STALYBRIDGE St Paul’s sealed the Derbyshire and Cheshire League, third division title after extending their winning streak to 11 games in the end of season run-in.
The run was vital in order to shake off a stubborn Birch Vale and Thornsett who were runners-up and who kept in touch throughout as Stalybridge were only one defeat away from being dragged into a final game winner-takes-all match against them.
The title was eventually sealed in the penultimate game with victory against Charlesworth.
There were three victories and a cancellation due to the rain over the last month for the first team with wins against Offerton, Charlesworth and Birch Vale (once the title had been sealed).
The most dramatic came against Charlesworth with Stalybridge defending a below-par 164, sealing a victory by one run, which included two wickets from the last two balls of the game.
Stalybridge eventually finished with 348 points, 42 clear of Birch Vale and Thornsett as they won 17 of their 21 games, losing only two.
Over the month, the stand-out batting performances came from Junaid Mahmood (92 v Birch Vale), Richard Wright (59 v Offerton) and Mike Whitworth (65 v Charlesworth). Stand-out bowling spells came from Gary Sandiford (4 -41 v Offerton) and James Brady (4-28 v Birch, including a hat-trick).
Stalybridge’s second team unfortunately suffered three defeats over the month with losses against Old Glossop, Dinting and Birch Vale. Ajeet Kaintura (6-14) and Ned Woodman (4-12) did however bowl super spells up at Dinting.
All-in-all a successful season for Stalybridge with the first team winning the division three title and the seconds maintaining their place in division five.
The club presentation is taking place in the coming weeks and the league trophy will be picked up at the league presentation at the Alma Lodge, Stockport, on November 9.
The club is already looking ahead to the 2019 season. If anybody is interested in joining in a playing capacity, scoring, volunteering (on the ground or behind the scenes), coaching or sponsoring, contact 07920 056659.