HEYWOOD’S defeat at Denton St Lawrence in the Premier Division of the Greater Manchester League was not totally surprising against a side going well in the inaugural season of the Greater Manchester Premier League.
But the manner of their 128-run clobbering was certainly a cause for concern.
The Saints racked up a useful but not over-imposing total of 195-9 from their 50 overs as the Heywood attack toiled manfully in the field on an apparently quick-scoring ground.
Certainly, the view at the break was that Heywood would have to bat well but that it was a target well in reach. What was to follow was disconcerting.
They were bundled out for just 67 in 25 overs as the batsmen failed to come to terms with a determined and enthusiastic home attack.
Only professional Danny Pawson (16), Dominic Humphreys (11) and his father Chris Humphreys (16) managed to reach double figures as most of the Heywood line-up were akin to rabbits caught in headlights.
Home professional Scott Kirwin and skipper Ben Tighe started the procession with five wickets from their joint 18-overs effort, then Australian Nathan Keoh and young leg-spinner Kyle O’Reilly polished off the tail.
It left another significant contingent of travelling supporters looking meek and baffled at what they were seeing.
The plus point was the effort in the field by the Heywood attack, led admirably by Simon Dawson and Chris Humphreys.
Dawson claimed four wickets and the skipper a couple from two wholehearted stints, 12 overs apiece at the start of the innings and three each when they came back at the end.
The fact that the top scores in the Saints innings were 31 apiece by Mark Dillnut and Matt Hawley underlines the efforts of the Heywood attack.
But until the batting line-up can make a more positive all-round contribution, and not generally rely on two or three players at the top of the order, then it seems that Heywood’s first attempt at life in the top tier of the new set-up is destined to be a continuous struggle.
DENTON ST LAWRENCE
A Hawley c D Humphreys b C Humphreys 14
M Dillnut b S Dawson 31
S Kirwin b Morley 21
N Keoh lbw b S Dawson 6
M Hawley c Borg b Pawson 31
J Williams b C Humphreys 23
N TIghe c and b Pawson 15
G Hill c Mason b S Dawson 8
A Marsh c Borg b S Dawson 12
J Clough not out 6
K O’Reilly not out 2
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 195
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-50, 3-62, 4-93, 5-148, 6-148, 7-162, 8-185, 9-193
Bowling: C Humphreys 15-1-44-2, S Dawson 15-1-52-4, D Humphreys 7-0-22-0, J Morley 7-0-24-1, D Pawson 6-0-44-2
R Cross c Dillnut b Kirwin 7
L Mason b Tighe 0
D Pawson b Tighe 16
D Humphreys b O’Reilly 11
J Borg c A Hawley b Kirwin 5
C Thomas c Dillnut b Kirwin 0
S Burrill lbw b Keoh 1
J Morley lbw b Keoh 0
C Humphreys b Keoh 16
J Humphreys c Dillnut b O’Reilly 1
S Dawson not out 1
Total (25 overs) 67
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-7, 3-28, 4-34, 5-43, 6-46, 7-46, 8-51, 9-61, 10-67
Bowling: B Tighe 9-0-31-2, S Kirwin 9-2-13-3, N Keoh 4-1-18-3, K O’Reilly 3-1-3-2