IN the first game of the second half of the season, Castrol were hoping to secure their first win of Meller Braggins League Division Three campaign.
Unfortunately, visitors Pott Shrigley proved too resilient, although Mike Garvey’s men did secure a big winning draw, taking a vital 17 points to keep their survival hopes alive.
Batting first, Castrol openers Mark Evans and Paddy Hickey set their side’s highest first-wicket score of the season, 30. But when Evans went caught and bowled to Matheson (1-19) Hickey followed one run later, nicking one to the keeper.
Scores from Nishan Bhandary (64no) and Darren Green (44) helped Castrol close on 189-4.
After tea, Castrol were miserly but not devastating.
The introduction of Hickey (2-10) late on almost proved a match-winning inspired piece of captaincy, but Pott held on to finish on 102-9.
Skipper Garvey said: “It was a brilliant knock from Bhandary to hold the innings together. Unfortunately he couldn’t repeat his bowling performance of last week but he still should have been on the winning side.
“What a match, though, it had everything. I’m really proud of the guys. If we continue to improve and stick together the results will come.
“We need to kick on now, there are a couple of important head-to-heads coming up, Four wins out of the last 10 games should see us safe, but we have to perform to this level of intensity.”
Castrol under 15s travelled to Stretton hoping to gain their first victory of the season. Skipper Pete Hyndman (1-11) had no hesitation in asking the opposition to bat.
Jack Findlay (2-19) proved to be the perfect foil with his full length away swing, and Kieron Linford (3-11) turned the game as he bowled three wickets in an over to carve open Stretton, who finished on 61ao.
Hyndman (25) then laid down the base for victory after losing a couple of early wickets. Matt Hyndman (9no) then struck two sublime fours off his legs to see Castrol home.