next week's match.

A great middle-order partnership from Andrew Sibley and Dan Bailey almost brings home a victory for the First team

Tutul Uddin, once again impressive, not just for another five-wicket haul but for showing real passion for the Endon cause. "Not often you see a professional put his back into it like that" was a comment from a Leycett visitor

Ant Sheeran back to his best with some great economy work this weekend, just twenty-eight runs off fifteen overs, including six maidens

Keith Healey and Jonty Bailey, like the Post Lane spectators, enjoying a great match at Endon despite an unnaturally cold July day

Dan Bailey, under bespectacled scrutiny from a Leek team, including -Endon legend, Colin Dearden, relaxing after a rapid annihilation of Porthill Park early on Saturday afternoon

 

WEEK FOURTEEN : BOTH FIRSTS AND SECONDS TAKE ON SIDES FROM WESTON

JENKO JOY AS SECONDS HIGH FIVE THE SEASON

Endon Seconds vs Weston Seconds

Chris Jenkins taking

For the second week running a regular first team player, in this case Chris Jenkins, stepped down from the First Team to add a little something to the mix and give the Seconds an even sharper edge to their winning swathe. Matt Gidman's strong outfit uptil now had seen great success with four batting second wins on the trot but, on this day, a lost toss saw them bat first - a much more difficult task lay ahead of them.

Jim Scarratt, continuing a successful late season start, set the team off to a solid beginning with a top-scoring 36 followed by most of the batting line-up contributing to the tally. Middle-order partnerships between Andy Hopwood, Chris Jenkins and the in form, Dan Reed, filled the coffers just enough to tempt the visitors to run-chase the prize. The total of 179 was always going to be a risky challenge and Matt Gidman will have been disappointed that his side did not manage to take advantage of their overs' allotment, being bowled out with four overs left.

For a time, a very rapid and powerful response from Patrick Fray and Jamie Broadhurst pointed to a disappointing afternoon for the ascendant home-side but a bowling combination of Chris Jenkins and Matt Gidman removed the top-order threat to be left with a prolific Sam Williams big-hitting his way to a possible quick victory. His five fours and single six would have caused consternation but a catch from Matt Gidman off the bowling of Chris Jenkins forced him from the field to leave a minimum of resistance as the visitors ran out of wickets by the thity-second over. This was a good day for the Endon captain and his loanee, collecting eight wickets between them and ensuring a fifth consecutive victory for a very talented second team collective. Dare we hope!

 

ORME DENIES U-17s IN DERBY MATCH

Under-17s vs Bagnall Norton U-17s

Sunday saw Endon's older juniors take on local rivals, Bagnall/Norton, in the Kidsgrove League. A 159 from Endon's batsman set too much of a challenge to the visitors who successfully set their stall for a draw, A great innings from Ben Orme (60*) prevented the home side's bowlers from getting at the tail-enders.

Endon's batting looked solid enough as the top four batsmen put on 143 runs between them with Ben Rowley top-scoring again with 44.

BOURNE SUPREMACY: TUTUL DOMINATION OF THE WESTON WORLD

Weston vs Endon

Jack Bourne adding to last week's six wicket haul with a 3 for 28 at Weston on Saturday

A visit to Weston has seen some great performances from Endon players over the years. Despite being pincered by the roar of tyre on tarmac, the ground is an attractive setting populated by some very pleasant behind-the--scenes' folk. There could be no better place for Endon to kick-start their season with a hard-fought but ultimately convincing victory.

Bowling consistency has been a well-documented problem for the Post Lane first-teamers but, on this day, wonderfully spearheaded by new pro, Tutul Uddin, all of the visiting bowlers looked back on song and dangerous. Tutul would end the day with his first five-wicket capture for the club and Jack Bourne, fresh from some second-team sharp-shooting, added three more wickets to his growing tally before heading for the Mediterranean this week. Thanks to a great slip catch from Tom Latham, Jack's first wicket came with his very first ball of the day. Ant Sheeran's economy in the middle of the home-side's opening effort did much to stem the tide of runs and leave Weston short of a convincing total. And, but for some keen lower-order resistance from captain, Hassan ul Qasim Haleem and the big-hitting James Littlewood, Weston's plight may have been much worse.

Against Braden Gardner, a very quick New Zealand pro, Endon's openers needed to make a solid start to uphold the batting line-up's confidence. Braden, still looking to confirm his reputaion on English soil, certainly looked very dangerous and both Will Weston and Alex Bailey needed to pick scoring balls very carefully. Alex, as prolific as ever, added to his collection of fifties, eventually being tempted by an over-the-top shot to long on. Will, scoring less freely, but having carefully supported his partner to a 99-run opening partnership, continued to anchor the Endon effort before falling to a clever piece of work from Gardiner where the fast-bowler cut short his usually lengthy preparation and surprised the entrenched batsman, taking his stumps. Work, however, was left to do, particularly after some excellent economy work, including five maidens, from the experienced ex-Alsager spinner,  Paul Newnes.

Andrew Sibley, already settled in after some tough treatment from Gardener soon found his recent form to deliver an attractive not out 39 alongside the also in form Dan Bailey to bring home a vital victory. The win gives Jordan Weaver's side an impetus to lift themselves from the foot of the table and to realise their true potential in the division.

Tutul Uddin re-acclimatising to English conditions with his first 5 wicket performance for the club at Weston.

Jack Bourne celebrating a first ball wicket at Weston on Saturday

Andrew Sibley continuing a good run of from with a not out 38 to bring victory for Endon at Weston this weekend.

THIRDS MORGANISED AT AUDLEY

Audley Third XI vs Endon Thirds

A visit to Audley ended in another disappointing day for the Thirds. Despite a solid opening partnership from Mickey Dawson and Andy Hopwood the batting faltered before a dominating total could be accrued. The team may still have taken victory but were unfortunate to come up against a returning ex-first teamer, Joe Morgan, whose not out 81 won the match pretty much by itself.

Thursday night saw the Ladies in action at Post Lane for the first time this season. Having recently won a triangular tournament, the team were favourites to take the spoils again against the visiting side. Eventually, however, an Eccleshall eight, containing two county juniors, won by a narrow margin after a wonderful diving one-handed catch denied Rachel Phillips a six, as well as giving Eccleshall a wicket - a great effort that gained eleven runs for the mid-Staffordshire team.

Both sides showed clear signs that they have been working at their game and, particularly in terms of bowling technique, great strides have been made. Faith Benson looked particuarly impressive with her unusual horseshoe run up that bamboozled opposing batswomen and spectators alike.

Endon is hosting an afternoon triangular tournament on 16th August. All are welcome to come and watch and support,

LADIES CRICKET ON THE UP

 

Endon Ladies in action against

Eccleshall this Thursday.

Ladies cricket at Endon is played with a softball in a format that allows everyone to bat, and bowl if they wish to.

All the club's mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends are more than welcome to join the Ladies' team on a Friday practice night, just to have a go at the sport and maybe get to be more knowledgable about the game they spectate.

Have a word with Karen Williams if you are interested.

WEEK THIRTEEN : FIRSTS AT HOME TO OULTON

BOURNE BEARS DOWN ON RODE HEATH

Rode Heath Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Jack Bourne takes six wickets as Seconds bowl out Rode Heath for just 78 runs

On a break from First Team duty, Jack Bourne made the most of a difficult track at Rode Heath to annihilate the home side in an impressive six-wicket performance as well as running out the home side's main threat, Matthew Donnelly. Thom Bateman removed the remainder of the batting in what looked like a match-winning bowling performance.

Although victory would come Endon's way, spells of rain made the track even more difficult and runs hard to come by. With the possibility that the covers might stay on if the rain persisted the away side were always aware that this may have been a disappointing afternoon. Endon's batsmen initially stuggled despite a promising start from Alex Gilson. A final unbroken partnership, however, between man of the day, Jack Bourne, and in form batsman, Dan Reed, beat any further disruption and gave Endon victory in the 29th over.

