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1st XI early Season Report
The miserable April weather put paid to no fewer than the first five 1st XI matches, but since then the new school side has played four very competitive games, and emerged with a 3-1 win ratio.
The first game was a local derby against Stockport GS, who did well to restrict King’s to 142 all out. Only Ben Marsden with 39 and Andrew Hodgson with 20 made significant contributions. When Stockport had been reduced to 66-5, King’s seemed set for victory, but good contributions down the order by Murphy, Schofield and Woodside saw Stockport home by 3 wickets, Jack Egar with 3-28 being King’s main wicket-taker.
Next up was the first phase of games in the national schools T20 competition, and two fairly comfortable wins saw King’s through to the next round. They batted first against Birkenhead and 68 from Andrew Hodgson was the foundation of King’s total of 124-4. Accurate bowling then pegged back the opposition batsmen from the start, and they could only make 69-9 in their 20 overs, five King’s bowlers sharing the wickets which fell. King’s Chester were the next opponents, and their 20-over score of 112-6 was much more competitive. For King’s, Greg Eyre with 3-23 was the pick of the bowlers. Chester then took three early wickets, but a stand of 60 in 7 overs between Tom Foreman  and Matthew Stubbs  set King’s on the path to a 4-wicket victory, but it was only achieved off the 2nd ball of the final over.
The fourth match was against another local rival in Cheadle Hulme, and a quality game of cricket it turned out to be. In effect, the game saw four high quality innings, but it was eventually King’s who triumphed because they had the one which was genuinely outstanding. Cheadle Hulme batted first, and totalled 199-8 in their 45 overs, with Matthew Winter and Andrew Jackson  the main contributors. King’s did well in the end to restrict their opponents to such a score, since at the half way point of their innings Cheadle Hulme looked set for a score of at least 230. King’s then began their reply relatively slowly, but crucially they were able to keep wickets in hand. Adam Siddall and Hannah Gradwell made worthwhile early contributions, and then Andrew Hodgson [46*] played second fiddle superbly in an unbeaten 3rd wicket stand of 114 which took King’s to an 8-wicket win. The outstanding innings was played by Ben Marsden, who made a chanceless 111 not out, and who showed a range of shots as well as a temperament which augur extremely well for both his and the side’s future as the season develops.