December League Newsletter

Written by  //  January 23, 2012  //  News  //  Comments Off

        THE  December  issue   of  Newsletter   wishes   all  readers 

                   A   HAPPY   CHRISTMAS   AND   AN   ENJOYABLE   NEW   YEAR      




THE League points scoring system will show radical change in 2012 if a proposal tabled at the November management meeting is approved by clubs in January.

Spokesman Brian Boys told the meeting at Timperley on Wednesday, November 23rd that after a proposal submitted at last year’s meeting had received strong support despite being defeated, a Cricket Committee sub group was formed to devise format changes for 2012 under the chairmanship of Nantwich captain Andy Newton.

The proposals’ bullet points were as follows:

O Maximum length of innings for teams batting first to be half the overs available (55 in Premier League, 50 in First and Second Division games).

O 25 points for all wins

O Fewer batting bonus points (4) available (e.g. in Premier League games at 160, 180, 200 and 220 runs).

O Double batting bonus points retained for teams batting first;

O Fewer bowling points (4) available for taking wickets 3,5,7 and 9.

O Two points for drawn games retained.

Mr. Boys said the new system was intended to promote more positive cricket by increasing the differential in points gained for a win against possible points for a draw or defeat..

It underpinned the principal that a win should always be the objective of both teams and always have the same value regardless of who won the toss.

Not win / lose cricket

 The system was not win / lose cricket and recognised that a draw could still be played for.

The proposal recognised that all almost all games were currently played on an even overs basis and to change to the new arrangement would simplify the points structure and enable players and spectators to understand the competition rules more clearly.

To reward sides that fully dismiss their opponents when bowling first or wished to declare to give themselves more time to bowl out their opponents, the balance of overs is retained.

Similarly, batting bonus points should be available for all overs of a normal innings (55 in Premier league, 50 in Divisions 1 and 2), but not for excess overs in the second innings .

At the Timperley meeting, several clubs said they preferred to retain the 60-50 and 55-45 overs differential. It was explained that this would mean wholesale changes to the proposal, which needed to be approved or rejected in its present form that evening.

A straw poll was taken and clubs voted in favour of the motion going forward in its present form to the January meeting for a final decision.

Chairman David Humpage told clubs: “Nothing is set in stone. If you ultimately agree to this proposal, let’s see how it works out . You have the power to make changes in 2013”.


2nd XI CUP:  Clubs will also be asked in January to vote on the future format of the 2nd XI RedInsure Cup:  The alternatives are that it becomes a T20 competition similar to the 1st and 3rd XI knock-outs or retains it present 45 overs form.

Also up for approval – or rejection – at the January meetings at Bowdon on Wednesday, January 25th are a series of  relatively minor changes to the playing regulations and the Constitution.





Premiership lap-top

scoring likely in 2012

CHAIRMAN Davd Humpage told the November management meeting that the League were pursuing hopes of introducing lap-top scoring in the Premier League in 2012.

A £1,000 grant from the ECB was being sought which would help the league purchase lap tops and issue them to Premier League clubs for use on match days.   A sub-committee was looking into the practicalities.

(Since the November meeting, the ECB have confirmed that the £1,000 grant will be made. As a result specific proposals for 2012 are likely to be tabled by the chairman at the January meeting).

Administrator Darren Sutcliffe reported that the League website had taken a record 380,000 ‘hits’ last season, an increase of 80,000 on 2010 which was largely down to greater interest in the Stats section.

Fines for clubs who had missed their website deadlines had been steep.

He reminded new Premier League clubs that they had to register all their players with the ECB via the website.

Chairman Humpage referred to the rejection of Davenham’s admission to the league after finishing runner-up in the Meller Braggins League.  The view of the inspection committee had been unananimous that the Davenham square was not suitable for County League cricket. The club were now taking steps to improve the square with advice from Paul Agar and he hoped that if they were again eligible for promotion in 12 months’ time it would be possible to admit them.

Treasurer Brent Wilkinson was considering standing down after 16 years for personal reasons and the chairman invited expressions of interest from anyone with a firm grasp of finance. .

Mr. Wilkinson reminded clubs that all cricket ball orders had to be received in by December 31st. Clubs only needed to notify him if their orders were different to those in 2011.


New cricket balls agreement

The League had entered into a three-year contract for Readers balls in 2012-13-14 at a slightly increased price of £15.89 including the higher rate of VAT. Readers had again offered a substantial discount which would be passed onto clubs through a supply of free balls.

Secretary Geoff Wellsteed said an agreement had been reached with Chapel Press for a fourth year of sponsorship and asked clubs to co operate with any promotional requests.  A new Chapel Press Trophy would be awarded to the Over 40s play-off winners.

Competition secret5aqry Mike Talbot-Butler urged the eight clubs involved in the first round of the 1st XI Cup to consider playing their matches pre-season on Saturday or Sunday, April 14th or 15th to avoid playing in late April and early May when evening light was limited.

