Upcoming Events…..


Tickets Available HERE


Friday 8th & Saturday 9th December 2023

Tickets will be available from 10am Saturday 14th October 2023

Limited availability, so don’t wait, click on the link below.


SAD NEWS – Dave Spencer RIP

David Spencer

Christleton Cricket Club is saddened to announce the passing of Vice-President David Spencer at the age of 91.

Universally known as ‘Dave’, his funeral was held at Christleton Parish Church on Friday 5th October.

Born in Hoole, Dave gave a lifetime of exemplary service to local businesses and community organisations.

A lifelong love of sport saw Dave playing football and cricket as a young man. In cricket, Dave was a stalwart wicker keeper/ batsman in a successful Hoole side. Our own club’s scorebooks reveal some of Dave’s qualities as a pugnacious batsman scoring a high percentage of his team’s runs. Dave is remembered for his safe hands behind the stumps. If the keeper is the heartbeat of the fielding side, it is easy to imagine Dave setting a determined example as he drove his colleagues on.

When Dave’s son Chris began to play for our club, Dave’s interest in local cricket was rekindled. There was a lot of family interest as Chris regularly took over 50 wickets and smashed it over square with the bat. When Chris relocated to Merseyside, Dave continued to be a keen supporter of our club, diligently carrying out a selection of valuable roles on matchdays. For many years we were proud to count Dave amongst our steadfast group of Vice-Presidents.

We will miss Dave not just for his commitment to the club but mainly because he was such a lovely man to spend time with.

Our deepest commiserations go out to Chris and the whole Spencer family at this sad time.


Sad News – John Noden RIP

Everyone at Christleton CC was saddened to hear of the recent passing of our longstanding member John Noden.

John started playing at the club in 1974. At the time, the club was still in the Manchester Association and playing on the ‘old ground’.

The next few years saw tremendous change at the club with a move to a new ground and the recently formed Cheshire League. In those days, John was becoming an increasingly influential figure at the club, taking over as 2nd XI Captain in 1977 and doing this job for 6 seasons. Players of that era remember John as a good and fair captain. He was one of a select group of cricketers anywhere to have taken 4 wickets in 4 balls. John was skipper of the 2nd XI in 1981, one of the club’s most successful years, a year in which the numerous trophies won included the Aggregate Trophy, reflecting the all-round playing strength of the club at that time.

As well as his playing strengths, John was one of a small group of qualified umpires at the club whose certificates were proudly displayed for many years. It was rare to meet a qualified umpire in those days and so John; Dave and Gareth were ahead of the game and very useful reference points on the laws of the game when information was not as freely available as it is nowadays.

John became Chairman of the club in 1980, a role he held for 11 years. He is remembered as a decisive and forthright Chairman, steering the club with a reassuring calmness and efficiency throughout his lengthy tenure in this key role.

Having already given so much to the club, John then agreed to become Head Groundsman, a volunteer role that John committed himself to for 20 years. John’s pitches were always well prepared, his task made more difficult before the era of covers by a succession of wet summers and a ground prone to holding water in the middle of the square. Rudimentary mathematics suggests that John must have prepared over 500 pitches at the club, which is quite a feat.

However, when the members and friends of Christleton CC remember John, whether as a player, captain, chairman or groundsman, the overwhelming memory will be of a friendly and dedicated chap, a lovely man who gave a lifetime of service to our club.

In recent years, John’s visits to the ground became fewer as a result of heath issues. However, he remained a loyal Vice-President, always supporting the current incumbents of his roles in the club.

John Noden was a Life Member for over 20 years and a true lynchpin of the club. His contribution was massive. We will remember John and everything he did here. We send our respectful best wishes to John’s family and friends.

John’s funeral will take place on Friday 5th May, 3.20pm at Chester Crematorium.


Chairman’s Staying Alert Newsletter – Week 5

We have moved on to Eurovision weekend. This festival– love it or hate it– is a fixed milestone on Game Day 5 every season. By this point you’ll be hoping to take up a nice position in the league ready to start stringing some good results together. It is roughly a quarter of the way through the season although this year we have seen no action yet for obvious reasons. Today would have been Game Day 5 of the season. Scheduled fixtures were against Hale Barns and Neston. We first played Hale Barns in 1978 and 74 Saturday league games have followed since that time. It was at Hale Barns in September 1981 that we won the Cheshire Cricket League for the first time in a season-finale of high drama that finished in pouring rain– times were different then. Neston, our near-neighbours from up the A540, first provided the opposition in 2005 and we were to be cast in the role of visitors today. Sadly, there will be neither action nor ice-cream for our spectators today. We send our very best wishes to both clubs’ players and officials– we are sorry to have missed you. Current cricketing news can be found on page 2 of the newsletter. Here, we’ll continue with a browse through some exciting mid-May matches of the past.