A fourth win on the bounce moves Matt Gidman's side a little closer to promotion contention and with new professional, Tutul Uddin, taking a First team place, other senior players may come into his selection frame to strenghthen an already very strong squad.

 

LADIES MATCH ON THURSDAY

Endon Ladies take on a team from Eccleshall on Thursday evening. The team welcomes any support on what should be an entertaining and warm evening

 

CAN'T STAND THE RAIN

Endon vs Oulton

Gaz Rigby returning to form with five dismissals against Oulton

Endon's senior team were left cursing the rain that negatively disrupted a likely victory, Some great economy work from new professional, Tutul Uddin, and a welcome return to form for Gaz Rigby slowed the Oulton batting effort. Gaz Rigby's 5 wickets owed much to the pressure exerted at the other end by his new strike-bowling partner. But for a great innings from Oulton's Karl Harvey the home side may have expected a comfortable victory. Karl's 93 in just 114 balls was eventually ended by Tutul but the away side's total was already setting a stiff challenge, eventually reaching 208. The highlight of Endon's fielding performance was a great runout by Alex Bailey choosing the right end in a rapid and deadly accurate throw in from extra cover.

A solid opening partnership from Will Weston and Alex Bailey gave the home side scope for optimism. Alex would go on to make his fifth fifty-plus runs of the season and, importantly, setting a quick run rate that would reap benefits as the game became disrupted by rain. Further contribution came from Andrew Sibley and captain, Jordan Weaver, as the home side looked to be cruising to victory. The rain, however, eventually ended proceedings leaving Endon with a winning draw based on run rate rather than outright victory. Despite the bad luck Endon's players will be warmed by a much-improved performance.

JUNIORS MAKE HAY BUT THE SUN DIDN'T SHINE

Endon Thirds vs Meir Heath Sunday XI

Finlay Dermott hit five fours on Sunday much to the chagrin of some senior opposing bowlers

A great six-wicket bowling performance from Meir Heath's Jan Osgathorpe limited Endon's batting to a 160 runs; a competitive but not dominating total that would prove to be insufficient against a powerful batting display from the visitors.

The junior contibution to Endon's batting performance once again impressed. Sam Plant fell two runs short of another half-century to add to his growing collection and Brad Spooner and Finlay Dermott both aggravated Meir Heath's senior bowlers with five fours each. Taking a break from the fairway, Danny Bourne made a rare appearance in his whites to hit an impressive thirty-seven. Danny, a very accomplished junior swing bowler, once again showed his potential as an Endon all-rounder that county golf has denied the club.

A secure patnership from Glen Reilly (68) and Stephen Goodwin (48) allowed the away side an easy victory with the loss of just two wickets. Bradley Spooner removed one wicket and some smart runout work from Danny Bourne accounted for the other.

TUTUL UDDIN PROFILE

A LOOK AT ENDON CC's NEW PRO

 

The privately -funded Bengladeshi professional pace man made his first appearance at Post Lane this Saturday

Twenty-seven-year-old, Md Giash Uddin, made his first appearance as the club's first overseas professional in a decade at the Post Lane ground on Saturday. In a bottom-of-the-table clash with Oulton he made a major contribution to the home side's vital winning draw. Known to all as Tutul, the Jessore-born pace man comes to us from Bengladeshi premier side, Sur Jo Tonon, via a season in the Middlesex Championship League. Tutul played for top-flight side, Crouch End and Calthorpe where his best figures were 5 for 37. Here's hoping he can improve on his statistics as he sets his stall for Endon's struggle for Division Two survival.

Tutul's arrival of the club does not represent a reversal of the Endon's development policy that continues to plough all its excess revenue into improving the fabric of the facility. The appearance of an overseas professional has been entirely and specifically funded by private individuals.

If you see Tutul around the club please take time out to have a chat with. He is a very friendly young man and has already proved a favourite with the club's younger members.

We all wish Tutul the best of luck as he seeks to establish a reputation as a committed and successful overseas professional.

WEEK TWELVE : FIRSTS AWAY AT ALSAGER

NADIN KNOCKS OFF ALSAGER

Endon Seconds vs Alsager Seconds

A magnificent four wickets for just five runs from Tommy Nadin this Saturday

Three wins on the bounce for the Second Team represent good news for the club as the First Team continues to struggle. Matt Gidman, allowing for a range of injuries and unavoidable absences had been satisified with the team's progress in the wake of these difficulties but must now be well pleased with the team's recent progress coinciding with the return of key personnel.

A 62 from Alsager's Sam DeJesus offered most resistance to Endon's bowlers as Thommy Bateman continued his run of form by removing five of the home side's batsmen. Thom would, however, be happy to concede the day to the mercurial Tommy Nadin who ploughed through Alsager's lower order with four wickets in just twenty balls.

A second wicket partnership between Matt Gidman and Sam Plant whittled away at the Alsager total seeing Endon over the line with most of the side's wickets intact. Sam's form for the Second team continues to be highly impressive as he has, in the past three matches, hit 135 not out runs for the side.

The Seconds now move into fifth place in the their division within striking range of promotion possibility.

TUTUL-WHO?

Alsager vs Endon

Endon welcomed Bengladeshi professional , Md Giash Uddin, to the team's bowling attack on Saturday

Yet again the Firsteam fell foul of a brilliant individual performance from an opposing player but remain upbeat as they were joined by new professional signing Md Giash Uddin who made a promising debut for the club today.

Runs from Alex Bailey and Gaz Rigby gave some substance to the Endon's opening effort and a total of 159 may have proved competitive had the away side's visit not coincided with the return to Alsager of star player Ashley Shaw whose three wickets and a magnificent 109 in 86 balls showed why he has been involved with top class cricket on Kent's books for some time.

Alsager's reply, however, did not get off to a good start as Endon's new strike bowler gave his keeper, Andrew Sibley, an easy snick off from his very first ball. The Bengladeshi pace man, better known as Tutul, continued to show his potential in the division and came close to removing Shaw with what looked like a stonewall lbw. The decision went with the batsman and turned the match in Alsager's favour.

REED-WEAVING VICTORY FOR THIRDS

Endon Thirds vs Leycett Thirds

Dan Reed joining his captain in a match winning partnership on Sunday

The visitors came first to the crease to set the home side a reasonable target of 140. Andy Hopwood again utilised all his bowling options and, satisfyingly, the wickets were spread between oldsters and youngsters alike. Mickey Dawson and Dave Sheeran grabbed the mature lions' share of the wickets and the rest were cleared up by some good stealth work from juniors Scott Graham and Alex Dutton. Alex also contributed to Leycett's demise with three catches.

The batting response from the home side initially faltered with the junior section of the team being given the important experiential option of opening the run chase. As wickets fell, Leycett thought themselves in the driving seat until captain Andy Hopwood and newly- appointed under-thirteen coach, Dan Reed, came to the square to demolish the away side's bowling effort. Andy made a well constructed not out fifty and was pleased to see a great performance at the other end that almost allowed Dan Reed a similarly deserved half-century, before his captain winced to see him offer up a dolly catch from probably the worst ball of the day. Nonetheless, Dan's performance was key to gaining twenty valuable points in a division that is seeing very little air between relegation and promotion places.

WEEK ELEVEN : FIRSTS AWAY AT MEIR HEATH

PLANT BEARING FRUIT AGAINST BETLEY

Endon Seconds vs Betley Seconds

A match-winning innings from Sam Plant on Saturday as he sets a record score for a fourteen-year-old

Two wins on the bounce for the Second Team are very welcome in Endon's thus far disappointing season. Today's victory brings Matt Gidman's side back into divisional contention and will hopefully launch a successful second half of the season.

