A new day, a new challenge, new opposition. From the familiar faces of Prestwich and a substandard performance on Saturday, to the Central Lancashire League leaders, Norden, in the last 16 round of the LCB KO Cup at North Road. With the visitors, and last years runners-up in the competition, probably being ranked as one of the top 5 sides in the county, it was a chance for the Glossop side to test themselves against some of the best on show.
Norden won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to have a bat on the pristine Glossop track with the much talked about professional, Daniel Salpietro, and fellow Australian Simon Harman opening the batting for the CLL side. It was Glossop who began on the front foot, Mark Usher (1-18) removing Salpietro for 0 caught down the leg side by keeper Dale Pennington; a near perfect start for the home side. Lancashire 2XI wicket-keeper Ashley Gowers came to the crease at 3, and along with Harman took control of the game, showing that wickets were clearly going to be hard to come by. Both batsmen had already passed 50 when Gowers was bowled by Cameron Ball for 57, and the players were off for rain soon after much to the annoyance of both sides and the spectators. When the innings eventually recommenced Ball (3-52) picked up another wicket, this time of opener Simon Harman who was excellent value for his knock of 92. Captain Simon North ensured that the visitors continued at a good rate in the latter stages, hitting 45 from 28 balls as Norden posted 211-4 from their 45 overs, with the game nicely poised heading into the second half.
Glossop started well through the ever reliable opening duo of Dale Pennington and pro Lee Dale, reaching 63-1 before Pennington was bowled by the Norden skipper for 14. Oliver Kenyon arrived and looked comfortable before he succumbed to the leg spin of Wild for 11, but the dangerous Lee Dale, although injured, was still going strong at the other end. The hard hitting left hander looked to be motoring towards his third century in four games as he began to hit the bowling to all parts, but one big shot too many saw him caught on the boundary for a classy, indispensable 92 off 98. George Dyson (15) looked set at the crease before a loose shot gave Wild (3-39) a wicket in his last over with Glossop 161-4, requiring 50 runs from the last 7 overs. Alex Coates and Will Hargreaves were now together in the middle, knowing that Salpietro was guaranteed to bowl his full allocation in the latter stages. The clever manipulation of the field from Coates who had shown the full extent of the strokes in his armoury, ranging from crashing extra cover drives, to delicate reverse sweeps, meant both men were picking up singles and two’s easily, with an occasional boundary every so often to help the cause whilst Norden were constantly tweaking their field. The home side were making good progress before Hargreaves was bowled for a run-a-ball 17 by Salpietro, now requiring 16 from the last 2 overs. A huge 6 from Matt Sonczak in the penultimate over, as well as 3 singles, meant Glossop needed 7 from the final over, to be bowled by the pro. Coates swept the first ball for 2, and when the very next ball went in the same direction for 4 the game was all but over. The field was brought in with the scores level, cue an elegant lofted straight drive for 4 to win the game with 3 balls remaining. Alex Coates was the hero at the end for Glossop with an innings of the highest class, hitting 45* off 42 in a fairytale finish for the North Road boys; a remarkable peripeteia given the result on Saturday, and sheer delirium in the home dressing room.
The victory means Glossop will now have another challenging fixture in the quarter final, playing Bootle at home on Sunday 26th July. Again, it’s not a game you want to miss.