February, 2012 Newsletter
DEATH OF PETER BOLGER
THE death occurred following a heart attack suffered while he was walking to Hyde’s club dinner at
Werneth Low on Friday, February 3rd of Peter Bolger, one of the League’s best-loved personalities.
Peter was a former player and committeeman at Hyde and had served on the league umpires panel for the
past 10 seasons. He had also been re-elected to the League Cricket committee at the recent AGM.
He leaves a widow Ann and son Michael, who played for various clubs in the league.
No funeral arrangements had been made when this Newsletter was distributed.
Points changes agreed 28-6
THE League points scoring system will show radical alterations in 2012 following a proposal agreed by 28
votes to eight at the January Management meeting at Bowdon.
The changes (see Handbook for full details) include:
O Maximum length of innings for teams batting first to be half the overs available (55 in Premier League,
50 in First and Second Divisions).
O 25 points for all wins
O Fewer batting bonus points (4) available (e.g. in Premier League 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 and declarations may still be made at any time.
The new system which will come into operation for all League championship games played from Saturday,
April 21st is 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 underpins the principal that a win should always be the objective of both teams and will now have the
same value regardless of who wins the toss.
The system is not win / lose cricket and recognises that a draw can be played for and simplifies the points
structure enabling players and spectators to understand the rules more clearly.
It rewards sides that fully dismiss their opponents when bowling first or wish to declare to give themselves
more time to bowl out their opponents, the balance of overs is retained.
Similarly, batting bonus points will 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 .
2nd XI Cup becomes T20
BY a similarly overwhelming vote of 24 –6 at the January management, the 2nd XI RedInsure T20 Cup will change
from its traditional 45 overs to a 20/20 format in 2012.
Competition secretary Ian Sharrock says clubs will be able to play on Sundays or mid-week at their own discretion. A
list of changes to playing regulations will appear in the handbook, but will be similar to those for the 1st XI. Cup.
Following the pattern set for the 1st and 3rd XI cups, a ground will sought to stage Finals Day, which will involve the
semi-finals and final.
New Life VPs have 101 years’ service
THREE new Honorary Life Vice Presidents were installed at the annual meeting which preceded the January
They were David Humpage who served as treasurer from 1985 – 95, then as chairman from 1995 until the present day
(27 years); Wyn Talbot-Butler, 1st XI results secretary from 1975 until the present day (37 years); Mike Talbot-Butler,
fixture & results secretary from 1975 - 82, secretary from 1985 – 1999 and competition secretary from 1999 until the
present day (37 years). The trio of officers’ total service to the League is 101 years.
The motion was proposed by secretary Geoff Wellsteed and agreed unanimously.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 2
Premiership lap-top scoring in 2012
CHAIRMAN David Humpage told the January management that the League planned to introduce lap-top
computer scoring in all ECB Premier League games during the 2012 season.
With the aid of a £1,000 grant from the ECB, the League were pressing ahead with plans to purchase a
dozen second-hand lap-top computers to be used by all scorers in Premiership games, although it was
appreciated there may not be 100 per cent compliance by April.
Although further expense would be incurred by the League for additional equipment, no charge would be
passed onto clubs, although they would need to make arrangements for the machinery to work in their
The lap tops would be loaned to clubs and returned at the end of the season for maintenance and repair and
two passed on to the promoted clubs in 2013.
Brian Boys is chairing a sub-committee to look into the practicalities of purchasing the lap-tops and their
distribution. He will report to the March meeting of the Cricket Committee so that the 12 premiership clubs
will be fully informed by April.
League Webmaster Darren Sutcliffe reminded promoted Premier League clubs Widnes and Marple that
they needed to register all their players with the ECB via the website.
LEAGUE HAVE RESERVES OF £47,641
PRESENTING his final set of accounts before standing down, Treasurer Brent Wilkinson said he was
leaving with the League in its healthiest-ever financial position, with total reserves of £47,641.
He was proud that the League had progressed financially during his 17 years in office, the 2011 profit of
£4,797 being one of the best, thanks to continued sponsorship. He pointed out that there had been no
increase in club subscriptions throughout his time and recommended a further freeze in 2012.
The 2011 profit had largely been achieved through sponsorships totalling £6,700 and fines of £4,050. A
large proportion of grants totalling £14,275 from the ECB had been passed on to premiership clubs.
Main items of expenditure were Representative match and Finals costs of £3,370, officers’ expenses and
printing costs of £2,937 and £2,033 for engraving plaques and shields, while a loss of £1,495 had been
incurred on the Presentation Dinner
Debtors of £10,820
Mr. Wilkinson was quizzed about the large amount of £10,820 currently owed to the League. He said
£6,000 of that sum was an overdue grant from the ECB, but admitted that a number of clubs were behind
with subscriptions and fines. These included Timperley £327, Mobberley £237, Birkenhead Park £225 and
Northwich £134. He would press these clubs to clear their debts.