The day undoubtedly belonged to youngster Sam Plant whose 76 not out not only won the match for the home side but also created a record score for a fourteen-year-old playing for Endon's second string. Endon's precocious junior brought home victory alongside Dan Reed in an impressive 100+ partnership.

Betley's opening innings was stunted by four wickets from Matt Gidman and the ever-economical Mickey Dawson. Three catches from the long arms of Nathan Price also gave Endon's batsmen and easier task in their quest for twenty points.

SAM HEADING FOR THE TOP-TWENTY

Sam Plant, aged just fourteen, finds himself just a few runs short of Endon's top twenty all-time run-scorers on playcricket. How long before the top ten contains his name?

A BLUE JUNE

Meir Heath vs Endon

The First Team's continued loss of form with both bat and ball brought June's campaign to a lowly end and leaves last year's buoyant team at the foot of Division Two. Meir Heath , notorious for bowler-friendly tracks, was no place for Endon's batting personnel to regain their confidence for the relegation dog-fight that undoubtedly now lays in front of them. As July draws a predicted heatwave up from Spain, Endon's batsmen must look back to more impressive times to keep themselves upbeat and positive for a sun-drained struggle ahead.

Rising above the general paucity of batting, Dan Bailey's continued return to form added a welcome and positive element to the day and Jack Bourne's fourth not out from his last five matches, may suggest a higher place in the batting order.

Yet again a sub one-hundred total left little opportunity for Endon's bowlers to apply pressure to the opposition. The home side sensibly made use of an easy run rate to slowly find themselves over the line and taking the spoils.

NAIL-BITER AT KIDSGOVE

Kidsgrove Thirds vs Endon Thirds

Endon's opening gambit of 163 looked like a winning score. A career best of 42 (or possibly more)from Joe Hayward, tantalisingly close to or possibly his first fifty, and undoubtedly just reward for some daytime nets in the week, headed a down-the-order consistent batting effort.

By contrast, Kidsgrove's response centred around an impressive batting display from a single individual, Arran Browe, whose century gave the home side a realisitic hope of victory for most of the match. Unfortunately for Kidsgrove, Arran's teamates could not withstand the assault by Endon's young bowlers with Brad Spooner, Ben Rowley and Joe Hayward all taking wickets (or maybe not). Nonetheless a home side victory remained in view as the last over loomed for the fielding side with Browe still occupying the crease on 106 not out. Both sides sweated as the final balls represented a possible victory for either team and, utimately, neither outfit would have been happy with the tied score that came with the final ball. Joe Hayward rounded off a great day by denying Kidsgrove the five runs they needed to win in the last over.

The match was also another significant landmark for fourteen-year-old Sam Plant as he ended the weekend with over a hundred senior not out runs.

NAREY INJURY BLIGHTS BURSLEM MATCH

Endon U-17s vs Burslem U-17s

James Narey, despite today's injury, goes top of the U-17s batting averages

A close fought match between an Endon team and Burslem's excellent opening pair of Jonathon Leech and Dawar Hussain resulted in a narrow victory based on the home side's greater depth. As Endon chased the 136 total set by the visitors, James Narey, on 28 and going well, turned into a shot but left his knee behind causing it to pop out of place and requiring ambulance attention.

Aidan Derbyshire and Ben Rowley continued the run chase after James' retirement but a final impressive partnership between Alex Dutton and Scott Graham brought home victory with just four balls remaining.

Here's hoping that Jame's injury is as benign as possible and he quickly returns to the side.

 

PARAMEDICS RULE!

It is always an anxious time when an ambulance has to come onto the Post Lane ground but reassuring that problems can be attended so quickly. The club would like to thank the paramedics who attended James Narey this Sunday morning for their prompt arrival and onsite treatment.


WEEK TEN : FIRSTS AT HOME TO DIVISIONAL FRONTRUNNERS, WOORE

THE STRANGE AND MAGICAL WORLD OF THE HOPWOOD SUNDAY TRAINING CAMP

The compliments are flying in regarding Hoppy's Sunday morning training camp.

NOT MANY RUNS BUT TWENTY POINTS

Hem Heath Forsbrook Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Mickey Dawson once again destroyed a Second XI batting line up with a magical 6 for 17 that included 8 maidens.

The Seconds, having lost many of their regulars to injury and the First Team, will probably not face a more difficult pitch this season. Despite bowling the home side out for just 75 runs which included 24 extras, the batting response was never going to be a formality. Endon's batsmen also struggled as they lost eight wickets before surpassing the Hem Heath/Forsbrook total. Matt Gidman's 33 proved to be the key innings of the match unlocking a very welcome twenty points for a side that has so far this season not fulfilled its true potential.

The Value of an Innings

Matt Gidman has hit centuries in his career but in relation to other scores, his 33 today represents as good a batting performance as any of his other batting achievements. Juniors will do well to take note of the fact that batting performance can relate directly to the conditions of a wicket.

SUNK BY SOLANKI

Endon vs Woore

Division Two life continues to trouble the First XI as Woore's Rakeshkumar Solanki gave the visitors, Woore, a commanding lead for his aspirational side. Endon, with three front-line bowlers missing found the Woore professional very difficult to remove as he made his way to an impressive 133, giving the visitors an eventual 245 total. The rest of the Woore side fell more easily as Jordan Weaver impressed with the ball, taking four wickets for just 43 runs but, if the team is to survive relegation this season, it needs to present more danger than this to high-end batsmen.

More disappointing, however, was the batting response from Endon that offered very little resistance to Woore's attack and would see the home side all out for less than a hundred runs. The Woore captain, Tas Hussain, commented after the match that he was "surprised by some poor shot selections" from Endon giving him a much easier victory than he anticipated.

As the bad run continues it is very difficult for the young side to stay resolute and positive but one has to be impressed by the length of time the dressing room door stayed closed after the match and by the special Andy Hopwood-led practice session that ensued on Sunday morning. The side is down but it certainly is not out.

U-17s IMPRESS IN DEFEAT AT MEAKINS

Meakins u-17s vs Endon U-17s

Yet another big batting score from Endon's U-17 outfit, especially against one of the league's leaders, represented another step forward for the club's older juniors. A first Endon fifty for Aidan Derbyshire, backed up by good performances from Ben Rowley and James Nairey produced the majority of the 158 total.

Endon's bowlers, however, found the going difficult against the Meakins openers as they rushed to take on the challenge. Ben Rowley, captain to captain, bowled out Jack Harrison but his ninety runs had already irreversably damaged the away side's chance of victory. By the 20th over Meakins had reached the winning line and although Endon will have been disappointned by their bowling effort it was great to see Joe Browning taking his first U-17 wicket of the season as well as our batsmen doing so well.

AREN'T THE NEW BENCHES GREAT?

The new benches were set up on Friday and have added real aesthetic value to the club. Their rustic design suits the wooded background against which they are set and they have restored the perimeter of the main field................. they are also really comfortable!


WEEK NINE : FIRSTS AWAY TO HIGH-FLIERS BIGNALL END

A great six-wicket performance from Thom Bateman sees him over the 250 line for the Second Team

LANDMARK SATURDAY FOR THOMMY BATEMAN

Six wickets on Saturday against visiting Bignall End allowed Endon's stalwart swing bowler to celebrate two wonderful landmark achievements for his beloved club. Thom's Playcricket Endon records start in 2002 with a top performance of 1 for 39 in that year. The figure seems a far cry from the many great performances he has given in the intervening years including a highlight 8 for 23 against Betley in 2013.

Saturday witnessed him take his 300th all-team's wicket which have included important dismissals for the First Team. However, Thom, the Second Team's leading strike bowler, will be more pleased by having taken his 250th wicket for the team he has been such an integral part over the last decade.

The club extends its wholehearted congratualtions to Thom and looks forward to paying further tributes as the next decade passes.