1st XI v Bollington Mid-May 2012

On GD5 of the 2012 season we were again away at Bollington on the Recreation Ground. The hosts decided to ask us to bat first on this occasion, not surprising as there had been rain in the build up, so much so that the corresponding 2ndXI fixture at Little Heath was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
After losing Iftikhar Naseer for 28 and Iroshan for a very rare duck, the Little Heath men were finding the going tough. However, the innings was held together by a determined partnership between Matt Astbury 42 and Delhi all-rounder Varun Sood. Varun subsequently had a productive 53 run partnership with Jamie Creek. Skipper Guy Newell batting at number nine was in at the end scoring a rapid 18*. Varun was unfortunate to finish on 99*, his highest score for the club and a quality, battling knock in a tea time total of 231-7.
What happened next was spectacular. Firstly, Russ Butcher produced his second big performance in suc-cessive newsletters. Here, the radar was operating with military precision as he hit the perfect length time and time again, taking the first 6 wickets. He finished with a brilliant 6-20 to demoralize the home batters. Varun then stepped in to clean up the tail finishing with 4-1 in a total of 41 all out. Varun was and is a bowler of astonishing accuracy. He gives batsmen nothing so that they have to eventually take a chance against him. His finest cricketing moment must be when dismissing Ian Bell, Joe Root and Samit Patel in 2013. Scorecard here: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/12286/scorecard/565805/delhi-vs-england-xi-tour-match-england-tour-of-india-2012-13


1st XI v Timperley Mid-May 2015

Meanwhile, fast forward to GD5 of the 2015 season and and our 1stXI were away to Timperley. Skipper Mike Gaynon decided that he wanted to chase that day. The Timperley batters were happy to set a substantial target with the 244-6 amassed at the half-way point always likely to prove a challenging quest. Dave Mumford was the most successful bowler with three hard-earned wickets. The 6 wickets was 1 more than the 5 point haul of Electro Velvet that year. Thanks to San Marino for those 3 points.
In the 2015 season we had a very formidable batsman in our ranks. Kiwi Mitch Renwick scored well over 800 runs in 15 league games that season at an average of over 92. His severe hamstring tear ruled him out at that point when he was on course for something like 1350 runs. We will never know what might have been but this was a day when he impressed all who were present, making 136* at a run-a-ball with 18 fours and 5 sixes, over a century in boundaries. Turfail Talha provided great support at the start of the innings with a rapid 65, before supporting contributions from Matt Astbury and Josh Morgan-Jones got us over the line at 246-3 in 43.4 overs and 25 points.

Read about Mitch’s maiden first class hundred here: https://www.odt.co.nz/sport/cricket/renwick-century-anchors-otago-innings. 

Mitch currently plays for Ota-go Volts. Based in Dunedin, their beautiful home ground is the world’s southernmost test venue. Mitch has shots all round the wicket but you can-not bowl short to him or he’ll rock back and dispatch over mid-wicket as he’s doing here.

2nd XI enjoy success at Mobberley mid-May 2006

The 2ndXI travelled to Mobberley for this Eurovision weekend fixture in 2006. After a wet week, captain Brian Wareing had no difficulty making his mind up to ask the hosts to have first knock. 31 overs later, congratulations were due to the Swans’ bowling attack, and in particular to Dave Graham. Dave is a tall chap bowling a brisk medium pace slightly off the wrong foot and with a high action. When he was on song, Dave could cause teams to fumble in haste at those pad straps in the expectation of being in soon. Dave has 3 of the top 5 best-ever 2ndXI post 1978 bowling analyses to his name. At the lovely Church Lane ground in 2006, Dave had the remarkable fig-ures of 15.2-9-14-9, with the ever-dependable Richard Morgan-Jones ruining Dave’s chance of all 10, although his wicket was the second man out, so he is excused.
A total of 48 was always going to be hard to defend but the hosts made a good fist of it knocking over 5 wickets before the target was reached. Chris Brooks was top scorer in the match with 18*, an innings worth a lot more and almost twice as many as anyone else managed. Fittingly, Dave Graham was in with the battling Brooksy at the end as the win was secured. For the record, UK entry in 2006 was the rap meets St Trinians ’Teenage Life’ which wasn’t disgraced in 19th place.

