Following an impressive win at home to potential title challengers Woodbank on the opening day of the 2015 campaign, Glossop 1XI looked to build on their good start with two tricky away fixtures.
Saturday saw them travel to Stretford, in a game which looked certain to be threatened by the weather. Glossop found themselves bowling first, and thanks to classy spells from new youngster, Cameron Ball, and spinner turned medium-pacer, Alex Coates, who picked up 3 and 5 wickets respectively, Stretford were restricted to 230 all out, although it still looked a challenging total to chase down in the conditions. To the surprise of nobody, the inevitable rain kicked in and resulted in a reduced target for Glossop of 160 to win. They did so at a canter with Oliver Kenyon hitting a superb 60*, whilst he was ably supported by those around him as they crossed the line with 7 wickets in hand, resulting in a useful 5 point victory.
The Sunday brought an even tougher challenge at Windsor Park, home of big title rivals Denton West. This time, Glossop were batting first, and in difficult conditions made 167-9, Alex Coates the pick of the performers with a determined 40 as well as an important contribution from Oliver Kenyon to help the visitors up to a respectable total. In reply, Denton West never quite got to grips with the ruthless Glossop attack as their top and middle order were blown away by a superb opening spell from Mark Usher, picking up 3 wickets, but once again, as it had been on the Saturday, it was Alex Coates who did the real damage, running through 6 of the struggling West line-up. Glossop bowled the hosts out for 81 in emphatic style and West never looked to have any reply to the overwhelming barrage they were faced with, as the boys from North Road surged to the top of the table after 3 games, sitting on 14 points. An exceptional start to the new season.
In the reverse fixtures in the 2XI, Glossop bowled Stretford out for 89 in a near perfect bowling and fielding performance in horrific conditions, Dan Senior picking up 4 wickets and Will Coates claiming 3 scalps from the visitors line up. In reply, David Wilde and Will Coates knocked off the revised target of 66 with ease inside 10 overs, giving Glossop a much needed 5 point win after the disappointment of the previous weekend. Before the rain set in on Sunday, Glossop found themselves in a commanding position against a strong Denton West side, having restricted their opponents to 81-4 after 30 overs thanks to flawless spells from all the bowlers, Cole Turner the pick of the attack. The home side certainly would’ve fancied themselves to win the game when a revised total of 44 from 26 overs was agreed after hours of rain, but unfortunately the weather was the real winner, as the sides shared the spoils with 2 points apiece.
Both teams can certainly take confidence into the next round of matches against Dukinfield, the 1XI at home in a 1pm start and the 2XI in the reverse. Get down and support the lads.