Thom's performance on Saturday also saw him take his 300th all-teams' wicket

SETBACK FOR SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs Bignall End Seconds

Thom Bateman taking 6 for 74 on Saturday

A dismal day had brightened for the Seconds as they put visitors, Bignall End, into bat and knocked over wickets with some ease. At one point the away side were 5 wickets down for just 54 runs. Victory looked likely if the rain stayed at bay and, with Thom Bateman heading for a double landmark day, the afternoon appeared full of promise and bonhomie for a celebratory Saturday night.

A great tailend effort from Sajid Hussain, however, changed the situation as he added 35 runs to what would otherwise have been a meagre total. Nonetheless the notable six-wicket performance from Thom Bateman had left only 141 runs on the board and the home side still looked favourite to win the contest. The rain, however, meant that the batting response would be restricted to just 27 overs so a good start to the innings would be essential to a winning run chase.

The dismal day somehow infused itself into Endon's batting performance and the top order failed to make the required start, leaving an inexperienced lower order to play out for a draw. In at number six, Tom Nadin batted through to the end, top-scoring with a not out 32, and keeping the Bignall End bowlers at bay.

Jodders injury news

Good an bad news from Steve regarding last week's injury. The good news it is only a calf muscle tear and not a rupture so no operation is involved. The bad news is that "only a tear" means up to eight weeks out of action and a headache for Matt Gidman trying to get his team back to its best.

Here's hoping that the recovery will be ahead of schedule and Steve is back playing by the end of the season.

RAINY DAY, GLOOMY OUTLOOK, SUNNY SPELLS EXPECTED

Bignall End vs Endon

Division Two life is proving tough for an inconsistent First Team. A drizzly Saturday held no bright outlook for a side struggling against poor form and and a lack of confidence. Bignall End, riding high in the NSSC's third flight, were well worth a comfortable victory with some quality bowling from Sohail Zaroof and Richie Jervis that left the Endon scorecard with few highlights. An Endon all out total of just 97 was never going to trouble the home side's batsmen and Bignall End made another big stride to a possible promotion year.

There is no use pretending that this performance was not a low ebb in a thus far unsuccessful season. However, the side is essentially no different from the one that generated so much excitement and pride for the club last season. The performances are there to be found by all players who must now, individually and as team, find and recognise the qualities that made them such a formidable force last season. Sunny spells are expected.

JUNIORS SHINE ON GOOD DAY FOR THIRDS

J & G Meakin/ Fenton Sunday XI vs Endon Thirds

An opening partnership of 71 between juniors, Sam Plant and James Narey brightened a drab day at Smithpool Road. Sam would go on to make his first fifty of the season on a difficult pitch that gave little encouragement to the rest of the batting line-up who stumbled to a smallish total before being bowled out in the last over. The 128 total would, however, prove more than enough as the home side would also struggle on the difficult wicket.

A young Endon side with seven juniors in its ranks almost managed to bowl out the home outfit just a couple of wickets short of maximum points win but, alas, had to settle for a winning draw. Interestingly 25 points would have placed the team in second place so this year's contest for both promotion and relegation looks as if it is going to be tight.

 

U-17s LEARNING THE HARD WAY

Endon u-17s vs Whitmore U-17s

Ben Rowley hitting sixty runs on Sunday morning

Endon's young players will be trying to work out how they did not win this fixture. A great batting performance from the side's top order set up a highly competitive total for visitors to chase down . An impressive innings from Ben Rowley secured a large part of the 149 total but the Endon captain was well supported by Aidan Derbyshire and Scott Graham, both reaching thirty odd runs before returning to the club house.

A slow careful approach from Whitmore's openers showed considerable maturity but their task was made so much easier by an inauspicious fielding performance from the home side. Lessons in defeat are always hard to take but if they are learned and retained, the experience can bring valuable qualities to a young side. Whitmore only secured victory in the pen-ultimate over. Tighter fielding would have brought the game to an even closer finish, brought the bowling side more wickets and, ultimately, a possible victory.

 

 


WEEK EIGHT : FIRSTS AT HOME TO REVITALISED CAVERSWALL AND THE SECONDS AWAY TO LEEK

CASUALTY LIST IN CLIFFHANGER AT LEEK

Leek Seconds vs Endon Seconds

A classic performance from Steve Jodrell against his old club ends in injury.

A strange day at Highfield awaited Matt Gidman and his experienced crew. A great innings by ex-Endon junior, Jake Vernon, well-honed from university cricket, would have made life very difficult for his old club had it been backed up by a better scoring rate from his teammates. His 85 represented most of the 156 total, a challenge Matt Gidman would have probably settled for on his arrival at the Leek ground.

Had two of Endon's most prolific run-scorers managed to stay fit for the visitor's response, an away victory would have appeared likely. Andrew Hopwood, suffering from flu in the week, opened well before having to leave the field to prevent losing conciousness at the crease and, in the circumstances did amazingly well to put thirty runs on the board. Steve Jodrell, returning to his old stomping ground, had already taken four four wickets, was going well with the bat before rupturing a calf muscle at a key moment in the game. Both players would return to the arena to add crucial runs to the Endon effort. With Endon's top scorer Dan Reed (41) having run out of partners, Steve, in some serious physical distress, bravely returned to the crease to hobble a vital single run and, in true hero fashion, saved his side from defeat by making the match a tie.

Matt Gidman would, I am sure, have prefered defeat if he could guarantee the swift return of one of his star players but the nature of the injury would suggest that it is going to be weeks rather days in recovery. Nonetheless heroes mend faster than us mere mortals and we wish Steve the speediest of returns.

FIRSTS WITHSTAND NAZAKAT ATTACK

Endon vs Caverswall

Endon Captain, Jordan Weaver (80*) led the fightback against Caverswall's opening onslaught

A brilliant batting performance from Caverswall, spearheaded by Nazakat Ali's 109 found Endon facing a a mammoth 289 challenge at the end of their bowling effort. Ali's eleven sixes must be a record in a Post Lane league match although one of the Siddique brothers may have hit more in a T/20 afternoon of more lost balls than the club cares to remember some ten years ago. Despite the huge score Ant Sheeran will be pleased to have removed Ali and the other top scorers in his 4 for 75.

The day loomed black for a First team looking as if it had been recently returing to form. The bleak prospect darkenened further as five wickets fell for just 88 runs and any light on the horizon would only be found by a tremendous batting effort in the remaining 34 overs. Up stepped Jordan Weaver to put in a spectacular Captain's innings to avoid defeat with 80 not out. His game-saving exploit could only come to fruition with some lower-order support that came in the form of a resolute innings from Ed Bateman (42) and some nerves of steel from Jack Bourne for the final balls in a last wicket stand.

THIRDS STRUGGLE

Endon Thirds vs Porthill Park Sunday XI

The Thirds were well beaten on Sunday afternoon by a strong Porthill side. The visitors batted first reaching a 200+ total leaving Endon an uphill batting task that faltered against the bowling of Joshua Ellams recording his best performance of the season so far with a 5 for 27.


ENDON U-17s IMPRESS AT PORTHLL

The under-Seventeens, confident from their last-outing win against Longton, faced up to a powerful Porthill side this Sunday morning and left Wolstanton Marsh with their heads held high having taken away the league leader's one-hundred percent record.

With the Porthill side including highly-regarded county juniors, Louis Allison and Dan Gibbs, and the Endon side without leading run-scorer, Sam Plant, and the bowling power of Aidan Derbyshire, the morning was always going to be a tough one. True to form Porthill's U-17 county duo put on one hundred runs between them as the home side set a formidable 169 target declaring on just 24 overs.