Finals Day at Neston would remain on Sunday, July 29th despite the ECB bringing forward the Barbados Cockspur t20 Area finals to the following Sunday, August 5th.  This means that in the event of rain, a toss of the coin will have to be made to find winners.  The Plate final could be played at a later date in this event.

Graham Coull and Ian Sharrock were thanked for their part in producing the 1st and 2nd XI, Over 40s and 1st XI Cup and Plate fixtures so early.   These had been distributed and were available on the website.

He asked clubs to provide lists of officers for use in the handbook.  A special form was available to be e-mailed to clubs on application.


Jimmy Williams leads England Disabled

POYNTON’s Jimmy Williams is to captain the England Physical Disabilities squad in three x 40 overs and two x T20 international matches against Pakistan at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai in February (reports Martin Saxon in the autumn edition of his Club Newsletter).

Jimmy leads his country in the first international matches for disabled players to be formally approved by the ICC.  A long-serving player and member of a well-known sporting family at London road, Jimmy captained the club 2nd XI last season.

Long-serving batsman Brian Kingham, who has scored almost 17,000 runs in a one-club career, returns to the post of  cricket chairman which was left open in 2011 when Poynton experienced a disastrous season resulting in relegation to Division Two.

Gould move denied

The 1st XI is again to be captained by Paul Gould, who denies a report that he is moving to Timperley.  In fact, Paul takes on the additional post of Director of Coaching from Tony Hutter.

Mark Fletcher becomes 2nd XI captain and Brian Thompson will lead the thirds, while Jane Williams steps down as juniors chairman in favour of Damien Mullaney.

John Marsden and Chris Haresape continue as secretary and treasurer respectively.

At Poynton’s end of season hot pot, 17 year-old Josh Hampson, in his debut season, became the youngest ever to win the 1st XI Player of Year award. Clubman of the Year was Peter Heath, last season’s 3rd XI captain / Legends player / 1st XI scorer, who also did fine work on the ground

The Sports Club chairmanship was left vacant at the AGM, before a disappointing attendance of 14 members. Jim Wilde was named Clubman of the Year.  Income fell from £245,308 to £243,920, but a surplus of £9,650 was recorded.




RedInsure renew

 Cup sponsorship

SPECIALIST sports club insurers RedInsure have agreed to extend their sponsorship of the League’s 1st and 2nd cup competitions into a third season in 2012.

They will provide the League with £1,250 to underwrite the costs involved in staging  the 1st XI knock out Finals Day at Neston on Sunday, July 29th.  A further £250 goes towards staging the 2nd XI final, a date for which has yet to be agreed.

The League have given their approval for RedInsure to contact all member clubs asking them to provide their  insurance property renewal dates so they can offer a quotation..



 Hyde, the League’s top cup team in all 2011 competitions, have a first round bye in next season’s RedInsure T20 followed by a visit to Bollington or Cheadle in round two.

All 36 clubs entered the draw which requires four first round games to be played by Bank Holiday Monday, May 7th.

Finals Day is at Neston on Sunday, July 29th, the winners again getting the opportunity to represent the league in the ECB t20 Cup Area finals

 Round 1 (by May 7): Heaton Mersey v Sale; Bramhall v Urmston; Alderley Edge v Stockport; Bollington v Cheadle.

  Round 2 (by Monday, May 28): HM or Sale v Timperley; Bramhall or Urmston v Didsbury; Marple v Toft; Bowdon v Brooklands; AE or Stockport v Poynton; Bolly or Cheadle v Hyde; Cheadle Hulme v Macclesfield; Bredbury St. Mark’s v Stockport Georgians; Grappenhall v Nantwich; Malpas v Congleton; Middlewich v Warrington; Oulton Park v Tattenhall; Christleton v Irby; Upton v Chester BH; Alvanley v Oxton; Widnes v Neston.

Round 3 is to be played by Monday, June 25th and the quarter-finals by Monday, July 16th.

Also made is the Plate draw, providing a second chance for clubs knocked out in the first round two rounds of the main competition. This final is also be at Neston on July 29th. Rain there will necessitate the game being played at a later date.


Third XI changes agreed

THE format for the League’s 3rd XI Third and Fourth Divisions in 2012 will be as follows

Division 3 East (10 teams, 18 fixtures): Cheadle, Didsbury, Bredbury, Brooklands, Marple 4, Cheadle Hulme, Hale Barns, Alderley Edge, Bollington, Bowdon.

Division 3 West (10 teams, 18 fixtures): Runcorn, Middlewich, Ashley, Oulton Park, Congleton, Stretton, Winnington Park, Neston, Nantwich 4, Christleton.

Division 4 East (10 teams, 18 fixtures) : Woodford, Ashton on Mersey, Cheadle 4, Woodley, Bramhall 4, Hyde, Bredbury 4th, Stockport Georgians 4th, Romiley 4th , Prestbury.