Look back to last year

Going back in time to the 2019 season, we all remember the success of the 2ndXI and the magnificent run of wins that unfolded. GD5 was a trip to our local neighbours and good friends at CCO. The team knew that this would be a good test. Skip Pete Roberts won the toss and elected to bat: there was not much option last season if you wanted a 25 point win. When the wickets started to tumble on the old Brookhirst ground, we were not in robust batting health. Fahad Dar’s patient 29 was the start of the recovery. The stand for the 7th wicket between Jack Harding 42 and Nick O’Connell 27 was studious and responsible, and one of many times last year when the lower order produced the goods. Quick-fire runs from Adam Bayley and Louis Mullineux boosted the total to 179-9 at tea. Our square-keeper Alen Roberts bowled with his usual accuracy for CCO taking 2 wickets.
After tea wily batsman Ian Barlow made a doughty 39 for CCO but wickets were falling at the other end as the spin of Jack Harding and Dave Phillips claimed 3 victims each. There were wickets also for Louis and Nick as CCO closed on 121-9, with Alen having a good all round game defiantly 24* at the end. The points were 25 to 13 in favour of the Swans whose battling win against good opposition gave them the confidence to kick on for the rest of the season.

Some of our Sunday contingent are of the opinion that the Iceland entry this year is brilliant. What do you think?

Staying alert – thanks to the County Board staff who are keeping us informed

This week’s edition of the ECB newsletter focuses primarily on the new guidelines for the safe use of outdoor facilities, published yesterday by ECB. This has been produced to support the advice of government and medical experts, and to offer practical guidance to players and clubs on the steps they must take to remain safe whilst undertaking exercise in an outdoor cricket club environment.

PLEASE NOTE: No decision has yet been made by the club as to whether we believe these stringent requirements allow for the resumption of some very limited cricket activity. We will discuss on Tuesday to try to decide whether such cricket activity is feasible, manageable and safe. We will let you know what we decide but until you hear otherwise… THE NETS REMAIN CLOSED.

This week’s ECB update is a bumper edition with lots of excellent content, including:

  • Dynamos Cricket App – download brilliant games for 8-11 year olds
  • Free coach development webinars accessed via iCoachCricket
  • Nominate your NHS heroes (deadline Monday)
  • Natwest Moneysense featuring Michael Vaughn (Monday 18th May)
  • Play-cricket updates

The communications from the ECB are required reading if you want to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the recreational game. This week’s can be found here:




Brian Wareing has kindly provided a couple of photos from the archive which I think will be of interest to a lot of people.
In both cases were going back around 20 years. To the left we have the absolute beast of a roller that was in use throughout the 80’s and 90’s. This device was very slow and lurched quite a lot. Parking it in the garage was a nerve-racking experience I remember only too well. Local Mercedes specialist Tony Forbes was amongst many keeping this monster working. You will notice too how open the surrounds are and how much the trees and hedges have grown in the intervening years.
A kind and generous donation from a club member allowed us to purchase the comparatively svelte roller that we use today. Thank you

Heading back to the same era, we have the start of the new net area.
For many years the net area was in the corner that now houses the scoreboard. This gradually fell into disrepair and was replaced by the facility you see. Steve Johnson, a true master of many trades, provided the skills to lay the concrete and build the brickwork. Steve is a remarkable man when it comes to ability to apply practical skills.
Standing on the concrete you can see the smiling figure of our much-missed former President Jim Partington. Respected throughout the area, Swans’ President for 20 years and 2nd XI captain for 10 years was always a man with a smile and some kind words. The ‘Partington Oak’ in the village centre still stands proudly as a tribute to the man.

…and finally

Cricket knowledge question – Level: Very Hard

Earlier, we reminisced about Dave Graham’s amazing bowling performance. You can see from the table above that this was no fluke. When he was on song, he was deadly, recording 3 of the best 5 2ndXI bowling analyses in league cricket from 1978.
My question for you today is, who else has recorded a 2ndXI 9-for?

Last weeks answer: Terry Dandy, the original safe hands. Well done Pete Roberts and Chris Spencer for getting that one

Covid-19 relief fund

Due the restrictions placed on recreational sport, the hospitality sector and leisure, the Cricket Club are generating ZERO revenue. You as players and members have not been asked to pay your membership for the immediate; match sponsors have not been approached; and functions that are normally arranged cannot be held. Our outfield mower requires some repairs and we have machinery insurance costs to cover for the immediate.
As such we have setup a crowdfunding page which is being supported by the ECB. If we can pledge at least £100 to the page then the ECB will also lock-in £100.
Can I ask you all to pledge your support via the below page – no pressure as to how much to pledge, but even the cost of a bottle of wine, or a couple of beers will help. Please share this link too, every penny helps.

Your community club – it needs your support.