A very good batting performance from Endon was going to be a necessity as the young Endon side sought to survive for more than two-hundred balls and perhaps even take a peek at victory. Another great innings from James Narey (39) set Endon's stall and Scott Graham, proving to be a very valuable aquisition, defended the lower order with a not out 37 to add to his two wickets earlier in the game. Yet again rising star, Finlay Dermott (17), made a healthy contribution to Endon's resilience adding to another good day behind the stumps.

The young side currently hold third place in the league and will have had a very successful season if they can hold on to that spot.

WEEK SEVEN : FIRSTS AWAY AT LEAGUE LEADERS CHEADLE

LAST BALL BLUES AGAINST BLYTHE

Endon Seconds vs Blythe Seconds

A second six for Nathan Price on his way to a fifty for the Seconds this Saturday

A final ball defeat for the Seconds put another dent into a, so far, disappointing season. Put into bat, the home side started slowly but a quick-scoring partnership between Nathan Price and Dan Bailey moved the score along and animated Endon's batting effort. A second wave of runs came from the equally aggressive approach of Steve Smith who continues to prove himself as a positive Second team asset. His appearance at the crease also appeared to quieten a chirping Blythe wicket-keeper. One assumes that Kris Heathcote was quietening himself in preparation for his wonderful match-winning 135 that would follow but Steve has an aura about him that will quieten most close-to opponents.

Had Blythe failed to win with their star man making such a massive score, their disappointment would have been deep. However, a losing draw was always on the cards as the Endon 212 total only came into view in the final over.

After the dismissal of Heathcote, Matt Gidman would have faced the dilemma of attack or defend and his quandary would only be answered on the last ball of the match. Unfortunately that final ball saw Blythe over the line and left the home side to contemplate an unexpected lowly position in the league.

Steve Smith powering his way to an eye-catching 31 against Blythe on Saturday.

ANOTHER BAILEY BLITZ

Cheadle vs Endon

Alex Bailey, a second century in the month of May

Unleashed from the shackles of captaincy and wicket-keeping duties, Alex Bailey continues his ascent into the league's batting elite. A second century for Alex at league leaders, Cheadle, following his first at Eccleshall three weeks ago, gives him over 450 runs before the beginning of June and a platform for what must surely be a recording-breaking season.. However, along with his team mates he will have been bitterly disappointed that his efforts did not result in a victory at Tean Road. Further contributions to the visitor's 202 total came from Tom Latham (31), Andrew Sibley (16) and a great tail end effort from Jack Bourne (16*) but Endon would have anticipated putting down a greater challenge for the home side given their star man's performance.

The home side, would have been warmed by the five for 31 from young spinner Jack Hassall. Jack, an Oakamoor junior product, looks to have fully recovered from injury problems that blighted his junior career and will undoubtedly produce more such performances in the future. Cheadle would nonetheless have felt anxious about a run chase that would require a full exertion of their batting potential. No other Div 2 side had hit 200 against them in the season so far.

Cheadle's impressive in-depth batting line up, however, rose to the challenge and, Endon's bowling found itself struggling as it desperately tried to stem and dismantle the home side's onslaught. Impressively, Cheadle reached the required total in the forty-second over, proving themselves worthy as front-runners in the chase for Div One status in 2016.

T/20 EXIT AT MEIR HEATH

Meir Heath T/20 vs Endon T/20

A return to form for Ant Sheeran at Meir Heath as he takes three wickets for just sixteen runs. Impressive figures in a T/20 contest

A morning of poor weather saw Endon's T/20 outfit having to face a bowl off with Premier side Knypersley. Emerging victorious from this encounter would have raised expectations of going through to the next round against subsequent opponents Meir Heath .

An opening total of 128 from Meir Heath certainly gave Endon's naturally big-hitters hope of a victory but alas the day was not with Josh tittensor, captaining the side for the first time, as his big guns all misfired in an early batting collapse.

Three wickets and some impressive economy from Ant Sheeran was the day's highlight for Endon especially if it marks a return to form for last season's prolific wicket-taker.

 

A minute's silence at Post lane on Saturday as Endon and Blythe pay their respects to local cricket stalwart and well-known umpire, Glyn Forster, who recently died at the age of 66.

Under-Nines in action on Saturday

WEEK SIX : FIRSTS AT HOME TO CREWE

FIRST TEAM vs CREWE : (Back row) Dan Bailey, Gaz Rigby, Jack Bourne, Jordan Weaver (C), Alex Gilson, Tom Latham,

(Front row) Ant Sheeran, Alex Bailey, Sam Plant (making his debut), Josh Tittensor (VC), Ed Bateman (Photo courtesy of Allan Bailey)

ENDON'S DEPTH CHARGE NOT QUITE SINKING WEDGWOOD

Wedgwood Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Dave Sheeran, five balls, no runs, two wickets.

A mid-week selection headache actually proved to be something of a club tonic as the selectors came to realise what resources are available in the club. With nine players away drinking, socializing or reading, the Second team lost many of its top players but solace came in the form of some great cameo performances from the call-ups. Certainly Sean Riley's three catches behind the stumps was a major plus as Endon finds itself yet another wicket-keeping option. Sean joined us officially in the week and we welcome him to our ranks.

Steve "Smigger" Smith, answered the clarion call to pick up where he left off from last year's successful Third Team outings to top score in what looked initially like a comfortable 140 run chase. Wedgwood's modest total was the result of some great bowling performances from the side's regulars but was crowned by yet another good call-up performance from Dave Sheeran who grabbed two tail-end wicket in just five balls.

An unusual top order batting failure would eventually allow Wedgwood victory as Endon crumbled to an all out total of 100. However, knowing that on most days, this batting line-up, with or without its reservists, would have eased their way to victory must give Matt Gidman a sense of security should another bout of absenteeism occur. And, in some ways, a club mobilisation of this scale is a unifying phenomenon that lifts morale. It will be interesting at the end of the season if any other club has managed to give First and Second team playing opportunity to so many different players.

 

FIRSTS DIG IN AGAINST CREWE

Endon vs Crewe

Alex Gilson and Ed Bateman seeing off 160 balls as Endon stonewall Crewe on Saturday

An almost unprecendented dearth of senior players made life difficult for both senior sides this weekend but the shortage of personnel highlighted just how much depth there is in Endon's rank and file. Although both sides went backwards today, both were in positions where victory was more than a possibility. A-levels, stag parties and social commitments saw nine senior players missing from selection but the First team stepping out against Crewe still looked a strong side with the added bonus of giving U-15 youngster Sam Plant his debut for the side.

Yet another contentious lbw decision saw the demise of the recently prolific Alex Bailey, reducing the opening platform that the batting side has come to expect in recent weeks. At which point the strategy turned from chasing Crewe's 200 + total to playing for a draw was unclear but eventually a defensive challenge emerged, inspiring an impressive rearguard action to keep Crewe's bowlers at bay for 68 overs. Alex Gilson and Ed Bateman did a great middle section job in seeing off 160 balls between them and a final resolute patrnership between Gaz Rigby and Sam Plant allowed the home side some valuable points. Gaz praised his young partner's mature performance after the match.

Jordan Weaver will, however, be looking at ways to respark his bowling attack which only managed four wickets against a relatively lowly Crewe side. Endon's bowling line-up has not shown its true ability so far this season, so let us hope that they are storing the venom for some mid-season hunting.

SPECIAL FIRST TEAM REPORT FROM ANDY BULLMORE

After last week’s heroics it seemed likely that the top order would have to come good once again if we were to chase down 201 against a lowly Crewe side buoyed by their first win of the season last weekend.


Therefore at 60-4, Alex Bailey given out LBW once again after clearly hitting the ball and Tom Latham getting an absolute jaffer that pitched outside leg and took off stump, the crowd of home supporters feared the worst as the rest of the batting line had yet to really get going this year with three of the next four having been drafted in from the 2nd team due to a few absentees.