The Treasurer said he was dealing with 2012 cricket ball supplies and expected all orders to be in by
January 31st. Unless he heard to the contrary he would order the same number for each club.
Mr. Wilkinson was warmly thanked by chairman Humpage for his services throughout his period of office.
O Secretary Geoff Wellsteed confirmed that an agreement had been reached with Chapel Press for a fourth
year of sponsorship and asked clubs to co operate with any promotional requests
RedInsure would continue to sponsor the 1st and 2nd cup competitions and Canterbury Sports had agreed
to provide a £50 sports voucher for the Players of the Month, with Chapel Press still supplying a framed
O Competition secretary Mike Talbot-Butler reported that the 1st and 3rd XI cup draws had been made
and circulated, likewise all the League fixtures were also available on the website
He asked clubs who had not yet submitted their lists of officers for 2012 to do so ASAP.
WIDNES Treasurer Andy Woods, a partner in a Chester accountancy firm, was elected Treasurer in
succession to Brent Wilkinson.
Hash Maitra takes over the post of Juniors Chairman from Gary Dixon.
All other officers were re-elected, as follows: President Stan Davies; Chairman David Humpage; Deputy
chairman John Bygate; Secretary Geoff Wellsteed; Competition Secretary Mike Talbot-Butler; Junior
Section secretary David Vallance; 1st XI Results secretary Wyn Talbot-Butler; 2nd XI results secretary Ian
Sharrock; 3rd XI results secretaries Ian Sharrock, Brian Boys and Peter Lawson; Assistant secretary Tony
Morris; Webmaster Darren Sutcliffe; Cricket committee Peter Bolger and Chris Finegan.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 3
2nd XI Cup Finals Day ground required
A GROUND and date for next season’s 2nd XI RedInsure T20 Finals Day will be decided at the March Cricket
Committee meeting. Results secretary Ian Sharrock invites interested clubs with two grounds to contact him.
A total of 31 clubs will take part as Irby and Tattenhall are ineligible after 2011 forfeitures, while Christleton,
Congleton and Stockport Georgians have opted out. Clubs will be able to play on Sundays or mid-week by agreement.
Holders Neston visit Warrington in the first round which involves 15 games and a bye for Chester Boughton Hall,
while holders Neston visit Warrington in the first round by May 28 th,
The draw has resulted:
Timperley v Heaton Mersey; Marple v Stockport; Didsbury v Sale; Urmston v Brooklands; Bramhall v Poynton;
Hyde v Cheadle Hulme; Cheadle v Macclesfield; Bredbury St. Mark’s v Bollington; Alderley Edge v Bowdon;
Grappenhall v Oulton Park; Toft v Malpas; Nantwich v Middlewich; Chester Boughton Hall bye; Widnes v Oxton;
Upton v Alvanley; Warrington v Neston.
Round 2 has to be played by July 2 and the quarter-finals by August 2nd.
The draw has been issued to all clubs.
RedInsure 1st XI Cup draw
HYDE, the League’s top cup team in all 2011 competitions, enjoy a first round bye in next season’s RedInsure T20
followed by a visit to Bollington or Cheadle in round two.
All 36 clubs figured in the draw which requires four first round games to be played by Bank Holiday Monday, May
7th. These clubs are being urged to arrange those games pre-season if they wish.
Finals Day is at Neston on Sunday, July 29th, the winners getting the opportunity to represent the league in the ECB
t20 Cup Area finals Draw:
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): Heaton Mersey 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 25 th 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 at Neston on July 29th.
These two draws are available on the League website
2012 Cheshire fixtures
Minor Counties Cup (one day):
Sunday, April 22 v Northumberland South Northumberland
Sunday, May 6 v Cumberland at Christleton;
Sunday, May 13 v Cambridgeshire at Saffron Walden
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 8 – 10 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.
Paul Nixon is Dinner speaker
FORMER Leicestershire, Kent and England wicket-keeper Paul Nixon is to be the principal guest speaker at the
League Presentation Dinner at Mere Golf & Country Club on Friday, October 5th.
Nixon made his farewell UK appearance for Leicestershire in last season’s T20 final when he figured in a thrilling
victory over Somerset at Edgbaston. Aged 41, he will be acting as coach in the forthcoming IPL series in India, but is
otherwise building a career outside the game
Familiarly known as ‘Badger’, Carlisle born Nixon made his ODI debut for England in Australia in 2007 aged 36.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 4
Development XI changes
FOLLOWING the retirement of Steve Amison and Chris Murphy, two new personalities will run the Cheshire
Development XI next season.
The new coach is Peter Hancock who has been involved with Cheshire Youth Cricket for many years, while Matt
Sharp takes on the responsibility of organising games and travel arrangements as well as notifying players of their
Oxton all-rounder Ross Dixon has been appointed team captain. Ross had good experience of captaining Lancashire
Under 19 last season and often acted as 12th man for Cheshire.
