Double promotion delight for Friarmere

FRIARMERE Cricket Club celebrated a weekend to remember as its first and second teams both clinched promotion on the same day.

The first team’s eight wicket win at South West Manchester on Saturday, August 31 guaranteed a top two finish in division 2B of the Greater Manchester Cricket League.

The seconds also secured promotion in division 4E following an eight wicket home victory against Moorside.

To make it extra special, the first team won through to the final of the reformed Tanner Cup the next day following a 35-run victory at home to Moorside.

The final takes place on Sunday, September 8 (wickets pitched 1pm) at Stayley, who won the toss to host the final.

And with the juniors again enjoying successes, club official Gary Kershaw said: “It has been an unprecedented season of success for the club.

“Though both senior teams have been promoted both want to go up as champions which means both having to win one of their remaining two games.”

South African overseas player Adrian Du Toit, who has been retained for the 2020 season, has enjoyed a remarkable campaign, scoring 1,392 runs in league and cup games.

Du Toit is only two runs of the club record established by Pakistani Zafar Iqbal in 2008.

“When Indian Krutik Patel pulled out as our overseas player, we signed Adrian as a last-minute replacement and dropped lucky,” explained Gary.

The second team remains on course to complete two seasons in the GMCL unbeaten and secure back-to-back promotions.

Gary explained the only gripe is that second team cricket has not been as competitive as they would have like.

He said: “When we joined the GMCL there was a lot of guesswork as to which divisions teams were placed.

“The league misjudged where to put the second team when you bear in mind they were the last Saddleworth League second team champions and runners-up in both seasons in the Pennine League’s second team premiership.

“I have had complaints from the players that the cricket has not been challenging. All player want is to play a decent level of cricket,” he added.

Gary pointed out promotion will bring new challenges for both teams.

“We will need to strengthen both on and off the field and make improvements to the clubhouse and facilities as well as to the team,” he continued.

It could be another weekend to remember for Friarmere’s first team which will be crowned division 2B champions if they win at Wythenshawe on Saturday, September 7.

And 24 hours later they could add a second piece of silverware in the final of the Tanner Cup, a competition where success has long eluded them. The final will sponsored by SWB Commercials, Stalybridge.

Since their last final appearance in the 1970s, Friarmere had lost seven successive semi-finals until the semi-final victory against Heyside on Sunday, September 1.

Friarmere made a modest 155 having been 76-7 at one stage until a solid partnership between Danny Harrop and Mohammed Waqas who made 34 not out.

Heyside made 48 without loss from only eight overs and looked to be strolling to victory.

The introduction of overseas player Jaime King changed the course of the game as he claimed six wickets for 10 runs in seven overs to reduce Heyside to 78-9.

Danny Cashin and Will Avery had other ideas and a very well-crafted 36 including 16 off one over from King by Cashin was finally ended when he was bowled by Du Toit for 36 leaving Friarmere victorious by 35 runs.

At junior level, Friarmere U9s finished joint top of their league along with Greenfield, the fourth year in a row they have achieved this added to back-to-back indoor titles they remain the most successful age group in the club.

They entered two U11 teams with the ‘A’ side finishing third behind champions Royton and Greenfield. As reigning cup holders, they have made it through to finals day for the second successive year.

A very young U13 team recovered from a bad start to the season to finish a creditable fifth and they, too, have reached finals day in the cup for the first time.

A new U11 softball team, comprising mainly girls, also topped its league.

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