Heywood were comprehensively beaten by Littleborough at Hare Hill on a windswept afternoon.
They let Boro score far too many, pro Clinton Perren being the anchor, as so often, with an unbeaten 75 to lead his side to 208-7 off 50 overs.
Then Michael Burns ripped out the cream of Heywood’s top order – Bobby Cross, sub pro Janaka Gunaratne and captain Danny Pawson – and with Heywood’s middle order finding the going too tough, they collapsed from 53-1 to just 88 all out. A pretty poor effort.
At one stage, it appeared that the home side’s innings was well under control at 109-5 and running out of overs. Gunaratne, replacing original deputy Asif Zakir, had taken one of the key Boro wickets in Chris Schofield and with Humza Naeem and Riley Paterson taking a wicket apiece and Chris Kaye bowling tightly, all looked well.
But Phil Deakin joined Perren and the runs started to pile up. They put on 62 for the sixth wicket with Deakin the aggressor, and this allowed Perren to open up.
Some lusty hitting late on saw Boro get away and 208-7 was far more than Heywood would have wanted.
All seemed well early doors in the reply with Cross and Dale Latham looking comfortable against the pace of Burns and the guile of Mo Bux.
But when Cross was adjudged lbw to Burns – bowling a pacy spell on debut – the wheels quickly came off.
Gunaratne looked good but edged one behind, and then the final key wicket went when Danny Pawson was also given out lbw to Burns.
No one could handle the Boro attack after this, and a series of poor shots against accurate bowling ensued.
A score of 88 all out was far below par, and Heywood have a lot of improving to do on this performance.
C Schofield b Gunaratne 18
G Hulme c A Dawson b Naeem 25
C Perren not out 75
J Smith-Butler c Latham b Kaye 9
T Pye lbw b Kaye 3
C Rushton c A Dawson b Kaye 17
P Deakin c Cross b Gunaratne 32
M Hodson st Pawson b Gunaratne 11
M Burns not out 6
Total (for 7 wkts, 50 overs) 208
Fall of wickets: 1-43, 2-53, 3-71, 4-75, 5-109, 6-171, 7-202
Bowling: Paterson 9-1-28-1, Naeem 5-0-28-1, Gunaratne 20-1-75-3, Kaye 16-1-74-3
R Cross lbw b Burns 21
D Latham c Schofield b Bux 14
J Gunaratne c Perren b Burns 3
D Pawson lbw b Burns 0
R Paterson b Burns 0
A Dawson c and b Smith-Butler 6
W Hunt c Perren b Smith-Butler 1
T Blundell lbw b Schofield 3
J Lovell c and b Smith-Butler 0
H Naeem b Smith-Butler 5
C Kaye not out 0
Extras 25 Total (29.4 overs) 88
Fall of wickets: 1-40, 2-53, 3-55, 4-55, 5-63, 6-68, 7-71, 8-71, 9-83, 10-88
Bowling: Bux 11-4-26-1, Burns 10-2-36-4, Smith-Butler 4.4-1-13-4, Schofield 4-1-7-1