Andy Newton and Richard Newton will provide liaison between the team and the County club and Cheshire Board
A full programme of one and two-day fixtures is being drawn up.
O ANDREW HALL was awarded Honorary Life membership at the Cheshire AGM in November in appreciation of
his services as county captain from 2001 to 2010.
O MINOR COUNTIES appointments for League umpire Alistair Davies next season are: Cup - Wales v Berkshire at
Brymbo on May 6; Shropshire v Suffolk at Shifnal on May 13; Championship - Cumberland v Lincs at Furness on
June 24 – 26; Staffs. v Suffolk at Knypersley on August 5 –7.
O IAN RAMAGE informs Newsletter about an interesting itinerary ahead. He is off to Thailand on an MCC tour for
two weeks later in February, followed by a trip to the UAE in March for the ICC World T20 Cup qualifiers when 16
minnows play down to two to compete with the ‘big boys’ in two years’ time.
Says Ian: “I still have to pinch myself of my good fortune when I get appointments like these”.
51 clubs in Cheshire Cup draw
BECAUSE entries are down, there will be no preliminary round in the Cheshire Cup in 2012, reports organiser Rick
Davis. All teams will enter at the 2nd round stage, apart from ECB Premiership clubs who come in at round 3.
ROUND 2 draw (Sunday, May 27): 1. Warrington v Birkenhead Park; 2. Port Sunlight v Birkenhead St. Mary’s; 3.
Oulton Park v Grappenhall; 4. Upton v Malpas; 5. Chester Co. Officers v Caldy; 6. Davenham v Northwich; 7.
Parkfield Liscard v Wallasey; 8. Bollington v Chelford; 9. Brooklands v Bredbury; 10. Timperley v Stockport; 11.
Bramhall v Congleton; 12. Ashley v Hale Barns; 13. Poynton v Sale; 14. Middlewich v Wilmslow Wayfarers; 15.
Elworth v Ashton on Mersey; 16. Sandbach v Heaton Mersey; 17. Rode :Park v Cheadle Hulme; 18. Bowdon v
Cheadle; 19. Lindow v Romiley.
ROUND 3 (Sunday, May 27): Didsbury v Chester Bo. Hall; winners of 2 v winners of 3; Urmston v Widnes; winners
of 5 v winners of 17; Oxton v Toft; Alderley Edge v New Brighton; winners of 8 v winners of 19; winners of 4 v
Neston; Marple v winners of 12; winners of 6 v Hyde (holders); Nantwich v winners of 16; winners of 14 v winners of
1; Macclesfield v winners of 9; winners of 15 v winners of 18; winners of 11 v winners of 13; winners of 7 v winners
Round 4 is on June 17; round 5 on July 25; semi-finals on August 5; final on September 2.
Lancs 2nd to play in Cheshire
LANCASHIRE 2nd will be seen three times in Cheshire next season.
They are to stage a friendly against Derbyshire 2nd at Middlewich on Tuesday, April 24th (11.30 a.m.) followed by a
2nd XI T20 cup clash with Nottinghamshire at Neston on Tuesday, June 5th. This will follow the same format as last
season’s well-attended game at Parkgate, two separate games at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
They have chosen Chester Boughton Hall for a prestigious three-day friendly against Scotland A on Tuesday –
Thursday, June 26 – 28, at 11 a.m. daily.
In addition, Lancashire play Cheshire Development XI at St. Anne’s in a friendly on Friday, April 27 (11.30 p.m.).
OVER 50s FIXTURES
Cheshire Over Fifties 2012 fixtures (all Wednesdays):
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
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 5
Death of Liam Chronnell at 33
FORMER Poynton, Bowdon and League Colts spin bowler Liam Chronnell was found dead at his Whalley Range
home on December 11th, 2011 at the tragically early age of 33.
Poynton press officer Martin Saxon writes: “Liam came through the junior ranks at Poynton as one of an excellent
crop of players in the 1980s which included the current captain Paul Gould. An always improving off-spinner, he went
on to play for all Cheshire’s age group teams from 13 – 19 and starred in John North’s North-West Colts-winning
teams in 1995-6-7.
After making his 1st XI debut at 16 in 1994, Liam helped Poynton win the 1 st XI title and Cheshire Cup in 1995 and
was also named the League’s Young Player of the Year. With his prospects reduced by the arrival of Andy Greasley,
Liam moved to Bowdon in 1996 and helped that club win the title.
He then began a career in sports journalism which curtailed his cricket career, first working for the Stockport Express,
then the Salford City Advertiser and Macclesfield Express. He wound up reporting Premier League football on the
Bolton News and Wanderers’ manager Owen Coyle has been moved to say: “We were extremely saddened to hear of
Liam’s death. He used to attend our press conferences and was a likeable and engaging man”.
