Heywood CC continued their superb run of form to defeat Royton at the Paddock, keeping the pressure firmly on Walsden at the top of the CLL First Division table.
They romped to another crushing victory – their ninth successive league win – bowling Royton out on their own turf for just 107, then knocking off the runs for the loss of just one wicket.
Victory was achieved thanks to excellent pressure with the new ball, and a forceful innings from young opener Ross Zelem.
With Curtis Maguire pulling out, pro Travis Townsend took the new ball with Hamish Paterson and the overseas pair gave Royton very little to hit.
Townsend struck first, removing Liam Mason, then Paterson removed the dangerous Chris McDonnell in the next over.
While Townsend was supremely parsimonious, Paterson got a little bit of tap from Royton skipper Alan Durose and, to a lesser extent, Zaman Khan, but his replacement, Humza Naeem, bowled a beauty to dismiss the pro, having him well caught in his first over at slip by the dependably Bobby Cross.
Townsend eventually removed Durose for 54, and then in came Chris Kaye to mop up the late order. He trapped Denny Hulme with a full toss lbw, and then lured the remaining batsmen into false strokes to finish with 4-14 as Royton floundered to 107 all out.
In reply Heywood took it easy, but it was Zelem who was the aggressor in the chase.
Heywood lost Cross to a bizarre run out – he and Zelem collided and the umpires debated the decision long and hard – but Cross accepted the decision without any debate.
However, Zelem and Townsend steadied the ship and with Townsend hitting a couple of sixes, the pair guided Heywood to 109-1 and another precious five points that keeps the pressure on a Walsden side who may start to tighten as they see the finishing post.
L Mason c Pawson b Townsend 1
C McDonnell lbw b Paterson 0
Z Khan c Cross b Naeem 24
A Durose b Townsend 54
L Brown run out 0
D Hulme lbw b Kaye 3
C Porteous c Zelem b Kaye 5
C Joy st Pawson b Lovell 7
M Smith not out 4
A Good c Paterson b Kaye 4
M Hodson c Paterson b Kaye 0
Total (36.5 overs) 107
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-3, 3-60, 4-61, 5-86, 6-87, 7-97, 8-100, 9-107, 10-107
Bowling: Paterson 7-2-40-1, Townsend 16-7-27-2, Naeem 5-0-24-1, Kaye 6.5-1-14-4, Lovell 2-1-2-1
R Cross run out 20
R Zelem not out 53
T Townsend not out 26
Total (for 1 wkt, 37.1 overs) 109
Fall of wicket: 1-58
Bowling: Brown 6-1-14-0, Smith 7-1-18-0, Khan 10-3-20-0, Hodson 9-2-32-0, Porteous 3-0-9-0, Good 2.1-0-15-0
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