 Division 4 West (9 teams, 16 fixtures, one free each week): Mobberley, Oxton, Warrington 5, Alvanley, Northwich, Tranmere Vics, Wistaston Village, Ashley 4, Bowdon Vale.

The Jack Gardner Trophy is to remain in its present T20 format with mini-groups followed by the knock out stages. Bollington and Prestbury are to be excluded for forfeiting 2011 fixtures.

Third XI Sunday League fixtures have been produced by Rob Arnold and will be distributed ASAP.


Cheshire CCC cut losses to £4,278

CHESHIRE County Cricket Club reduced their losses from £8,391 in 2009 to £4,278 at the end of the 2010 financial year , it was reported at the AGM on November 14th

The accounts showed that while income fell from £50,184 to £44,563, expenditure was also cut from £53,243 to £44,693.  Principal incomings were £32,232 from the Minor Counties Cricket Association via their ECB grant, £2,666 in sponsorship, £2,709 membership subscriptions and £3,060 200 Club.

Staging cricket again proved expensive with Minor Counties match costs amounting to £39,451 plus £3,690 to run the Development XI.

Treasurer Graham Hall reported that the club had net assets of £90,755 on November 30th, 2010.

James Duffy was appointed 1st XI captain after further tributes were paid to Andrew Hall, who had retired after 10 outstanding seasons’ service.

Other officers elected: President Tony Percival; Chairman John Pickup; Vice chairman and Cricket chairman David Bailey; Secretary and Marketing officer Derrick Hastings; Treasurer Graham Hall; Assistant treasurer Keith McGuffie; Membership secretary and Team co-ordinator Peter Baggage; Assistant secretary and Match manager co ordinator Elise Scrimgeour .







2012 Cheshire fixtures


Minor Counties Cup (one day):

Sunday, April 22 v Northumberland away;

Sunday, May 6 v Cumberland at Christleton;

Sunday, May 13 v Cambridgeshire away;

Sunday, May 20 v Herefordshire at Bramhall

Quarter-finals: Sunday, June 17.

Semi-finals: Sunday, July 2; final: TBA.


Minor Counties championship (three days):

Sunday – Tuesday, June 10 – 12 v Shropshire at Bridgnorth

Sunday – Tuesday, June 24 – 26: v Wales at Usk

Sunday – Tuesday, July 10 – 12 v Dorset at Alderley Edge;

Sunday – Tuesday, July 22 – 24 v Cornwall at Truro.

Sunday – Tuesday, August 5 – 7 v Berkshire at Nantwich;

Sunday – Tuesday, August 19 – 21 v Herefordshire at Chester Boughton Hall.

The inter-divisional play-off will be on the ground of the Western zone winners, from Sunday – Wednesday, September 2 – 5.


Club fines top £4,000

SENIOR club fines for the 2011 financial year have topped £4,000 following returns from the respective Results secretaries.

Congratulations are due to Congleton and Heaton Mersey who did not incur a single fine during the second half of the year from July 1st to November 30th.

Worst culprits were Brooklands/Sale Moor with nine fines; Hyde eight; Macclesfield and Oulton Park both seven.


Indoor cricket

OULTON PARK’S Peter Robinson is again running the Mid-Cheshire Indoor Cricket League from October to March this winter, with a membership reduced to five teams due, he says, to so few people prepared to act as organisers.

Taking part in regular Wednesday evening six-a-side games at St. Nicholas RC High School, Hartford are Alvanley, Kingsley Mavericks  – the current leaders – Kingsley Vampires. Oulton Park and Winsford.

League’s activities are covered on an excellent website run by Alvanley’s Andy Bennion:


Cheshire Cup dates

ORGANISER Rick Davis announces the following dates for the Cheshire Cup and Shield in 2012:

Cup: round 1 April 29; round 2 May 6; round 3 May 27; round 4 June 17; round 5 July 25; semi-finals August 5; final on September 2.

Shield: round 1 June 17; round 2 July 1; round 3 July 22; semi-finals August 12; final on August 26.

Both competitions still seek a sponsor – if interested contact Rick Davis on


Three Vets on Aussie tour

THREE members of the Cheshire team which retained the Spitfire 60 Plus National championship last season are  in Australia on an England Vets’ tour.

They are Chris Lees (Marple), Ian Brown (Cheadle Hulme) and Alan Hitchmough (Irby) and all are figuring in England teams playing Australia in a series of Vets Tests.

Chris Lees was injured playing in the Avondale International Festival near Melbourne when he suffered medial ligament damage.  He is currently walking with a stick and is reportedly proving a pain to his colleagues.



 Cheshire Over Fifties 2012 fixtures (all Wednesdays) are: May 16 Shropshire friendly away; May 23 Notts home; May 30  Durham home; June 13 Yorkshire away; June 20 Derbyshire home; June 27 Cumbria away; July 4 Northumberland home; July 11 Lancashire away.

The last 16 play-off is on July 29; quarter-finals August 12; semi-finals August 26; final September 9. All Sundays






Hash Maitra to be

Juniors chairman

NEW chairman of the League’s Junior section is to be former Heaton Mersey and Brooklands batsman Hash Maitra.