Liam leaves parents, a partner Caroline and young daughter, Olive.
The following further recent deaths have been reported to Newsletter:
O ERIC DAVIS. One of Cheshire’s oldest surviving players, Eric Davis of Chester Boughton Hall, died on December
1st, aged 92.
Eric, who played Minor Counties cricket in 1939, was a big run –scorer in the Liverpool Competition in pre and post-
war. He was an outstanding all-round sportsman, having played as an amateur for Everton and was a low handicap
golfer at Sandiway.
O RICHARD HOUGHTON. The death occurred on December 22nd aged 55 after a lengthy illness, of Rick
Houghton, a former well-known Grappenhall cricketer.
A polished batsman, Rick was an integral part of what former club captain Nick Sharp described as “the best team
ever to play for Grappenhall” in the 1980s when they won the Manchester Association title and the HC Smith Cup at
Old Trafford, both three tines,
A keen all-round sportsman, also excelling at football and golf, Rick leaves two sons and is also survived by his father
Stan, a former club president and mother, Ruth.
O ROGER SPROSTON STUBBS. A former Middlewich chairman and before then a colourful personality at
Northwich Cricket Club during their County League days, Roger Stubbs died on January 12th aged 67.
The son of one-time Northwich chairman Cyril Stubbs, Roger captained the club’s first Third XI in the 1980s, then
left to join Middlewich as a player, later serving as chairman. His funeral is at Hartford Parish Church on Monday,
February 6th at 1.30 p.m.
O RONALD JONES. One of the leading figures in the early days of Cheshire umpiring, helping to bring scores of
aspirants through their examinations, Ron Jones died aged 84 at his Barnton home after a short illness on January 27 th.
A kindly, wise and gently funny man, Ron was a former president of the Meller Braggins Cheshire League and was
Life President of the League Umpires Association. His funeral at 10 a.m. at Little Leigh Baptist Church, Barnton, on
Friday, February 10th was expected to attract a packed congregation.
Want a Sunday friendly?
A CONTACTS Service to provide information for clubs wanting Sunday friendly matches in 2012 has been set up
under the guidance of the Cheshire 4Cs. It will cover the entire county with a representative covering each area.
North & West Cheshire is Hazel Nadeem, telephone 01925 813 112
Easy-Cheshire: Peter Hayes, telephone. 01625 537 439;
Mid-Cheshire: Tony Newall, telephone 01606 882674
DAN BROWN TOURS
CHEADLE’s Dan Brown has helped to set up a company entitled thecricketour (that’s one t) specialising in delivering
high quality all-inclusive cricket tours.
Dan’s objective is to provide fixtures of any strength required, plus food, accommodation, match balls and match fees.
He 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-or late-term. He
invites interested clubs to contact him on 07891 589 793 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org There is also a
dedicated website: thecricketour.co.uk
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 6
Top Tips for League groundsmen
RE-ELECTED chairman of the Cheshire Association of Groundsmen, Heaton Mersey’s Nick James offers
clubs the following Top Tips for square maintenance as the 2012 season approaches:
O Inspect your squares on a frequent basis, looking for damage, debris and disease.
O Use a dragbrush as often as you can, which helps to disburse the moisture, stand up the grasses and break
up worm casts.
O After the relatively mild weather, the grass continues to grow so squares should be ‘topped’ either with a
cylinder or rotary mower. Maintain the height between 15 – 25 mm. Do this as often as conditions allow as
it encourages tillering of the plants which helps thicken the sward.
O Continue your aeration programme; use solid tine aeration as often as possible varying the depth of
penetration to avoid creating a pan below the surface. DO NOT carry out this procedure past the end of
February. If you have a sarel roller, however, this can be used all year round.
O As the season approaches commence rolling, probably from early March if conditions permit.. DO NOT
roll unless the conditions are right (i.e. the loam consistency resembles plasticine). Rolling in inappropriate
conditions can do harm. If you want to check the best practices log onto the CAG and ECB website.
O As the spring weather approaches, a light thinning of the sward is recommended; this both cleans it up
and encourages growth from the base of the plant. Use either a cylinder mower with a verticutter reel or a
mechanical scarifier, taking care not to disturb the surface. A gradual reduction in height to 12-15 mm for
the playing season is ideal in early April. At the same time, a dose of spring/summer fertiliser will give your
square a good boost and add some welcome colour.
Visit the CAG website www.cag.org.uk where there is a link to the excellent NatWest Cricket Force videos
put together by Chris Wood, the ECB pitch guru
And don’t forget that Paul Agar and myself remain at your service.
55 on Umpires panel
THE LEAGUE Umpires panel in 2012 is 55-strong with several newcomers replacing members who have departed.
Appearing on the full list will be: Neville Abberley, who returns after a lengthy absence, Howard Briggs (Sale), Colin
Byrom (from defunct Supplementary panel), Steve Duckers (Widnes), Peter Hanaby (from supplementary), Chris
Moore (Brooklands) and Gary Zimmer (from supplementary).
