Hyde began their 3 away game stretch with a visit to Cheadle, to face a side that enjoyed a identical start to the season. The pitch was a bit soft with a greenish tinge, typical of an early season wicket, and upon winning the toss, Partridge decided that Hyde were going to bowl first.
With Whittaker otherwise engaged, Hannah shared the new ball with Balderson. Hannah started his spell bowling slightly too full, allowing Cheadle to get off to a quick start, however he soon found his line and length and started to cause the batsmen all kind of problems. Hannah found the breakthrough in the 5th over when a he managed to find Dixon's edge, for a good low catch from Duffy. 4 balls later he struck again, getting Mahmood caught behind. Balderson was looking dangerous, with countless played and misses, but with no nick in sight. Hannah had his 3rd when Bullock misjudged a leave and saw the ball clip his off stump. In all fairness, the ball came back a long way and was an absolute beauty. With only 4 balls left in his spell, Balderson was heard to say, "surely they have to nick one of them" and he was instantly rewarded with O'Brien sticking into the gloves of Allcock. Cheadle were now 44/4, and desperately needed someone to steady the ship, and that man was their captain, Brown. A 5th wicket stand with Dooler saw 52 runs added, with Brown putting on 43 of them in a hurry. He fell after going back to Young and was trapped LBW. Dooler went soon after when he was caught by Duffy off of Cranmer and Carswell was removed by some quality fielding by Chew, with a direct hit running him out. 106/7 and it looked like Hyde were looking at another small run chase. Things got even worse for Cheadle when Partridge took a solid catch in the cordon to remove Holmes, with Balderson being the bowler. Sperring didn’t long outlast him when he was adjudged to be LBW becoming the 3rd victim of Balderson and despite some last ditch run scoring by Hampson, the innings was wrapped up when Moss was bowled by Balderson. 138 all out and another impressive performance by the Hyde attack.
Fitzsimmons and Partridge opened up for Hyde once more, with 72 overs available for the chase. Brown and O’Brien opened the bowling for Cheadle, and with Brown bowling a tight line, the Hyde pair looked to score off the bowling of O’Brien. Fitzsimmons was the first man to go, with an LBW to Brown that looked contentious. Balderson joined Partridge, and the pair kicked on with the task of the run chase, adding 58 for the 2nd wicket. A superb knock from Partridge saw him near his 50, but he fell just short, being well caught by Holmes off the bowling of Sperring. Young came to the crease, and together with Balderson, began to whittle away at the target. Both players were incredibly patient, taking advantage any bad balls and building a partnership worth 70. In the end, Young obviously wanted to watch the FA Cup Final, hitting Hampson for 3 sixes in a final over worth 23, with Hyde finishing 142/2 with Young 46 not out and Balderson 36.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the 2nd XI secured their first win of the season with a gutsy performance. Batting first after winning the toss, they made a solid 248/8, with Dave Leighton and Jason Ebbrell adding 53 and 47 in a 4th wicket partnership worth 100. Cheadle were in a strong position in the chase, staying well above the run rate. But a fiery spell of bowling from Luke Young, reduced the Cheadle batting line-up to 221 all out, Luke finishing with 7/70.
And finally, on Sunday, the 3rd XI played their first game of the season away at Toft, after Cheadle had conceded the previous Sunday. Bowling first after winning the toss, Toft were restricted to 180/7 after their 45, with Martin Coyne’s figures of 12-5-37-3 being the pick of the bowling. Hyde only needed 32.1 overs to chase it down, with all batsmen contributing, but Charlie Hewitt’s 50 off 30 balls with 4x4s and 4x6s being the standout performance. Hyde finishing on 184/4.
What a great weekend for the club, 3 wins out of a possible 3. The 4th 1st XI win on the bounce, seeing us open a small gap at the top. At the start of the season, I didn’t know what to expect or where in the league we were aiming to finish, but the team have exceeded any expectations I may have had. It is important to focus on taking every game as it comes, and not getting ahead of ourselves. Whatever we want to do with this season, 4 wins certainly help.