Hash, who has 25 years playing and coaching experience in the League, takes over on January 1st from Gary Dixon who stood down after three years at the AGM at Warrington on Sunday, November 27th owing to his overseas commitments.  Gary is now working in the Saudi Arabian capital city Riyadh.

Secretary David Vallance delivered a report on a busy year with 597 games scheduled and only a small number cancelled, even though the weather had been poor..

Main issues surrounded a relatively short playing season and the timing of the age group finals. The season passed relatively free of incident although those which did occur consumed large amounts of officers’ time.

Acting chairman David Humpage reported that there had been complaints about the quality of the cricket balls supplied by Key Cricket and it had been suggested that a smaller version of the Reader ball used in senior cricket, would be preferable.

New balls, please

 A straw poll indicated a desire for change and Mr. Humpage said a supply of Reader balls could be obtained for £5 plus VAT for Under 11 – 13 cricket and a ball at £8 plus VAT for Under 14 – 17s.  The balls deal could earn a considerable discount and would carry the  Chapel Press logo.

Dealing with playing regulations, the meeting agreed that if one team was a player short, the two managers may agree which player shall bat twice. The nominated player would then bats in a pair with the ‘last man’, the pair facing four overs in the normal way.

Haslington and Caldy were admitted and will become associate members to play in the under 15 section.  Sale have announced their intention to withdraw from all junior cricket in 2012

Bramhall, Stockport Georgians and Woodford had played in an under 7 competition at the end of last season  and hoped to encourage others to take part in 2012.

Junior Players of the Year were:  Alex Newman (Romiley) under 11; Ed Francis (Bramhall) under 13; Dan Mulholland (Bollington) Under 15.

O A girl player, Ellie Mason (Bramhall) topped the Under 11 bowling averages for the whole league, taking nine wickets from 11 overs, average 3.67, economy 3 runs per over.


North-West Colts Trophy pays out

THE North-West Colts Trophy which delivered top quality inter-league cricket for the best under 18 players in the region since 1979, has officially disbanded and has now disbursed its funds.

A bank balance totalling £2,969 had accrued and it been agreed that the five leagues showing greatest support in latter years should be offered 20 per cent shares, having promised to dedicate the money to youth cricket. Those leagues are the Cheshire County, Liverpool Competition, Meller Braggins Cheshire, Merseyside Competition and Southport & District.

The County League junior committee plan to put their share towards setting up a dedicated website and renewing damaged trophies


Death of Keith Woodcock

ONE of the best batsmen ever to be raised in mid-Cheshire, Keith Bernard Woodcock died in a Davenham care home on November 30th aged 72. His funeral is at Sandiway Parish Church, near Northwich, on Monday, December 12th at 11.30 a.m.

Keith was the son of Bernard and the younger brother of Tony Woodcock, all of whom played for Winnington Park and Cheshire   A quality left-hander, Keith made his Minor Counties debut for Cheshire in 1963, scoring two half centuries on debut against a strong Warwickshire 2nd XI at Edgbaston

He was educated at Sir John Deane’s GS and Liverpool University and played for the Combined Universities in 1960.

A Chester schoolteacher for most of his professional career, he was a one club man with Winnington for 40 years and later became chairman


Dan Brown Tours

CHEADLE cricketer Dan Brown has set up a company named thecricketour specialising  in delivering what that title suggests – high-quality all-inclusive cricket tours.

Dan’s objective is to provide fixtures of any strength required, food, accommodation, match balls and match fees, all of which are included in his fee.

Dan says a tour to any part of the UK is an ideal way to prepare for a new season, or to take a break mid-term and invites any club interested to contact him on 07891 589 793 or by e-mail at  He also has a dedicated website –  (that’s one t).





Success of Second XI

umpiring coverage

CHAIRMAN Ian Greensmith hailed the success of covering 2nd XI Premier Division matches with panel members for the first time in 2011, at the Umpires & Scorers Association AGM at Toft on Wednesday, November 16th.

Four out of six fixtures a week were regularly covered, sometimes by more than one panel member and clubs had welcomed the innovation. “We have no wish to prevent experienced club umpires standing in these games in future although we would like them to formally join the Association”, he said.

Mr. Greensmith warned 2nd XI clubs that the pre-match meeting between panel umpires and captains should always be observed for the purpose of the toss, inspection of cricket balls and payment of expenses.

He considered that the Association currently had just about the right membership to cover all 1st XI and 2nd XI premier games, with exchanges continuing with the Liverpool Competition. Few umpires were required on stand-by.

For the first time in 2011, marks gained by Premier League umpires had to be sent to the ECB for monitoring purposes and this had been made easier by a 100 pc return by clubs to co ordinator Ken Spilsbury.

John Lofthouse had been appointed Performance Officer by the Cheshire Association of Umpires & Scorers and one of his first jobs had been to grade all 245 members. Paul Herring had been appointed Scorers Officer to encourage the recruitment of more scorers.