Leaving for various reasons are George Murphy, Peter Ogden, Ian Ramage, John Silver and Ian Spires and Jeff
Plumpton, plus Peter Bolger, whose death has been announced.
Umpires & Scorers Association chairman Ian Greensmith told the January management meeting: “None of the
departures is due to players’ discipline, which remains as good, if not better, than anywhere in the North-West”.
SCORERS COURSE AT OAKMERE
A LEVEL 1 course for scorers under the auspices of the ECB ACO is to be held at Oakmere Cricket Club in March.
The first part is on Sunday, March 11th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a second on Sunday, March 18 th from
10.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is £40 payable on the first day which will include a copy of the new Tom Smith Book of
Umpiring & Scoring, a copy of the latest MCC Laws of Cricket and a one year subscription to the ECB ACO.
Successful candidates will be given Level 1 accreditation.
Anyone interested is advised to apply in advance to Paul Herring, tel. 0161 337 8151 or by e-mail to
Nantwich stage Conference game
NANTWICH are to stage one of the League Cricket Conference’s two representative matches to mark their 50 th
anniversary season in 2012.
The LCC will play the Club Cricket Conference at Whitehouse Lane on Wednesday, August 15th (11 a.m.). A week
later on August 22nd the LCC take on the Midlands Conference at Audley, Staffs. (11 a.m.).
OVERSEAS PLAYER AVAILABLE
A QUALITY top order batsman who captains Leopold in Geelong (Melbourne) grade cricket in Australia is available
to play in the League in 2012.
He is Becker Nguyen, a contact of Hyde’s Rob Brierley. Contact via email@example.com.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 7
Club News …..
(up-dated where possible)
NEW ALDERLEY SKIPPER
OPENING batsman Alan Day takes over the Alderley Edge captaincy from Jason Whittaker, who will continue to play
regularly. Ben Heades, Nav Ahmed and Matt Cheetham continue as 2 nd, 3rd and Over 40s captains respectively.
Mike Day carries on as Cricket chairman with Andy Fluck serving as his deputy and Juniors organiser, while Kate
Branagan serves another year as secretary
‘BENNERS’ LEADS ALVANLEY
PROMOTED after winning the Meller Braggins Cheshire League First Division title, Alvanley will be captained by
the long-serving 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 2011 season with a mark of 4.60 out of a
TOBY WARD i/c AT BOLLY
BOLLINGTON are to be led by newcomer Toby Ward from Yorkshire League cricket, who succeeds Matt Dawson
after two years at the helm. Gary Wood and Andy Pearce continue in charge of the second and third teams
Colin Rowe is remaining in the chair, but Rick Paterson replaces Gary Wood as secretary.
NEW BOWDON CHAIRMAN
LONG-serving former playing member and Cheshire batsman Steve Murrills is the new chairman at Bowdon,
succeeding David Young.
Expecting to have fully recovered from a broken hand suffered in September, Question of Sport producer Gareth
Edwards continues 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.
BRAMHALL CHANGE AT TOP
IAN MILLIGAN takes over as chairman at Bramhall, following Peter Lawson’s decision to stand down mid-season
and Andy Reynolds becomes secretary.
All four teams captains continue with Nick Cantello leading the 1 st XI.
A smart brochure was produced to mark the 125 th 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.
John Burbidge, who upped sticks to live in South Africa in the 70s, keeps in touch with League affairs via the
Newsletter from his home on the Garden Route. John greets his old friends including Peter Babbage, Richard Cragg
and Ian Brown and writes to warn us that the Proteas have a decent Test side which will test England next summer.
BREDBURY IN DIVISION ONE
NOT surprisingly after winning promotion for the first time as Division 2 champions, Bredbury St. Mark’s have asked
all their senior officers to carry on. . These include chairman Dave Downes, secretary Janet Amison , treasurer Steve
Burton and the top three captains, Paul Wood, Daren Evans and Geoff Mountford. Paul Wilkinson is installed as 4 th
ANOTHER club happy with their performances in 2011 are promoted Brooklands, who have re-elected every officer
Thus Jeff Marland remains in the chair, Peter Belwood as secretary, Dave Garnett treasurer, Dave Madden 1 st XI
captain, Tom Mitchell the twos, Andy Batty the threes and Will Mitchell the fours.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 8
CHEADLE RING CHANGES
FOLLOWING their relegation to Division Two, Cheadle ring the changes.
Off the field, Tony Brady moves from secretary to the chair, with Alison Ives taking over his former post. .Team 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 comes back from Cheadle Hulme. Simon Hall ends 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 3 rd XI and Over Forties
CHEADLE HULME HAPPY
AFTER a decent season on and off the field, there are few changes at Cheadle Hulme, with Adam Wilde continuing to
lead the 1st XI, Bob Worsley the thirds and Bob Bailey the fourths. Mike Fish takes over the twos.
