We recently received an email from Keith's family - it reads :- "Dear Friends of Keith Keith's family would like to thank you all for the generous contributions made in memory of Keith to the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Donations received in fact amounted to £1226.25. after a further £100(+£25 gift aid) came from the Outcasts when a member donated cricket gear to the club. The donations will make a real difference to those living with the disease. We are sure Keith would appreciate your kindness.
Keith's ashes are now interred in the memorial garden at St Chad's Church, Romiley. If you have not already seen it there is also a memorial page on the Outcasts website."
Wednesday 13th August. Outcasts C.C. v Albion - Albion won by 60 runs. Outcasts season ended as it started with another heavy defeat. Albion batting first put on a show of power hitting in the first eight overs. The opening bowlers took some punishment as the ball was hit in the air and finding gaps where normally fielders would have been placed, crucially the two missing fielders in this 9 a-side game. In reply, Colin played his part in keeping one end tied up but early wickets of Eric and Tony T were taken as they managed to find fielders on the boundary to take straightforward catches. A 50 run partnership then followed between Colin and the skipper however, it wasn't good enough to push to the visitors target who bowled good lines and length. Score sheet now available - Match report to follow. So there we have it - a premature end to the season due to the lack of opposition in the closing weeks of the summer. It's now down to trying to put together a social calendar for the autumn and winter months starting with the Outcasts annual golf day which this year will be played on Friday 29th August for the Keith Ambrey trophy at the William Wroe Golf Course Flixton. Ted is the organiser in chief who will be circulating more details in due course.
Outcasts, as ever, are grateful for the hospitality offered by Winton Cricket Club who kindly allow us to hire their ground for home fixtures. The ground has always been kept in very good condition and we would like to congratulate them and in particular Mike Humphreys, their groundsman, who has recently been awarded the county’s top honour in his field when he won the Lancashire Groundsperson of the Year award. The award, presented at the annual Lancashire Cricket Board OSCAs award ceremony at Old Trafford, is the most prestigious in the county. Details of this can be found on the Bolton Evening News web site or by following this link :- Mike Humphreys Top Award.
Wednesday 6th August. Thankfully Pete Labbett managed to gather his troops for a return fixture at Winton which only came about in the after match hospitalities from last week. Chorley opted to bat first after winning the toss again, but Outcasts bowled with more authority and restricted the batting with a better fielding performance and some fine catching, particularly Paul Mooney who took a sharp caught and bowled and another great catch at square leg as the ball initially appeared to have gone over his head. Runs were this week restricted to 108, leaving Outcasts to reach a repeat total from last week of 109. Eric and Dave W opening in determined mood set about the Chorley regular opening bowling attack with great determination. In no time at all, Dave bludgeoned his way past 50 demonstrating fine technique and strength to hit the ball into the gaps and over the boundary much to the annoyance of some of the Chorley fielders who apparently hadn't realized that Outcasts don't have an enforced retirement policy. Dave was eventually bowled playing across the line but Eric who had been accumulating runs and keeping his discipline was accompanied by Tony T who both saw Outcasts home with plenty of overs left to record a good 9 wicket win. Match Report and Score sheet now available.
Wednesday 30th July at Gregson Lane, Hoghton. Chorley Hospitals batted first with a good opening partnership producing 60 runs, J. Leather retiring at 25. However, Paul Mooney struck twice in consecutive deliveries in the twelfth over giving Outcasts a boost, but the batting was steadied and another 40 runs accumulated before Rob Doyle took a catch in the deep off Roger's bowling with three overs left and there was a sharp run out in the penultimate over. Chorley closed on 122 leaving Outcasts a target that should have been achievable. Alas, Brian Chappell's swing and accuracy made sure the Outcasts openers would have to work hard for their runs, while Smith picked up the wickets of opening pair Paul Mooney and Colin Wood. Keeper Rob Woods standing up to the stumps throughout ensured all of the Outcasts batsmen had to play deep in their crease and his excellent duties behind the stumps played a major part in keeping the scoring shots down to a minimum. Rob Doyle played with authority and had his retirement enforced on reaching 30. Momentum was then lost as the evening skies darkened but this didn't stop Eric from hitting a six into the community centre and also didn't affect Roger from hitting 3 boundaries from the last and only 3 balls he faced. In the end, a 14 run defeat looks more presentable than it may have been. Score Sheet available, Match Report to follow.
