PROUD FORMER MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH LANCASHIRE LEAGUE,
THE BOLTON & DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION
AND THE CENTRAL LANCASHIRE CRICKET LEAGUE
FOUNDER MEMBERS OF THE GREATER MANCHESTER CRICKET LEAGUE
There was double joy on Saturday as the firsts and seconds both racked up wins against Littleborough. Despite Mass’s failure, Will Davidson (65) stepped up to the mark and Callum Parkinson (66) returned to form with Joe Brown chipping in with 36 as an imposing 256-8 was set. Cheets, Dean and Ben then captured three wickets as a potentially expensive drop of last month’s matchwinner Chris Schofield was averted and a 33 run victory secured. The early season misery of a single T20 win at Radcliffe from the first 12 competitive games are now a distant memory as a Lancs Knockout place is now firmly within grasp. A weakened second XI won the toss at Littleborough and Chris Lord (44) got them off to a decent start grafting runs through the thick, lush outfield grass. Sam Dorsey and Ian Morris then scored 22 apiece as the score moved past 100. A middle order collapse then left the side in some peril at 145-7 but Jack Barton and V.V.S. Flaxman hung around for a while to take the score to 170 at tea. Those runs proved vital as a six run victory was achieved with Barty, Rash and Alex Cunliffe sharing the wickets.
Sadly, it was a different story on Sunday as the thirds found Prestwich too hot to handle in the Hodson Cup Final, going down to an 87 run defeat at East Lancs Paper Mills. It started brightly enough with two early wickets but one batsman took a liking to ELPM’s short boundaries and peppered 116 not out in a match winning knock. In reply the early order quickly folded and Nick Flaxman’s side then crumbled to 99 all out to end the cup run in disappointing fashion. The firsts had to settle for two points as, yet again, the weather prevented any play at Werneth and a much weakened 2nd XI did well to post 183 at Manchester Road, but were staring down the barrel with 23 overs remaining and the visitors on 117-1 when the last shilling went through my meter.
RESOURCES S T R E T C H E D
With 29 players unavailable on Saturday and 27 on Sunday, the club had no alternative but to award Saddleworth the 3rd XI game on Sunday in an unprecedented move. The second XIs personnel featured three 13 year olds and a fourteen year old and 13 year old Sam Dorsey represented the first XI in both games. The firsts did exceptionally well to snatch a point from table toppers Norden on Sunday, losing out by just three wickets after 2nd XI skipper Ian Morris top scored with 25. 2nd XI vice captain Liam Dorsey weighed in with five wickets on Saturday but it was a bit of a thrashing in the end at Royton. The second XI dressing room was full of bags that were as big as their owners at times as some of the successful under 13 team were drafted in to test their mettle. There were two defeats but plenty of positives with a first wicket apiece for Rob Lord and Dan Ainscough who got down well (though he hadn’t far to go) to take a good caught and bowled, a ‘red inker’ for Joe Parker, good bowling spell for Lee Glover and a sparkling 32 runs for Dan Ainscough. Hopefully some normality returns next week, but nevertheless it was a fascinating insight into where the club could be in ten years’ time. PIC: Daniel Ainscough on the way to 32.
FERRY ON TOP
The thirds weren’t able to end the weekend with a result but did exceptionally well to eke out a losing draw after an exceptionally strong Littleborough side unexpectedly turned up for the Bank Holiday Monday game. They proceeded to punish mercilessly, some wayward bowling, smashing 323-4 with two players scoring centuries and another 55 not out. At 13-4 when Mike Ferry came to the wicket, only to see things get worse at 23-5, you wouldn’t have expected any more to write home about, but Fez was having none of that and usurped the two ‘Boro centurions by top scoring with a splendid and memorable 117 that set up an unlikely draw as Nick’s side ended on 187-9. He also registered the biggest six of many on the day, smashing the ball over The Boundary side fence from a wicket pitched on the Batsman’s Drive side of the ground to bring a very strange long weekend to a close.
The club was sad to learn that former professional Mike Howard is seriously ill after suffering a stroke last week. It is only just over a week since Mike and his wife appeared in good form at Geoff Griffiths’ 60th birthday. We wish him a speedy recovery.
The much awaited Under 18 Taylor Cup Final descended into farce as the rain well and truly made a mockery of the day on Saturday. The third team were the lucky ones in having their game called off at 2pm, but the final went ahead at Clifton but only Will Davidson (49) showed any mastery of the Norden attack which took wickets at regular intervals in bowling out the hosts for 105. Any chance that the Clifton youngsters had of redeeming a poor batting display disappeared into the gloom as interruption after interruption thwarted any flow to the attack as the ball gradually turned into a palpable impression of a piece of soap. Credit though to Norden who were worthy winners on the day in preventing a second successive Taylor Cup triumph for Phil Royle’s side.