Ewan McCray will lead the Over Forties where he will only be able to bowl four overs on Wednesday evenings.
CHESTER NAME NEW CHAIRMAN
NEW chairman at Chester Boughton Hall is Graham Vernon, who succeeds Jim Law after a successful three-year
Steve Ogilby takes over the 1st XI captaincy from Jim Gillson, who has emigrated with his family to New Zealand.
Cheshire batsman Lee Dixon, all-rounder Mark Rowland and wicket-keeper Matthew Griffiths all move in from
Oxton, while last season’s Upton skipper and opening bowler Ian Linwood is another notable arrival.
Two key players absent in 2012 will be Trinidad all-rounder Daren Cruikshank and Jordan Clark, who has signed a
full-time professional contract with Lancashire and has joined Read in the Northern League.
STEADY AS YOU GO AT CHRISTLETON
THERE are no alarms at Christleton where Mike Hollindale remains as chairman and Russ Butcher secretary.
Guy Newell carries on as 1st XI captain, while Mark Allen takes over leadership of the twos and Mal Joyce the threes.
WATERHOUSE BACK AT CONGLETON
ONCE one of the League’s best all-rounders, Kevin Waterhouse returns from Australia to play for Congleton. Kevin,
who also played for Bollington, Toft and Winnington Park as well as representing the League, emigrated to live at
Townsville, North Queensland in 2008.
Phil Nunn continues as 1st XI captain, while off the field changes include the appointment of Guy Baxendale as
chairman in succession to Gavin Wolfenden. Liz Cardall remains secretary.
THE Anderson family continue to lead at Didsbury with Duncan continuing as chairman and Treasurer and his son,
Nick, 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 skippers the fourths.
Newcomers are Neston paceman James Hawley, opening batsman and wicket-keeper Phil Critchley from
Beckwithshaw (Yorkshire) and another batsman, Phil Bolton from East Lancashire in the Lancashire League.
Still being sought are an Overseas player and a Level 3 coach.
‘KEEPER LEADS GRAPPENHALL
ENTHUSIASTIC wicket-keeper Liam Parkinson is to captain Grappenhall in their bid to regain a Premier League
place, succeeding Steve Titchard who will continue playing and the departing and Guy Emmett, who shared the job
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.
NEW CAPTAINS AT HEATON MERSEY
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).
An overseas player from South Africa is being lined-up.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 9
HYDE PROMOTE BERRY
CHESHIRE batsman Danny Berry takes over as 1st XI captain at Hyde from James Duffy, who is to skipper the
Cheshire county team.
Returning to Werneth Low after two season spell with Northern is top batsman Chris Tipper. Chris came through the
junior ranks at Hyde and scored a double century in his first season playing for Cheshire in 2007. Travelling to a
Lancashire 2nd XI away match in 2009 he was badly injured in a car crash, but is now completely recovered.
Scott Kirwin has been selected to represent the League Cricket Conference in a Club Conference touring party to visit
Oman in March. Mike Morris takes over the 2nd XI captaincy from Joe Dawber,
Paul Chorlton fills the chairmanship vacancy created when Peter Hardman pulled out in mid-season, while Tony
Durose is listed as groundsman.
John Lofthouse e-mails Newsletter to report that he enjoyed his annual football fiesta in the Algarve.
SHILLINGLAW TO LEAD IRBY
GREGG Shillinglaw takes over as 1st XI captain at Irby, succeeding Steve Hurworth, now teaching abroad.
Mike Newman and Nigel Burrows continue to lead the twos and fours respectively with Dan Burrows elected new 3 rd
Joining from Northop Hall is top batsman Mike Barnes, with outstanding all-rounder Rob Houghton looking forward
to a second season at Mill Hill Road.
Ben Thomas remains in the chair, with Lyndsay Smith becoming juniors chairman.
A successful grant application has resulted in the purchase of new sight-screens which means that both grounds will
now be equipped with two at both ends.
EX-MACC MAN SCORES BLANK
MACCLESFIELD’s former Aussie batsman Evan Gulbis made a poor start to his first-class career playing for
Tasmania. Gulbis, who began his League career with a duck against Bramhall, then later topped 50 in 14 successive
innings, failed to score in his first four Sheffield Shield innings.
FOCUS ON MALPAS
FOCUS Club status has been achieved on Malpas by the Cheshire Cricket Board and the ECB, reports secretary Max
Fundke who says this follows hard work by all sections, especially on the junior side. The club had no juniors to talk
about two years ago and now they have more than 60 playing competitive cricket.
Mark Jones takes over as chairman from Jon Suckley, who becomes 1 st XI captain and Glen Jackson is the new
Malpas will host two matches involving the English Cricket Association for the Deaf in 20121: ECAD North v South
on August 5th and Malpas v ECAD Lions next day.