23rd July. Home to a Peter Kidd XI. Outcasts luck just seems to be on the wrong side of bad currently. Batting first again, we never got out of second gear. 5 cheap wickets fell early in proceedings with 4 of them bizarrely seeing the batsmen playing on to wide deliveries and the 5th was expertly steered to a waiting fielder who had just repositioned himself for such a catching opportunity. A silly run out from a miss-field didn't help matters and consequently momentum never got going. Score sheet and Match report now available.
16th July. For the third time of asking this season, Outcasts finally managed to play old friends Albion at home. Depleted of a couple of regular bowlers for this game Outcasts opted to bat first posting a score of just under a hundred. This would never be enough although some early wickets lifted Outcasts hopes of a win. Albion however, steadied their ship and comfortably reached the target with 3 overs to spare. Match report and score sheet available.
Outcasts suffered two defeats on their annual trip to Dorset, but nevertheless had another enjoyable weekend away. Dorset Dinosaurs won by 6 wickets on Saturday 5th July. Match report and score sheet available. Bride Vale C.C. - played on Sunday 6th July, won by 4 wickets. Match report to follow, score sheet available.
Wednesday 2nd July V Reynolds at Winton C.C.
Outcasts put in another fine performance tonight to defeat Reynolds. Put in to bat again, Outcasts got off to another good start and Eric carried his bat posting a fine 50 as he found some good form just in time for the Dorset trip. Paul M was out to a good delivery to be replaced by Tony T who was going well until he was on the end of an unfortunate run out. Debutant Rob Doyle looked the part until he was undone by the spin of left arm Nicholls. Ted joined Eric to see Outcasts post a score of 115 which the skipper thought wouldn't be enough. However, there was another good bowling and fielding performance and the pressure was kept on throughout the Reynolds innings. They lost 6 wickets, the most crucial one that of M Higgs who had played some fine shots went to Graham's flight and lack of pace, and in the end Outcasts just kept a tight line and length to make the win by 41 runs. One point worth adding here was that the extras were kept to a minimum with Steve performing well behind the stumps and for once wide deliveries didn't do us any harm at all. Score sheet and match report now available
Wednesday 25th June V Peak Park Planners, Bakewell Park.
This now traditional outing was once again played in great spirit as the hosts won the toss and invited Outcasts to bat first. The opening partnership of Paul M and Dave W once again got us off to a great start, both securing their 25 and retire target in quick time. Clearly the skipper wanted this fixture to go Outcasts way as he stacked up the opening batting line-up as Eric and Tony T replaced the retirees. Momentum was halted for a while as Eric was out cheaply and Nick and Ted went without too much added to the score. Runs started to flow again and Tony also reached the retirement target which brought Roger and Peter together at the end who guided the innings to a very good 123, with Roger playing some fine vintage shots. In reply Peak Park struggled as the pressure was maintained with the first ten overs only conceding 29. Eric and Paul proved to be too hot in their opening spell and the skipper and Roger would not ease off. There was inevitably a couple of lose overs to follow during the innings but the determination and desire to keep on top prevailed throughout and the win was secured by a comfortable margin. Well done to both teams for a game played in the correct spirit. Easily this will be the best game of the season. Match report and score sheet now available.
Wednesday 18th June V Swinton Lions.
The match got off to a poor start with a distinct lack of players available particularly from the opposition. This was probably the major factor in why moral felt completely flat as the match commenced with only 7 Lions and 9 Outcasts. Under the circumstances, it was at least a game and the Lions batted first with their traditional opening partnership of P. Mills and J. Stanton who both immediately set about the Outcasts bowling finding the gaps in the field where we had two short. However, Outcasts seemed to pick themselves up once the skipper came on to bowl for the first time this season, and 3 quick wickets soon followed one of which was a fine catch at deep cover by Bob Sproat - easily the champagne moment. The target was eventually set at an uncomfortable 132 to win, and with Paul Mooney arriving late and bowling for the opposition was a daunting task. We didn't get off to a great start with Ted suffering an early exit without troubling the scorer and Steve finding it difficult to get the bowlers away. Colin was back in this match for a welcome return, but he too was out early looking to hit out and meanwhile Tony T was holding up the other end. The fourth wicket partnership between him and Bob eventually got on top of the bowling, with Tony taking a particular liking to Paul Mooney's bowling but alas, the target proved a little too much to reach, but well done to Tony T who scored the season's first half century. Match report to follow soon. Score sheet now available.