Chairman’s Lockdown Newsletter – Week 4

Warmest greetings to all Christleton CC members and friends to this Bank Holiday bumper newsletter edition. Today would have been game day 4 of the 2020 season. Scheduled fixtures were against Stockport and Port Sunlight. We first played Stockport in 2011, with Port Sunlight appearing in our fixture list for the first time in 2001 – there were games against Port Sunlight last year, when club members were very excited about plans for a new pavilion. We send our best wishes to both clubs’ players and officials– we are sorry to have missed you. Current cricketing news can be found on further below.
Here, we’ll continue with a browse through some exciting May matches of the past. For both 1st and 2nd teams, we’re casting the memory back to the 2010 season. National Treasure David Attenborough was celebrating his 84th birthday on the day of these fixtures, and in the World Cup T20 local lads Pietersen and Kieswetter were helping England to a hard-fought win against South Africa.

1st XI v Irby 08/05/2010

Game day 4 of the 2010 season was productive for both 1st and 2nd XI’s. The 1st team played at home to Irby. The morning had provided several sprinkles of rain that persuaded captain Paul Allen to ask the visitors to bat first. The Mill Hill Lane men found life difficult at first and at 48-5 could have folded quickly. This was not to be as a defiant lower order shepherded the team to a respectable 159 at half-way. Skipper Allen was in good form with the ball with 4-37. There was a wicket for Matt Parkinson, 2 for Guy Newell, and 3 for Iroshan de Silva.

A mirror image of the first innings was seen after tea, with the loss of early, key wickets followed by a steadying of the ship. Jamie Creek provided the steadying with a diligent and determined 45 off 90 balls. However, when he was out, closely followed by skipper Allen, at 108-8 Swans’ hopes were hanging by a thread. At this point, Andy Heyland decided that he wasn’t going down without a fight and began to smash the ball to all parts of Little Heath. His run-a-ball 44* proved decisive in securing a Swans’ win. Nick O’Connell, experienced in so many similar situations, provided the invaluable support with a doughty 12*. Andy played many bigger innings but this was one of his most important as it helped to secure victory at 161-8 and 20 hard-earned points.

2nd XI enjoy success at Mobberley 08/05/2010

This weekend in 2010 was a 45 pointer for the club. The 2nds under (ever dependable) Richard Morgan-Jones travelled to picturesque Mobberley, always a delightful place to play cricket. Our hosts asked us to bat first that day, only to find Swans anxious to gorge on runs. Willy Lamb 63 and Ollie Morgan-Jones 30 laid the foundation of a big score. Rob Marks (clearly in great form– see below) added acceleration with a stylish 70* before Russell Butcher, in uncharted territory batting at number 4, larruped a lightening 41 to enable a declaration on 222-2. Many quality players did not get in that day.

The adrenalin was clearly still raging for Russ after tea as he quickly removed 3 upper-order players. He also caught 2– MOM stuff surely? Ollie, having a good all-round game, also had 3 wickets, and Jimmy Dathan bowled one with a lovely nip-backer. It was then left to the wily Wareing to entice the tail into playing some shots. Brian duly did this, finishing with 3 wickets to wrap up a very good team performance and the 25 points.

Over 40’s action from Bramhall

Around this part of April is the time when midweek matches start to be played. This week, we’re going to turn our attention back to 2005. You will remember the Vets’ photo from last week’s Newsletter. This week we get to see them in action a week before Tony Blair’s 3rd General Election
Bramhall batted first and were pinned down by mercilessly accurate bowling, the innings closing in the 20th over at 85 all out. Nigel Campbell was remembered this week as a very fine leg-spinner by our Sweden correspondent Scott Thurling. This is true, but on this occasion one of his wickets was a really filthy ball smashed venomously into the waiting hands of Tony Collard, who had put himself into the right place, as he so often did and still does. Amazingly wickets fell in succession recorded as ‘Run out Hollindale’ and ‘LBW Hollindale’. [Not as under-bowled as Nick O’Connell, but definitely under-bowled.] Wickets also for Steve Johnson [2-8] Phil Tidy [2-9] and for current turf manager Alen Roberts. [There’s a nice picture of Alen below.]
The run chase was successful in the 19th over for only 3 down with Mike Field 30ret and Phil Tidy 27* stinging the hands of a busy backward point.
After the game a very welcome sight was that of a chap appearing in the pavilion with a large box containing 24 portions of rapidly demolished fish and chips– great hospitality fondly remembered even after 15 years.

Pictured relaxing at his street’s VE Day celebrations yesterday, squarekeeper Alen is clearly making the most of the limitations imposed by lockdown.




Under 18 season starts well

Back in 2010, Under 18 supremo Mark Astbury had assembled a side that he thought could do very well in the Cheshire Cup. The team’s first game of the season, a true test, was at home to a Brymbo team that had been strong in the previous summer.

Brymbo batted first that night and rattled up a useful 131-6 from 20 overs. There were 2 wickets apiece for the brisk Tom Allen and for future Peruvian international all-rounder Matt Astbury. We were left to hope that the 19 extras conceded would not prove to be the deciding factor.

