STAND produced strong back-to-back performances at the weekend to beat the Lancashire County League’s two bottom clubs on successive days.
They got their tactics spot-on on Saturday, beating the elements and the opposition in a rain-affected game at Stretford then followed up with a comprehensive 131-run victory over bottom club Thornham at the SCG on Sunday.
With persitant heavy rain forecast, Gary Penchion had no hesitation in electing to bowl first on an unusually green Stretford wicket. And the decision paid rich dividends when they skittled the home side for 75, Carl Sutcliffe taking 5-32 from 14 overs and Jack Walmsley 3-14 from seven.
Professional Adam Hewitt was the only Stretford batsman to put up any resistance, emerging from an hour’s rain break to hit a brisk 32. But he went with the score on 49-4 and with the last five wickets falling for just eight runs, Stand looked set fair.
Rain at tea meant Stand were chasing 66 from 46 overs but another downpour eventually brought an end to proceedings with the scoreboard showing 46-2 with Alex Bell (20) and Dave Taylor (seven) at the crease. By the time the rain stopped Stand had passed the required 20-over target and won by eight wickets.
Rick Rothwell (43) and Penchion (21) laid the foundation for Sunday’s victory over Thornham, sharing a partnership of 59 after Bell and Sean Brookes had gone cheaply.
After both went in quick succession the visitors sensed they might be back in with a shout, only for Taylor and Pete Walters to take up where they left off.
Walters, in particular, was in belligerent mood, passing 50 in 35 balls on his way to an impressive 62 while Taylor (23no) made a significant contribution as Stand hit 66 off the final six overs to reach 189-5.
That proved more than enough as Sutcliffe took 3-17 and Jack Walmsley 4-12 in a demolition job that skittled the visitors for 58 in 41 overs.