Wednesday 11th June saw Outcasts warmly received at Lymm Oughtrington Park Cricket Club for a new fixture. The match was played in a most friendly and picturesque environment and was noteworthy for two significant achievements in the Outcasts record books. Steve Ramsden turned out for his 300th appearance and Eric Shufflebotham passed 8000 career runs - remarkable personal achievements, well done to both players. Outcasts came in to this match on the back of a record equalling losing sequence of 7 games and were probably on course of extending this given that we had just had a 3 week gap from playing. The toss was won by skipper Les who chose to take first advantage of a firm track and bat. The openers Paul M and Dave W didn't let him down accelerating the score to 50 in 8 overs before the local 25 and retire rule was enforced for both batsmen. Momentum was lost after this but Eric came into some form by the closing overs and bashed his way through to pass his 8000 career runs and the target was eventually set at 97. Lymm O P CC started at a slower pace but by the end of the 18th over, Lymm were 10 runs ahead and looking on course to take the game as they progressed steadily towards the target. However, Outcasts fielding was as good as it's been for years and some good tight bowling at the death saw the closest of finishes to see Outcasts defend their innings by 1run. Alick Cross making his Outcasts debut took 2 good wickets from two overs at the end, the first being a very good sharp caught and bowled and Eric bowled the perfect last over. A very enjoyable match played in a great spirit by both teams. Match report to follow. Score sheet now available.
Yet again the weather prevented a fixture at Astley Bridge CC against Albion, Thursday 5th June.
As promised we have now prepared a special page in Keith Ambrey's memory and dedication. Please take a look and post your memories and thoughts. All posts are filtered before they get published so keep returning to the web site and page to see what's been submitted. The page can be found here. If you haven't already done so, do please find time to visit the page and be moved to post a dedication. Keith's family and friends do appreciate your messages.
Fixtures can now be found on the Season 2014 page. There are some gaps but for now it's complete.
Wednesday 21st May V Chorley Hospitals XI. Outcasts poor run of form continued as they equalled their record losing sequence of 7 matches which was back in 2006/7. Chorley batted first with the sun beating down and the wicket and outfield drier than the previous week. This time the bowling was distributed around in the hope that this would disrupt the batting, but the ball regularly found gaps in the field and once again a demanding target of 137 was set. However, Chorley's bowling attack was extremely accurate and given such a big first innings score they could set the field back to defend the boundary. It also helps when wickets fall early in the innings and Outcasts couldn't get runs on the board or a meaningful partnership established. Dave Walsh made batting look somewhat easier, but he succumbed to a good catch in the deep when looking to hit boundaries and just as Ted had played himself in, he was run out casually going for what he thought was an easy single. And that was Outcasts batting downfall - too many singles, too slow to capitalise between the wickets and not enough boundaries. In summary, that's been the Outcasts problem for quite a while now - a reflection surely on this ageing but nevertheless enthusiastic team of guys who will continue on in good spirits and enjoy what they do whatever the circumstances are demanded of them. The losing record maybe extended but it wont be for the lack trying to halt it somehow. Match report and Score sheet available.
Outcasts first home match of the season was a close affair on Wednesday 14th May. Salford Personnel set a demanding target of 136 to win after they were put in to bat - the toss once again being dispensed with in order to get the game underway on time. The skipper opted to persevere with 5 bowlers and although Roger took a brilliant caught and bowled wicket (the first champagne moment of the season perhaps?) the score line ran away towards the end of the innings. Extras and particularly wide balls was to prove quite costly. In reply, disaster struck with the very first ball with Tony Threlfall being stumped trying to launch a looping delivery into Barton Moss. Bob Sproat and Ted Noone gradually built some momentum with Ted initially taking a rear-guard action while Bob started to dominate with some well struck boundaries. The partnership was ended with an LBW decision against Bob which brought Paul Mooney to the wicket. Paul characteristically set about the bowling with some powerful hitting and Ted's growing confidence saw him come into good form with some excellent shots. The Outcasts innings however, came to a close tantalisingly so close to a famous victory and indeed both batsmen fell marginally short of their fifties. It was a match played in good spirits under a warm evening sun on a very wet outfield, and at the end of the day Outcasts can feel energised by some good cricket. Score sheet and match report now available.