The target was imposing but achievable and the young Swans chased it down with gusto, supplementing boundaries with daring and swift running between the wickets– always a feature of this side’s play. The Little Heath youngsters laid down solid foundations, only 44 at half way but with deep batting and wickets intact. Eventually Swans reached 132-8 after 19.4 overs to seal the victory, no mean feat against strong opposition. Rob Marks led the way that night with a dashing 52ret, whilst multi folk music award winner and broadcaster Greg Russell weighed in with a vital 27. There will be more reports from this U18 team later in the season.

Lockdown – thanks to the County Board staff who are keeping us informed

The Bank Holiday edition of the latest ECB newsletter covers the following:

  • Details of a new Emergency Loan scheme for junior/senior leagues
  • Info about the new Dynamos App (for 8-11 year olds) which launches next week
  • National Emergencies Trust (NET) Coronavirus Appeal
  • Spacehive Crowdfunding reminder (deadline 14th May)

We have registered for Spacehive and need everyone to get involved. Pete Roberts will let you know how. Follow Swans social media pages and outline details can be found here: https://ecb-comms.co.uk/1FT6-6V2RL-D6SSQJ4NB2/cr.aspx

Other things that will be of interest:

Level 1 Cricket Grounds Maintenance (online)
Find out more and book here.

Umpiring– online courses
ECB Association of Cricket Officials has created a range of free online courses for aspiring umpires and scorers. The courses are a great way for people to use thecurrent downtime to learn a new skill or brush up on their knowledge.

Basics of Umpiring – : http://booking.ecb.co.uk/d/jnqlsg
Umpire Stage One – http://booking.ecb.co.uk/d/fnqrf1

Cheshire Cricket Board have organised an online batting masterclass with former West Indies and current ECB batting consultant Toby Radford, which takes next Wednesday May 13th from 7pm. Register your interest via the link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/master-class
A reminder that coaches can also access ECB’s excellent online resource iCoach
Cricket free of charge, with hundreds of drills and games to choose from: https://icoachcricket.ecb.co.uk/

Mentioned in dispatches

This week’s ‘mentioned in dispatches’ looksback to GW4 in the 2019 season. Swans 1stXI visited near-neighbours Tattenhall on this day.
Asked to bat first, only 2 Swans’ batters recorded double figures, namely Kiwi Josh and Arslan. Fortunately, someone racked up 3 figures. This was Mubashir Hassan. Muby scored 116, completely dominating proceedings. When he was 7th man down, he had amassed 116 with 7 fours and 10 sixes. A
final total of 182 looked formidable. Scored off only 87 balls, the power and class of his strokeplay will long be remembered.
After tea, Kiwi Josh and Javid had 5 wickets apiece as spin won the day, delighted Swans leaving the Flacca with 25 very useful points.

Cricket Sudoku – Week 4 Lvel: Easy

Holiday bonus

Some cricketers have been animated here. How many can you name?
Which bears most resemblance to a Swans’ player?

Swans Cricket knowledge question – Level: Hard

Which legendary Swan took 14 catches for the 1st XI in 1984 (joint club record) and 13 catches for 2nd XI in both 1983 & 1990 (a club record)?

Last weeks answer for amassing 814 runs for both teams: Mark Hughes

How our ground is judged by others

Chairman’s Lockdown Newsletter – Week 3

Warmest greetings to all Christleton CC members and friends. The previous spell of beautiful weather seems to have broken for now. Let’s hope for a return of some sunshine which has made such a positive difference to many of us during these extraordinary times. Today would have been game day 3 of the season. Scheduled fixtures were against Stockport Georgians and Oxton. We first played Georgians in 2002 when they became the 65th club we’ve played league cricket against. Oxton appeared on our fixture card for the first time in 2005, thus becoming our 79th opposing club. We send our best wishes to both clubs’ players and officials– we are sorry to have missed you. Current cricketing news can be found on page further down in this newsletter. Here, we’ll continue with a browse through some exciting early May matches of the past.