Mr. Greensmith considered that players’ behaviour had been better than in most neighbouring leagues.


Neville Kent off to Oz

 Neville Kent was congratulated on his selection as Best New Umpire of the Year, winning the Terry Hill Memorial Trophy. Neville was due to spend 10 weeks in Australia to gain experience of  umpiring in grade cricket

 Umpires Association Appointments Secretary Jon Hacking reported that all 1st XI games except one (his error) had been covered with two umpires in 2011. He expected that the panel would remain at the same level in 2012, with several umpires moving up from the Meller Braggins Cheshire League to replace those retiring.  He believed promotion of umpires through the pyramid should be encouraged in the same way that clubs were promoted.

It was agreed that the Umpires dinner should be held on the premises of a member club on Friday, April 13th in 2012. The pre-season meeting would be at Timperley on Wednesday, April 18th .

Treasurer Bob Abel reported a healthy balance of £621, the main items of expenditure being a £120 subsidy for the hot pot which followed the Sale meeting in September and £50 on a memento to mark the departure of John Silver to live in Devon. Subs were retained at £5.

Secretary Glyn Roberts was absent ill, but offered to continue and he and all officers were re-elected. They were: Chairman Ian Greensmith; Secretary Glyn Roberts; Treasurer Bob Abel; Appointments secretary Jon Hacking; Recruitment and Retention secretary Alistair Davies; Assessment secretary Ken Spilsbury; Fair Play coordinator John Lofthouse; Committee: Rick Davis, John Lofthouse, Geoff Wellsteed and the officers.  Dave Sutton had resigned .

At the start of  the meeting, Life member Mike Talbot-Butler paid tribute to the late John Haddad, a member of the first panel in 1979, who had died on October 30th aged 84. Members observed a minute’s silence.

O Cheshire Umpires Association chairman Ian Greensmith is keen to increase the number of qualified Umpire Tutors and Assessors in the county. Anyone who would like to become qualified to carry out either task should contact him on 01925 227 243.


Cheshire Groundsmen’s AGM

CHAIRMAN Nick James told the Cheshire Association of Groundsmen’s AGM at Grappenhall on November 11th that funding had been received from ECB and the Cheshire Cricket Board for a new groundsmen’s aerator, currently located at Tattenhall.

Several deals had been negotiated including a 25 pc discount on Barenburg Seeds supplied by Bamcroft Amenities, a package with Rigby Taylor on seed and food products and the bulk purchase of loam at 10 pc off from Battersby’s of Heywood.

Four IOG courses had been run during the year, at Warrington, Toft and two at Hale Barns.

Treasurer Dave Twiney said the main costs had been the new groundsman’s spiker (£658) and servicing and parts for existing machinery (£478). Members’ income was down to £930 leaving a balance of £1,084, subs remaining at £10.

Grant money dries up

The Cheshire Board’s Mike Woollard warned members that there was no further grant money available through the ECB, but interest free loans could still be obtained..

Head of professional services at the IOG Ian Lacey gave a detailed presentation of his job and the working relationship with the ECB for improving training and pitch and ground maintenance throughout the UK.

There was a  poor attendance of only 10 clubs,. including only five from the County League: Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Stockport, Tattenhall and Warrington

Officers elected: chairman Nick James; treasurer David Twiney; secretary Brian Jarrard; pitch advisor Paul Agar. Dave Ward and Alan Rickett stood down from the committee, leaving only one member, Mark Samaru. Co-options will be considered for the vacancies.




Heaton Mersey win

top ground award

HEATON MERSEY was named Grassroots Sports Ground of the Year at the Institute of Groundsmen’s annual awards evening at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium on Thursday, December 1st.

The award was received by ‘Mersey curator Nick James, who was himself named runner-up from a short list of nine as IOG Groundsman of the Year.

The event was enjoyed by an audience of 350 including Nick and his wife Barbara and ‘Mersey cricket secretary Nicola Bennett and her husband Doug.

The IOG Lifetime Achievement Award was won by Richard Campey of the Cheshjre-based Campey’s Turf Care Systems.

The MC was Radio Talk Sport’s Mark Saggers and guest speaker was England selector Geoff Miller.


Welsh club in Cheshire Women’s League

CHESHIRE Women’s Cricket League Press officer Martin Saxon reports in his November Newsletter ‘The Dazzler’ that Welsh-based club Hope have been admitted to help form a new Third Division in 2012.

Hope will play their home games on neighbouring grounds at Northop, Northop Hall and Pontblyddyn against Bredbury St. Mark’s – some journey – Hawarden Park, Lymm Oughtrington Park, New Brighton, Oxton and a second new club, Didsbury.

Division 2 will comprise Bolton Indians, Hyde. Neston and Timperley, with Appleton, Chester Boughton Hall Deemons, Oakmere, Romiley & Dinting and Trafford MV making up Division One.  An EGM is to be held to confirm these arrangements.