MIDDLEWICH have shown faith in their officers by re-electing almost all for 2012.
Gavin Tomlinson remains chairman, with James Cornford, Andrew Tutt and Mike Boyle continuing to lead the 1st, 2nd
and 3rd XIs respectively.
Steve Tutt, who has good experience as secretary of neighbouring Cheshire League football club Middlewich Town,
takes over from Steve Worthington as secretary
Groundsman Geoff Tomlinson has had a busy winter redecorating the entire pavilion and installing new lighting.
BENTLEY JOINS NANTWICH
LOUIS BENTLEY, the Oulton Park and Lancashire 2nd XI left-hand batsman has joined Nantwich to keep in Premier
League trim next season, boosting the Dabbers’ hopes of a third successive title.
Nantwich have had a £30,000 grant from the ECB enabling them to instal an extensive new draining system in the
outfield. More work is to be carried out in the next 12 months.
NESTON FIND A CAPTAIN
AFTER advertising externally for a new 1st XI captain following Andy Roberts’ resignation, Neston have appointed
one of their own in top young batsman David Hurst, 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. Still League rep., Hugh has had the upgraded scorebox named after him
David Lewis continues as chairman and Richard Palmer secretary.
Sharing with North Wales neighbours Colwyn Bay, Neston won the Club Mirror magazine Cricket Club of the Year
award, presented by television personality John Inverdale at a ceremony in Manchester .
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 10
DANNY LEADS OULTON PARK
DANNY LEECH is to captain Oulton Park in succession to Robin Taylor with Peter Hartwell leading the twos . A
late decision to drop the Third XI in favour of playing local Sunday friendlies leaves Sunday Division Three West with
an odd number of nine teams.
Pat Roberts has arrived from Toft to keep wicket, pace bowler Guy Emmett returns from Grappenhall, while Rick
Moore and Craig Williamson are expected to be available after missing most of the 2011 campaign due to injuries.
Off the field, Sid Williams succeeds Ken Torlop as chairman and Su Ramsbottom, widow of the club’s great mentor
Roy Ramsbottom, becomes secretary.
NEW PAIRING AT OXTON
WITH Gary and Lee Dixon vacating the two posts, another father and son partnership, Mark and Graham Cashin, have
succeeded them as chairman and 1st XI captain respectively at Oxton.
Ross Dixon 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 efforts 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 on firstname.lastname@example.org
DETERMINED to bounce back after their first relegation to Division 2, Poynton have made four significant signings.
They are Jake Turner, a Sydney first grade all-rounder with Eastern Suburbs; Damien Stringer, another all-rounder
who returns after two previous spells; Tylet Eiselt, from Derbyshire & Cheshire League club High Lane and Matt
Heathcote, who played in 2009-10. Rick Clark will be missing on a sabbatical. .
That great servant Brian Kingham takes over as chairman in his 27 th season with the club, while Paul Gould carries
on as club captain.
Martin Saxon continues to produce excellent monthly Newsletters as Dazzler..
SALE CHOOSE MILLWARD
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 1 st XI captain
in succession to Jamal Benzafar, who is working overseas
Jon O’Donnell carries on as secretary as does Development Officer Rick Halkon who does such great work on and
off the field.
STOCKPORT CAPTAINCY SWITCH
STOCKPORT make a late captaincy change with Danny Barber taking over after Mark Green had been elected to
continue. All other captains and officers carry on including chairman Mike Short and secretary Mark Green.
One of the club’s finest post-war players, Ernie Ford has died. Born in the town and educated at Stockport Grammar
School, Ernie died aged 87 on October 16th. 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 GEORGIANS GET LIFE
FOUR Life Memberships awarded at Stockport Georgians’ 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, while the 2nd XI 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
The club’s 2011 Player of the Year, Simon Normanton 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.
KIWI LEADS TATTENHALL
TATTENHALL have appointed their outstanding Kiwi all-rounder Tom Hyslop as 1st XI captain, succeeding Roy
Sandford. Hyslop scored 822 runs and took 26 wickets in his debut season.
Mark Sandford is to lead the twos, and Chris McEwen succeeds Roger Burch as secretary.
Tattenhall received well-deserved publicity in The Cricketer magazine in November after completing their £14,000
their fund-raising walk from the Flacca to Lord’s .
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 11
TIMPERLEY have launched a concerted attempt to rise out of the Division 2. Wicket-keeper Steve Bramhall has
emerged from retirement to take over the 1st XI captaincy from Mark Maddocks and brothers Craig and Ian Grindley
have been recruited from Urmston.
It’s all change further down the ranks with Martin Porthouse replacing Jim McCall to lead the twos; 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
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 result since their foundation
in 1887. If you can help with some scorecards e-mail him at email@example.com
PETER MARTIN TO COACH TOFT
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 2 nd 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”.
