HEYWOOD are this week grappling with a dilemma over the date for an important Cup showdown.
All the quarter-finalists in the Lees Bitter Twenty20 Cup were ordered to reply their games on Friday night (6.15), after last Friday’s scheduled date was another total wash-out.
But Heywood, who take on Monton and Weaste at Crimble, face fielding a depleted squad if being forced to honour that commitment and were hoping to reach an agreement with the Salford area side to bring the match forward 24 hours to tonight (Thursday, July 12).
At least two members of the Heywood squad, skipper Bobby Cross and all-rounder Lee Grogan, will be part of a big contingent representing the Crimble club at Old Trafford on one of the Lancashire Cricket Board’s biggest nights of the year.
The Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) dinner recognises meritorious work done by clubs and individuals during the previous 12 months.
And it could be a special night for Heywood, who have been nominated in the NatWest CricketForce category following the spectacular success of the pre-season event at Crimble.
Cross, meanwhile, one of the driving forces behind CricketForce, is one of the leading contenders for Building Partnerships award.
The occasion at The Point, Old Trafford’s tremendous new facility, is a prestigious one and will feature a high profile speaker in Nick Knight, the former Essex, Warwickshire and England opening batsman who is now a well-known Sky TV commentator.
Heywood are certainly supporting the OSCAs wholeheartedly, with a coach party of club members including most of the groundstaff responsible for staging matches at Crimble – and who would be missing if the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final is played the same night.
Whatever the result of the clash with Monton and Weaste, Heywood will be looking to get their Central Lancashire Cricket League campaign back on track on a tough weekend – if the weather allows.
They go to Clifton on Saturday to face a side on the heels on the CLL leading pack, and featuring, Sri Lankan fast bowler Amal Perera, a professional who has really begun to hit his straps in recent weeks.
Sunday sees a scheduled Crimble derby showdown with with a strong Middleton outfit, who will be keen for revenge after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Heywood at Towncroft at the beginning of May.
Meanwhile, it’s another important weekend, too, for Heywood’s second team, whose proposed game at second-placed Rochdale last Saturday was washed out.
That leaves Roger Smethurst’s men still clear at the top of the Second Division. But close behind Rochdale are Clifton and Middleton, who the second string play at home on Saturday and away on Sunday.
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- OSCAs Success As Heywood Named Natwest Cricketforce Club Of The Year