How wrong they were with an excellent 5th wicket partnership of over 60 by Ed Bateman (33) and Alex Gilson (22) providing the backbone of a great batting display by the middle/late order.


As is the norm, the Crewe bowling was dominated by former Pakistan test-player Mahboob who once again bowled half of Crewe’s 68 overs taking 4-81. To make sure there is no place in the Crewe line up for any local bowlers, juniors, local talent, etc, Jack McIver from just down the road in Perth, Australia bowled 24 overs taking 1-50.


However, when the Bateman/Gilson partnership was broken the home crowd again became restless after the quick exit of the experienced Ant Sheeran as 14-year-old Sam Plant making his first team debut and the big hitting Gaz Rigby both strolled to the crease.


However, Sam (17 n.o.) and Gaz (34 n.o.) not only ensured we got the draw we deserved but also pushed on to get the maximum 5 batting points we deserved and at one stage, with a quick 28 coming in a four over spell including 3 sixes from Gaz and 2 fours from Sam, an unlikely victory also seemed on the cards. However, Crewe slowed down the game and bowled tighter and both batsmen therefore sensibly ensured a draw albeit we finished only 26 runs short of the victory target.


This was therefore a great team effort and a great debut performance from Sam Plant and excellent batting display from Gaz, Ed and Gils.


Next week the team face top of the table and unbeaten Cheadle at their Tean Road ground who have won 5 of their first 6 games together with a winning draw.

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY

SPORTS DAY 10am/4pm

 

WEEK FIVE: Both sides face ECCLESHALL XIs this Saturday.

ROCKIN' ROWLEY

Endon Seconds vs Eccleshall Seconds

Phil Rowley, an entertaining 60 not out agains Eccleshall Seconds

Seconds found life difficult against a strong Eccleshall side this afternoon. A good start from opener Ed Bateman faltered with a caught and bowled dismissal by Dan Lakin, Dan went on to take five wickets and pretty much destroy the home side's opening gambit. At one point seven wickets were down for just ninety runs and the visitors looked to control the day. However, a phoenix arose from the flames in the form of a resurgent Phil Rowley who proceeded to knock a wonderful not out sixty to keep both sides honest in a balanced hunt for the points.

A set score of 181 was always going to be in the comfort zone of a batting side looking to take advantage of fifty overs and settle to a careful and patient approach. And thus the Eccleshall reply progressed in this fashion. There was some hope for Endon as the visitor's middle order stumbled but Dan Larkin, in at seven, completed a special day by returning a not out 43 to add to his wicket haul. With just six wickets down the visitors met their challenge in the 49th over.

STONE UNTURNED IN CLOSE SHIELD ENCOUNTER

Endon Seconds vs Stone SP Seconds (Talbot Shield)

An unusually warm. cloud-covered and windless day formed a strangely quiet atmosphere as Post Lane hosted a close Shield encounter with Stone SP. Losing the toss immediately put Endon into bat and a little on the back foot but with such a powerful-looking batting line-up expectations were high. Despite a solid knock from Andy Hopwood, Endon's batsmen struggled against the fabulous economy of Paul Minshall. Minty's five maidens and just 17 runs off 9 overs were complemented by the tempting deliveries of Stone's junior starlet, Jake Powell, whose four wickets also curtailed the potential of Endon's run machine. A total of 181 would always require a good bowling performance from the home side.

For much of the late afternoon the match hung in the balance as Stone's reply looked a little frail as their lower order came to the crease. However, to complete a great day for youth and experience, Jake (25) and Minty( 23*) decided to be all-rounders for the day and both knocked key runs in the final overs. Endon, defeated with two overs to go, will view this loss as a missed opportunity. The home side's batting line-up, on most days, would have surpassed the 200 mark, a total that would probably have won the game.

BRILLIANT BAILEY TONS UP AT ECCLESHALL

Eccleshall vs Endon

Alex Bailey on his way to a majestic 108 at Eccleshall this Saturday

One of the great anomalies of NSSC cricket was put to rest today as Alex Bailey made his first league century, undoubtedly opening a long-locked portal for many more such glowing performances. In a fabulous day of high quality cricket, Endon turned adversity into ecstasy as they chased a very challenging total set by a strong and impressive Eccleshall First XI. Tom Hibbert and Myles Coughlan dominated Endon's bowlers in the opening phases of the match and a total of 240 could have been much more had not yet another great Endon performer stepped up to the mark.

The tenacious and often comedic newcomer to the side, Chris Jenkins, inspired his team mates with a sensational six-wicket haul, removing both Hibbert and Coughlan at crucial times, to leave a slower-scoring middle and lower order in the the line of fire. Celebrating one of his wickets with a token press up did not altogether enamour him to the home side but this was only one of a number of unusual feats and acts on a somewhat eccentric but good-spirited day.

Some very accurate and stiffling bowling from Eccleshall pro, Yasser Tariq, was always going to be a problem for Endon's openers, Will Weston and Alex Bailey, but both players rose to the challenge, frustrating and occasionally overpowering the talented bowler. Will played with a maturity beyond his years giving a resilient foil to Alex's powerful offence at the other end. Will hit his first Endon First XI 50 before a leading edge found him caught at mid-wicket but his dismissal marked a wonderful 160 combined score, the best opening partnership since Anthony Bunn and Matt. Colclough's 214 NSSC record in 2006.

Alex would go on to make his 108 which included 3 sixes and 13 fours but with his dismissal the game was far from won and would rely on some nerveless performances yet to come. Captain, Jordan Weaver, played his part in the victory making the most of the now diminishing overs by hitting 35 off as many balls but, with his dismissal the task was left to Josh Tittensor to anchor the tail-enders in a final finger-nail biting assault. The away side needed boundaries and in stepped Chis Jenkins, now rested from his press-up six-for. Bang - a six, bang - a four, and then, running a single he decided to lift the atmosphere - as if it needed it - by waving to his teammates as he strolled to the crease. Little wonder that the Eccleshall side, almost to a man, waved him goodbye on his next ball dismissal.

The final runs were now in sight and a great victory for Endon was achieved on a great day of cricket against a talented and warm-spirited Eccleshall side - a great credit to their club. Can't wait for the return match and, perhaps before that, a second century from Alex Bailey.

Just to remind Alex, however, that his brother is still ahead of him on the Endon century list with his 108 not out against Bagnall, so there is still work to do.

 

Chris Jenkins taking six wickets as well hitting big to help Endon over the line at Eccleshall on Saturday

Alex Bailey takes a bow as he celebrates his first NSSC century alongside fellow opener, Will Weston. The pair's opening partnership of 160 was the First XI's best since 2006

TEN-MEN ENDON TAKE DOWN LONGTON

Endon u-17s vs Longton u-17s

Phil Rowley continued his highly successful weekend by guiding the U-17 side to their first victory of the season against high-fliers, Longton. The victory was made all the sweeter as it followed a bitter defeat at Hem Heath last weekend. To make such a strong and immediate comeback is testament to the young side's character and resolve. Let us hope the victory inspires further great performances over the course of the season

A great economical bowling display from the home side restrained Longton's batsmen and their final total of 121 was below expectation. Alex Dutton's 2 for 13 and Ben Rowley's 1 for 12 were key performances in holding the visitors back but there was quality throughout Endon's bowling attack. In the field Joe Browning prevented a certain six and, in the process, took a fabulous catch on the boundary to remove a Longton danger man beginning to find his range.

Key to surpassing the the Longton total was yet another great knock from Sam Plant who will, if the weather is with him, surely hit a thousand runs in 2015. However, victory came from further contributions throughout the team, not least of which was a magnificent not out 33 from James Narey who hammered the ball to all sections of the boundary, nailing victory with four overs to spare. The day was also marked by one of George Mellor's best batting performances and a an U-17 debut for Josh Shaw.

Phil Rowley, duly and justifably pleased, will not, however, be impressed with a couple of loose run outs. Guess what you will be practising this week boys?