Martin Roberts takes over from the UK departed Uwe Koch as secretary, while Toby Drummond continues as 1st XI
captain and Paul Ashley is to lead the twos.
Uwe e-mails Newsletter with pictures from Wolfsburg in Germany to say he is settling in well at Volkswagen HQ,
even though it is currently minus 16 degrees there. He sends regards to all his old colleagues in Cheshire.
NEW 1st XI captain is to be Darren Warburton, who succeeds Ian Linwood, with Nigel Sharrock leading the thirds.
Graeme McGowan succeeds Peter Clark as chairman, while the new groundsman looking after the two fine pitches at
Old Greasby Road is Jez Lamb
STAR TWINS JOIN URMSTON
TWINS rated among the brightest prospects in North-West cricket have joined Urmston. 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 Bunbury Festival.
Another junior 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 Nichols’ HQ in Sussex 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.
Darcy Lever opening batsman Nick Fawcett, who has captained the Bolton Association and has played for Lancashire
Under 19s, is another key signing.
Chairman Rob Arnold’s splendid Winter Newsletter reveals that main sponsors Lechler UK have withdrawn and a
replacement is being sought.
The annual dinner on Friday, March 23rd will pay a special tribute to Lancashire on winning their first county
championship title in 77 years. The Urms are joining up with LCCC to stage the Incredible Story Roadshaw with MC
John Gwynne recounting the 2011 season with the title trophy on display.
All five team captains continue from Sumit Panda downwards, while John Pollard will lead the Forties. Simon Smith
becomes secretary, succeeding Rob Allison.
YORKIE LEADS WARRINGTON
NEW 1st XI skipper at Walton Lea is Richard Heaney, a Yorkshireman with previous captaincy experience at Darfield
CC. He takes over from Liam Heaphey, who narrowly failed to gain the club promotion last September.
The only other captaincy changes see the evergreen Mansoor Naseem lead the fifths and Mike Fagan-Hall the Over
Joanne Page, who took over from Robert Chadderton mid-way through last season, is confirmed as secretary.
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER: 12
ALL’S WELL AT WIDNES
CHAIRMAN Peter Hewitt reports a virtual clean sweep of re-elections on and off the field for promoted Widnes, from
his position downwards.
Steve Duckers remains as secretary and Ian Spencer as 1 st XI captain, while veteran Tim Wearden becomes leader of
Former England fast bowler and current Director of Cricket at Middlesex, Angus Fraser was guest speaker at
Widnes’ annual dinner 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 during the winter, scoring 40 runs in two innings.. Henry had an outstanding season at Beaconsfield
road in 2010, scoring 824 runs and taking 20 wickets.
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Meeting up in Dubai …
LEAGUE secretary Geoff Wellsteed treated himself to a New Year break in Dubai watching the First Test between
England and Pakistan.
Although not exactly thrilled by England’s batting performances, he enjoyed his first experience of the mid-East and
met Timperley secretary Simon Thompson on an organised cricket tour.
Geoff says one of the best experiences was on a spare day after the early Test finish when he took a trip up the
world’s tallest building, the 160-floor Burj Khalifa. “Amazingly, it took us only a couple of minutes by express lift.
The view at the top was one to die for”.
O David Lloyd’s tongue in cheek opinion in his Daily Mail column: “It can’t compare to Blackpool Tower!”.
…Unlucky for some
NORTHWICH Victoria Football secretary Dave Thomas picked a bad time to fly out and watch the second Test at
Abu Dhabi. The day he left the UK, Vics manager Andy Preece, assistant Andy Morrison and coach Darren Ryan all
walked out to join Airbus UK in the Welsh League. And the day he arrived at his destination, poor old Vics were
turfed out of their grouud by new owners Thor Chemicals, leaving Dave with no office or job to return to.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 at Warrington: Pre-season Management meeting at 8 p.m. (collection of cricket
balls, handbooks, result sheets, etc.) followed byCaptains’ Meeting.
FRIDAY, APRIL 13 provisionally at Toft: Pre-season Umpires & Scorers Association dinner (7.30 for 8 p.m.)
NEXT NEWSLETTER - MARCH
Clubs are invited to submit news for the March issue of the Newsletter
They also still have time 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 giving names, address, telephones and e-mails.
Full members’ information still missing up to February 6th (3): Bowdon, Marple, Poynton.
Associates (10): Alsager, Bowdon Vale, Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge, Mobberley, Northwich, Prestbury,
Runcorn, Tranmere Victoria, Woodford, Woodley.
Last word ……….
It is 15 years ago since Bob Hope died
…5 years since Jonny Cash died
…3 months since Steve Jobs died
…2 months since Jimmy Savile died.
So now we have no HOPE, no CASH, no JOBS and nobody left to FIX IT …
Let’s hope nothing happens to Ed Balls
Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org: February 6, 2012 …no Newsletter was issued in January