1st May and the 2014 season is now underway. The usual curtain raiser at Ashley saw us up against friends Reynolds C.C where the toss was dispensed with and the home team invited to bat first. Their openers each made an enforced 25 and retire and Paul Mooney set proceedings up with a maiden over. But a couple of lose overs proved to be a little costly with Reynolds posting a first innings score of 90. In reply Outcasts lost early cheap wickets and the remaining batsmen with the exception of that man Paul Mooney again found runs difficult to make. It was a heavy defeat for the start of the season, but I'm sure the rustiness will soon wear off. Match and score sheet available.
Next up was the away fixture against our oldest of friends Albion, but persistent rain ensured the match would never get underway.
The 2013 Silver Boot evening was another well organised event hosted by Eric at Dimitir's Bar Taverna in central Manchester.
It was Tony T's night as he picked up the coveted Silver Boot and Champagne Moment trophies, while Bob Sproat was the recipient of the Golden Duck. The voting for all three awards was a close affair with Roger, Peter T, Paul Mooney and Colin Wood in contention. Thanks to all who turned out for the evening and many thanks to Eric for his organisational efforts. Before the evening's formalities started, the skipper awarded Tony with his cap having made his 25th appearance in the final match of the season at Bakewell.
The final outstanding match report of the 2013 season is now available for the tour match at Abbotsbury.
The match report for the final home match against Swinton Lions on 14th August is now available.
The photo below is believed to be the GMC Planners 11th September 1985 against NWRHA - The final match for GMC Planners before their rebirth as Outcsats C.C.
There are only two noteworthy additions to this years records which just about sums up our season - Colin and Eric's 4th wicket partnership at Lower Broughton and the defeat at Astley Bridge C.C. against Albion. In summary, we played 14 matches winning 5 and 9 defeats.
This concludes our season, but all of this season's match summaries have now been posted on to the Season 2013 page. The full match reports and score cards are available as usual. A big thanks to the reporters and our dedicated officials for ensuring we fulfil our commitments and thanks to all the players who have taken part this season.
Thanks for a good summer and we shall look forward to the close season social calendar which has already started with the golf day as reported below.
Friday 6th September. The third annual Outcasts C.C. Golf Day was held at the William Wroe Golf Course, Flixton in appalling weather conditions. Despite the forecast 5 intrepid golfers and two guests braved the elements to take part in the end of season golf event organised by Ted. After a break last year, we held this event in a new format, that of a Texas Scramble. This comprised two teams hacking their way around the course, which was completely deserted but in good condition, to play shots from the position of the best ball from each shot to accumulate a scoring round thus avoiding any involved discussion about handicaps etc. Ron's team included Ted, Paul and Ron's guest Pete lead the front four, while Les and Bob was accompanied by Les's guest Alick. After the front nine holes, there was one shot in it with the lead team up by 1 over par, but as the darkening skies closed in for a late finish, the winning margin had been increased by a further two strokes, which meant Ron's team picked up the Outcasts Golfing Trophy for 2013. During the round, two mini competitions were held; Nearest the Pin on the short 7th green - embarrassingly no-one got their ball on the green, so at the turn it was agreed to carry this forward to the 10th. Ron reached the green pin some 15 feet away and Bob just sneaked in to take the award. The other mini comp was for the longest drive on the 18th. Again, this also was embarrassing as only Bob managed to get his drive straight enough to land on the fairway. Alick's was clearly the longest, but the ball frustratingly dropped into the bunker half way down on the right. Thanks again to Ted for organising the day and providing the prizes.
Outcasts Annual General Meeting was held at the Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar on Thursday 17th JANUARY 2013. The minutes of this are available.
Outcasts play home matches at the well appointed Winton Cricket Club.
Outcasts Cricket Club originates from the early 1970s with a group of enthusiastic cricket-minded colleagues of the former Greater Manchester County Council Planning Department.
Following the abolition of the County Council this social group were distributed far and wide across Greater Manchester primarily, but stuck together in solidarity and defiance of the Thatcher mechanics of destruction to maintain its cricketing roots.
The emphasis of the cricket is purely for an enjoyable social evening, but there is always the element of competition and a desire to perform well and competitively.