WEEK FOUR: Both sides face LEYCETT XIs

A WIN FROM NOWHERE

Endon Seconds vs Leycett Seconds

Andy Hopwood hitting form with a 72 today

Matt Gidman celebrated 25 points on Saturday night still trying to work out how an almost empty glass suddenly filled to the brim, leaving him with a very welcome free pint.

A disastrous start from the home side suggested a poor day for Endon's Second XI but Andy Hopwood stepped up to the mark with Steve Jodrell beside him to bring home a respectable 160 total for the home side.

Leycett's response, initially held back by Jack Bourne's "they couldn't get a bat on it" economy was eventually vigorous, cutting aggressively into the Endon's score despite yet another wonderful five-wicket haul from Mick Dawson. The away side appeared to be strolling to victory with 143 on the board with loss of just four wickets. One has to feel sympathy for a side who then stumbled and fell uncontrollably by the wayside as Nathan Price knocked over the final set of stumps in a jaw-dropping last session of play.

The victory was undoubtedly pleasing, especially as the points place the Seconds into a an early promotion place, but Matt Gidman will be looking for more convincing wins than this if he is to line up some better-earned drinks at the end of the season.

Matt Gidman 300 Wickets up!

Matt Gidman had further reason to celebrate this weekend as he passed the magic 300 wickets mark for all Endon teams. The club would like to congratulate Matt on a wonderful achievement and wish him well in increasing that figure as much as possible in the years to come.

BATEMAN LURES IN LEYCETT

Leycett vs Weston

Thom Bateman, Jamaica one minute and cricket heaven the next

A bronzed and jet-lagged Thom Bateman, just two hours from alighting a trans-Atlantic plane from Jamaica, was tempted into first-team duty by the superb swing conditions at Leycett under a moist and clouded sky. All three of Thom's subsequent wickets were important to his team's eventual victory but those Carribean-alcohol infused veins would have been pumping harder as he tempted Leycett's Sri Lankan professional, Prasanna Jayawardene into a clever legside trap. He has to be thankful for some sharp work from Alex Bailey who, resting from behind the stumps duty, moved stealthily from the slips to take a great catch off a legside glance just behind his keeper. It is not every day a Second Team stalwart bowler takes the scalp of an international player for just six runs, so Thom will sleep well tonight having completed his holiday in such fine style. Just four years ago Jayawardene was hitting a test century against Jimmy Anderson et al, so this was certainly one of Thom's career highlights.

With Jayawardene out of the way Leycett's only resistance came from Ryan Jones whose 43 gave substance to a final 131 on very wet and difficult track.

A solid and careful replying partnership from Will Weston and Alex Bailey put ninety runs on the board and broke the back of the required total. Will couldn't abort a shot he miscued to a popping ball but will have been pleased with the job he did. Alex went on to make a magnificent 82 to continue his wonderful form in 2015 and to justify his decision to relinquish the wicket-keeping gloves for a while. Victory came to the visitors in the 38th over.

TOUGH START FOR THIRDS

Endon Thirds vs Sandyford Thirds

Dave Sheeran, three wickets against Sanyford on Sunday

The Thirds continue their search for some form as another loss stalls their start to the season. Andy Hopwood, has a very difficult task in combining the need for victory with the developmental objectives of the team. He will, however, still be very disappointed that the cylinders of a powerful looking engine misfired throughout the ranks this Sunday afternoon.

The pick of Endon's eight bowlers was undoubtedly Dave Sheeran whose three wickets for just thirteen runs in seven overs, stemmed the Sandyford batting onslaught. However, the runs accumulated as the bowling side struggled to see off the vistior's efforts and a 189 total faced Endon's batting line-up as it set out to meet a challenging but not insurmountable total.

The Endon batting line-up failed to live up to expectation with only Dan Reed and Nathan Price going beyond a score of twenty. With the team all out for 123 in 32nd over, Sandyford's victory will have been a painful experience for an Endon side obviously capable of better things.

GEORGE NEWS

George Sellers made his mark with his new side, Leek, on Saturday with as mature an innings from a junior player as is ever likely to have been seen. The premiership side lost all its openers apart from George for virtually no runs to a dangerous Porthill attack. George slowly repaired the innings with a no risk plan, gradually opening up to knock a wonderful seventy, ensuring a remarkable against-the-odds away victory for his team.

WEEK THREE: FIRSTS TAKE ON WESTON AT HOME

SECONDS KEEP PACE DESPITE DEPLETED RESOURCES

Weston Seconds vs Endon Seconds

On a day of abandonments throughout the NSSC any points from a rain-soaked day were going to be welcome. Endon tried to run down a declared total of 152 that had seen Nathan Price take 4 wickets in his 13 overs but a shortage of experienced hands on the day made the total a little too difficult for Endon's batsmen.

Micky Dawson's broken thumb from last week's awesome catch, the Bateman's social calendar and Andy Hopwood having to attend to a last minute family emergency diminished the side's capability. However, the younger player's did well enough to ensure a draw and some valuable points.

Under-15s Run Little Stoke Close

Little Stoke 15s vs Endon 15s Cup

Endon travelled to Stone with a very young side missing three senior and key players. A target set by Little Stoke of 123 was well within the bounds of batting possibility as the visitors replied to the home side's challenge. With three of Endon's batsmen reaching a maximum and having to retire, captain Brad Spooner, must have been optimistic about a famous cup victory. However, the batting effort faded with less than ten runs required. Nonetheless this was a promising performance with more to come when the side returns to full strength.

 

ABANDONMENTS LEAVE FIRSTS IN LIMBO

Endon vs Weston

A league programme almost annihilated by Saturday's variable rain showers favoured only a few sides able to complete matches. Oulton and Eccleshall managed the accrual of important points despite the downpours leaving the rest of the 2A league to contemplate the weather's prejudice. Endon managed some batting early in the afternoon allowing Josh Tittensor to put runs on the board and increase his confidence as the side's opener. However, most of the day would be spent in the clubhouse watching the drizzle and contemplating the "big fight"later that night.

The Firsts are left very much in doubt about their real form for the coming season with so little opportunity for all players to show off their cricketing wares. Let us hope that the side's form warms with the weather.

MAGIC U-15s WITH MORE TRICKS TO COME

Porthill U-15s vs Endon U-15s

It is a relatively unusual event for a junior side to travel to Wolstanton Marsh and win against Porthill Park. To achieve this feat with just nine men and many of the team's star players absent is verging on the magical. The wizardry of Sam Plant, 36 not out and three wickets, held the home side spellbound while the sorcerer's apprentices cast their own hocus pocus. Scott Graham knocked 26, Finlay Dermott an important stumping and James Blainey two wickets but the final wave of the wand came from Josh Shaw who secured victory with just two balls to go.

MEAKINS TEST YOUNG THIRDS SIDE

Meakins Sunday Firsts vs Endon Thirds

Sam Plant, finding form and knocking runs for both Seconds and Thirds this weekend

A very young Third team travelled to Meakins on Sunday to test themselves on a premier side's ground. A good start from Sam Plant and Brad Hulme faded against an impressive Meakin's attack that included promising young spinner Louis Gwynne , yet another product of Silverdale's junior assembly line. Louis dismissed dangermen Brad Hulme and Will Weston as the vistors lost their run-scoring momentum and faded to 154 total all out in the 36th over.

Meakin's openers looked in great form and duly set about building a convincing reply. An unbeaten 70 from Hugh Rennie , the highlight of the afternoon, found Endon's bowlers with too few runs to play with despite three wickets from captain, Andy Hopwood.

Many thanks to the youngsters who stood in for missing players on the day and especially to Faith Benson who made her Third team debut at a moment's notice.