Sarah McCann continues as chairman with Carol Ingham secretary and Anna Goatman competition secretary

Former England Academy captain and Middlesex player Jenny Halstead returns to captain Cheshire in the county championship next season.

Fuller details of this well-run and fast-expanding section of cricket in Cheshire is available on the dedicated website run by Martin Saxon:


Club News …..



PROMOTED to the County League after winning the Meller Braggins Cheshire League First Division title, Alvanley will be captained by Andy Bennion . Dave Jones leads the twos and Dave Summers the threes.

Bob Cunningham has been re-elected president with Chris Fletcher retaining the chairmanship and Andy Senior continuing as secretary.

Alvanley finished top of the MBCL Pitch table for the second half of the season with a mark of 4.60 out of a maximum 5.00



LONG-serving former playing member and Cheshire batsman from 1973-78, Steve Murrills is the new chairman at Bowdon, succeeding David Young.

Expecting to have fully recovered from a broken hand suffered in September, Gareth Edwards will continue to captain  the 1st XI.

Lancashire batsman Mark Chilton, who played regularly at South Downs Road last season, retired from first-class cricket at the end of his Benefit Year.  Mark, who formerly played for Manchester Grammar  School, Brooklands and Durham University, made 433 appearances for Lancashire, scoring 14,437 runs, including 26 centuries and 60 half-centuries. He won his county cap in 2002 and was captain from 2005-07.

Another player who has been released by Lancashire is fast bowler Steven Cheetham, ex-Bowdon in 2009.



A BROCHURE was produced to mark Bramhall’s 125th anniversary year by Peter Babbage, Richard Cragg, Nick Daber, Iam Milligan, Terry Daniels, George Hill and Barry Rickson.

The booklet contained  many fine pictures of Bramhall teams past and present, together with an attractive aerial view  of the pavilion at Church Lane taken by Brian Lord shortly shortly after it was completed in 1998.









FOLLOWING their relegation to Division Two, Cheadle have made a series of changes in a bid regain higher status.

Off the field, Tony Brady moves from secretary to become chairman with Alison Ives taking over his former post. .On the field news centres on the return from Didsbury of two Old Boys, all-rounder Paul Sperring as 1st XI captain and batsman Greg Dixon, while Chris Brady makes the short trip back after a decent season at Cheadle Hulme.  Simon Hall has been persuaded to end his self-imposed early retirement and Rick Gandy and Mark Farrell return from Ashley.

Jack Poulton remains as 2nd XI captain as do Simon Orton and Ian Hall in charge of the Thirds and Over Forties respectively.


FORMER Chester Boughton Hall and Cheshire batsman Eric Richard Davis has died aged 92.

A club stalwart for many years before the war and again afterwards, Durham-born Eric was one of Chester’s most prolific batsmen in their Liverpool Competition days.  He also starred at football as an amateur for Everton and Lancashire FA and was a low handicap golfer at Sandiway. He played four Minor Counties games for Cheshire, all in 1939.

Jim Law has resigned after a successful three-year period as chairman .

Lee Dixon and all-rounder Mark Rowland are moving to Filkins Lane from Oxton and also arriving from Oxton is  wicket-keeper Matthew Griffiths, with Steve Ogilby doffing the gloves to take over as captain from Jim Gillson and field in the slips. Jim, who emigrated to New Zealand in September is already playing first grade cricket for Stoke Nayland, a team captained by former Timperley all-rounder Ryan Edwards. .

Two key players absent in 2012 will be Jordan Clark, who has signed a full-time professional contract with Lancashire and has joined Burnley in the Lancashire League and Trinidad all-rounder Daren Cruikshank.



THE Anderson family continue to lead at Didsbury with Duncan continuing as chairman and Treasurer and his son, Nick, carrying on as 1st XI captain.

Steve Whiteside becomes 2nd XI captain with Adam Pearce taking over as League rep and becoming captain of the successful 3rd XI.  Tony DeWeever is to skipper the fourths.



ENTHUSIASTIC wicket-keeper Liam Parkinson is to captain Grappenhall in their bid to regain a Premier League place in 2012, succeeding Steve Titchard and Guy Emmett, who shared the job last season.

Steve Newall becomes the new Over 40s contact.

Members enjoyed a successful Golf Day at Ringway when the winners were the Peckforton Castle team captained by former Grappenhall chairman Tony Naylor aided by his sons.

Neil Fairbrother’s father, Les, celebrated his  80th birthday with a well0-attended party on November 15th.



THREE new captains at Heaton Mersey are Bobby Sachar (from 2nd to 1st XI); Abbas Shah (3rd to 2nd XI) and Joe Ingham (3rd XI).



CHESHIRE batsman Danny Berry takes over as 1st XI captain at Hyde from newly-appointed county skipper. James Duffy.



FOCUS Club status has been bestowed upon Malpas by the Cheshire Cricket Board and the ECB reports secretrary Max Fundke who says this follows hard work by all sections , especially on the junior side.  Malpas club had no juniors  to talk about two years ago, now they have 60 plus playing competitive cricket.

