A fine all-round display from Patrington paved the way for a convincing win over Woodhouse Grange, moving them into the last 16 of the Voneus National Village Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
Every member of Ashley McKinley’s side contributed to their best performance of 2023, registering a 133-run win at Southside against a side who suffered their first defeat of the season in all competitions.
Losing the toss for a second day in succession, home captain Ash McKinley was none too fussed when his side were invited to bat first on a pitch they’d played on the day before and racked up their highest total of the season. However, in Woodhouse Grange, they faced much stiffer opposition than the previous day. The visitors had won every game so far this season, including an opening day victory at Southside, and with the club having won the village cup on four occasions in the past, they arrived in Patrington in confident mood. The hosts knew they would have to be at their best if they were to progress to the next round.
If there were to be any nerves among the home side, who had reached this stage two years ago and embarrassed themselves in one of their worst defeats in modern times, these would soon be put to bed. Openers Daniel Fincham and Ash McKinley once again led the way with some serious positive intent from the outset. McKinley (22), hitting four boundaries in his short stay at the crease before he fell to a leg-side strangle, set the tone for the innings, and Patrington played carefree as they put the hosts under pressure. Fincham, joined by wicketkeeper Connor McKinley, put Patrington in a commanding position as they raced to 90 for 1 from 10 overs. The introduction of off-spinner Ted Baty (2-28) reaped instant rewards as he clean-bowled the dangerous-looking Fincham (36).
A period of some kind of calm now ensued as McKinley and Jacob Duffill knocked the ball around relatively risk-free in a partnership of 68 before Duffill (41), who’d begun to open up, was caught on the square leg boundary. He was soon followed to the pavilion by McKinley (49) as Patrington stumbled to 165 for 4. But with 15 overs remaining, Patrington once again found themselves in a strong position to post a formidable- looking target. Glenn Ratcliffe (19) and Bob Eldon- Smith added 51 for the fifth wicket, and the launch pad was now set at 216 for 5 with eight overs to go.
This is where credit must go to the visitors. The experienced Stephen Burdett (4-33) led by example with the ball as the hosts failed to make the most of their strong position. Only Eldon-Smith (49) got to grips with some good late innings bowling, and he fell one run short of what would have been a well- deserved half-century. But when he fell at 243 for 6, the Patrington lower order only managed a further 12 runs, finishing 255 all out. A score considered around par at the start of the day, but having been in a strong position, the hosts will have expected to post something well in excess of 280. However, the visitors showed good spirit and determination to peg Patrington back, and at the halfway stage, it felt a bit like honours even.
In reply, the visitors flew out of the blocks, taking 34 from the opening four overs. It was very much game on, and as the previous day, captain McKinley introduced himself into the attack early. The next
three overs yielded just 10 runs but more importantly, an opening wicket as Billy Ineson (1-19) cleaned up Baty (22) to get the ball rolling.
Now came the bowling spell that completely changed the game. McKinley (3-8) stepped up to the plate when his side needed him. Leading by example, his four over spell yielded three wickets, two of which were fantastic yorkers to clean bowl the batsmen before a leading edge led to a fine diving catch from James McGinty at mid-off. The visitors found themselves in the mire at 53 for 4. But, like all good sides, Woodhouse boast a strong batting lineup, and Patrington knew there was still work to be done and there would be no let-up.
Off-spinner Danny Collinson (3-29) now into the attack would rip through the middle order, and when his mate from the other end, Grant Van Es, got in on the act, the visitors had a mountain to climb at 90 for 8. Woodhouse captain Stephen Burdett (16*) offered some resistance, but the writing was on the wall, and the game would be wrapped up in the 28th over with Van Es (3-24) taking the final wicket. The visitors were all out for 122 as Patrington registered a 133-run victory. An excellent all-round Patrington performance saw every player in the 11 contributing either with bat, ball, or in the field in which they outplayed strong opposition and showed what they are capable of when they play towards their potential. It now sets up a place in the last sixteen of the competition for the first time ever. A trip to Stalybridge in the next round awaits as they take on Stayley CC on Sunday 2nd July against a side that currently sits third in Division One of the Greater Manchester Cricket League.
Making it four wins on the bounce in all competitions, the firsts will be hoping to continue their good run of form this Saturday when they travel to face second in the table Hull Zingari for what is sure to be a tough assignment. With a number of key personnel absent, McKinley will have to make a number of enforced changes for the trip to Chants Ave. Many thanks to this week’s match ball sponsor, Fairview Luxury Lodges.