WEEK TWO: FIRSTS TAKE ON OULTON AND THE U-9s make their league debut

RAIN WARP FOR SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs Rode Park Seconds

Mick Dawson collects the fifthteenth five wicket haul of his career

A short period of rain did much to determine the outcome of this match. Bowling out the visitors for just over 200 in 45 overs would normally have put Endon's batsmen on the front foot but a response limited to forty overs by a rain interruption distorted a possibly more positive outcome for the home side.

Another great six-wicket haul for veteran Mick Dawson and a very promising performance from young spinner, Sam Plant, did most of the damage to the away side. Mick also laid an early claim to catch of the season as he somehow flexed those well-worn joints to pick up a smashed shot to mid-wicket.

A slow and cagey start by Endon's openers would normally have been a solid platform for victory but 67 runs from more than twenty overs left too much to do for the remaining batsmen despite a flurry of late runs from Mr. Not out, Steve Jodrell and some nice looking strokes from Ed Bateman and Andrew Sibley. A losing draw for the home side is a set back for Matt Gidman's side but if this turns out to be the worst batting performance of the season then they are in for a good season.

FIFTEEN FIVE-FORS

Micky Dawson's six wickets this Saturday was his fifteenth five-wicket haul. We wish him all the best in hitting the twenty mark before he ends an esteemed career

 

OH SO CLOSE AT OULTON

Oulton vs Endon

Alex Bailey, 68 at Oulton on Saturday

Jordan Weaver played a captain's part today as he grabbed hold of the ball to take four wickets in just five overs, as visting Endon restricted the home side to just 189 runs in their fifty-five overs.

Endon's batsmen entered the arena with a fair degree of confidence. A great partnership between Tom Latham and in-form Alex Bailey set up the innings. A middle order failure by just twenty runs failed to take the advantage, however, and, despite a late effort from Dan Bailey, the away side were eventually made to settle for a losing draw.

UNDER-NINES IN LEAGUE ACTION

The U-9s made their inaugural appearance in the league on Saturday Morning. The learning curve is indeed steep for these youngsters but that is precisely the reason why league experience is so vital. Everybody had a great time and many lessons were learned.

Thanks to Vici and Will for running the team. Apparently they enjoyed it as much as the kids.

 

SHIELD SUCCESS FOR SECONDS

Endon Seconds vs Moddershall Seconds (Talbot Shield)

142 run partnership between Will Weston (77*) and Josh Tittensor (72*) ease Endon Seconds through to the Second Round of the Talbot Shield

A Sunday swathed in sunshine but blighted by a cold northerly wind found the Second team throwing off winter cobwebs to overcome the Talbot Shield challenge of Moddershall Seconds. The home side's bowling effort began well with Thom Bateman removing both openers. Josh Tittensor turned his arm over to take two more wickets and Andy Hopwood knocked over another pair. Ben Rowley's 1 for 15 off 9 overs once again gave him an impressive Sunday. A 68 from Moddershall captain Philip Hawkins gave substance to the visitor's total but would prove too little for the depth of Endon's batting line up. Will Weston and Josh Tittensor soon found themselves in a solid partnership that would prove too resolute for Moddershall's bowlers and the game was won by the 32nd over. Onwards and upwards

BRAD BRUISES BURSLEM

Burslem U-15s vs Endon U-15s

The Under-15s made a good solid start to their 2015 campaign with a comfortable victory at Burslem. Four wickets for Brad Spooner and a not out 15 runs was a great performance for Endon's captain of the night. A 35 maximum from Sam Plant broke the back of the run chase.

There will be tougher tests to come but the team looks in fine fettle for a successful season.

Brad Spooner in good form for 2015

WEEK ONE: FIRSTS TAKE ON ALSAGER AT POST LANE AND TRAVEL TO SILVERDALE FOR A TOUGH CUP MATCH ON SUNDAY

GIDDY HEIGHTS AT ALSAGER

Alsager Seconds vs Endon Seconds

Endon's long-serving all-rounder, Matt Gidman, trawled in five wickets at Alsager to bring his wicket total for the Second XI beyond the 250 mark. The Second Team captain's seventh five-wicket haul for the team brought victory as well as a club record.

Steve Jodrell, following his high-flying figures last year, once again made a jump start on the league averages with an impressive 3 for 17 and yet another not out batting performance. A fifty from Nathan Price, including six fours and a six, saw the away side pretty much past the post, securing victory with the loss of just five wickets.

Even with the fresh and youthful under-fifteen faces of Sam Plant and Alex Dutton, the line-up at Alsager displayed an impressive degree of experience. Matt Gidman knows that the team under-achieved last year as some superb statistics did not convert into points. The victory at Alsager gets the team off to great start and with such a strong and seasoned squad there is no reason why many victories should not be frequently reported here this season.

Congratulations

to Matt Gidman on taking his 250th wicket for the second team he now captains. With an even more impessive run record Matt is truly on his way to the title of "CLUB LEGEND"

 

SILVERDALE DISAPPOINTMENT

Silverdale vs Endon (Talbot Cup)

An uncharacteristically poor fielding display from Endon gave Silverdale pro, Sohail Rauf, second and third chances on his way to a not out 112.

Gaz Rigby (27) top scored in the subsequently difficult run chase. Most of the top and middle order also established themselves but no-one pressed on to make the big score that would be necessary for an Endon fight back.

Poor starts to a season do happen but they are often catalysts for great things. The team needs to look back at the fabulous victories from last season and recognise their potential for the coming season is as good as it has ever been.

SLUGGISH START FOR THE FIRSTS

Endon vs Alsager

A solid three-wicket debut from seamer, Chris Jenkins, joining Endon's ranks from last year's rivals, Newcastle and Hartshill, did not prevent, what turned out to be, a remarkably comfortable victory for the visitors, made all the more easy by some even more remarkable umpiring decisions. Several of Endon's batsmen trudged back to the clubhouse contemplating whether or not the officials had some other game in mind before they raised their fingers.

The batting reply to Alsager's committed 250 declaration was solid enough. An opening partnership between Will Weston and Alex Bailey brought thirty odd comfortable runs. Alex looked in wonderful form as sequence of majestic on-drives left his bat but an inside edge bought his innings to a premature close. His 25 runs turned out to be Endon's top score but the team will not be downheartened by a subsequent batting collapse that may not have occurred had decisions been less erroneous. Nonetheless, the defeat was not what Endon's new captain, Jordan Weaver, would have hoped for and he will be looking for a more positive performance in the cup match at Silverdale tomorrow.

Thank you Phil Rowley

Master groundsman

What a great job you have done over the winter - wonderful looking square

 

THIRDS OFF TO A FLIER

Ben Rowley, in great form, picking up where he left off in 2014

A damp squib opening match at Meir Heath last weekend saw the Thirds take some quick wickets and look favourites for an away victory before the weather brought play to a close. Hoping to build on last week's performance, Third team captain, Andy Hopwood was not disappointed in the first home match of the season against Audley.

Audley batted first and struggled to make a big total as astute captain, Andy Hopwood, gave all of his ten potential bowlers a chance to blow away the winter cobwebs with a few overs each. Ben Rowley started 2015 as he left 2014, very much on the up with a good bowling spell and two gulley catches, one of which, a terrifc leap to the right, brought rave reviews from his team mates. A 35 with the bat rounded off a great Rowley day.

Scott ,,,,, a recent arrival from Hem Heath, set his stall with a good bowling display and his first wicket for the club. With so many good bowlers in Andy Hopwood's eyeline it will be interesting to see what emerges from this wealth of potential wicket-takers.

The aquisiton of Dan Reed, also from Hem Heath - thanks Emily! - is looking to be a huge boon to the club. Dan has made a great start to the season, not only top-scoring today with an impressive 45 with the bat but also doing a good job for the First XI on the opening Saturday.

We wish Dan and Scott the very best of luck in their first season with Endon