1st XI v Chester Boughton Hall 07/05/2005

The third game of the 2005 season saw the Swans make the short trip down the A51 to near neighbours Chester Boughton Hall. This was to be our first-ever 1stXI league match against CBH, and what a remarkable match it turned out to be. Heavy rain on the Friday had left some residual dampness, a factor that led to the visitors being asked to take first knock in this 110 overs game.
Wickets fell steadily throughout the Christleton innings as the team was bundled out for 131 in 42.2 overs. The only contributions of substance came from Simon Ratcliffe and Darron Cruickshank. Stylish left-handed veterinarian Ratcliffe battled manfully for over an hour for 25, whilst Cruickshank lost 7 partners before being the last man out with 11 fours in a commendable score of 62. Trinidadian Cruikshank was 19 at the time and playing for only the third time in England.
So often, as we all know, batting looks more straightforward after tea. Although, on this day, the hosts also found runs hard to come by, even though they had a theoretical 67 overs at their disposal. Jason Ashcroft, Darron Cruickshank and Alex Barr all chipped in with wickets. However, skipper Guy Newell decided that Maroof Khan’s bowling was too controlled to be replaced. Maroof bowled unchanged from one end, a spell of 29.5-8-51-5, an exceptional feat of concentration and control. This is the longest spell of bowling in club history and will never be surpassed. CBH were finally all out for 129 as the last man was out caught at slip off Khan in the 59th over of the innings for a narrow victory margin of just 2 runs. [Both sides conceded more than 2 in no balls– just a thought bowlers]. Scorers that day were the meticulous and affable Brian Ruks and Jim Law.
The 22 points earned the hard way on that day helped to kick-start a very good Premier League season for the Swans.


Some Christleton Legends pictured at an Over 40’s home match in 2006.
11 points are available, one for every player you can name [Ed: I got 9].
Answers below .





2nd XI earn a hard fought victory hosting Oakmere

This week I’ve selected a match that will be fairly fresh in the memory banks for a lot of current players. It’s a home 2nd XI match against Oakmere from early 2017. Triple platinum track ‘Symphony’’ was at #1, surprisingly for only one week. It is approaching 1 billion YouTube views:


Swans won the toss and skipper Ian Mitchell fancied a bat on a Terry Dandy straw-top. The weather was recorded as cool and partly cloudy, similar to today. Swans’ openers Robbie McNally and Joe Wells were cautious and circumspect at first but crucially laid firm foundations by keeping wickets intact. Perhaps the batsmen were just stringing the bowlers along before deciding to cut loose? Runs were shared out that day: Wells 44, McNally 36 (must talk to him about getting out when well set) Mitchell 44, Guy Newell 46, Nick O’Connell 45* and 14 year old Max Wade 17*. It was unusual that the only batsman to miss out was run-machine Dan Hamp, and also for the fact that no-one scored 50 in a final total of 251-5 after 43 overs.

After tea, the men from Overdale Lane had a good crack at trying to reach this sizeable target, before closing at 164 all out. J. Williams scored a stylish 72 for the visitors as Adam Gittins, a very young Jack Harding, and Harisankar Kunhi Krishnan [Hari] finished with 3 wickets apiece in a pleasing win.

Mentioned in dispatches

I am delighted to be able to give our Sunday 3rd XI a mention. In 2007 we were playing in CCCL Sunday 3rd XI Division 1, and on May 6th we hosted a game against Upton from the Wirral.

The visitors batted first and put together a respectable total of 156, the main bowling damage being done by a cunningly flighted mix of off-spin and doosra from Willy Lamb. With 4-11. Richard Morgan-Jones [ever dependable], Dave Phillips and Andy Dyne secured the balance of the wickets that day.
After tea Willy Lamb was hoist with his own petard*, stumped for 30 off airy spin. Cellar master Dave Swift and skip Mal Joyce both hit a rapid 35. Dave Phillips was 48* at the end and the ever dependable you know who hit the winning runs in a nice win.
* Hamlet– classy newsletter this.


Last week I pointed parents in the direction of some skills practices that can be done in small areas, as well as some activities for All-stars aged children. See last week’s newsletter for details.
This week, once again there are some items of cricket news that you may be interested in. The latest ECB update has:
• News on The Hundred [postponed]
• National Programmes [All Stars/Dynamos]
• A link to online umpiring and scoring courses
You can see the update here:


On a more local level, the Cheshire Cricket board has done a great job in securing the services of former West Indies batting coach Toby Radford who will lead an online ‘masterclass’ exclusively for Cheshire-based coaches.
This session (date TBC) will be free of charge for all Cheshire club members. All coaches are encouraged to complete the survey and you will then receive an email with a link to dial into the online session:


Cricket Sudoko – Level Easy

Who is the missing player? – Level: Hard (Answer next week)

814 runs in 1989
…of which 402 for 1st XI and 412 for 2nd XI

ANSWERS: Christleton Legends pictured 2006.
Back: Norman Goodwin, Mike Field, Jonny Read, Willy Lamb, Geoff Hawkes, Steve Johnson, Nigel Campbell,
Front: Paul Evans, Mike Hollindale, Tony Collard, Terry Jonas.

Chairman’s lockdown Newsletter – week 2

Warmest greetings to all Christleton CC members and friends. Little has changed cricket-wise since the last newsletter. The weather continues to be glorious and you can imagine how perfect it would have been this afternoon on our lovely ground. We’ll never take it for granted after this experience will we? So we’ll continue with a browsing through some April matches of the past. More lockdown news follows , including suggestions for children’s activities in a limited space.