Mark Jones takes over as club chairman from Jon Suckley, who becomes 1st XCI vaptain. Glen Jackson becomes Juniors chairman.

Malpas will host two matches involving the English Cricket Association for the Deaf in 20121: ECAD North v South on August 5 and Malpas v ECAD Lions next day.







MIDDLEWICH have shown faith in their officers by re-electing almost all for the 2012 season. Gavin Tomlinson remains chairman, with James Cornford, Andrew Tutt and Mike Boyle continuing to lead the 1st, 2nd and 3rd XIs.

Steve Tutt, who has good experience as secretary of  neighbouring Cheshire League football club Middlewich Town,  takes over from Steve Worthington as secretary



AFTER taking the unusual step of advertising externally for a new 1st XI captain following Andy Roberts’ decision to step down, Neston have appointed one of their own in top young batsman David Hurst.  David is currently playing for Swan Athletic in Perth grade cricket alongside the Pavlinovitch brothers Luke and Damien who have both served at Parkgate.

Graham Lea-Swain steps down as 2nd XI captain after three successful seasons, to be succeeded by Phil James, with Paul Sullivan and Pete Carter continuing to lead the thirds and fourths.

After 40 vears’ committee service, Hugh Schofield steps down as Fixture secretary and is succeeded by Dougie Chadwick. Hugh, who remains as League rep., has had the upgraded scorebox named after him with an appropriate plaque attached

David Lewis continues as chairman after his late 2011 appointment and Richard Palmer remains as secretary.

Neston have won the Club Mirror magazine Cricket Club of the Year award, presented by television personality John Inverdale at a ceremony in Manchester attended by more than 600 people. Head judge Caroline Scoular told her audience: “From hundreds of entries we selected Neston for the pivotal role they play in the community and for their ability to provide a safe and convivial environment in which to play sport and socialise”.



SIGNS of a stronger line-up at Oulton Park next season are the return of pace bowler Guy Emmett from Grappenhall, with Rick Moore and Craig Williamson expected back after missing most of the 2011 campaign due to injury.

League chairman David Humpage was a guest at the annual dinner, held at the Millpool Restaurant, Little Budworth..



WITH father and son Gary Dixon and Lee Dixon both departing the scene, another father and son partnership in Mark and Graham Cashin have been appointed to succeed them as chairman and 1st XI captain respectively at Oxton.

Dixon junior (Ross) stays put and becomes vice captain of the 1st XI which will again enjoy the services of Sri Lankan all-rounder Gayan Fernando after his fine performances on and off the field in 2011.  Ian Gauntlett will captain the 2nd XI.

Oxton are looking for tenders for the provision of ground maintenance services and invite anyone interested to contact Cricket and Sports Club secretary Laurie Spencer by e-mail on



SALE have elected 1st XI regular Matt Millward as chairman, succeeding Mike Wilkes and Matthew Savka.

Ian Dixon, who rejoined the club late last season from Monk Bretton in the Pontefract League, becomes 1st XI captain in succession to Jamal Benzafar, who is working overseas



NEWS from Stockport is difficult to come by and word of the death of one of the club’s finest post-war players, Ernie Ford, comes from Cheshire Board secretary David Sharp.

Born in the town and educated at Stockport Grammar School, Ernie died aged 87 on October 16th. His funeral service at Stockport Crematorium was notable for a moving eulogy written by former Cale Green colleague Don Smith, a legendary Cheshire and Cambridge University fast bowler, which was read out by the Rev. Andrew Lythall.

Ernie was one of Stockport’s most successful batsman in their Lancashire and Cheshire and later Central Lancashire League days when he played many fine innings, notably  one against the fearsome West Indian Roy Gilchrist   Ford played two games for Cheshire in 1955



FOUR Life Memberships awarded at Stockport Geergians’ AGM went to Chris Taberner, Hayden Bailey, Adam Gaskarth and Trevor Bailey for their on and off the field efforts over the past 20 years.

Adam Gaskarth is to lead the firsts in 2012, the seconds post has been left open and Sarfraz Khan leads the thirds. Chris Taberner continues as chairman and Trevor Bailey as secretary, while Child Welfare Officer Paula Henry joins the committee.

Simon Normanton was named Player of the Year, who has rebutted attempts by several senior clubs to lure him away.  Nick Johnson is Junior PofY and Ben Murray won the Clubman of Year for his scoring excellence and  editorship of the Club Newsletter.  (He would also win an award from MTB for being the best  Saturday night results phonist). .

The relaid outfield is progessing well after extensive work done in September.




TATTENHALL completed their fund-raising walk to Lord’s on October 29 after setting out from The Flacca seven days and 220 miles earlier.

