Prestwich Cricket Club can reflect on a season of mixed fortunes, after dicing with GMCL Premier League relegation but winning the 2nd team cup.
The first team finished in eighth position, one place above the drop zone, thus retaining their Premier Division status, although it leaves them without an entry into the Lancashire Cup in 2018.
But it was their journey in this year’s Lancashire Cup which showed them in their best light, and demonstrated the side had the capability of matching it with the best.
After knocking over Saddleworth for just 22 in the first round, they went on to beat Northern league leaders Blackpool and Pennine League leaders Norden, before losing to Liverpool Competition leaders Ormskirk. Ormskirk went on to share the cup with Lowerhouse after the final was aborted twice because of rain.
On the field, Ryan Stanbury had a fine all-round season taking 43 wickets and scoring 713 runs. Sam Holden was the leading run scorer on 716 with Andy Bradley the highest wicket-taker, racking up 52. Teenager Nathan Bailey also had a noteworthy wicket haul of 33.
The season also marked Bradley’s final year as captain, during whose tenure the first team won the LCL league and cup double in 2015 and were runners-up in the inaugural year of the GMCL.
The 2nd team, skippered by Peter Lorenzini, had an excellent year for two reasons. The first, being an obvious one, in that they won the Per-Fit 2nd XI Cup, beating Woodbank in the final. The second reason was their performances in the GMCL division two, where all their games, bar Glossop, were played against first teams and their professionals – a new phenomenon for second team players. Yet they rose to the challenge, proving ultra competitive in the vast majority of matches, and winning six games.
An influx of new teams to the GMCL set-up has meant the 2nd team will remain in the same division in 2018.
The 3rd team finished a very respectable fifth place in division five south east, with several under 15 players making their mark in the team (and two already playing at 2nd team level).
As if to evidence the potential talent in the junior ranks, the U15s won their league, to ensure the future is looking bright at Prestwich CC.