1st XI v Bollington 26/04/2008

The second game of the season in 2008 saw our 1stXI entertain Bollington on a cool, overcast day at Little Heath. At this early stage of the season, these sound like ideal bowling conditions and this was skipper Matt Parkinson’s thought as he invited the visitors from East Cheshire to take first knock. Both sides had strong line-ups that day that included future Cheshire players, with Callum Rowe opening the batting for Bollington, whilst Rick Moore was at number 3 for Christleton. Both players did well for their teams. However, it was Christleton’s popular and prolific all-rounder Iroshan de Silva who was the pivotal player, producing a tour-de-force with both bat and ball.

The Bollington innings progressed quite serenely to 50 before Rowe was out for a patient 21. Form this point, wickets tumbled regularly and at 90-7 after 37 overs, the visitors were in trouble. Then N. Iqbal, batting at number 9 for Bolly, produced a dazzling counter-attack, hitting 53 from only 26 balls to boost the final total to 149 all out. Iroshan took 6-47 from a long spell. He also took a catch and had a direct-hit run out. There was also a catch for Russell Anderson that day– what a fielder this young man was.
After tea Iroshan (68) and Rick (61*) put on a watchful and patient 129 for the second wick-et as the Swans overhauled the target with 2 overs to spare, with Simon Jones making a cultured 2* in with Rick at the end.

So for Iroshan that day, runs, wickets, catches and run outs. All of this was achieved as always with class, great technique and the minimum of fuss. And for the team, 20 useful points. The scoring that season was done by Rick’s dad Andy Moore, and the book is immaculate and a real credit to him.

Pictured above…
Iroshan getting 4 more through backward point and with head outfield groundsman and former 2nd XI captain, Brian Wareing

2nds earn a hard-fought victory at Offerton

We’re going back 25 years to a second week of the season game at Offerton in April 1995. TakeThat were at Number 1 for the third consecutive week with the classic ‘Back for good’ as the Swans tried to find the ground in deepest Stockport in the days before satnav. Bob Lewis was captain that season and asked the hosts to take first use of a damp early-season pitch. The attack fired with good control in helpful bowling conditions, restricting Offerton to 143-7 after 45 overs. The opening bowlers Bob Lewis and ‘Eggsy’ Quayle demonstrated relentless accuracy and had combined figures of 26 overs, 3-52. There were also wickets for Charlie Scales and Bob Ellis. For the bowlers it was fists of pure emotion, for the batters just a head of shattered dreams. 55m views can’t be wrong….(Ed: See what you did there 😉 )


Mentioned in dispatches

In April 2005 Swans 2ndXI visited Bollington Rec. Jimmy Dathan was like a finely-tuned engine that day, firing on all cylinders to record figures of 7-4-5-4, with 3 victims bowled and one caught by skipper Wareing. Richard Morgan-Jones had 3 victims bowled. Ian Rule and Russell Anderson bowled one batter each. This was a remarkable innings in which 8 batsmen were bowled, 1 caught and 1 run out. Bolly’s 72 was knocked off for 1 wicket after tea.

In the interests of balance, I am aware that although 2 of today’s wins were against Bollington, not all of our games against these tough opponents went so well!


We are indebted to all those bodies who are supporting cricket clubs during these extraordinary times. The Cheshire Board, The ECB, Cheshire West and Chester Council have all been welcome sources of advice and support for which we are most grateful. The latest ECB communication to clubs can be found here:
You will find news about the club game and the professional game. Parents of young children may like to download the All Stars booklet which can be accessed via a link in the document. The skills challenges look good, especially if you have kind neighbours who will throw you the odd ball back.

The nice people at Fearnley Cricket have posted a series of cricket practice videos that can be done in small groups or even individually. Cricketers young and old can have hours of fun and get some valuable practice by doing these activities. One of the youngsters is hitting the ball very confidently towards windows. Be careful– this can lead to difficult conversations with parents– I remember such moments only too well!

The videos can be found here: 

Another skills challenge that I can recommend is not cricket related. It’s a basketball app but it offers a good variety of interesting challenges that can safely be done in a restricted area. Normally $7.99 a month, Home Court is free until 31st May. It’s Homecourtai at the app store with this logo.

Take care, stay safe.



Chairman’s lockdown newsletter – Week 1

Warmest greetings to all Christleton CC members and friends. It is the time of year when I normally look for-ward to settling into the Chairman’s seat and getting ready for the roller coaster ride of another cricket season. This time around, that will not be the case as our ground is all dressed up with nowhere to go. All cricket play-ers, officials and supporters know that the cricket season’s 22 weeks normally pass by in the blink on an eye. This year, it will progress a bit more slowly. I have fingers crossed in the hope of some cricket, although other things are clearly much more of a current priority.