Eighteen months in the planning, the walk was along canal routes in 23 legs of 8-12 miles at 30 miles per day. Fifty three members took part to raise money for Macmillan Nurses and TCC funds and 24 did the final leg to Lord’s  Three who walked the entire distance were club treasurer Anthony Rouse, Martin Sharp and Josh Spraggs,   – all 2nd XI regulars..



AFTER announcing his retirement prior to the 2011 season, but continuing to play occasionally for Bowdon, star wicket-keeper Steve Bramhall has moved to Timperley to take over the 1st XI captaincy from Mark Maddocks.

It’s all change further down the ranks with Martin Porthouse replacing Jim McCall to lead the twos; Gary Fjsher succeeds Oli Bevan in the thirds; Nick Brooks is replaced by Gary Fisher in charge of the Third XI Academy side and Steve Entwistle retires after 15 years running the fourths, his replacement yet to be named

In another major change, Robin Maddocks stands down as chairman in favour of Adam Horan, with Dave Howarth succeeding Adam as treasurer.  Long-serving Simon Thompson continues as secretary and League rep.

Gary Fisher has taken on the daunting task of trying to get hold of every Timperley match the club has played since their foundation in 1887.  If you can help with some scorecards, e-mail him at



FORMER England and Lancashire fast bowler Peter Martin has been appointed head coach at Toft to succeed the departed Rupert Kitzinger.

Re-elected chairman at the AGM after a successful first year, Nigel Muirhead revealed plans for two new sight-screens, a new white picket fence around the ground and, when finances allow, a flat roof and new patio for the pavilion..

On the field plans for 2012 are to finish in the top five in the Premier League, retain the 2nd XI title, a  top two place for the 3rd XI and winning the Over 40s..

Nigel said it was important to retain the high level of junior membership (160 registrations last season), claimed the club were in good financial shape compared to many other clubs, with “a fantastic loyal committee and many supporters who helped the club in a variety of ways”.



TWINS who are rated among the brightest prospects in English cricket have joined Urmston, whose chairman Rob Arnold believes in catching ‘em young.

They are 15 year-old Matthew and Callum Parkinson, who have joined from Bolton League club Heaton.  Matthew is a leg-spinner and Callum, a left-arm quick, both played in the Lancashire team which won the ECB National Under 14s title last season and for the North of England in the prestigious Bunbury Festival.

Another highly-promising junior member Matthew Downes has won the Barrington Sports’ Up and Coming Cheshire club Member of the Year award, equipment valued at £1,000.

Matthew visited Gray Nicolls’ headquarters in East Sussex on Monday, December 5th when he met England captain Andrew Strauss, who helped him select a top-quality bat as part of  his award.

He was a top player in Urmston’s Under 14 – 18 and 3rd XI teams last season, scoring 1,500 runs including 12 fifties.  In 2010 Matthew was Urmston Young Player of the Year.



NEW 1st XI skipper at Walton Lea is to be Richard Heaney, a Yorkshireman with previous captaincy experience at Darfield.  He takes over from Liam Heaney, who so narrowly failed to gain the club promotion last September.  The evergreen Mansoor Naseem is leads the fifths. .

Joanne Page who took over from Robert Chadderton mid-way through last season, was confirmed as secretary at the Cricket AGM. .



FORMER England fast bowler and current Director of Cricket at Middlesex, Angus Fraser was guest speaker at Widnes’ annual dinner on November 11th when he was able to swap stories with his hosts about winning titles and promotion.

Widnes have honoured David Humpage and Wyn and Mike Talbot-Butler with honorary life memberships for their long-term service to the League .

The club’s former Australian all-rounder Scott Henry made his first-class debut for NSW v Victoria in the Sheffield Shield at Sydney in October, scoring 5 and 35 runs.  Henry had an outstanding season at Beaconsfield road in 2010, scoring 824 runs and taking 20 wickets.





Meeting dates


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25th at Bowdon:  Rules and regulations Management meeting at 8 p.m. followed by AGM.


 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11th at Warrington:  Pre-season Management meeting at 8 p.m.  (collection of cricket balls, handbooks, result sheets, etc.) followed by Captains Meeting.


Next Newsletter : late – January


Clubs are invited to submit news for the January issue.

They may also wish to reserve space in the 2012 Handbook at preferential terms.

Full and associate members are reminded of their obligation to inform the League of officers elected for 2012. Please notify MTB and Secretary Geoff Wellsteed with full lists giving names, address, telephones and e-mails.

A helpful form is available on request.

Received so far: Alvanley, Bredbury St. Mark’s, Cheadle, Didsbury, Grappenhall, Heaton Mersey, Middlewich, Neston and Sale, plus associates Hale Barns.




WHAT do we all think of the European Union? The following may sum it up:


The Pythagorean theorem contains 24 words;

The Lord’s Prayer … 66 words;

Archimedes’Principle … 67

Ten Commandments … 179

Gettysburg Address … 286

US Declaration of Independence … 1,300

EU regulations covering the sale of cabbage in member countries … 26,911 words


Some say we should get out of Europe right now  – just like Manchester City and United.


 December 9,  2011
































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