ANOTHER lacklustre batting display saw Heywood slip to their fourth successive defeat.
Their second successive Central Lancashire Cricket League reverse was this time by nine runs on a recalculated target in a rain-hit game at Monton and Weaste.
That followed a Wood Cup quarter-final exit at Milnrow, a 42-run league setback at Norden and a Lees Bitter Twenty20 Cup final Group game KO at Rochdale – although the latter did not prevent them for qualifying for the quarter-finals.
And the common theme of Heywood’s slump in form, following a great start to the season, seems to be lack of runs and the pace at which they are scoring them up front.
Heywood scored just 135 at Milnrow, 132 off 30 overs at Norden, 113 from 20 overs at Rochdale, and 122 off 38 overs at Monton chasing a revised target of 131.
It was, admittedly, a difficult low, slow wicket at the Salford area venue, but Heywood certainly missed a chance to re-assert themselves at the top of the table with their closest rivals suffering washouts.
You certainly can’t fault their effort in the field, although they could possibly have restricted Monton to a few less than their eventual 144-8 from 45 overs.
The match started 35 minutes late because of rain just before the scheduled start, and the players were sent scurrying from the field twice during the Monton innings because of squally showers.
The home batting line-up certainly found the Heywood attack, spiritedly led by Australian overseas amateur Hamish Paterson, a handful. And the fact that home professional Paul Green laboured to 29 runs in almost 30 overs underlines how difficult it was to score.
Paterson claimed the first three wickets in a fine spell of 3-29 from 11 overs, and Monton were indebted to an aggressive fifth-wicket stand of 36 by Jake Sandham, who made 25, and Chris Hindle, 17.
Joe Lovell again produced a telling return at the end of the innings with 3-15 from six overs as Monton eventually reached 144, topped off by what proved to be a crucial last ball six by Tom Coe off Chris Kaye.
Rain delayed the start of Heywood’s reply and, with the skies mainly grey and heavy, the possibility of more interruptions and reduction in overs was obvious.
It takes 20 overs for the side batting second to constitute a match, and Heywood needed to be more than 70 at that point to be ahead of the run rate.
But skipper Bobby Cross and Ross Zelem struggled to get up to that target, despite a solid start to the innings which brought 60 up in the 22nd over. Then it all started to go wrong.
Cross was run out for 35 being sent back when going for a single to deep gulley, professional Travis Townsend was yorked by a first ball beauty from Jake Sandham, and rain immediately drove the players off again at 60-2 from 21.2 overs.
A break of almost half-an-hour saw Heywood lose six overs and set a revised target of 131 from a further 17 overs and four balls.
That always looked comfortable while Danny Pawson was at the crease and controlling a run rate of four-an-over.
But he found little support as wickets tumbled at the other end, as Sandham made it four bowled victims by cleaning up Dale Latham, Curtis Maguire and the recalled Steve Wallwork, with Zelem having earlier gone lbw to Dominic Gavin for a patient 24.
Then, when Pawson went for 25 to a skier to make the total 105-7 with nine overs left, the game was almost up.
Lovell and Humza Naeem came and went quickly, and hopes that Paterson and Kaye could dig Heywood out of a hole from 112-9 – with 19 needed and four overs left – were extinguished 10 runs later as Paterson was run out.
MONTON AND WEASTE
B Chapman b Paterson 5
P Green lbw b Townsend 29
C Murray c Zelem b Paterson 24
J Lenihan c Wallwork b Paterson 5
J Sandham st Pawson b Kaye 25
C Hindle c Paterson b Lovell 17
J Pemberton st Pawson b Lovell 4
D Collins c Latham b Lovell 7
J Kershaw not out 8
T Coe not out 6
Total (for 8 wkts 45 overs) 144
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-44, 3-57, 4-79, 5-115, 6-115, 7-124, 8-132
Bowling: Paterson 11-3-29-3, Naeem 7-1-24-0, Townsend 9-2-23-1, Kaye 12-3-50-1, Lovell 6-1-15-3
R Cross run out 35
R Zelem lbw b Gavin 24
T Townsend b Sandham 0
D Pawson c Chapman b Green 25
D Latham b Sandham 3
C Maguire b Sandham 0
S Wallwork b Sandham 7
J Lovell b Gavin 4
H Naeem lbw b Green 1
H Paterson run out 5
C Kaye not out 6
Total (38 overs) 122
Fall of wickets: 1-60, 2-60, 3-81, 4-94, 5-94, 6-103, 7-105, 8-110, 9-112, 10-122
Bowling: Gavin 19-3-51-2, Green 12-2-25-2, Sandham 7-0-43-4
[Gallery not found]
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