TABLE-TOPPING Denton St Lawrence reach the mid-way point of their Greater Manchester Cricket League, premier division campaign on Saturday, June 26 when they play hosts to fast-improving Moorside.
And with the team also through to the quarter finals of the Derek Kay Cup, they are well placed to defend the league and cup double of 2019, the last completed season.
Saints have lost only one of their opening 10 league matches as they are top ahead of Roe Green who are also on 41 points.
“I am not getting carried away being top of the league because it is only June and only half the season has been completed,” explained captain Adam Hawley.
“We have made a good start but so have other clubs, notably Roe Green.”
Hawley added the better weather of the last month has aided the team.
“We play our best cricket on the better wickets as you can see with some of the results we have had,” he explained.
That was underlined last weekend when they chased down 257 to beat Heyside.
Mark Dillnutt hit 85 not out and Liam Parkinson 63 no in a total of 259-3. Earlier Matthew Sonczak had taken 5-50 and Wasim Qasim 4-55.
And in the nine-wicket win against Monton in the last round of the Derek Kay Cup, there were also some impressive individual performances.
Monton were dismissed for 182, Scott Kirwin claiming 5-16. Parkinson hit 106 no and Kirwin 59 as Saints scored 186-1 in reply.
Saints were due to play in the quarter finals of the Derek Kay Cup on Sunday (June 27) against Glodwick or Prestwich whose last 16 tie has yet to be completed – it was postponed through Covid.
Glodwick and Prestwich will play on Sunday meaning a new date will have to be found for the last-eight game.
Saints have also won all four matches in the T20 so are in line for a clean sweep of GMCL honours.
The one blemish was a two-run defeat to Lancashire League club Norden in the Lancashire Cup.
DENTON WEST, top of GMCL, premier two, are also in action this weekend in the last eight of the Derek Kay Cup. They have a difficult match at Astley & Tyldesley.
League new boys MOTTRAM are thriving in the GMCL as they top division one.
But with only three points separating the top five teams, it is going to be a Titanic battle for promotion.
Mottram have matches against Thornham and back-to-back versus Stretford in the next three games.
“We have three really big games coming up and the next few weeks will be make-of-break for our season,” explained captain Stefan Fielding.
Fielding is delighted how the side has made the step up from the Derbyshire and Cheshire League.
He said: “Sometimes the standard in the Derbyshire and Cheshire League gets played down a bit.
“We are in a bigger pyramid and there are more sides which are more competitive.
“It is a great challenge and one we are enjoying. And if we carry on and get promoted, it will become even more competitive.”
Fielding, 31, has been at the club since the age of six and pointed out seven of last weekend’s first team starters were former juniors.
Mottram take great pride in producing their own players and cricket secretary Phil Mellor added they do not have any paid players which he said surprises many.
FLOWERY FIELD are eighth in premier league two and looking to push up the table in the second half of the campaign.
STAYLEY are getting into their stride after a challenging start to their championship campaign and have climbed to seventh place.
In division one, DENTON are struggling as they have won only two of their opening 10 league games and are 12thin the 14-strong division.
MICKLEHURST, meanwhile, are sixth in division 2B, and well placed to challenge for the second promotion place as Saddleworth are running away at the top.