INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAIRMAN
70 NOT OUT
Despite a lifetime of involvement the Chairman can still remember his favourite moments with microscopic attention to detail.
“I played in some absolutely fantastic matches over such a long period, but the memories that still haunt, and provide me with sleepless nights are the ones where I made the wrong decision, or didn’t perform to my potential at a vital time.
However, the best game I ever recall was at Mottram in 2000 when two excellent teams clashed”
The scorebook reflects that Chapel were defending an underwhelming 124 on a decent pitch.
“It was a small score to defend, and whilst Nick Jackson and Bunk Critchlow whittled away, Mottram persevered and had eventually reached 122-5.
As a last throw of the dice, I persuaded our keeper Nick Lee (who had played for Worcestershire) to let Andrew Hibbert go behind the sticks and bowl his fast leg breaks, with Ian Durham bowling slow, but accurate leg breaks at the other end. Fifteen balls later, Murray Lennie raised his finger to give Adrian Southern LBW, and unbelievably Chapel had won a frighteningly tense encounter.
Mottram were shell shocked, but great hosts in the bar afterwards, and the following day we tied 222 apiece with Bob Cooke’s Stockport
But which opponents gave you the most trouble?
“There have been some magnificent cricketers in this League: Hundreds in fact.
But the batsman in my teens who was my betenoir was Fred Bonsall of Bredbury St Marks. Also, I could never get Dove’s David Milner out until I was older”
In contrast, the bowlers all played for the same team
“Funnily enough, the three bowlers I really struggled with were all from Stockport Sunday School: John Drew, Bill Todd, and especially David Want”
The Chairman is reluctant to nominate his best DCCL XI
“As I’ve stated before, I’m not keen on picking the best of anything: Time and circumstances make it difficult to gauge, plus scorebooks never tell the full story.
However, if pressed:
Les Hague Whaley Bridge
Joe Lomas Chapel
Dave Milner Dove Holes
Don Smith Hayfield
William Higginbottom Hayfield
Fred Bonsall Bredbury St Marks
Ian Hawtin Chapel
Chris Lees Compstall
I Greasley Mellor
Billy Hargreaves Birch Vale
Dave Page Chapel
Roy Ridings Hawk Green
Steve Worrall Compstall
Brian Milner Dove Holes
Arthur Bamford Chapel
“I can’t expand on how the league has waxed and waned over such a lengthy period of time, but to my mind, the best era was the whole of the 1960s, plus 1970 and 1971. As I say, there have been some great periods with an influx of great players, but also some low points, to be printed at length another day
However, as I said earlier. We’re still going after 70 years, whereas others are not”