April is always a tricky month for cricket as you try to find some early season form and confidence. In times gone by, it was a productive month for bowlers on uncovered, soft pitches. Bowlers themselves would look sur-prised at times at the extravagance at the movement. Mid Off was always busy as you scooped one up after weeks of indoor practice. It’s raining as I write, and this is so typical on the first cricket Saturday after a spell of fine weather.

As there is no current cricket to comment upon, I have been having a look through the archives to see what our teams were up to in seasons gone by. Obviously, I am going to pick out mostly successes of the past. Therefore, we will be having a lot more April wins than has sometimes been the case in the sluggish starts of several recent years. I’ll try to mention a lot of people in the coming weeks.

1st XI makes a winning start to the season

In 1996 our 1stXI travelled to Woodford for the season’s opening fixture, dodging the showers in that year’s wet April. The scorer for this and many other seasons was the inimitable and much-missed Harry Graves, always a vociferous and enthusiastic presence, usually encouraging batsmen to, ’Run up, there’s three** there.’ The 1stXI attack was in miserly mood that day, bowling our hosts out for 116 in 44.2 overs. Neil Glover opened the bowl-ing and set the tone, conceding only 4 runs in 6 overs. There were wickets for Richard Dandy and Jim Gillson, with 2 for Chris Spencer– the first 2 of his 54 that year– well bowled Spen! Chief destroyer on this occasion though was Guy Newell with 5-33. Terry Jonas bagged his first stumping of the season and there was a ct. P.W. Evans b. R. Dandy in this match– a classic dismissal if ever there was one.

After tea, Jim Gillson 58* and Steve Johnson 27 made rapid inroads into the required total before Paul Evans applied the coup-de-grace with a quick 23*. This was a 21 point haul on the day and a great start to the season.
** Or four, or sometimes even 5.

Get your kit on

Opening day win for the 2nds

The first day of the 2011 season saw a strong Christleton team travel to Upton for the 2nd X opening fixture. After winning the toss the hosts opted to take first use of the pitch and found batting tough against an accurate attack. 2s-2011Russ Butcher (3-18), Jason Ashcroft (4-23), Ollie Morgan-Jones (2-6) and Steve Jackson (1-11) had their personal bowling radars finely tuned that day and, remarkably, extras was the highest scorer with 27 out of a total of 89. After tea, Harry Peel decided that attack was the order of the day as he smashed a rapid and powerful 60* to help land the win. The team that day was very strong and looks very sociable- with Rob Marks, Andy Heyland, Matt Allen, Matt Astbury, George Bryant and Keith Jaynes all turning out on this occasion in an encouraging start to the season.

Mentioned in dispatches

Not quite a win but a great effort from the Morgan-Jones brothers

We’re heading back to the first week of the 2014 season and a very good home game against Cheadle Hulme, played during an excellent spell of weather. Skipper Mike Gaynon won the toss and was delighted to take first use of a straw coloured wicket. The Morgan-Jones boys then proceeded to put on ninety for the first wicket. Olly was the more circumspect of the pair with 35, whilst Josh raced away to a rapid, boundary-crunching 93. The engine room then chipped in as Alex Powell 30 and Adam Gittins 34* helped to post a highly respectable half-time score..A draw was the eventual outcome with CH 9 down at close. Details… https://christleton.play-cricket.com/ website/results/1569666


Sadly, not a great deal has changed since I wrote to you at the start of lockdown. In the meantime, the club’s activities are largely paused, though certain essential work in grounds care and financial matters continues My thanks to all those who are still working hard on behalf of the club.

The events that we would be looking forward to are on hold. I’m sure that you would have been looking forward to doing some of these things: attending pre-season training and practice games; playing in the opening fixtures; junior registration and first action; getting some new kit together or dusting off a time-honoured cap; seeing if your kit still fits, always an anxious moment; knocking-in a new bat; trying to remember which guard you take or how many paces your run-up consists of; being stood under the first catch of the season; enjoying cricket teas and thanking the lovely people who provide them; meeting our sponsors at afternoon tea time; seeing old friends and talking about how good we all were – (strangely, the longer you’re retired, the better you get!); competition against respected opponents; unleashing the new shots and/ or deliveries you’ve been working on over the winter; seeing if you can still hit it, land it or catch it; watching the change from April to May as our lovely ground takes on its full resplendence again. Please remember: these pleasures are merely delayed, they are not cancelled. Hopefully, we will enjoy them again before too long.

Cricket is not top of our priority lists right now, but please be ready to support your club when our activities resume. Take care and stay safe.

Important Dates:

1st August – Cricket Rocks
5th December – Christmas PartyLittleHeath vista

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